27 March 2006

Don't even go there

The other day I had to pick Spencer up from work. The way home took us past the remains of a closed Long John Silver’s restaurant. A few years ago I used to work in this neighborhood so I would see it every time I went to work. Each time I passed it, I would silently wonder who eats at that restaurant. Now keep in mind this was in 1998 and the restaurant just closed. Okay I admit I have eaten there once in my life-but it’s not somewhere I think of when I need a place to eat.

Some of the other places that I think fall into this same category as Long John Silver’s are Ell Pollo Loco, Del Taco, and Bollweival. Arby’s is slowly coming into this group, but hasn’t quite attained such infamous status yet.

I always wonder how these places stay in business. I rarely see people eating there. Once I ate at El Pollo Loco on the way home from vacation with a friend because of necessity. I think I had a chicken burrito. Whatever it was, it was one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. Imagine my surprise a few months ago when a new El Pollo Loco opened up just down the street from us. Apparently someone eats there.

Del Taco never seemed like an appetizing place to eat either. Everything they offer on their commercials sounds disgusting and made up. We had a Del Taco in the town I grew up in, but there were never any cars in the parking lot. On occasion I considered eating there, but could never bring myself to actually go through with it. In High School our town got a Taco Bell and I have never thought twice about eating at a Del Taco again.

Okay, lastly Bollweivel. This was a hopping place 15 years ago. We had one of these in our town too and my family frequented it. Sometimes we would go there on Monday nights for Family Home Evening to eat dinner and play pool. I have fond memories of those activities. The billiards was great, but the food was terrible! I will never forget the two times I ordered a salad there. They came in those old brown fake woven wood bowls right out of the fridge. The salad was classic bagged salad that they probably picked up from Costco (Price Club) but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was the water. There was about a half an inch of water at the bottom of the bowl under the salad each time I ordered it. So in order to eat the salad either I would have to mix my dressing with the water, or find somewhere to dump it out. Not my fondest memory of eating out.

Anyway, somehow these places still manage to stay in business AND open up new restaurants. If I am way off base and you eat—and actually like—some of these places, please tell me. I sure won’t eat at any of them unless I have a very good reason.

19 March 2006

Poop-scapade

I should have written this yesterday but I didn't have time. So I'm writing it at 11 o'clock at night because for some reason I'm not tired. Usually I am conked out on my pillow by this hour of the night, but oddly not tonight. I'll probably pay for it tomorrow...oh well.

Okay on to the story: yesterday morning Spencer and I woke up before Rachel at about 7 o'clock. We normally just lay in bed as long as we can until we hear her wake up. Yesterday we didn't hear her until 7:30. Spencer got up to get her and I went to the bathroom. When I went in her bedroom I said "Good morning!" and then I noticed the smell. It was awful! I almost gagged! It smelled like vomit that had been left in a bowl over night. I looked at Rachel and she didn't look or act sick, but there was some wet spots on her bed. Poor baby, I thought. She had a bad belly ache and threw up. So Spencer took her into the living room to change her clothes and diaper. As soon as he started to unsnap the jammies, we found the source of the smell: it wasn't vomit, it was poop! There was poop ALL in her jammies and caked on her legs!

We rushed her to the bathroom and quickly threw her in the bathtub. The nasty smelling brown stuff was all over. It was so gross! So I cleaned her up, got her a new diaper and some clothes on and surveyed the damage. Apparently she had quite a bit of diarrhea and it was just too much for her diaper. Plus she hadn't just recently pooped...from the way it was stuck to her legs it looked like it had definitely been there at least a few hours. Her leg was so red yesterday and still is rashy today. Poor baby!

And the smell...oh, the smell! It was so strong in her room! I don't know how she stayed asleep or quiet for so long in the morning! I would have been jumping out of my crib or yelling for mama had it been me! We had to open the window and fan out her room for a quite a few hours before the smell dissipated. After her bath, I was holding her--clean diaper, clothes and all--and I could still smell the poop on her. This was some strong stuff! So I had to give her a second bath! Finally I deemed her clean enough and smell free so she could go about her day.

I'm not sure what caused this outpouring of poop on an otherwise wonderful Saturday morning, but I'm glad that it was an isolated event. I don't think Rachel's legs and my nose could have handled more abuse!

My talk

So my talk went well today...I think. All my friends came up to me to tell me what a great talk I had given, but they would have done that if it was crappy. I have great friends! I was asked to speak on Elder Eyring's talk from October 2005 General Conference. BTW...I can't wait for Conference next month! I look forward so much to it now. So anyway, Elder Eyring's talk was on Spiritual Preparedness. He said that "there is another even more important preparation we must make for tests that are certain to come to each of us. That preparation must be started far in advance because it takes time. What we will need then can’t be bought. It can’t be borrowed. It doesn’t store well. And it has to have been used regularly and recently. What we will need in our day of testing is a spiritual preparation." He then gave four things that he said if we do them, will help us practice obedience. This in turn will help us endure well the challenges that will come. The four things are not anything out of the ordinary or even things we haven't heard before. They are things that we should be doing anyway: feasting upon the words of Christ, daily prayer, pay our tithing, and avoiding sin and seeking forgiveness early. He said that it was up to us to decide what we are going to do today so that we will or will not be prepared. "We can decide now to do quickly whatever God asks of us. And we can decide to be steady in the small tests of obedience which build the faith to carry us through the great tests, which will surely come."

I was struck by the fact that he didn't say if we do everything right, if we do these four things, then we will not have trials. The trials will inevitably come, but we will have the strength to overcome them and "choose the right while they rage." That is so important because agency is the only thing that is truly ours on this earth. We will always have the right to choose to obey or not. I hope I will always choose to obey.

One of my friends told me in the hallway that she had brought a friend and her husband that were taking the discussions to church that day. She said that I was inspired to say some of the things that I said because it went right in-line with what was going on in the husband's life. It also fit in perfectly with what they were talking about in the discussions. I hope that's true. I prayed and prayed this week that the Lord would be able to use me to tell the congregation what he would want them to hear. I know that whatever I said is nothing unless I had the Spirit and it was received by the Spirit.

17 March 2006

16 March 2006

To share or not to share?

I've been thinking a lot lately. I know it's not normally a good thing, but I think these thoughts have some promise. A few weeks ago a friend introduced me to a parenting book. It's called "Making the Terrible Two's Terrific" by John Rosemond. When I was at her house, I read a few pages and was intrigued. I decided to try out something that I read. It has worked wonders on our daughter! It has changed a lot of how I communicate with Rachel. Without reservation I bought the book. I just got it yesterday so I haven't had time to read anything in it, (I'm also reading another one of his books right now) but I am excited to start reading soon. So of course I started telling everyone I know who has young children about this book! I was talking it up like you wouldn't believe. I have been sharing the principle I learned every chance I get.

This got me thinking about what we promote in our lives. I was so excited about how this parenting book changed my views on certain things. It has made life better and easier for me when it comes to Rachel. I was willing to share it with so many people only after reading a few pages. Now the question is why aren't we more excited to share the Book of Mormon and the Gospel with people? It changes people's lives more than any parenting book can. Recently I gave a Book of Mormon to my neighbor. Her and her family are having a hard time right now adjusting to a new area and are having a lot of health problems. She told me yesterday that she has read some of it. I hope and pray that she reads more and feels the Spirit. However, don't think I'm tooting my own missionary horn here. I think the last time I gave a Book of Mormon to someone was over 2 years ago. Before that I think it was maybe 4th grade?? We don't even have pass-along cards here to give out if the opportunity arises.

In my life I frequently use the excuse that my testimony is something that I hold sacred and dear and that it's hard to share something like that. However, I also know that sharing my testimony strengthens it immensely. I don't think it's appropriate to just go sharing the gospel with everyone I meet but I'm hoping that I can be a better missionary to people I meet and know. Too often I tend to rationalize that as long as they are living a good life, things are okay for them, but that's not true. Everyone needs the Gospel. I hope I can find the courage and faith to share the life changing principles of the Gospel with people when the promtings come as easily as I am sharing a parenting book.

08 March 2006

I got tagged!

My First Tag! Thanks Island Queen! Seven things in each category is a lot for me, but I'll do my best!

Sevens

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:
1. Go to Europe
2. Go to all my children's sealings in the temple
3. Ride a train (I've never been on a train in my life!)
4. Go on a mission with my husband
5. Go bungee jumping (I was going to say sky diving, but I think I'll start little first...)
6. That's all I can think of right now...
7.

Seven Things I Cannot Do:
1. Play the piano in front of people
2. Sit still
3. Get off this computer to go clean the kitchen floor...dang, I wish I could, but I am hopeless :)
4. Make my bed each day
5. Ride a motorcycle
6. be a Democrat
7. Hang pictures on the wall. They never look right!

Seven Things that Attract Me To Blogging:
1. Somewhere to release the random and sometimes organized thoughts in my mind.
2. To keep a record of important things that happen
3. I love reading about other people...I'm pretty nosey but just not very good at asking questions. With blogging, they just volunteer the info!
4. Gives me something to do while Rachel sleeps
5. Makes me think
6. Helps me connect to the outside world
7.

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. Crap!
2. Piece a crap!
3. No! (at my daughter)
4. Uh-oh
5. Whoa!! (can you tell I talk to a 15 month-old a lot? hehe)
6. Hey, hey, hey
7. Okay, so....

Seven Books I Love:
1. Jane Eyre (I just finished reading it again)
2. Anne of Green Gables
3. The Book of Mormon
4. Harry Potter Series
5. The Pigeon Has Feelings Too
6. Where the Red Fern Grows
7.

Seven Movies/DVDs That I Watch Over and Over and Over Again:
1. The Princess Bride
2. A Christmas Story
3. Zoolander
4. While you Were Sleeping
5. Do Baby Einstein's count??? :)
6. The Wedding Singer
7. Star Wars Trilogy (IV, V and VI)

Seven celebs who I would be friends with:
1. Reese Witherspoon (only if I met her I would seriously have to practice saying her name. The other day I kept saying Reeth Wisserspoon. That would be totally embarrassing!)
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Owen Wilson
4. Drew Barrymore (not that her lifestyle is all that uplifting, but I like her movies)
5. Jack Johnson
6. Emma Watson
7.

Seven People I Want To Join In:
1. Can I pass on this one?

Mission accomplished

I gave Yelena the Book of Mormon this morning. I decided to wrap it up last night and then attach the letter on top of it. So as Rachel and I were leaving to go to the library this morning, I stopped by. I just told her that I wanted to give her a book that has made a huge difference in my life and that I hope she enjoys it. She said she was honored and then we parted. We had to get going, and she was in a hurry too.

I'm so glad it's done! That book has been staring me in the face everytime I sit down at the computer. It's nice to know that hopefully I have been some sort of good influence in another's life. Say a prayer for Yelena.

07 March 2006

Dear Yelena

Below is a letter that I attached inside a Book of Mormon that I will give to my neighbors down stairs tomorrow. They speak Russian and are from Azerbaijan so I gave them a Book of Mormon in Russian. I'll let you know how it goes...

Dear Yelena,

I am giving you this book with the hopes that it can bring some joy and happiness into you and your family's life. It has changed me and my family's life. I have been thinking a lot about the conversation we had a while back when you told me that moving here was a very bad decision for you and your family. I am sorry that life has not been happier for you and your family recently. It is my belief that we are on this earth to be happy. I believe that God wants us to be happy and have joy and has even devised a plan to help us achieve this. This book will teach you about this plan of Happiness that God has given us.

The Lord wants us to come unto him to partake of the great blessings that he has to offer us. This Book of Mormon teaches us how to come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ so we can be like him. Jesus Christ loves us. I know this. I hope that you would read this book with an open heart and mind. I invite you to especially read 3 Nephi chapters 9-27 and Moroni 10:3-5. Not only did Jesus Christ visit the people in the Old World, but he came to the America's too. This book tells the story of the people that lived here and in 3 Nephi tells the story of Christ's coming to them.

I have prayed about the truthfulness of this book and through his Holy Spirit, God has told me that it is true. I hope that you will find out for yourself that it is true and that it can bring you the happiness that it has brought me and my family.

Love,
Jamie J