Sunday, February 28, 2010


Greg Olsen painting, Precious in His sight.

Today, in Sacrament Meeting, I was sitting in front of a young family. Their little boy, about age four was making the regular little-boy noises, quietly, not disruptive at all when I heard very clearly, "Help me find the way." This is a line from the song "I Am a Child of God." (
Click here to hear this song.)

Years and years ago, when we lived in Modesto, California, Phil worked with a family whose young boy was about the same age as today's little boy. One day his mom was chatting with a gentleman and the man looked down at the young boy, ruffled his hair, and said, "And whose little boy are you?"

"I am a child of God," the boy said.

Today in Relief Society one young mother mentioned that every time she left the house her mother would say, "Remember who you are." The girl, who was a teenager, and had heard this statement thousands of times always said--in her mind--"Yeah, yeah," but she never forgot who she was and she could hear her mother's voice--again in her mind-- "Remember who you are," over and over and over. This young mother is now married and has twin girls and you can bet they hear this statement often.

Let's all remember who we are. No matter how tattered we feel. No matter what level of spirituality we are currently on. No matter if we believe in God or just wish we could believe. It is my sincere testimony that we are all God's children. He wants us to live our lives well so we can return to him.

I am going to give up one bad habit in March so I can become more like the Father that I know I have. It's not going to be easy. I've been struggling with this one thing for years and years--as long as I can remember. It won't keep me out of Heaven but if I can give it up I will feel better about myself. Now I have big things too, things I know I shouldn't do or things I know I should, but I'm going to start with this one small one and then tackle the harder ones next.

And isn't that the bottom line? We all want to feel better about ourselves. We want to know who we are and where we belong. And, along the way, we need help. We need people to help us find the way. We need to remember who we are so we have the conficence to live better so, when our earth life is over, we can return to our Father.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Once upon a time Mrs. Bird was going to a banquet with her husband. She needed something wonderful to wear. (Mrs. Bird has great style.) She went downtown to Suzy M's to shop.

"I need something really nice for the Umpa banquet," she said. (Umpa stands for Utah Municipal power association--her husband is a member.)

What's an "Umpa?" the sales girl said.

Another sales girl was eavesdropping, "You know...Oom-pah-pah! Oom-pah-pah!" she sang.
"That's how it goes!
Ev'ryone knows."

And then Mrs. Bird and the two sales girls danced and sang the "Oompah" song all through the store, winding through the racks of clothes.

Only Mrs. Bird would go shopping and end up in an Oompah parade. Long live Mrs. Bird.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


A continuation from yesterday's post, kind of.

When we came home from North Carolina--where Trent learned that "pajamas" were "jammies"--to Utah for visits and eventually to live closer to family I realized my sister, Pat, was the Queen of slang. They didn’t have “roast beef” for Sunday dinner, they had “roast beast.” If you were sick, you had the “dreaded gomboo.” She sailed through life, putting her language stamp on everything. She was delightful. Life was a lark to her and meant to be enjoyed.

Years later, when our last child, Elizabeth was little, Pat gave her a fairy princess outfit. It came with a magic wand that played music when you pushed a button. Pat could hardly wait to have Elizabeth push the button. I thought it might play the Cinderella theme, but no. It played the music to “Hang down your head, Tom Dooley.” I was horrified but before I could say anything Pat said, “Isn’t that a scream? I love it. Don’t ever get rid of that magic wand.” She laughed. “Can you imagine, some Japanese committee, picking songs for the magic wands? ‘This one sounds nice,’ they probably said. ‘Has a nice tune.’”

I never did really see the humor in it, I’ve tried but I’m still uncomfortable with giving a song about death and murder to a four year old. We still have the magic wand somewhere. It probably doesn’t work but I couldn’t get rid of it because my sister, who died not too long after this incident, had thought it was a “hoot” and if nothing else, I loved my very original-talking sister and I kept her wishes.

I will never measure up to this sister, who had ideas no one else had, but never wrote them down. (This is one of the tragedies of life.) She loved the Lord with a pure and deep love. She took Institute classes as often as she could, even though she had to have dialysis three times a week and it prevented her from doing a lot of the things she loved. She loved my children like no one else did and I think she probably watches over them from time to time.

She lived in St. George so she could have her dialysis treatments and Larry went to St. George every weekend. When she died her funeral was held in Annabella, two and a half hours from St. George or two hours, depending on who’s driving. The chapel and cultural hall were filled to capacity and carloads of her St. George friends made the trip to attend her funeral. All the florist shops in Richfield sold out of flowers for her funeral and people brought every plant and artificial arrangement available.

When she died, a light went out of the world and Heaven was brightened. I am sure the language in Heaven has changed a bit. The angels are using new words for things and they smile and laugh a lot too. They probably change into jammies when they go to bed and have roast beast for Sunday dinner—although the “beast” is probably made of some vegetable concoction.

Well, this story didn’t start out to be what it ended up like. I just wanted to remember Trent’s language degeneration but--from his comment on yesterday's post--it didn't degenerate at all. But he is clever with words. After all, he is the one who called my little desk in the living room a “clerk.” “Because it’s not big enough to be a secretary.” And it will always be the clerk until the end of time. Maybe a tiny bit of Aunt Pat lives on in my children, her children, and my sister Julie’s children too. I certainly hope so. Hillary's language qualifies. And Taylor's. And the other three are as clever as can be. I'm proud of them.

PS Yesterday, Trent commented on my post. It seems he doesn't use slang so something must have sunk in from so many years ago. And my favorite part of his comment was that he said he kneels down to have nighttime prayers with his two-year old. What a great dad my boy is.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I kind of pride myself on being a reasonable adult. For instance, when my oldest child was little I wanted him to learn the proper names for things. I wanted him to have perfect grammar. I wanted to be the kind of a mother he deserved so there were no nicknames for anything.

When he was two we left him with a baby sitter while we went to the National Homebuilding show in Texas. We were gone five or six days. When we came home his life had been changed. He had newly acquired names for everything. The first one was "jammies." They had always been pajamas--the proper name. No more. Farewell, proper names for everything. So much for being a responsible adult.

Today I went to Weight Watchers. (Not that I'm following their diet, exactly. What I'm really doing is following Jorge Cruise's diet--the Belly Fat Cure. But, by Sunday I wanted sugar--this diet allows NO sugar. Well, 15 grams a day. That equals no sugar. So, I didn't do as well as I could have because, on Sunday, I had more carbs than I'm allowed and there was sugar in the vegan pepper steak--which was goood. So I was over my carbs and sugar, by a lot. I thought I would have gained but I lost three point something pounds.) Now, I ask you, is that something a reasonable adult would do, go to Weight Watchers but not follow their diet?

After Weight Watchers I went to DI (Deseret Industries--like Goodwill.) And I looked at clothes because my shirts are getting too big. And I found a bunch for anywhere from one to three dollars so I took them to the counter. Guess who left her credit card, drivers licence and all things important in her church bag? They wouldn't let me write a check without ID. So I had to come home and then go back.

When I was home Phil asked me what I was buying at DI. Then he said, "You're buying USED clothes?" as if I were doing something unreasonable, like rob a bank or try to sew something--anything--even a straight seam. Don't ask. I have been known to sew things together--like the item on the sewing machine and the clothes I'm wearing at the time. It's very embarassing to wear extra clothing, hanging off your shirt. The "picker-outer" is my best friend. Or was, when I sewed. I now do the reasonable thing and leave that chore to someone without a handful of thumbs.

"No, Phil, I'm buying new ones from the DI factory." Note to self: husband does not appreciate snide remarks. He might even think you are childish and not a responsible adult at all.

Leaving all my important stuff in my church bag, including my driver's license and then speeding to make the green (yellow--turning to red) light and making illegal lane changes. Is that reasonable?

And, really, who used to wear those clothes I bought? I think the reasonable thing to do is not to think about it, don't you? (They were washed and disinfected, weren't they? Say yes, say yes.)

I knew I was a reasonable adult all along. And, Trent, they are pajamas, and you ought to tell your kids that, just in case they have some other plebeian name for them. It's the reasonable thing to do.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


From two ten year old boys, walking down the hall, "Dude, that's the worst place you want to pass gas." (I never did hear where that place was so I'm being extra careful.)

From a grown woman who has teenagers, "I'm not saying my teen is Satan or anything..." and then she went on to tell us about his bad attitude. There was a lot of nodding of heads and sympathy, I can tell you.

"I'm telling you, I was busy this last week, it was a horrible week," said one woman who really needed a bit of sympathy and an arm around her shoulders. The person she was talking to, gave her a one-second half-smile and said, "Excuse me, excuse me," and pushed around people standing in the isle and made her getaway. I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and not thinking she was insensitive. I think she had to pass gas.

One of the Sacrament meeting speakers is from Australia. He said, "When the Polynesian people say, 'Aloha,' the audience usually greets them back with an 'Aloha.' 'G'day,' doesn't seem to get the same response." Then he said, "G'day," and most of us in the audience said, "G'day" back. He was surprised, I think.

"I'm down to my last caramel," said the older gentleman. I know he's fishing for more but I feel responsible for his health. He has diabetes and when I gave him a dozen caramels for Christmas--and told him he could eat one a day--he ate eleven of them before nightfall! The only reason he's not dead is he saved one to taunt me with.

"I'm thinking that Heavenly Father is having a good laugh about the mess I've gotten myself into." I think it's a good thing to bring humor to Heavenly Father. He's probably laughing his head off.

Now my mind has gone blank. I had several funny things to tell you but they are gone, kind of like gas.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Be of good cheer.

He allows us to suffer and have trials so we can fill our lamps with oil.

President Kimball said the most important thing is to remember we have a veil of forgetfulness.

Before you can be teachable you have to see your weaknesses.

Nothing is more disarming than humility.

What do we put on our personal banner (like Captain Moroni) so we can move forward? (I decided to put, "Why should I fear with the Lord by my side." It will change from time to time but for this time in my life, when I AM fairly full of fear, this is going to be it.)

A "why" question makes people defensive.

Satan doesn't want us to know our core emotions.

Elder Bednar--2 greatest "somethings"--I didn't get that part--distraction and preoccupation.

Don't take on other people's problems.

In Heaven: There is a chair there with your name on it. Let there be no empty chairs. Note to self: Google to find the author and actual quote.

Thank the Lord for that little light.

Quiet yourself so you can hear the still small voice.

Vaccinations: Put my arm in a sling made out of a white dishcloth. Many kids came with slings made the same way. I can't believe I wasn't embarrassed to go to school like that.

When we cleaned out Mom and Dad's house I thought I'd find the skirt. I really thought it would be there. It would fit one leg now, but I would have like to see it; I could have said, "I was this thin. Once."

Once she let go of fixing, the whole universe has opened up to her creative juices. When we are fixers we spend so much energy. When we give it up we have more energy.

I can trust my feelings.

Pod cast, Writing

Steam Punk, YA by Scott Westerfield, Leviathan. He wrote The Pretties, The Uglies, etc.

The Alliance by Lund.

The Graveyard Book, MG

The Magician's Elephant

Maze Runner by James Dashner

When you see someone and can't understand their behavior--why would they behave that way, be emotionally flattened? Maybe because of their family history.

Don't say, "Don't feel that way," say, "Help me understand how you feel."

Encourage them to keep journals. Write their feeling.

Depression is learned helplessness. Emotional flat lined. Personal growth stunted.

Friday, February 19, 2010


We went visiting teaching to Mrs. Bird's house today. My visiting teacher partner likes to talk. Mrs. Bird likes to talk. We were there two hours. I am going to have to be the voice of reason.

But, I did hear a good story.

When Mrs. Bird's youngest child was an infant Mrs. Bird and her husband took in a pregnant teenager. (They have spent a lifetime taking in kids who need help.) There was no bedroom where this pregnant teen could stay but in the nursery, so the baby had to move out. Where to sleep the baby?
Mrs. Bird got a piece of foam from the upholsterer--a five inch piece of foam, cut the exact size of the shower. She covered it with fabric and the baby slept there.

In the morning the shower-mattress came out and everyone showered. Then they wiped the shower dry and the mattress went back in in time for the baby's nap. There were no showers allowed at night.

The pregnant teen was going to give up the baby but in the last month she changed her mind. She couldn't do it--she loved him with an intensity that only a mother can understand.
After the baby was born she went home to California to her parents--who had spent all her pregnancy in Europe on assignment. She met a nice man--who adored her baby boy--and she eventually married him. The marriage has been very successful. And her baby? He is now grown up and is a wonderful doctor who is much loved by his patients. And guess what? He and his mother are the best of friends.

And Mrs. Bird's baby? She grew up to be one of the kindest people I know--and the cleanest.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


About five years ago I got sick in the summer. I don't remember what I had but after I got better I started having anxiety and then even mild panic attacks. I started searching the Internet. I subscribed to a newsletter from Panic Away. I haven't ordered the course because it's not nineteen-ninety-five and they don't give this spiel..."Wait! That's not all. We'll give you one free. That's two for the low price of one. Just $19.95."

Actually, I think it's reasonably priced--especially for people who have been in therapy/counseling for years and years--and one of these days I might order. Just not today. But, here's what I learned on the "Panic Away," site:

End Anxious Thoughts In 4 Easy Steps by just labeling the thought and not reacting. Four steps: Observe, Label, Watch, Move on. In other words don't try to put it out of your mind. When it comes--the panic-- observe it--don't run from it. Then give it a name--I'm afraid that "whatever will happen." Watch as it passes by with no judgment. And then move on your attention to whatever it was you were doing.

Phil and I were going to Beam Ray tonight. I had anxious thoughts. Usually I try to put it out of my mind but I decided to try this method tonight. It didn't work perfectly but it did work. Then on the ride home I started worrying and panicking about people that aren't even my responsibility. I did it again and turned it around, thinking that they are perfectly capable of solving their own problems.

Then I brought the Savior into the mix and the panic fled even faster.

I'm not saying I have this thing whipped. Far from it. But, in case you suffer like I do, go to Panic Away site and click on some of the topics. Exhaustion and anxiety is one. Gratitude lifts the weight of anxiety is another. These are some of the topics that come in his newsletter.

A couple of days ago a friend told me about a visit to a counselor. The counselor gave three bits of advice. One: Write down you hurts, anger, disappointment, depression, etc. Words written down loose their power. I can testify that this is true. Two: I can't remember number two. When I talk to this person and learn number two I'll put it in a new blog. Three: Keep a gratitude journal. A study was done at the University of Utah about gratitude journals. Students were asked to keep one for several months. After that time the students all had a more positive attitude about life, were able to handle stress better. I am going to do both. Actually, I do number one--sadly, infrequently--and I know it helps.

So, if you are anxious or have panic attacks check out this site. You can sign up for his newsletter too.

And, hey, let's get happy. Let's slay the panic dragon. We deserve to be free of this beast.
And I, simply once and forever, need to quit taking on other people's problems. They don't even know I do it and it's paralyzing me. I can love them, think about them, even worry a bit about them but I CAN'T take on their burdens. They will figure a way out of their own problems, my worry won't make one bit of difference. So, I'm going to let them have their own problems. And don't you do this behavior either, it's useless and paralyzes you.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Yesterday we were guests at a birthday dinner for our granddaughter, Maddy, who, it seems is growing up. We gave her--to be redeemed in the future--lunch out and then we will come back home for endless grandma-stories and jewelry making. Her favorite gift, I think, was a "pouffy" skirt that her sister, Ruby gave her (who spent the day dressed as Bo Peep, complete with sheep).
Or maybe her favorites were her Chuck Taylor shoes. We still owe five grandkids birthday lunches and movies--or maybe they want lunch and something else, like Maddy does. (We are going to have a busy time, once our ship comes in.) One of our sons is owed a birthday treat too. What do you buy a gadget freak who buys all his own gadget stuff? Maybe he should let me know.

We had Cafe Rio salads and that yummy Robert Redford's favorite dessert (about fifteen years ago--he loved the dessert fifteen years ago, this dessert isn't that old). The chocolate version--it was yummy. (Click here for the lemon version.)
And then, this afternoon, I gave Minkey a bath. The kitchen is flooded, the counters are flooded, and my sleeves are wet to the elbow. Minkey is happy to be clean, just didn't like the process.That's pretty much like all of us, isn't it? We love progress and better things. We like being better people, want to be more educated, perhaps thiner and more fit, etc. We just sometimes don't like the process it takes to get there.

Birthday, Miss Maddison!

And stay clean, Minkey. I don't know if I have another bath in me.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I've never been a great speller, except in the fourth grade when I was one of the last ones "down" in the spelling bee. From then on it was down hill in a little red wagon with ball bearings.

I still don't know for sure how to spell broccoli. This must be right as spellcheck found no errors. That's a first, by the way. To have written three sentences and have no errors.

But, the point is, not only am I a poor creative speller but now my fingers have an identity crisis, they think they are clubs or toes or some strange body part that has mutated from a normal one, that might be featured on National Geographic. I type and even words I know how to spell, easy ones like "and" come out strange. "With" is "wtih." I can never send an email--spelled "eamil" AND "emial"--with no errors. I always have to slog away through-- "throuth"--changes.

Is it age? Is that why I'm getting worse? I'm blaming it on winter. Which I spelled "wihtnr." Pathetic, any way it's spelled.

So when I show up in the comments box on your blog and my spelling is atrocious just say to yourself, "There's Lynne, the creative speller." I'll bless you for it. Actually I'll "blsess" you, but you'll know what I mean.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I was at the computer. Phil was in the recliner. He reclined all the way and closed his eyes.

"Are we having naps for Family Home Evening?" I asked.

"Yup," he said.

I got up and reclined too. We slept 2 1/2 hours!

Easiest Family Home Evening we've ever done.

PS And why are we so tired? Because there is a snorer/cougher in the bed. I'm not going to mention names but one night one of us got up and watched TV until 2:20 because one of us was snored and coughed wide awake. (Bless the snorer/cougher's little heart.)