Friday, December 04, 2015

Love, peace, wolves and firearms

I recently was accused to being a terrorist.  

Wolves have been brought into our area and are currently rounding up our neighbor’s cattle.   I can see it now, one of my children becoming a meal to these sweet creatures.  During this line of thought I realized I need to refresh myself on what ammunition goes to which gun and for my older children to do the same.  Obviously, that called for Family Home Evening to be centered on shotgun loading and unloading.

I shared this on Facebook:

Then received feedback:

Sitara Solowiej This energy is the same energy in Paris. Violence begets violence. I'm always so amused with those who claim to follow Jesus but then so outwardly regard his teachings. We are just one side of another. The other side is also teaching their children to use guns. It's in these choices that we choose to continue the violence and this video is a direct example of why we are still killing each other. And most ridiculously over religion. Spirit is a knowing deep within. It's all the same spirit. Jesus spike against this yet many hide behind Jesus and don't face the truth that they are what Jesus was against. Love and peace. Guns will not be in a truly evolved world of love and peace. Change comes form each one of us. We must choose and be the change lest we be disease.”

First of all where did this come from?  How do you clam a higher way of life and proceed to tear apart others and their families?  
Then I thought of all the reasons, in this person’s defense, that the Lord does not need firearms.  He created the earth.  At his word the earth was and therefore yes, he does not share the need for guns.  But love and peace is not always a picture of rainbows and unicorns either.

In the Book of Mormon when Alma the younger was going about with his friends rebelling against God, an angel of the Lord is sent to admonish him.  My attention was drawn to what even the voice of an angel can do:

“… and he spake as it were with with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood…” Mosiah 27:11

Sometimes when the Lord sends an angel it comes like a storm and an earthquake.  After the angel departs from Alma and the sons of Mosiah we read:

“And now Alma and those that were with him fell again to the earth, for great was their astonishment; for with their own eyes they had beheld an angel of the Lord; and his voice was as thunder, which shook the earth; and they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth and cause it to tremble as though it would part asunder.”  Mosiah 27:18

I feel the Lord speaks to us on the level at which we understand best.  To Joseph Smith in the grove as a young boy, he saw Heavenly Father and Christ in awe and wonder.  Alma the younger needed to feel the earth shake him so violently he fell.  Is that how every knee shall bend?  Some on their own will and others due to quaking and trembling?  I pray to be ready and willing to listen to the word of God minus the storm.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Kneel to pray and outwardly show devotion

I read from the Book of Mormon this week about Enos and his struggle to be cleansed from sin.  It seems we could all relate to his desire to feel free from the filth and poor choses we make from time to time.  As Enos shares his experience he sets a great example I would like to follow with my family.

Enos mentions his father's words on eternal life and joy which lead him to kneel down and cry unto the Lord in prayer... for an entire day.  The important part for me is where he kneels.  "Well that's not a big deal," you may think, but to me it is HUGE.

In the morning when I rise, refreshed from the quiet night, it is easier to pray kneeling.  If I find myself with no distractions, it'll happen.  As the day wears on I find silent prayers, more like open thoughts, straight to my Heavenly Father about trivial things.  When night rolls around, everyone is tired and  whining... that's when I just want the day to be over.  I want family prayers to be quick and painless and for the party to move on to sleeping.  

For years we have said family prayers casually and in whatever place we were whether it be sitting, laying down, outside and (insert gasping) not ready at all to pray.  It didn't really matter to me as I wanted to mark "family prayer" off my check list for the day.  A few months ago a 16 year old girl stood up in sacrament meeting and talked about the importance to kneel while praying.  My husband and I both agreed that was definitely an area we needed to improve on as a family, so we set a goal and went on with it.

Every night, it is a struggle to kneel down!  I do not understand why it seems like a hurdle to get down on the floor, but it is and the whole time I'm in the process of kneeling I say to myself, "whatever, the Lord hears you even if you don't kneel".  While this thinking is true, it brings with it an attitude of indifference and lack of devotion.  

Now compare this to Enos' example of prayer.  He uses the words:

pour out my whole soul
labored with all diligence

And after all Enos' effort was given to the Lord in prayer he says, "my guilt was swept away... and my faith began to be unshaken".  Enos goes through all this, and I struggle to kneel?  REALLY?!  

My goal for the rest of my life is to have prayers be constantly on my knees.  To plead with the Lord on my knees for things I "cannot do in [my] own strength alone" as Elder Bednar put it.  

*Here's a sweet little video of Kimber enjoying Elder Bednar's words and counsel on prayer.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Isaiah, he saw it all over your face

I am really enjoying my read through the Book of Mormon student manual.  It has so many great snippets of conference talks both current and old, and through those talks and the scripture references themselves I feel a whole new level of understanding washing over me.  This week it has been especially helpful as we are getting into 2 Nephi where Nephi quotes Isaiah.

When I started reading the Book of Mormon as a young adult, I was determined to get through the whole book.  I began and found myself strolling along nicely for quite a while until one day I had an out of body experience where I knew I was reading the same book (and that it was in English), but I could NOT understand any of it.  What was going on?!  It was Isaiah.  

I wish to understand all his words one day.  As for this week, I will settle for bits and pieces of understanding.  One of my favorites I learned about was how we cannot hide our sins or our good deeds.  2 Nephi 13:9 He says:

"The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!"

I look at people and a lot of times I can tell just through pictures that they don't look happy.  I call it happy, but it really just looks like something is off.  I've noticed it in people who are trying so desperately to take happiness in sin.  The Lord has been very clear on the subject of wickedness and in the Book of Mormon his prophet Alma says, "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10)

I love the student manual commentary that accompanies the Isaiah verse in regards to our countenances when we sin.  It says:

Righteousness and wickedness affect both attitude and appearance. Brigham Young said, “Those who have got the forgiveness of their sins have countenances that look bright, and they will shine with the intelligence of heaven” (“Speech,” Times and Seasons, July 1, 1845, 956).
David O. McKay taught: “No man can disobey the word of God and not suffer for so doing. No sin, however secret, can escape retribution. True, you may lie and not be detected; you may violate virtue without it being known by
any who would scandalize you; yet you cannot escape the judgment that follows such transgression. The lie is lodged in the recesses of your mind, an impairment of your character that will reflect sometime, somehow in your countenance or bearing” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1951, 8).

How's that for trying to lie, cheat or steal from here on out?  Any form of wickedness and it'll show up all over your face.  Isaiah saw it, and sometimes the rest of us can see it too.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Lehi, Nephi and Hangry

Hangry, anger induced from being hungry.  Pregnant women and mom's of small children understand this emotion all too well.  I can't tell you how many times I've forced my husband through fast food  restaurants because I was "starving" and would eat him if he didn't pull over.  My children throw massive fits out of hanger and even my husband has been known to change his attitude 180˚ after eating a hearty meal.  Food.  It's so powerful.

The opposite of being hangry is fasting.  Fasting is going without food or drink for a certain period of time.  When I fast it is for religious purposes and I begin my fast with a prayer addressing a specific reason for the fast.  I then begin NOT eating or drinking for 24 hours, but in this scenario every time I hear my stomach growl I remember what I'm fasting for and say another prayer pleading with and giving thanks to the Lord.  Somehow I have managed to make it through many fasts in my lifetime and be happy about it.  The prayer and purpose make the hunger a challenge to be overcome. 100% of the time I receive the answers I was looking for at the beginning of the fast.  Amazing!

This week while reading in the Book of Mormon, I read how Lehi, the PROPHET, has hangry issues too. What?!  It all starts when Nephi breaks his bow while hunting and his family suffers "much for the want of food", 1 Nephi 16:19.  Lehi wasn't fasting, he was suffering!  He was asking his children, "Please, for the love, can we stop anywhere for something to eat?"  Only there were no Carl's Jrs, In-N-Out or even a McDonald's.  So what would you do without a drive through?  Cry.  I would cry.  And probably be sad that grass and dirt don't taste like cheeseburgers.

Lehi is brought "down into the depths of sorrow" over lack of food and was driven to murmuring.  Nephi saves the day, but I was comforted this week to know I am not alone in my struggles of being hangry.  It knows no boundaries and has been happening for thousands of years.   

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

kids bathroom

This one should have been seen in person as the photos cannot capture the beauty of 1983 wallpaper, olive green shower/toilet/sink, plastic baseboards and honey oak trim throughout.  It was pretty awesome.  The medicine cabinet mirror/storage had it's own glory too.  I knew it'd be a big project to help this bathroom so I waited a good 2 weeks before going for it.

I really wanted to replace this thing... but it was hiding a HUGE HOLE in the wall.
(I think my mom had this wallpaper in her bedroom)

I got the paper down in minutes with no scraping!  It fell right off the wall, but then I had to fix the wall itself.  You can't paint over sheet rock and enjoy it, dang!  So I used my big tile grout sponge thingy, smooshed plaster stuff on the wall and gently smoothed over with my scraper.  It actually turned out pretty good and wasn't "so hard to do" like my husband told me over the phone.  (He was like, "you can't texture the wall, you have to rent a machine...." blah, blah, blah.  something about the "right way" and I was like, "this house was made of straw, renting the machine would cost more than they spent building it".)

I even moved the toilet to get it all out.  I didn't realize the 80's was an update.

A month later:

It's not the best job ever, but I like it a LOT better.  Plain and boring, but no wallpaper, yay!


Some houses are made with wood.  Some from plastic... we live in plastic.  Even though this is not "my" house, I see its walls everyday and they need a lot of help.  Here was my first project:
The master closet bath

I even painted that ceiling, and I don't paint up there normally.  It was necessary.  
The owner about pooped his pants when I sent him the after pic, like I'm all fancy.  
It's still ghetto, but I have a place for the toilet paper.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Deer, and the morbid photo's you've been missing.

A few weeks ago, before hunting season a saw lots of these guys.
They're pretty smart, they know when hunting season starts. 
It's that time of year when they hide.

With good reason.  Justin was in the forest yesterday looking for dinner.  With one shot he got this little boy.  His antlers are quite a bit smaller, but Justin has informed me 
he is officially a real hunter.

And he's really happy I needed this swing set.  
Costco didn't tell us it was multifunctional. 

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

What we do in the sticks

There's a lot of enjoying the outdoors.

The kids play through the fence with the neighbors.

While going into church we stop and watch the deer. 

Note to renters: ask if there's air conditioning in the home you rent.  Seriously?  Why would I even think to ask?  We have no a/c which is fine most of the time, but not when it's freakishly hot.  I couldn't handle it any more and took off to Crescent City.  It's cold there.  It's kind of a ghetto too, but just outside of the city are some great camping spots.  Definitely will do camping next time.  For like 2 weeks.

Who doesn't need to see giant Paul Bunyan and Babe statues?  Paul even talks to you.  He knows Parker by name.  Awesome.

The kids loved eating at the Redwood Tree Restaurant.  And yes that's Parker with a jacket and diaper, no pants.  When I'm doing things on my own (Justin doesn't actually transfer until October, so I'm a single mom right now) anything goes.   If you're happy, I'm happy whether you've got pants on or not.

MacKenzie at least has her hands not on Babe's privates.  Why are they the lowest part of this animal.  It's all the kids wanted to touch.

I was too chicken to drive through this tree.  My car is a hair WIDER than this one here.  I was happy watching someone else do it.  This lady couldn't handle it either.  

The kids are learning to ride the neighbor's horses!  We worked a trade, horse back riding to my kids and I'm teaching hers piano.  Sweet.  I told my friend how much I love her animals.  They don't bother me, I don't have to feed them and yet the kids get to play like they're ours.  

In Victorville Grayson always stuck out like a sore thumb, an awesome sore thumb.  
Up here it's normal.  

Deer everywhere!  I had to pull over and take this on my way home from WalMart.  There were 3 bucks and a doe.  I've got a friend feeding her neighborhood deer apples right now.  In her words, "and then I'll murder them and they're gonna taste SO much better".  Awesome.  
She invited Kennedy to come shoot too;)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

State of Jefferson

Have you ever heard of the "State of Jefferson"?  Me neither, but apparently we moved right into the heart of it.  I should learn more about it... later.  For now I thought I'd delight you with a few pics.  If you squint real hard you can see our neighbor down the street playing bb in his black socks and water shoes.  

Here's the over grown bushes of our new front yard.  I actually LOVE the Christmas tree though.  

Once you get past the bush front there's a nice spot in the front yard.  

The side of brownness and the barn.  Straight back from the barn for another full acre is the rest of the property.  Everyone helping us move in kept looking for our horses.  uhh...

Back porch deck.

Down passed the black socks neighbor and around the corner are these cute things.  I enjoy seeing other peoples animals.  And those mountains are AMAZING.  In love.

But probably not as much in love as this girl.  On fire for 8 days straight now.  The kids are SO happy up here.  Parker is out in the road and in the yard all day.  MacKenzie was in "the back 40" this evening just checking things out.  She's in heaven being able to wander where ever she wants and it's totally okay.  Grayson can't get enough wardrobe changes in a day. Each time the clothing must fit the new activity.

And my favorite part is my new friends and my neighbors.  There's a young family next door with 2 girls that we love.  In fact they watched all the kids this morning while I ran to town for a while.  I've never had next door neighbors... who can handle all my kids.  I'm feeling like we're super lucky to live on this street and in this town.

OH, and when we moved in they let us know that NOBODY locks their cars.  Ever.  At church on Sunday I was given an exception to that rule, zucchini season.  If you don't lock your car this time of year, you'll find it full of veggies.  Better have my camera ready for that.  Bring it on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Last minute moving

Yesterday we had a party with our friends the Hannons and Demarests.  The kids had a blast!

Today my other non-family-family member, Sister Garcia, is watching ALL the kids.  She has no idea how amazing she is, to her it's no big deal, to me it's HUGE!

I'm painting the inside of these nasty kitchen cabinets.

My sister Rebecca was right when she described opening freshly painted cupboards. 
"It's like sunshine in my kitchen!"

Our renter will deeply appreciate it too, I just know it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer time fun

2 of my sisters came to California for a visit!

Sierra, my niece, getting her first pedicure.

My mom in grandkid heaven @ the beach.

Parker's favorite game.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MacKenzie gets her ears pierced

I was shaking more than she was, hence the pathetic video taking, but she did it!  I convinced her she wouldn't feel a thing getting her ears pierced.  She's been begging to get them done for at least 2 years and Justin finally caved.  And by caved his comment was, "well I think she should wait until she's 12."  Lame.  I think I was more excited than MacKenzie once it happened though.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012


Took the kids up to the lake today.  Justin almost talked me into stopping at Silverwood Lake, but I really wanted to see Arrowhead.  So glad we kept going.  What a great place!  Super cute town with tons of tourist-y shops right next to the lake.  My mother in-law would die of happiness.

Baby ducks.

Even Tick was invited on the family outing.
(Bruce, that was a live band back to left.  
They were playin' your tunes.)

Tick couldn't help himself.  He HAD to get a duck.  Justin called him back before he swam far enough, but I think it was for show.  If there weren't other people around I'm pretty sure we would've had smoked duck for dinner.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Parker's got it.  Clearly his hands, feet and mouth are not suffering.  Thanks Parker for that blue jello all over the floor though.  Your siblings had fun cleaning that up for ya.  Ha, ha... slaves.

Note to other moms, trying every remedy imaginable on your baby's "diaper rash/yeast infection", it's NOT a diaper rash!  Apparently it's a virus.  When you're tired of nothing working and feel like your baby will die with the chicken pox, give up.  Use absolutely nothing and the rash starts to go away.  Weird.

*And if you post on facebook that your kid has a super contagious virus , that counts as getting a sub for primary chorister right?  I heard myself say, "Just post it on facebook and when you're absent in church someone will figure it out."  So that's what I did.  Justin calls it irresponsible.  I call it I don't care.  Probably the same thing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Who's watching the kids?

I went on a jog this morning.  It was so nice to be awake and ready to exercise  while everyone was asleep.   Everyone except Justin.  I couldn't find him, but saw his car outside so I left...

A mile into my walk I realized JUSTIN WENT HUNTING THIS MORNING!  Of course his car was in the driveway, his buddy picked him up.  Almost nothing else in the world can get him out of bed that early on a day off.  And then all I could hear in my mind was Parker crying in his crib and Kennedy frantically looking for her mother wondering why neither parent was home.  

Came home and Kennedy had Parker on my bed playing with ipods happily.  No crying and I'm pretty sure no one cared I was absent.  I explained what happened to Kennedy to which she responded, "Yeah, I'm totally old enough to babysit.  You should let me babysit more often."

Friday, May 18, 2012


A few more t-ball games left and the girls are having so much fun.  I don't know why I even signed them up, I'm not a fan of baseball, but I feel like the kids should know how to play.  Anyway they were able to play AGAINST their friend Robert and loved that.  Probably the highlight of the season.

I should take a pic of MacKenzie when she's out in the field.  She rolls down her socks '80's style and turns her pants into shorts, "because it's SO HOT!"  That's my girl.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Etna, CA

Here's a little snippet of where we're moving.  Isn't it pretty?  We drove up last week for a visit and to check out the town.  We want to live in this beautiful farming valley with TONS of... deer.  The kids were in heaven our entire trip especially Kennedy every time we saw a deer, which was often.

We stayed with our friends the Bahen's who are fantastic.  They feel like cousins!  He and Justin grew up together in Taft and the Pollock's and Bahen's had family adventures together back then.  Sounds like we might make that 2 generations of Pollock's and Bahen's because our kids LOVED each other.  

So we kayaked down this river, two mom's and two 7 year olds, one boat.  Super fun.  On our float we saw bald eagles, never seen them outside a zoo, a mama goose with her goslings swimming after her, other birds and a herd of cattle in the water!  Awesome.  Can't wait to move.