Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Inside Out movie review
We took most of our children to see this movie last week.  Can I just tell you that it was amazing?  I loved the movie, loved the message, loved all the psycho-emotional drama and even cried during and animated movie, and I'm not even pregnant!!

Drew and I previewed it one day with Sport.  The next day, Sport, Scuff, and Sun saw the movie.  Then a few days later when he didn't have class, Speedy, Shorty and I went to see it.  Sport and I got to see it twice, and I would go again I might add.

As a psychology nut, part of what I loved about the movie was recognizing the interplay of our emotions.  And personally, I am very much Joy, and think she should be in charge all the time.  I have trouble acknowledging Sadness and letting her have her day.  In fact, in my life, I have to make time for her because otherwise I can keep myself totally busy always trying to let Joy have the spotlight.  This movie spoke volumes to me personally.

As for my children, Sport needed to see it twice because he is studying animation and he just enjoyed looking at the movie from the technical details.  Shhhhh don't tell anyone, but he did shed a tear or two during the first viewing.

I have another kiddo, Shorty, who lets Anger be in control all the time.  If Joy isn't in charge in his life, Anger is manifesting itself.  It was super important for him to see the movie so he could recognize that the other emotions are in there and think about what he is feeling, how, and why.  It was also significant for him to see that Anger is simply masking deeper emotions, like hurt, or fear, or sadness.  Before he watched the movie, I gave him a list of questions I wanted him to think about during the movie.  Yes, I actually gave him movie homework.  True story.  Here are the questions I wanted him to consider:

  • What emotions did they label?
  • What other emotions do you have that they did not label?
  • How did Riley behave when Anger was in control?
  • What happens when Joy tries to be in control all the time?
  • Why is it important to let Sadness be in control sometimes?
  • What happened to Riley's thought train when she made a bad decision?
  • What did Sadness say her purpose was? (Crying helps me to slow down and obsess over life's problems.)
  • Can Joy fix everything?
  • Why did Riley need Sadness?
  • Why did the console turn black?
  • What did the fall of Goofball Island symbolize?
Now, these are not the only questions that you could come up with, but for my child and for what he needed to learn, these are the questions we needed to discuss in helping him to understand the emotions going on in his head and body right now.  Shorty is heading into the beginnings of puberty and like I said before, most of his emotion manifests as Anger---which is simply lovely for all of us.

If you have any children or adults at your house that need a little deeper understanding of their emotional processes with a very non-threatening, enjoyable and entertaining presentation, take them to see Inside Out!

"It's a major Emotion picture!!"  Go see it today! :-)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Maybe Moving Recap

Well, there you have it.  Those are all of my 'maybe moving' posts.  What did you think?  Kind of a crazy process right?  And then we didn't move and Drew gets the same job here.  However, the craziness isn't over.  More crazy things are happening at Drew's office.  We will have to wait to see how it all shakes out.  Maybe we will still end up moving, but not anytime soon, that we can tell.
copyright:  Karen Larsen photography

How do I feel about it?  To be honest, I have trouble reconciling the information.  In my heart, I still believe we will be moving, for a job, and to the original area.  What do I have to base my information on?  Only my feelings.  If we don't move, I don't really care.  I am fine doing what the Lord wants me to, as long as I know that is what He wants.  Drew thinks we will be staying here until he retires (at least three more years, but more likely, eight more).  I just don't see that happening.  But then, my life never looks like I think it will.

In high school, my friends used to tease me about being that Mormon Mom with nine kids and a station wagon.  I swore that would never be me.  Who would want nine kids?  I was going to college and getting a degree and then I would be a mom, but I would also have a career.  All through college, I thought about what kind of a job I wanted, marriage and family therapy, school psychology, something in counseling definitely.  Finally, the end of my Senior year, I got it through my head, either I would be a really great employee and a stinky mom, or a really great mom and a stinky employee, or just kind of making it work at both.  Where did I really want to spend my time and energy?  I did get my degree.  I do have nine children (and picked up a couple of honorary children along the way--Tammy and Richard).  I did drive a station wagon, at one time and ditched it as soon as we possibly could (hated that car!).  And my career?  Well, I have one of those too.  It is called Motherhood.  I use my degree everyday!!  Do you have any idea how much money I save in therapy alone?  And tutoring?  And tailoring?  And....and.....and......
This was the best family shot of our super windy photo shoot.

These people are my life!!  They get all of me, everyday.  Not me divided between them and my career, or my part-time sales job, or the PTA.  I am here, for them.  Does that mean I don't do anything else?  No I have a few hobbies and an exercise class with a couple of girlfriends, and quilting with some of the elderly sisters here in the area.  But I can drop any of those at any time to take care of my people, when they need me.  So whether we live here or we move, this is my job, and these are my people.

I LOVE my job!!  It is nice to know that I can live anywhere and it all comes with me!

Just to recap my maybe moving list of stuff:

I have gotten rid of a ton of junk, but I have a ton more to go so that is still in process.
I cleaned half of the windows in the house, but now they probably need to be done again.
I touched up the paint in the family room and have to finish the book shelf wall.
We replaced the flooring in the kids rooms.
I painted the microwave cubby in the kitchen and cleaned out most of the cupboards, but need to finish them.
I spackled the green bathroom but need to paint over it.
And I haven't touched Sun's room because we have college boys sleeping in there over the summer.  Hopefully I will get that done after they all go back to college.

That is the recap.  I will keep you posted as to the status, especially if we really do end up moving.  When we moved here, we knew two years ahead of time that we were coming.  It was super hard to continue to believe that was happening as the months and then years went by.  But here we are.  In September it will have been one year since I originally thought we were moving.  So maybe we just have to wait another year?!!

Whatever.  We will see, ay?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Be a Voice for Children

Sunday is not my usual posting day, but because the Supreme Court so graciously decided to announce their decision this week, I have felt the need to respond.
Now, I am not a very 'politically correct' person.  I say what is on my mind.  I told Drew one day (many moons ago when we were young and trying to figure out what his career path would look like) that I would not be a very good politician's wife.  I would always be saying something that would undermine his position or sticking my foot in my mouth.  Either way, I would be a liability for any campaign, and not an asset.  So even though my sweetheart is brilliant at politics (and he really is) we should look at something else.  So we work for the court--not the one that made that awful decision this week though.

There you have it.  I think their decision is awful, horrible, unconstitutional, and immoral.  Why?  I know, I have heard the rhetoric out there.  "We should be free to marry who we want to",  "Marriage equality under the law,"  "Civil rights for all,"  one person's sign even read "Our Constitution is a shield against Bible based oppression."

This is so sad to me.  Let me see if I can articulate this.  I understand other people have different opinions than me and different life styles.  I honor their ability to choose.  Inherent in that philosophy is that there will be varying and different opinions across the country, around the globe, even.  I defend their right to choose, which means I also defend my right to choose, and which means, I have a right to have my voice heard, as well.  I shouldn't have to be silent or agree with you.

Marriage has always been a religious ordinance, only recently sanctioned by the government, not the other way around.  Marriages, in history have been performed by clergy, various religious officers given the authority by the church to bind their patrons in holy matrimony.  It was not government sponsored, nor sanctioned.  At some point, the government began to recognize marriages (OK, at this point, I did a little research so as not to lead you all astray).  As for what I have been able to surmise, from the internet mind you (so we can all be assured it is correct---wink, blah!) marriage licenses didn't begin to be regularly established and required until 1923 with the Uniform Marriage and Marriage Licenses Act.  Before then, marriage licenses were required only by those people who wanted to be married contrary to their states laws, for instance, those married in an interracial relationship.  Other than those instances, marriage licenses were not required, i.e. marriage was not regulated by the government, federal or state.

Let's go back even farther. 

In the Bible dictionary under Marriage, we read:

Among the Israelites, marriage was usually preceded by a formal act of betrothal, such a contract, when once entered on, being regarded as absolutely binding. On the marriage day, the bride was escorted to her husband’s home by a procession consisting of her own companions and the “friends of the bridegroom,” or “children of the bride-chamber,” some carrying torches and others myrtle branches and chaplets of flowers. When she reached the house, words such as “Take her according to the law of Moses and of Israel” were spoken, the pair were crowned with garlands, and a marriage deed was signed. After the prescribed washing of hands and benediction, the marriage supper was held. For a year after marriage a man was released from all military service. The gospel law of marriage is partially given in Matt. 19:4–9; Mark 10:2–12; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7. Its meaning, as symbolizing the union between Christ and the Church, is explained in Eph. 5:22–32.

It does say they signed a marriage deed, but there is no indication it was regulated by any government.  It is recognized as a binding contract.  The question then is binding to whom?  Looking closer at the wording spoken when the bride arrived, it appears to be according to the Law of Moses and Israel.  I am pretty sure that law giver was not any man-made government.

And if we want to go back even further, we can just look at Genesis 2: 24 & 25:

 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Adam and Eve were married, by God, because, well, He was the only other one around.  I think that makes it His law.
Now, I recognize with all of these varied opinions, that not everyone will agree with me or even the sources I have used to validate my position.  That is fine.  But I want you to understand why it is so significant to me and why I cannot just throw it out because the Supreme Court said so.  In my mind, in my heart, in my place of core beliefs, this 'law,' 'contract,' 'obligation,' it comes from God.  He sets the parameters, not me, not you, and certainly not the Supreme Court.

I also understand that the Supreme Court interprets the laws of the land where I live.  I will uphold their decision, as theirs and now as the law of the land to which I live.  I believe in sustaining and upholding those laws.  But I also believe in my right to disagree with them and to fight to change them, if I feel they are not good for our society.

And you guessed it, I do not believe this law is good for our society.  I think it is harmful, even to the people who are happy about it.  How you ask?  Well, here is my biggest beef with it.
I believe marriage was instituted by God for the protection of families and specifically children.  I believe what the prophets have said:

"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...."

I believe children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony.  It is their right.  Each and every child is entitled to have a mother and a father, two parents of differing genders, married, and honoring that contract they made with each other and with God.  Homosexual couples, regardless of how committed they are to each other, cannot under any circumstances provide each and every child in their home with a mother and a father.  They are violating the rights of those children, the voiceless, non-voting population of our society.  They are doing so to fulfill their own selfish purposes, while taking away the rights of the innocent, and trying to tell them it is OK for them to do that and then perpetuate that philosophy down through the generations.  That is not OK with me.  I will stand as a voice for the innocent, for the children.  They deserve and are entitled to two parents of differing gender who are married and committed to those children because each of them participated in bringing that child to earth.

I have enough experience to know that not every child will experience the ideal.  I know there are some heterosexual couples who should never be parents.  I am not telling you that they are perfect, and yes, there are some very loving and kind homosexual people and couples.  However, that doesn't change the fact that no matter how loving and perfect they otherwise are, they cannot ensure the rights of those children are not violated.

I am sure my position is not going to be popular.  So be it.  I am obviously not here to win a popularity contest.  (Have you not read that I have birthed nine children?--Popularity is not on the radar.)  But I am here to tell you what I believe and why I believe it.  And it is a deep part of me, one that cannot just be changed because someone on the Bench said so.  Sorry.  There wouldn't be very much to my character if I was willing to change my position just because the winds of popular opinion did (---just ask some of the politicians, they probably aren't sleeping very well at night---).

But you watch.  Those who have now won the 'right' to marry, pretty soon they will be more than happy to silence people like me and stomp on the rights of those who do not agree with them.  They have already shown they are willing to walk on the rights of the children.  Why wouldn't you or I be next?

And if you are curious, here is what the Brethren have said on the subject:
copyright:  LDS.ORG
The Church issued the following statement Friday:
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acknowledges that following today's ruling by the Supreme Court, same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States. The Court's decision does not alter the Lord's doctrine that marriage is a union between a man and a woman ordained by God. While showing respect for those who think differently, the Church will continue to teach and promote marriage between a man and a woman as a central part of our doctrine and practice."

And I agree.

Friday, June 26, 2015

FFF #22 2015 Perspective

copyright:  Karen Larsen photography
 Oh Yea!!!  Can I just say that?

I took my car into the shop on Monday because I would turn it on, and it would die, and I would turn it on, and it would die. Then I would turn it on, give it some gas, say a quick prayer, and drive away hoping all would be well until I reached my desired destination.  The mechanic thought that was strange.  So did we, which is why we brought it in.  It needed some other work anyway.  My serpentine belt squealed like crazy every time I drove the car.  It was driving me bananas, seriously.

So they fixed that.  Then they tried to figure out why it would die.

They replaced the spark plugs.  It didn't fix the problem.  They ordered a part that wouldn't be in until the next day.  Fine.  They put that it.  It didn't fix the problem.  When I called in the middle of day three at the shop, poor Steve told me that the car had actually died in the shop and they couldn't get it started again.  But finally, they found a loose wire.  When they pushed on it, the car worked, and when they didn't, the car didn't.  It was a pretty inaccessible wire, so they were going to try to find it the next morning, fix that, and hope that took care of it.

They did that.  It works! 

Can I just tell you that even though we have been down to one car for four days and I haven't been able to take all of the family anywhere, I am soooooo glad the car died at the mechanic's shop and not while I was out on the road with a car full of kids somewhere!!!  Totally worth the four days to know that is not going to happen!  Yippee!! 

This afternoon, I took the kids to the beach!  The boys who have been to Utah lately just complained because they said it was too cold.  Just to give you a little perspective here, the locals were out in shorts and bikini tops.  Those actually in the ocean surfing were in wetsuits.  The wind was warm, which never happens and the temperature?  A very nice and warm 59 degrees. 

Spike Spike played in the water.  He was soaked from head to toe.  After an hour, we had to pull him out because his teeth were chattering, but it was warm enough that I could change him on the beach instead of in the car, like usual.  (And the beach was packed!!  We had to wait for a parking spot, which I have never had to do either.)

That is all I have to report today.

Except, you probably would like to know how our stake presidency change went.  It happened :-)  And they didn't call Drew.  So in that vein, things in our ward won't change much!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Maybe Moving--Seven months later.

Crazy!  I know.  I should let it go.  It didn't happen.  We didn't move.  Now there is no job on the horizon.  No reason to move.  Nothing.

But guess what?!!  We are moving.  I know we are.  The Lord has told me so.  He hasn't told me when, but at this point, I believe that a year from now we will be thinking about it.  Wouldn't that be crazy??  Write a post a year early?  Nuts.

But now I believe what He has told me.  I know He can do all things.  I know if He wants us to have a specific job, we will have that job.  If He wants us to live in a specific ward, we will live there.  If He wants us to have more children and I am an old woman?  We will have them.  (I can write that because this blog may never see the light of day!)  I love the freedom that comes with privacy!  But musing, wise, I may as well write down my predictions for future posterity.

Well, let's see.  I know I have dark days ahead.  Hard days.  Days that will take my breath away and perhaps my desire to continue going to church and to ignore my prayers and the Lord.  They are on the horizon.  I just don't know what they look like.

I know I have a nasty pregnancy on the horizon, and I turn 45 this week (the week I am writing).  It will be ugly and difficult and hard.  It may or may not be connected with my dark days.  I kind of think they are two separate difficult things.  But we will see.

I know moving south is on the horizon.  When?  I am not sure.  At this point, I think in one year.  Where?  I do know that.  I kind of know what it will look like.  I think I know which ward and what school for the high school kiddos.  Maybe the little guys too.  (I actually put them on a waiting list for a school I think is the right one and the waiting list was like two years long.  It may be that long before we actually make the move. Nuts, right?  Yep, I know.  But you just don't leave those kind of things undone when you feel the inspiration.  I mean what is the worst that will happen?  We won't go, they will call and I will tell them, never mind.)  And, believe it or not, Drew will get that job.  Because the Lord said so.  So now we wait.

I was told that it wouldn't look like I thought it would, but the sea would part and then we would go and it would be fast.  Which is why I was told so early, so I could work on things slowly because when the time for moving came, we wouldn't have time to deal with stupid things, like junk.

That is my report seven months after the initial thoughts of moving began and the interviewing process and all of it.  I believe Him now.  It will happen.  I just don't know what the plan looks like.

And that is my report.