Things my brain thinks while my body’s on vacation

So I’m spring breaking at my parents house, where it’s (usually) a lot warmer than where I live.  Of course, in a cruel trick of nature, the temperature is now the same in both places.  Whatever. I’m enjoying the sunshine anyway.  Something about vacationing (and especially staying with your parents) makes you think differently than you do on a routine basis.  Here is some of the mind-boggling, random, and admittedly shallow stuff I’ve been thinking about.

  1. My parents have a lot of mirrors in their house. Every time I go in or out of a room, Yikes, there I am again.
  2. I’ve been getting up early in the morning to go to the gym with my dad.  It doesn’t sound very vacationy, but it’s kind of nice to have a little getaway and leave the kids behind with my mom.
  3. There may be a direct correlation between #1 and #2.
  4. Socks are my nemesis.  I think carpet grows them because I find them everywhere.  One of my favorite things about summertime is sandals for everyone.  And no socks.
  5. The terrible threes are formidable.  I totally escaped the terrible twos with Natalie, but she more than makes up for it now.  It’s like demons sprout out of her head, shrill and angry.  Ten minutes later, the demons smile and bat their eyelashes.  Heaven help us.
  6. Moms and dads grow up and get old.  It’s a little weird.  I also see more of my mom in myself than I did before, which is also a little weird.  The combination of both concepts and the whole “circle of life” stuff is weird too.  Translation:  I’m getting old and I’m turning into my mother.  (Long awkward pause where I’m trying not to use the word weird again. . . . )
  7. I was long overdue to get my children’s portraits taken, so I did.  Seriously now, I know they’re not your own kids and usually that means you would have to fake some kind of caring, but really, I mean really, aren’t they adorable?
  8. My NCAA bracket picks were HORRIBLE.  My only consolation is that probably everyone else’s picks were bad, too.   What a surprising number of wins by the “underdogs.”  Fun to watch, but I feel sorry for anybody who put money down on their picks.  (Luckily I only wagered my firstborn. Sorry, Grant.)
  9. American Idol is totally underwhelming this season.  I keep waiting for a “wow,” but nothing.  And I’m way easier to please than Simon, so it shouldn’t be that hard.
  10. Mother Teresa rocks.  I’ve been reading her biography and I’ll blog more about her later, but here is one of my favorite quotes from the last chapter I read:

“Let us love Jesus with our whole heart and soul.  Let us bring him many souls.  Keep Smiling.  Smile at Jesus in your suffering. . .  There is nothing special for you to do but to allow Jesus to live his life in you by accepting whatever he gives and giving whatever he takes with a big smile.”

Well, that’s all I could come up with from a brain on Spring Break.  Enjoy Conference this weekend, everyone.  Click here if you still need some conference activities for your children.  Happy Spring, Happy Easter, and here’s wishing you happy sunshine.

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General Conference Book Club Week 25: Elder Callister and Elder Nielson

Last week, last two talks!  These two talks are seemingly unrelated, but studying them will finish off ALL of the talks from the October 2009 General Conference.  It’s been a great ride, and reading all the messages from those who are called to lead and instruct us has given me a lot of personal direction and answered many prayers along the way.  I’m so looking forward to next week, when we’re able to hear again the words of God that are specific to us at just this time.  I’m so grateful for the blessing of living prophets, seers and revelators.

The final talks:

“Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration” by Elder Tad R. Callister

Through Joseph Smith have been restored all the powers, keys, teachings, and ordinances necessary for salvation and exaltation.

In many ways the gospel of Jesus Christ is like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. When Joseph Smith came on the scene, perhaps 100 pieces were in place. Then Joseph Smith came along and put many of the other 900 pieces in place so that people could say, “Oh, now I understand where I came from, why I am here, and where I am going.”

and “A Call to the Rising Generation” by Elder Brent H. Nielson

The Savior’s call is to you of the rising generation. He is asking for worthy, prepared, faithful young men and young women who will heed the prophet’s voice, who will step up and say, as the Savior Himself said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27). The need has never been greater.

There is no greater call than teaching “all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”

 

General Conference Book Club (round 3) will start again next Sunday, with a chance for you to share some of your favorite talks, quotes, and moments from General Conference.  So take good notes, and we’ll “see” you then!

Spring Break, General Conference Packets and other conference preparation strategies

UPDATE:  For anyone coming to this post looking for a packet for the upcoming conference, you can click here for more links.

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So I’m taking this whole “Spring Break” thing pretty literally and may be more absent here in the blog world for a couple weeks.  I’ll still pop in for General Conference Book Club stuff because (hello!) Conference is right around the corner and it’s one of my favorite parts of Springtime. (Psst, don’t tell anyone, but I might actually go to General Conference.  *squeal*)

In the meantime, I wanted to put up a few great tools to help out with General Conference Preparation.

For children and youth:

Melanie Day at Sugardoodle.com put together some really great packets for small children (mostly coloring), older children (both my kindergartener and 1st grader could do most of it), and for youth (I think adults could use it too!).  They are all specific to the 2010 Spring General Conference and are great for helping your children to pay attention and stay occupied during the talks.  You can find the packets by clicking on this link, then scroll down and download whatever version you want. (There are also several extra links to G.C. resources at the bottom of the page.)

Here’s another site with a lot of packets, cards, and other resources.

Finally, here is an article from the Ensign that I contributed to a while back:  “Preparing Our Children for General Conference.” I can honestly say that my children LOVE conference and look forward to it and usually surprise us with how much they do pay attention.  The article includes some games and activities that have worked smashingly for us in the past.  I hope you can find something helpful there.

For yourself:

This is a pattern I’ve tried to follow in the past, and I’ve learned that it makes my conference experience feel meaningful and personalized.  I’m going to try and start the process now.  Join me?  I’m sure you have some of your own strategies, so I’d love to hear your ideas too.

  1. Pray everyday that my mind and heart will be prepared for any specific message that the Lord wants me to know.
  2. Read my scriptures and/or recent conference talks every day to keep me in the habit of inviting and recognizing the Spirit.
  3. Think about questions I would like answers to, topics I find myself struggling with, and write them down. Include them specifically in my prayers as I do #1.

Happy preparing.  And happy Spring break.

There should be no secrets in a marriage.

The late Elder Theodore M. Burton of the Seventy said:

“Couples interested only in themselves don’t communicate. Lack of communication then becomes a major stumbling block in developing true love.” (Ensign, May 1979, p. 73.)

And this is why I have spent the last 20 minutes looking for my husband’s secret stash of Cadbury eggs.  Come on, honey, show me the love.

p.s.  In the search, I did manage to find some Nerds leftover from last Easter.  And for the record, yes, Nerds can go stale.

My defining moment. No, really.

Just the other day, my blog got featured as the best of “hot off the press” on the homepage of WordPress.com.  I have no idea how it happened, but it created an insane influx of traffic to Diapers and Divinity.  By 8:00 a.m., I had well over 500 hits, and finished out the day at unprecedented numbers.  I felt temporarily famous, and it was pretty cool.  Most of the feedback was positive, but at 11:00 a.m., I received this comment in my Inbox.  I’m assuming the writer had perused the blog and my profile and such.  (I edited out one phrase for the sake of decency.)

So you ended up being just a mother.

Just another mother, like a chimp, a cow, an elephant, a whale, just another mother, like an insect, or an octopus, or a worm.  Just another mother.

Your kids will not thank you, your husband will not like you, your own mother will pity you for making her own same mistake.

Just another mother.

For a moment of frenzy, of uterine voracity, irrational and irreversible, you destroyed your body, your beauty, and your own intellect.

Parental-brain-atrophy-syndrome, where your brain biologically adjusts to the need of your infants, descending at their own subhuman level, with just one dimension, food, or perhaps two dimensions, food and feces. Continue reading

General Conference Book Club Week 24: Bishop Burton

Two more weeks until Conference and I’m almost this excited.

Almost.

This week we will study the talk “Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts” by Presiding Bishop H. David Burton.  He spoke during the Sunday morning session and highlighted a list of characteristics that he called the “-ity” virtues.

“Virtuous traits form the foundation of a Christian life and are the outward manifestation of the inner man. The spelling in English of many individual virtues concludes with the letters ity: integrity, humility, charity, spirituality, accountability, civility, fidelity, and the list goes on and on.”

If virtues are lost, families will be measurably weakened, individual faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will soften, and important eternal relationships may be jeopardized.”

Share your favorite parts and insights in the comments.  You can go here to find the links to watch or listen to this talk.  And here you will find more information about the GCBC– We’ll start over again in a couple weeks and would love to have you join us.

Open mouth, insert cork (to keep the foot out).

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing a tempting moment.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

I sometimes think I’m kind of funny.  In fact, I’ve long thought my wit was one of my more attractive qualities.  I can make a quick, snappy comeback to most situations and usually elicit some laughter.  I hate fighting and contention, but I love clever banter.  In fact, I often use humor as a way to diffuse a potentially volatile environment.  This will make sense to any Austen fans out there, but one of the reasons I love Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice is her gift for smart and funny conversation, like the time when she and Jane are both lamenting her single status right after Jane and Mr. Bingley became engaged:

Jane Bennet: Oh, Lizzie, if I could but see you happy. If there were such another man for you.
Elizabeth Bennet: Perhaps Mr. Collins has a cousin.

I love that kind of laughing away an awkward situation.  There’s obviously a place for humor:

“Find happiness in ordinary things, and keep your sense of humor.”  ~ President Boyd K. Packer

“There is certainly no defence against adverse fortune which is, on the whole, so effectual as an habitual sense of humor.”~ Thomas Wentworth Storrow Higginson, quoted by President James E. Faust

However, in the last couple weeks my “humor” has made a couple of bad situations worse.  My attempts to make a witty comment left some people offended, and upon reflection, in both cases I realize they thought I was making light of their struggle.  So, I’ve been eating a little humble pie Continue reading