Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Day 10?

1) Sheesh, that was a close one. I'm grateful that all of my four children still believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. Here's what happened:

My daughter Emma is rather small for her age. Apparently, growth in her mouth and jaw is also delayed, so she hadn't lost any teeth as of today at noon. She has diligently wiggled and wiggled for months. After lunch, she let the Mister pull it out. Sometime after that, she said, "Mom, Kelson (next-door neighbor boy in her 2nd grade class) said there is no tooth fairy. It's just your parents. Is that true?"

"What do you think, Emma?"

"I dunno."

"Go ask your father."

~a few minutes later~

"Well, what did Daddy say?"

"He asked if Santa Claus is real. I said, 'of course!' and then he said, 'then the Tooth Fairy is real too. And he doesn't come to Kelson's house, so his parents have to do it."

~several hours later~

As the Tooth Fairy gingerly placed the dollar underneath Emma's pillow, a folded piece of paper was found on top of the tooth. It reads:

'Dear Tooth Fairy,

Are you a fem (her brother Josh was trying to help her be anatomically/grammatically correct until she was frustrated and couldn't spell female/male and gave up...)

boy or a girl?

Are you big or tall?

Your friend Emma

Ladies and gentlemen, we are still go for launch. And for that, I am grateful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Belated Gratitude

1) Thankful I am for more funny things my kids come up with: Josh asked me (in front of Caleb) today, "When are we going to tell Caleb he's adopted?" (it was only funny because Caleb doesn't know what 'adopted' means.)

2) We got to see Joseph's brother David tonight as well as meet his new fiance. We miss him and don't get to see him enough.

3) Grateful for such a strong witness of Joseph Smith's mission. (Relief Society lesson preparation.)

4) I am so glad my kids have such great friends. Josh had 3 friends over, and they played Monopoly for hours. (Who needs video games???) And Emma loved having her friend "Princess Second Grader" over so they could plan a big Christmas party. On my dime, no less.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gratitude Day 9

I am grateful for the funny things my kids say.

1) Emma asked me last night, "Mom, is Santa Claus a member of the Church?"

2) I'm grateful for my wonderful grandparents, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year. Tonight is an open house for them in Missoula, MT. Wish we could be there.

3) I'm grateful for my sister Sarah. It is fun to spend some time with her this weekend. She is tons of fun and my kids are crazy about her.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gratitude Day 9

1) Caleb came in from playing at a friend's house yesterday and said to me, "You missed me, huh, Mom?" ~makes your heart swell.

2) Grateful for our friendship with Greenhalgh's and a delicious meal and conversation at their lovely home over the weekend.

3) yummy warm, soft snickerdoodles for FHE.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Visual Addiction: Pornography & The Brain

The CITIZENS FOR DECENCY group organized a workshop on the medical side-effects of pornography addiction. The keynote speaker was one of the country's most renowned neurosurgeons, Dr. Donald Hilton from San Antonio, Texas. It was fascinating. I wish I had the time and energy to share all of my notes on this blog, but the bottom line was that from a neurosurgeon's medical point of view, CT scans from active addiction vs. healthy non-addict's brain are astounding. The scans from the porn addict show the same damage to the frontal lobes of the brain as a meth or cocaine user. These brain scans show how the brain shrinks. Addiction actually causes injury to the brain. It shrinks the brain. He showed spent a great deal of time teaching us about the chemistry and dopamine's (our brain's excitatory transmitter or 'rocket fuel' if you will) role in the Nucleus Acumbus bonding. (He shared a lot of scientific/medical information that I can't articulate very well--my apologies!) In short, pornography is like heroin injected through the eyes straight to the brain. The only difference is, porn is protected by the constitution... If anybody defends the porn industry or it's harmful effects, they are either addicted to it or profiting from it.

Dr. Hilton has done extensive, EXTENSIVE studies on addiction's effects on the human brain, and another interesting point he made was that it takes 18 months of sobriety before the brain heals and is restored back to it's normal size with healthy white matter function. (I'm not sure what that is exactly???)

He also spoke of legislation efforts to create a bill for mandatory internet filters in public schools and libraries in our state. (you mean there isn't already? yikes!) State Senator Dean Mortimer gave introductory remarks with our legislature's progress on these efforts in Idaho. Also, Dr. Hilton and his wife emphasized the hope that comes through addiction recovery intervention.

For more info, go to or

If you know me, I never tire of raising my voice against this new drug of the millennium. Why is it so pervasive, you may wonder? Simply put, it's the 3 A's: Pornography and the Internet are Accessible (free if you have internet), Anonymous (addiction loves isolation), and Addictive (viewing porn & masturbating produce the same chemical reactions in your brain as using any hard street drug.) The Mister and I have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with it on both sides of our family. If you are reading this and you breathe a sigh of relief, thinking you are so grateful you don't know anyone with this addiction, you are mistaken. I can guarantee any reader that they know someone struggling with this addiction. You just don't know you do. So start a dialogue with your spouse, your children, and get involved in your schools and community. (Visit the Citizens for Decency website if you need ideas for volunteering and contributing in this fight against porn.)

Also, the Mister and I highly recommend Dr. Hilton's book, "He Restoreth My Soul", available at Deseret Book.

"There is nothing in nature as perfect or as powerful as the human nervous system--the nervous system fires every human act, drives every human moment."
~ David Noonan

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gratitude Day 8

1) I am grateful for Book Club. We just finished the third novel in the Tending Roses series: Language of the Sycamores by Lisa Wingate. I highly recommend them!

2) Spicy dill pickles (home canned) from Chrishel. (I even drink the pickle juice until it's all gone. Shhh...don't tell anybody. And don't come any closer.)

3) the Mister's steadfastness...he went to the temple tonight with some other Elders in the ward, even though he had a headache.

4) the Mister surprised Emma with a happy meal at the school cafeteria. It's a great daddy-daughter date and it sure beats mom's jelly sandwiches.

5) the Mister called to pay a medical bill over the phone and the Sleep Institute took $200 off our bill! Saweeet!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gratitude Day 7

Thank you, Veterans...

"A veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve-- is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America' for an amount of 'up to and including my life'. That is honor and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand that."

~ Unknown

(thanks, Leslie, for posting that on FB)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gratitude Day 5

1) I love it when the Mister makes hot wings in the deep fryer.

2) Our neighbors, the Snowders, dropped by with a plateful of pink sugar cookies to announce their upcoming new arrival...

3) Reading Batman books to Caleb.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gratitude Day 4

1) I am thankful that every night at the dinner table, the Mister asks each of us, "What did you do for someone else today?"

2) Winco's 38 cent per pound turkeys

3) striking sunrises and sunsets recently (yes, I'm awake for both)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gratitude Day 3

1) princess stickers on the Mister's backside when I got home from Symphony

2) yummy eats in the green room before the concert

3) "good luck tonight" flowers delivered to me...from the Mister

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Gratitude Day 2

Today I'm grateful for...
1) Pepperoncini's dipped in ranch. Mmm...finger lickin' good.

2) Beethoven's Ode to Joy. I'm in the thick of Beethoven dress rehearsals. Last night we rehearsed with the full chorus and soloists. It is sublime and powerful. It strengthens my knowledge that God lives, He inspired great composers and artists hundreds of years ago...because He loves us today. Most people of Beethoven's era didn't appreciate his music. So often it is--humanity is slow to embrace new beauty until after the artist dies. If you ever hear a live performance of this great Work, you will be changed. I guarantee it. I can't wait to meet Ludwig someday in the hereafter...and tug a lock of his fiercely wild hair.

~and I'm so thrilled the Mister is coming to hear it and see me play!
~tickets for the Idaho Falls performance can be purchased by calling 529-1080.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November = Gratitude

I'm going to try and post a simple 1 or 2 or 3 things I'm genuinely grateful for each day this month.
Let me preface by stating unequivocally that there isn't a day in my life that goes by that I'm not grateful for my life on the earth at this time, my divine role as a wife and mother in Zion, good health, my testimony and my temple covenants. Sooo, I will try to be more specific about daily tender mercies I experience.

1) This quote: "Adversity happens to all of us, but suffering is optional." (author???)
2) Beautiful fall weather--hello 60 degrees! And a couple of good friends to go on a walk with...