Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happiness Project:: Post 1

Sleepy girls on a road trip. Sisters who are best friends. I love how these amazing little women take care of each other. These two fill me with happiness.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Wilderness Foiled

Photo taken the morning of Daddy's birthday...

It's a Daddy/Daughter camp out with our Church this weekend.

I'm excited for a few reasons.

1. My almost 6YO has been working on falling asleep without sucking her thumb. She's been doing well. My beautiful friend had mentioned that she had her daughter pick her own rewards for each day she didn't, for when she reached a week, a month. So we had our daughter pick her own rewards. Five skittles for each day, a camp out for a week and a party for a month.

Yep. A camp out. As soon as she said that I was quickly trying to figure out how we could get out of that one. However, since we had promised she could pick out her own rewards, we were bound by a vocal contract.

It just so happened that we found out this weekend is a camp out! It's the first week of her completion. YAY!

2. I don't have to go camping. I'm not a daddy or a daughter. Wheeeee! (although if I'm honest, I'd admit to feeling a bit bummed I won't be there for their first camping experience - which means the hubby better do some serious photo-taking and Flip vid recording ....OR ELSE!)

3. I get to make foil packet dinners for them. I have never made one before, but remember vaguely enjoying them as a kid.

Check it out!

Queen Scarlett's foil packet dinner

Organic ground beef
Garlic flavored olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Onions, diced
Carrots, sliced
Celery, sliced
Potatoes, sliced
Tomatoes, diced
Cream of mushroom
Worcestershire sauce
Packet of Lipton onion
Sour cream

Mix one can of cream of mushroom soup with about one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (I just swish the bottle in a circle for measurement sake), and one packet of the Lipton onion. Stir well. Set aside.

Chop, dice, slice all the veggies.

Brush garlic olive oil over foil. Add freshly ground black pepper then organic ground beef.

Top the beef with onions.

Then add potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes.

Then top with the cream of mushroom mixture, with a dollop of sour cream, and little more ground pepper.

Wrap the packets, label and wait with bated breath to find out how it all turns out. I think they'll need to cook it on hot coals for 20-30 min.... or whenever they are cooked.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


image from this site

Sometimes I feel like I am walking in a hazy place where everyone has turned into zombies. Zombies that for some reason or other are deaf to my logic, reason and screaming and jumping to get them to return back to their former selves.

Sometimes I wonder if we've become so immersed in the world, in conventional thought that we have forgotten why we are here. Do you remember? Do you know why you're here? Do you remember that you have a mission? Do you know how powerful you can be for good or ill? Will you wake up and focus on the goal?

I've mentioned my intelligent, brilliant friend Jon Wilson before. He recently wrote a post about "Why the New Mormon Feminism Will Fail". The title was intriguing. It referred to another post by Tresa Edmunds titled, "The Next Generation of Mormon Feminism". I read Edmunds post and was incredibly disappointed, and concerned.

Her whole premise is that women should continue to do the things they feel is right, even if it goes against what inspiration our Prophet has taught, because if we keep going against them for what we want - eventually we will wear them down and what we want will become acceptable.

Can I get a homie say what? What?

Apparently there are women sitting at home fuming that they don't have the priesthood. Seriously? Are they still beating that horse to death. For some reason these women still determine equality as what the world defines it, what is popular in our culture. They can't seem to see the perspective of eternity because their line of sight is only as far as what the media and pop culture tell them it should be.

In a more thoughtful manner, Wilson's post, he says:
"Trying to receive the priesthood by rejecting the guidance of the Lord’s authorized servants is a contradiction because the oath and covenant of the priesthood itself requires that we receive his authorized servants."

It strikes me as arrogance to assume that we know God's will better than God does. The attitude that Edmunds is displaying is a blatant demonstration that she doesn't support, believe in or sustain the Prophet and leaders of our Church.

I see this attitude more and more in the Church. Where people really do think they know better than God. That God's will, his Church/Kingdom will bend to their conventional wisdom and "modern" thinking. Really? Really?

In Edmunds post she writes about the YW she interacts with:
"Many of them have become adept at interpreting statements from general authorities to fit their viewpoint, secure in themselves and what they want out of the world, and assuming that everyone else feels the same way."
First of all - each of us is incredibly powerful with our ability to influence and guide. I take this role incredibly seriously with the YW. I prefer to turn the girls I work with over to God's will and not mine - because, to be frank - I make a lot of mistakes. So it worries me that according to Edmunds, "her YW" are all feeling her own discontent.

It strikes me as completely contrary to the gospel when we, as Edmunds states her YW are "...adept at interpreting statements from general authorities to fit their viewpoint..."

I believe we are here for a mission - to become like God - to seek His will - not to distort statements and bend them to fit OUR will. Isn't this life about submitting to God's will?

Robert L. Millet once taught in one of my leadership meetings at BYU - that when we come to recognize our own insignificance, and how incredibly vast that chasm is between us and God, that is when we humble ourselves, submit ourselves to Him - and that is when we become close, become one with Him. The whole thinking in Edmunds post is about power grabbing, taking over, being in charge - taking the priesthood power by any means possible - defining equality by the world's standards and not God's. Gee whiz - does this remind you of anyone's way of thinking at say... the grand council of heaven in the preexistence? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?

Edmunds also talks about the choice she believes the YW have to make:

"Do they shrink themselves down and become less to fit in the prescribed role, or do they turn away from what they have been taught?... I am firmly of the belief that it's because the vision we give them of their future is not a future they want."

Shrink? Does Edmunds not understand the plan of salvation? Does she not understand the new and everlasting covenant? I believe that if she did understand it she would not belittle it. It is an honor. A divine calling. Righteous mothers and fathers play a symbolic role of Christ in a gospel-centered home.

I recently spoke about exaltation, families, the kingdom of God and it is mind-boggling that the very basic principles of the gospel, of our purpose here on earth is lost on Edmunds. That she is so caught up in the eyes of the world she's forgotten the perspective of eternity. I truly hope that her thinking is only a small percentage of women in the Church ...otherwise we are in worse shape than I hoped to be. How sad that so many have forgotten their purpose here on earth.

Let's be perfectly honest and frank. WE are either serving God, or we are not. We are either building up His kingdom, or we're not. We are either walking towards Him, or we are not. There are not ifs, ands, buts, feeling moderate today, lukewarm, wishy, washy, maybes, etc... In this day in age you are either cold or hot - and with each choice, each statement we place our feet on a side.

I truly hope that there are more wise women, who find their strength in God, than there are foolish ones who determine their internal compass on the whims of the world.

Wilson wrote:

"I am not advocating submitting to an abusive husband or to unrighteous dominion by priesthood leaders. But I am advocating submission to the counsel and teachings of the prophets and apostles, even if you disagree, and keeping your disagreements generally private, trusting that the Lord hears your prayers, and relying on the Lord to correct his servants if they should be corrected, and trusting Him if he does not.

This approach requires that you believe that the Lord is real and guides His church, that the priesthood is real, that the prophets and apostles of the church are in fact His servants, that he hears and answers your prayers, and above all that he loves you."

I believe God is real, that He loves me. I believe that the plan of salvation, the goal of exaltation is still viable and in effect. I hope there are more of us that will stand together, with courage to simply do what is right.

ps. If you are not an LDS reader - sorry - I didn't take the time to explain anything because I am so fired up. If you have questions you are always welcome to email me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

School Days

Saw this adorable line-up when I went to pick up AGG

Can you believe how grown up and composed she is this year?

I thought I had prepared well.

We were afternoon kindergarten last year.

So knowing school starts before 8am...is daunting.

We had a back-to-school night meal. Simple, fresh and filling.

simple chinese chicken salad with green beans, salt and pepper garlic olive oil pasta w/rosemary asiago cheese, corn green beans and Parmesan, fried egg, artichoke

Last night I packed a water, half turkey sandwich with Havarti, string cheese, dried mangoes and some natural Cheetos into my 5YO, Avant Garde Gal's lunch box. I planned to cut up an apple for her in the morning.

We picked out her first day of school outfit. Read stories, had a family prayer...We had her back pack filled with her supplies - the house was organized for the big day. She had a father's blessing to start off the school year. We bathed, and got to bed early. We were set.

Bright and early, and on-time!

Then, the iPhone alarm I set for 6:30am did not wake me up. I woke with a start at 7:15am. We needed to leave at 7:35-7:40am to be on-time.

I rushed to get the girls up, while my husband snoozed.

I ran downstairs to prepare a quick breakfast and slice up the apple - as the pancake and eggs had to be shelved for another day.

I reached into the fridge to pull out my daughter's lunch box to find...


*queue panic*

"how do you get to school chart"

I turned to the kitchen island to discover that my husband had left it out all night. He had removed it to get milk after we were all in bed, and as is typical fashion, simply forgot and left something that could spoil out of the fridge. At least it wasn't the milk, or juice, or sandwich meat this time.

*queue irritation*

This year they sit at their own desks!

So - I had to rush to remake a turkey/Havarti sandwich, throw out the cheese as well and then make sure my sweet AGG had a few bites of cereal, bagel and apples as we ran out the door.

Mrs. D...love both their dresses

Thankfully we all made it in time.

*queue relief*

Mrs. N... both are super friendly and kind

Turns out we were also lucky to have the two teachers who allowed the parents to enter the classroom with our kids. Already - I am thrilled. Looks like we'll be blessed a second time with fabulous teachers. In fact, Mrs. D called AGG yesterday afternoon to welcome her to class. Hello extra mile... I am so grateful for mother-heart teachers who pay attention to the small things that make a lasting difference.

AGG did remarkably well. Brilliantly. When we got home I could tell she was exhausted... in the "about to have a breakdown" stage. So we got home, sat on the couch and I rubbed her legs (she gets growing pains now and again). She also ate her entire lunch...except for a few Cheetos and dried mangoes. I was so impressed, that's more than the entire year of lunches I sent last year for her. We chatted...and for the next hour she calmed down and I got to hear all about her first day. I hope this comfortable pace is here to stay.

End of the day... putting my homework (forms to fill out) in her back pack to go home!

Day 1 done.

How many more left?

*queue exhaustion*

AGG's classroom is right next door to our fabulous, brilliant, heroic Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. E. We love Mrs. E.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I revel in the time I can spend alone with each of my daughters. There's something about having my full attention, even when shopping, that allows them to shine, giggle and share tender moments together.

Tonight I took my 3YO Dauntless Daughter to Costco for an 8pm shopping replenishing run. She also demanded kiwis and raspberries.

There was this annoying fly that was obsessed with buzzing around her and landing on her. My girls are like me. We don't like bugs. So she was becoming agitated and scared. At one point we moved a couple aisles and it was still there and had the nerve to touch her eye!

DD: I know why the fly keeps flying by me?
QS: Why?
DD: It's because I smell so good.

On the car ride home we were listening to Mindy Gledhill's Anchor CD.

DD: Do the bees, flies and bugs like music?
QS: I don't know.
DD: I think they do. I think they want to come in our car and dance.

...I wish I could share how happy I feel right now with the world... we'd have a lot more peace if we could all feel this way. Grateful for moments like these.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hey Mickey!

After the Goofy's Kitchen Character Breakfast
the sign only says "please do not climb on mickey"
it didn't say anything about his shoes

We're back, from a surprise, spontaneous trip to Southern California ...just a few days before we start school.

I know, I know, I know... you missed me.

You didn't?


I didn't miss you either.

Teasing... talk to you soon.