Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remnants From Romans

      As my students enter the classroom they see foam blocks in the pathway to their seats. I watch as they recognize the blocks as impediments and step around them. No one asks me why they are on the floor. It isn't until we are reading Romans 10 that they start connecting the blocks to the stumbling stone that Christ represents to the Jews. I ask why they didn't step across the blocks and use them as stepping stones. This discussion brings us to other words that Paul uses to describe our connection to Christ.


7 Little Words that lead to more discussion of Romans 8-10

   To be a joint-heir with Christ is an awesome concept and one that we mortals find hard to comprehend but I tried to stress the wondrous invitation to become yoked to Christ and find in Him the strength to yearn for salvation.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sharing Knowledge

I am going over to assist my nine-year-old grandson in making his first loaf of Artisan bread this morning. We mixed the dough yesterday afternoon and it should be bubbly and light by now. I love sharing knowledge and feel grateful when my family finds value in the things I know. As I approach sixty, I know my influence on others will wane but I have many more things to share.

                      For example, caramelized onions in the Artisan bread are out of this world!

             Just add them into the dough when mixing and prepare to be swept away with rich, sweet, oniony flavor.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Lucky Grandchildren

    There is nothing sweeter than knowing when you leave your grandchildren that they are so fortunate to have good parents. Here are my favorite shots this week.

                                             A joyful child with a cheering mommy behind her.

                                 A Daddy who offers the first cake bite on your birthday.

                                                  Parents who love with all their hearts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Out About Town

   When the sky is beautiful and the sun warm it is time to go walking.

Our two beloved celebrities had to go incognito to avoid too many fans.

A walk to breakfast is ideal. We found a new place where they serve the best waffles and eggs.

On the way home a tree drew our eyes as a perfect place to pose.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Do I Like Parties?

  I have been celebrating a lot with women in my family and I have been wondering if I like parties? It is my nature to like the creating of an event but then finding the execution unwieldy. Some celebrations are active and the party is all about doing things together while others are about socializing and eating. The active parties require great organization to make sure all the details work for everyone. and the food parties take a lot of time to prep and cleanup. Even though you won't find me partying just for fun, I do respect the more social members of my family who can put on a grand celebration.  
    How about a letter boxing scavenger hunt? Leave clues, even pictures as clues, in different places in your neighborhood. Then set out with your friends and hunt for them.

    When everyone has documented that they have reached every clue, by stamping in their tiny field handbooks, have lunch at the park.

If you are just turning one it is surely time for a big food bash. Invite five or six families with toddlers and put out a spread.

     Decorations are a must so have family over to help with the preparations. 

   When it is time for your first cake be sure to invite everyone around to document that you have survived one full year of a great life.

   I find that taking an interest in what others care about is different than doing things the way others would. I certainly can be less party hardy and still enjoy meeting and being with new people and help make celebrations meaningful.
   Guacamole anyone?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Birthdays In February

    There are many women in my family with birthdays in February and I get to visit or Skype with them all.

                                                To Ollie, I am so glad you like my pillow.

To Vanessa, thanks for letting me bring breakfast.

                                    To Gracie, what a fun scavenger hunt through your neighbor.

To Gabi, it was pure sunshine with you.

         To my Moonbeam, sorry I wasn't there but I am so glad we got to play together before I left.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Halfway Through February

   We are not very devoted to Valentines Day around here but  I do love red and I purchased some fabric to brighten up my living room pillows. It makes me happy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Am What I Am Through The Grace Of God

     Seminary was very invigorating today. On days like these I am tempted to puff up my chest, not a great metaphor, and feel self-satisfied. But that self reflection would indeed negate what I had taught. Today we covered Romans 3-4 and I introduced the sobering truth that there are none righteous upon the earth, no not one. Some years ago, teaching Institute, I was severely countered as I introduced these sobering words of Psalms, spoken by Paul, and which were quoted by Moroni. One brother was offended that I would say there are no righteous people on the earth. He didn't quite understand and I was struggling with this statement myself. I felt accused by God and pondered and prayed about that. "Am I so unworthy?" I asked God. He answered me with a simple statement. 
  "It is not about you."
   I was left pondering again as to what this answer to prayer meant. I went back to Paul and Moroni. This experience helped me today as we started class reading verses about grace. We glued them into our notebooks and underlined important words. Then we passed them to the right and read what our classmates had underlined. After passing the journals six times we had a clearer understanding to open up into Romans 3. (Click here to refer to three glue in handouts. )

   Paul has a doctrinal case he is making. He asks questions to lead his readers to come to the conclusion that all men are damned and unable, even with law, to make themselves righteous enough to come back into the presence of God. So, who is this about? Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement make it possible to overcome the fall. But, my class questioned, aren't we able to do righteous things? Certainly, but the important word here is "do". The righteous things part comes from the influence of the Holy Ghost, so our part is to act. Hence the reason why agency is so important. When we act, we act under the influence of either the power of good or the power of bad. Wow, today we covered the doctrine of Agency, The Fall, and The Atonement. The Spirit is awesome.
   Moroni 10:25 "And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God."
   1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big Words- Huge Concepts

   As we head into the letters of Paul I want to get our heads around the big concepts involved in our salvation. I don't want to talk about these words as stand alone ideas but within the framework of our relationship to Deity. When we are baptized we start the journey of being born again, sons and daughters of Jesus Christ. With the power of his atonement we enter into a covenant relationship with him. We bring all our resources, our very selves, and he brings all of his resources which are immense and together we are enough to approach our Heavenly Father with the plea to "come home". I came up with some definitions, within the scriptures and quotations from conference. to glue into our journals so we can refer back as we discuss these words in the writings of Paul. Click on the word to download the document.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Weighty Matter

             I am still making bread several times a week. My obsession has lasted three months. For Christmas I received a scale and so now my bread always turns out the same. 500 kilograms of flour, right on the dot. Three cups just doesn't turn out the same each time.

    And water, which is essential to make the dough nice and sticky, is perfect at 390 kilograms. Having the dough wet enough has made a real difference.

    Viola! Bread with little pockets of air, light and fragrant with the scant 1/4 T. of yeast and 11 grams of salt. I like it a lot when my husband says my bread is "fabulous", Recipe can be found here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Like a Butterfly House

          If you go into our town bookstore via the back entrance you can walk through a butterfly corridor.

                                     Sparkly delicate butterflies hang by a thread from floor to ceiling.

                                    The colors vary and each specimen is unique, made lovingly by hand.

                       Customers walk by, in a hurry to do some shopping, but the insects just sway and swoon.

                                       Thank-you, creative spirits who made my day brighter with your good ideas.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Eeyores and Tiggers

Gretchen Rubin, Happier At Home, has hit the nail on the head when she described a pattern I witness in my own life. People who exhibit extreme emotions cause others to polarize. Viola!  That was a revelation. I do that and wonder sometimes why I am fighting so hard to combat the other person's point of view. It could be called the Eeyore and Tigger syndrome.

   "When Tiggers and Eeyores meet, Tiggers become ever more insistently cheery, and Eeyores become more negative, to resist each other’s influence. In a frustrating cycle, they oppose and exhaust each other. As Tiggers insist, “Hey, it’s not that bad,” or “Look on the bright side!” Eeyores insist even more emphatically on the correctness of their gloomier attitudes. The more Eeyores say, “It’s best to be prepared for the worst,” and “You’re not facing reality,” the more frantically Tiggers act as cheerleaders."
   This explains so many encounters with my daughters and friends. And, I have played both roles, so I can't say I favor one point of view. I think it is a gut response to extreme emotion. How can I stop?
   "Acknowledging someone else’s point of view, without trying to correct or deny it, slackens the tension, and in any event, it’s rare for either side to make a convert. Tiggers and Eeyores alike are proud of their identities; they aren’t going to be talked out of their positions."
   Here is a second insight, which I kind of knew and I find that I react to this position often.
   "I noticed something further. Eeyore types often criticize the “fakeness” of extreme Tiggers, and they’re exasperated by this Panglossian refusal to acknowledge the dark side of life (to mix literary metaphors). But when I reflected about people I’ve known who might be considered extreme Tiggers, I saw a common thread: Many of them were facing a major happiness challenge in their lives."
   So, therefore, what? I am going to be more sensitive to this syndrome and try harder to let people be.

Rubin, Gretchen (2012-09-04). Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Gifts Received and Given

    I received the most amazing gift from a friend . The inside was fabulous and the outside was truly inspired. Made from all natural items the wrapping made me swoon. The paper was bark from a tree and the bow was intertwined with leaves, moss and curly twigs. I waited days to open the gift because I could not bear to ruin the wrapping.

    I mailed a little gift to my granddaughter Olivia. I hope she likes the fabric I found at our local quilting store. It was perfect.

  The Pig on the pillow is Olivia and she is super cool with her iPod  and great backpacks. Don' have a sewing machine so this gift was stitched by hand with love for my almost 5 year old sweetie.