Dec 31, 2010

Things We Say: Obama

*setting: Skywalker and the kids are in a hotel lobby eating continental breakfast and watching the news. Obama is making a statement to the media.*

Jaws: (gazing at the screen) Daddy, I love Obama.

Skywalker: (startled) Um. Okay. Why?

Jaws: (turns wide-eyed gaze on Skywalker) Because Mommy loves Obama.

Skywalker: Oh.

Jaws: Daddy, do you love Obama?

Skywalker: (struggling with words) well... as a person, I quite like him, yes. He's a good person. As the president... not so much.

Jaws: (gaze now reproachful) Daddy, why don't you love Obama?

Skywalker: Well... he's... I don't like how he takes my money.

*others, observing from surrounding tables, are now grinning in the Nosurf Family's direction*

Jaws: Why?

Skywalker: Well, I don't like how he takes my money because I'm pretty sure I could spend it better than he thinks he can.

Jaws: Oh. (nods.) Ok.

*a moment passes*

Jaws: Daddy, I still like Obama, though.

Skywalker: Mmm hmmm.

Dec 27, 2010

Things We Say: Goddesses

MayMay: Mom, what's that thing we get to be? After we die? Not gods, the other thing.

NSG: Goddesses?

Maymay: Yeah, Godisses. Mom, when I'm Godisses and I get to make things, And I make my own world?

NSG: Yeah?

MayMay: When I make my own world I will make everything fly. All the girls and the boys and the people, all the cats, all the horses... everything.

NSG: That sounds like a fun place to live.

MayMay: Yeah, and I will make it and everybody will be happy, flying everywhere.

Dec 22, 2010

Things We Say: Full Disclosure

Loli: Rose-Rose! You've got a bubble booger, don't you. Don't you??

Bella: (laughing) Mom,she's eating them! She's eating her boogers!

MayMay: She prob'ly thinks they're delicious.

Bella: She'll prob'ly keep eating them when she's big!

Loli: When I was six, I ate my boogers.

*general outcry of disgust and hilarity*

Dec 19, 2010

Guest Post: The Saving Nature of Personal Relationships

*Editorial Note* Dave is inviting guest bloggers to post articles on his site. In return, he will submit one to your blog. If you're interested, follow the link! There have already been a few very interesting posts that I have enjoyed.

By Dave Loveless

Here is my return post for NoSurfGirl's excellent post on beards....

I teach in priesthood, and each Sunday I find myself drawing the Plan of Salvation on the white board. It's become somewhat of a joke, and the quorum has even promised that one Sunday they are just going to draw it for me ahead of time. I'm actually glad they are threatening that; it means I'm getting through. I first drew the Plan for a very specific lesson, but since that time, I've had continued application for almost every lesson. I've found ways to incorporate the simplicity of the Plan, and there are few things that come through again and again. But first, the plan....

1. Preexistence--We lived with God as spirits before coming to this earth.
2. Veil--We pass through the Veil before coming to earth. This removes our memories of what was before so that we might be tested and proved on this earth.
3. Earth life--We live.
4. Death--We die.
5. Spirit World or Spirit Prison--After death, we go to the Spirit World/Prison where the righteous assist in the great missionary work of helping the millions who have not heard the gospel.
6. Judgment/Resurrection--I don't know how simultaneous this is, but I like to think they are pretty close.
7. Kingdom of Glory--True, there are three kingdoms of glory, but I've always only drawn the Celestial Kingdom. The other two are Plan B and C, and face it... God did not send us to earth to receive a Plan B or C. He has in mind our Eternal Salvation, which can only be had in the Celestial Kingdom. I only draw that kingdom to help others remember that we should be singular in our focus and our goals.

So there you have it. One of the connections that I've made to my class is that the Plan is infinitely personal. I think we often forget that this isn't just the Plan, this is Dave's Plan. This is NoSurfGirl's Plan. This is Your Plan. My Plan. It is tailored in such a way as to be personally saving meaning that the experiences that you have are designed for your salvation. God will allow to happen to you that which will bring about your salvation individually and independent of any other person.

I often get some odd looks when I say that. Most remind me that the marriage covenant is essential for true salvation. Others remind me of Malachi 5 and the turning of our hearts to our forbears and posterity. Others remind me also that salvation is had in family groups and that we will be eventually linked in an unbroken chain of sealing covenants from Adam to, well... I don't know who will be last, though if we were going alphabetically, I'd cast a vote for anyone named after ZZ Top. And that is also all true, but I tend to emphasize the individual nature of the Plan more to remind those I teach of the distinct care and concern the Lord has for each of us and to remind them that salvation is their own responsibility and cannot be had on the leavings on those who have gone before, stand with them now, or will come in the future.

And that being said, the Plan of Salvation requires people. Lots of people. It requires connections and relationships and friendships. The Plan functions best when there are people before to guide the way, people beside to support when weak, and people behind to push when tired.

A Spouse

I think the most critical earthly relationship we can have is with our spouse. More than once have I noted that my greatest weakness often coincides with my wife's greatest strengths and vice versa. Certainly such was in the mind of God when He, looking upon the Man in Eden, said "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18)." My wife has been such a help meet for my weaknesses, my sorrows, and especially my joys. I'd sooner cry with no one than her, sooner celebrate with no one than her, and sooner be with no one than her.

Looking at the family relationship, we see a special symbolism of Godliness. My father often says that we can find earth-based examples of heavenly structures all around us, particularly the family. Nowhere does this exist more plainly than in the perfect organization of a Christ-centered marriage lived with proper understanding of the nature of the temple covenants and sealing powers. A marriage so organized is based fully on the gospel of Christ with a unified and joint understanding of powers, equality, assistance. The presence of children with the rich blessings and spirits they bring only strengthens and increases such bonds, and such a position surely increases the majesty of the Plan of Salvation and our individual positions in it.

A Friend

Somewhat similar to a Spouse, a Friend is important to the success of the Plan. I'm sure many of us have experienced that wonderful sensation of knowing someone from somewhere before. My father in particular believes that many of the relationships we had prior to this earth are preserved in the relationships we build here. While this may not be true of every relationship, I can identify a goodly number of people who have been uniquely important in my life and, going back to the idea that the Plan is individually saving for each of us, I can only conclude that their presence is important in some way for my growth.

President Hinckley, in trying to improve our ability to watch over the people around us, stated that every member needs three things. One of those three was a friend. Of all the tenderest and sweetest words of scripture, some of my favorites are in Doctrine & Covenants 84:63 where the Christ, speaking to the early leadership of the church stated, "Ye are my friends." Surely little compares in majestic grace and simplicity to the declaration of friendship with the Savior.

Of all the honors any one could ever bestow on me, I would hope that I could be called a friend. I cannot remember where the thought comes from, but I've heard the concept that we can stand as Saviors on Mt. Zion through our faith and testimonies. This, to me, is a friend, and my closest friends have been such to me. People whose examples serve to inspire and strengthen me and people, who like my wife, are instantly and perfectly willing to offer the love and protection of a kind word. While there are numerous examples I could name, my home teachers come to particular memory. These two brothers are active in our lives in rich and full ways. We seek their smiles and their love. In particular, we are both grateful that our children love them, watch for them, and know that they are safe. When President Hinckley spoke of every member having a friend, surely his primary emphasis would have been on every member having home teachers as faithful and aware as our own.

A Savior

Finally, we must actively pursue a relationship with our Savior. Nothing will be of greater worth in the Plan than the personal relationship we build with Him. Today during church, we talked about the Sacrament and what it means to take upon us the name of Christ. One comment that stuck with me is that the attitude of taking on His name is not just simply being known by Him, but rather it is an act of being known as Him. If we truly take upon us His name, we shall find ourselves acting and being in very deed as He is. Taking only the prayer on the bread, we learn that we "witness unto [God] that [we] are willing to take upon [us]the name of [Christ], and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given [us]; that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us] (Doctrine & Covenants 20:77)." Remembering, keeping, and taking upon us His name are all actions that change us in to Christ-like beings by bringing us into proximity with the Spirit which, teaches us of Christ and testifies of His reality, divinity, and saving nature.

While much more could be said on the saving nature of a relationship with the Savior, it is sufficient to note that we cannot be saved without such a relationship for salvation is found through and by Him.

When we consider the very personal and individual nature of the Plan of Salvation, I would invite us to recognize the infinite worth of the many who defend us, stand by us, and pray for us. Salvation is individual, but the road to salvation is watched over by the helping hands and faithful hearts of many who would help us along the way.

Dec 14, 2010

Things We Say

*setting: NSG, Skywalker and children are discussing the possibility of a move*

NSG: Moving is not fun, we always miss our friends. If we do have to move sometime soon, then we'll be sad for some reasons. But sometimes, like in the scriptures, Heavenly Father leads us to something that will make us happier and be better for us. Since we know Heavenly Father loves us, we can know that whatever he wants for us will make us the happiest we can be. Even if we're sad for a while.

Skywalker: If we move up there, we could have animals, maybe.

*kids visibly brighten*

Skywalker: If you could have animals, what animal would you want to have?

Loli: *promptly* a horse.

NSG: (exchanges glances with skywalker.) Well, maybe not a horse, right now. Unless one of you wanted it badly enough to learn how to take really good care of it, and earned the money to buy it and have a place for it and feed it and all that. So probably you'd have to have a job before you had a horse.

Loli: Well, a puppy then.

Skywalker: That would be likely.

NSG: A puppy sounds great.

Jaws: I like chickies.

Skywalker: If we had the land for it, we'd definitely want to have chickens.

Bella: I like cows.

MayMay: Monkeys! I want Monkeys!

Dec 13, 2010

Funny Jewelry Commercials

You know this

You got one?


Between the motion...
and the act...
falls the shadow.

We are caught between two giant options right now. If things go the way we want (we think), there is a big series of changes in store, including a move.

If things stay the same, though, there are still big changes ahead in the next year or so.

Do you blame me for feeling a tad crazy right now? Sorry I haven't been blogging so much lately.

I have a hard time writing about things, until they are resolved. I don't like to write about unresolved things. I like to be able to decide what to do and do it, not wait. And wait. And wait. :)

But we'll have a lot to post about soon, maybe. Or maybe not.

Between the maybe...
and the maybe not...
lies less-than-sanity.


Dec 9, 2010

Hair and Skin Care for White People

These are some things about my own skin and hair, that I have learned from having two black daughters.

1)lotion every day. Especially in the winter, and especially face, knees and elbows. The lotion I use for my daughters is too heavy for my own skin, so find something lighter. But... every day!

2)Don't use soaps or detergents on the face. My favorite face cleanser: baking soda. I take a palmful of it, water it down a little and scrub my face with it, and haven't had any real breakouts, clogged pores, etc since I began using it regularly. Aaand my skin is not so ouchy and dry or irritated from soaps.

3)Don't use very much shampoo. And use it only on the scalp-areas. The hair doesn't need shampoo that much, it's the scalp that needs it and the oily parts of the hair next to the scalp.

4)Use the RIGHT conditioner for your hair. For me, this means I choose a different product for myself. If I used the same conditioner as my two adopted daughters, my hair would always look greasy. If you've got thin, straight hair like me, pick a very light, volumnizing conditioner. But... use a lot of it if you have long hair. Slather it on from where you'd gather it into a "ponytail" on the back of your hair all the way to the ends, and concentrate on the ends. Do not pick conditioner by scent!

5)Never brush your hair dry. Always brush it gently when it's wet and newly-conditioned, and start at the ends and go up. Very gently at the ends, trying not to snag or just rip through tangles.

6)If, for some reason, you have to brush your hair dry, always use a boar-bristle style brush.

I've never been able to grow my hair this long before. And My skin has never been this nice. Being forced into learning to care for someone with a completely different set of needs has helped me learn about myself. (and this applies to more than just skin and hair care!)

Dec 8, 2010

Mad list

I got sort of mad this last week. I think being tired makes me less able to forgive the world around me, and also myself.

I could make a list but I'm not going to.

I've realized one of my problems is I don't suffer fools too well. But I know I'm not perfect, so why can't I? I'm pretty sure people put up with a lot of silliness from me.

I wish I could shove my annoyance down inside of me and forget about it like some seem to be able to do.

Sometimes it just makes me tired. The way people are selfish, or completely unwilling to examine themselves. Or the way people give up and say that things can't change.

The thing that annoys me more than anything else is when people justify their lack of charity with righteousness, when really, underneath it all, is fear.

And that's my vent for this week, folks.

Dec 2, 2010

Things We Say

(Setting: driving home from ballet lessons)
MayMay: We wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas.
Jaws: We wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year. Now Bring us some piggy pudding.
MayMay: Now bring us some piggy pudding! Good tyings to you, to you and your kids. You're tying for Christmas! And a happy good cheer.
Jaws: Now bring us some piggy pizza, now bring us some piggy pizza. We won't go until we get some! Lalala new YEAR.
Loli and Bella: (snickering)

(setting--it is lunchtime and everyone is sitting at the table eating.)

Squirt: Can I have some water?
Jaws: You can borrow some of mine, squirt.
Squirt: (looks skeptically at Jaw's cup) No, I want some BOY water.
NSG: And it begins. (Goes to the sink to fill a cup with water.)

(setting--putting Jaws and Squirt down for nap.)
NSG: want me to give you a kiss?
Jaws: (nods) Mom, I had a bad dream last night.
NSG: What was it?
Jaws: I dreamed that mosters killed Abby and Katherine and Samantha and big John and little John and all my church people and it was only me left in the family.
NSG: I'm so sorry. Maybe you can have a better dream this time. Maybe you can be a princess with a sword and rescue everybody.
Jaws: Yeah! Or Maybe I could have a dream that I was a princess tied up in a cage and my prince couldn't rescue me because it was very plastic, and he didn't have any big scissors or little scissors or any swords, and so he went and got all his friends with swords and they rescued princess Bella and princess Loli and princess MayMay and princess me.
NSG: That would be good.
Jaws: yeah.

Dec 1, 2010

Truth about HIV

Again, my kids are not HIV +. But this adoption process has helped me learn how small an issue HIV can be, if it is treated correctly and if there is help. And there are, literally, millions of kids out there who do not have access to proper treatment. In fact, who are dying for no reason, because they don't have access to treatment, because people are afraid of the virus that they happen to carry in their system. This epidemic is a great example of an epidemic spread mostly because of ignorance, fear, lack of information.

I want to get this message out there! If you feel comfortable, please share where you can.