Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Well the Lord must have liked what I did when he dropped $40k on my lap and so yesterday he decided to see what would happen if he dropped $50K on me. Am I swimming or sinking?

Money doesnt make me happy. It makes me feel kinda guilty. I have many friends who have lost thier job this month and they all have old junkers for cars, and I am planning to spend half of theis on a new car- a prius and have it all paid in cash. LIfe is weird.

Those who wrote me the check for $50K did it for tax reasons. They thought I should thank the party responsible for it. But mostly I just wanted to scream at them that I dont deserve the money I didnt earn. THe house I sold, was a lot of work, I earned that money. But this $50 K is mostly just a gift.

In some ways I want to scream with graditude in other ways I want to scream in fustration. But that is life and I will see that this money is used to better our world.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Who Needs my help?

Who Needs my help?

Sisters in my ward, on my street. There is a sister, a few years younger then me. I empoyed her this summer, until she stopped comming in for misc reasons. Mostly realted to vagely not feeling well.

Today I stopped and visited her. She is in pain. Physical and emotional. She has lost her house, her car, her husband, boyfriend and job. She has 2 little girls to care for. And she doesnt feel a strong enough tie to ask us for help. I stopped by today and saw in her face, things her words would not tell me.

At first she was worried because I had come to claim some leftover business items. But then when I opened up as her sister. She opened up as mine. I brought her some fruit and saw the graditude in her eyes. I saw how she was struggling to make the effort to move. She may have little hope left. But there is always hope and I will be a candel for her.

Who Needs Christmas?

by Elder Hugh W. Pinnockof the First Quorum of the Seventy

We all need Christmas, because it can bring us closer to the Savior, and he is the only source of lasting joy. It also gives us a unique opportunity to express our love to our family, friends, and those in need.

Hugh W. Pinnock, “Who Needs Christmas?” New Era, Dec. 1987, 4In a crowded department store one December afternoon, I watched a salesclerk become frustrated as customers besieged her with requests. Finally she turned with a gasp of irritation and said, “Christmas! Who needs it?”

The question and the surroundings took me back to my senior year in high school. I was also a salesclerk, selling men’s clothing part-time.
It was Christmas Eve day. Snow was falling gently, and there seemed to be more shoppers than usual. They were weaving in and out of the displays, picking up last-minute gifts.
A few days earlier, several friends had called me asking, “Could you come to a party on Christmas Eve? We’re planning to meet up the canyon. It will be beautiful. Get a date and be with us.”

I was delighted with the prospect of being with a group of friends and enthusiastically looked forward to that social event. I had asked a lovely young woman to go with me, and she seemed to be as excited as I was.
As the time approached for the store to close and for me to leave for the party, a subtle uneasiness disturbed my positive feelings.

“What’s wrong?” I asked myself. Then reality struck. I did not want to be with my friends on this special night. I wanted to be with my family as I had been for the previous 16 or 17 Christmas Eves. Even though there were still customers shuffling about, I hurried to the telephone and called my friend.

“Don, I, er … well, I don’t know how to say this, but don’t count on me this evening. I’m going to spend Christmas Eve with my family.” I think he understood.
I quickly called my date. We agreed to spend time together during the holidays but not on that particular evening.
Suddenly a burden had been lifted. I had made the right decision.
Christmas is for families. It is their love that makes the season so bright. They fill us with gratitude for the Redeemer, who made it possible for us to live with them forever.
And yet, while we enjoy Christmas in the warmth of our families, we should remember that many are not so fortunate. Homeless men and women walk the streets of our cities, far from family ties. Someone we know has lost a loved one to death this year. Another cannot afford the travel expense to join his family. Some are too ill to take part in the festivities. For these people, Christmas is not always a “season to be jolly.” It can be a time of depression and loneliness.
Surely these people have a right to ask, along with that frustrated salesclerk, “Who needs Christmas?”

We all have complaints about Christmas—the hustle and bustle, the added expense (a special burden for many who don’t even have a job), the commercialization. Besides, many Christmas traditions have their roots in pagan customs, and Jesus really wasn’t born in December anyway.
So who needs Christmas? We do! All of us! Because Christmas can bring us closer to the Savior, and he is the only source of lasting joy.

We need Christmas because every December millions of people open the Bible to Luke’s account of one of the greatest events in history, and we hear again what the shepherds heard: “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
The world was never the same again after the angel spoke those words. How could it be? Christ was born, fulfilling centuries of prophecy. And much of that prophecy was to his brothers and sisters in the Americas.

We need Christmas because it helps us to be better people, not only in December but in January, June, and November.
Because we need Christmas we had better understand what it is and what it isn’t. Gifts, holly, mistletoe, and red-nosed reindeer are fun as traditions, but they are not what Christmas is really all about. Christmas pertains to that glorious moment when the Son of our Father joined his divinity to our imperfect humanity. It is about his 33-year ministry of teaching mankind how to live, and his journey to the garden and then to the thorns and the cross. It is about a rocky hill where he died that we might live with joy.

It is about a garden tomb promising a new world in which death has no dominion. It is about his ascension and subsequent visit to the Nephites and Lamanites, his other sheep. It is about a new life for those who will accept his gift. Christmas is not just about a baby in a manger. It is about a loving older Brother who came down to be with his brothers and sisters in the world. It is about the eternal difference that his ministry has made. It is about all the manifestations of his love since that day, including the glorious visions in the Sacred Grove and the Kirtland Temple.
And what about those who are lonely or lost, for whom Christmas is a burden? Why do they need Christmas? Because, hopefully, we will reach out to them at this season and help to heal their wounds. Perhaps the greatest challenge and opportunity we face at Christmastime is to make Christmas real to people such as these.

I firmly believe that the only way to make Christmas real is to imitate the Master. We need to form living links with people everywhere whose loneliness needs brothering or sistering, whose hurts, physical and emotional, need healing, whose poverty cries out for bread and understanding. Jesus spent his life rescuing us all from ourselves. Shouldn’t we rescue others from loneliness and discouragement? Several teenage friends of our family have lost a parent this past year. A death of someone close always makes Christmas more difficult. They are on our list of holiday party guests. For a few hours we hope to lift some anxiety or pain from these good people. On the other hand, if we wish to make Christmas no more than a winter holiday or a week-long celebration, we can sit on our hands and do nothing.

And let’s be sure that our reaching out is not marked with any feelings of superiority. I will always remember the first time I went subbing for Santa. We had collected a number of toys, small Christmas trees, and baskets of fruit. Being high school seniors, we felt we finally understood the importance of giving at Christmas.

We went into one particular dark and dingy home. Several broken chairs were the only furniture. There was no food on the shelves. The children obviously would not have had any toys for Christmas had we not been there. I looked around the darkened living room, and there sat a television set. I thought to myself, “Why are we giving gifts at Christmas when these folks have spent their money on a television?”

After subbing for Santa that night, I went home and asked my father, “Dad, why would those people have a television set when they didn’t even have food or furniture?”
My father looked at me as if I really needed to understand. He said, “Hugh, that is all those people have. Perhaps for an hour or two a day it gives them some of the happiness you feel with your family and friends so much of the time.”

I think I grew up a little that Christmas. At least I was never again critical of what other people did when it came to those types of decisions.

At Christmastime no gift that we wrap will mean as much as the gift of ourselves. Several years ago some of the General Authorities were hurrying to leave the building during the Christmas hustle and bustle time. As we drove home, I noticed Elder Bruce R. McConkie leaving at the same time. It was several weeks later that I learned that instead of going home as most of the rest of us had done, he had gone to the LDS Hospital and there had gone from room to room blessing people, holding their hands, telling them that the Savior and others loved them. And so during that precious time when the rest of us felt we needed to be home, he took a few minutes to bring light into those people’s lives.

Elder McConkie understood something it takes many of us years to learn—that a simple expression of love can heal and bless the lives of others. So often we are not skilled in expressing love.
Satan does not approve of the kind of openness that it takes to say “I love you” because it brings happiness to both the giver and the receiver.

Once at a zone missionary conference in Philadelphia, I discussed the importance of expressing love. Later that day a missionary told me, “President, I have never told my father that I love him.”

I said, “Elder, pick up that telephone and call your father and let him know you love him.” Ordinarily we don’t encourage missionaries to call home, but I felt inspired that this young man should.

He said, “I can’t. My father works in a steel mill out on the slag pile, and he can’t be reached during the day. But I will call him tonight, I promise.”
I responded by saying, “Elder, after you call your father, please call me at the mission home. I would like to know what he said.”
Late that night the telephone rang. It was my missionary. He said, “President, I did it.”
I replied, “Tell me about it, elder.”
And this is what he said: “Mother picked up the phone. She was worried that something had happened. I assured her that all was well and that I wanted to speak to Dad. She handed the telephone to my father. He was still groggy because he had been asleep for a while, and he said, ‘What is it, son?’
“I said, ‘Dad, I love you.’ He started to cry and handed the telephone back to mother.
“She said, ‘What did you tell your father?’
“ ‘Mom, I told dad that I love him, and I want you to know how much I love and appreciate you.’ ”
Well, that missionary had many good days in the mission field, delightful times, but the greatest day of all, I suspect, was the day that he expressed love to his parents.

You can give a wonderful Christmas present just by telling someone you care.
Of course, the power to bless others is not in Christmas, but in doing what Christ would have us do. Christmas can focus our minds on the Savior’s mission, however, and help us discover ways in which we can be of use to him. Let us invite him into our lives.

Is there any better way of inviting Christ into our lives than by helping our fellowmen?
You and I can make our Christmas joy filled and meaningful by reaching into the life of another whose heart may be aching, whose body may be tired or filled with disease, or someone who is confused and misdirected. Shouldn’t we, who have been blessed with the fullness of the gospel, share our joy? Shouldn’t we stop asking, “Who needs Christmas?” and start asking “Who needs my help?”

Christmas Mean Peace

Gordon B. Hinckley, “What Shall I Do Then with Jesus Which Is Called Christ?” Ensign, Dec. 1983, 3
Christmas means peace. I remember being in Europe a number of years ago at the time tanks were rolling down the streets of a great city, and students were being slaughtered with machine-gun fire. I stood that December day in the railroad station in Berne, Switzerland. At eleven o’clock in the morning, every church bell in Switzerland began to ring, and at the conclusion of that ringing, every vehicle stopped—every car on the highway, every bus, every railroad train. The great, cavernous railway station became deathly still. I looked out the front door across the plaza. Men working on the hotel opposite stood on the scaffolding with bared heads. Every bicycle stopped. Every man and woman and child dismounted and stood with bared, bowed heads. Then, after three minutes of prayerful silence, trucks, great convoys of them, began to roll from Geneva and Berne and Basel and Zurich toward the suffering nation to the east, laden with supplies—food, clothing, and medicine. The gates of Switzerland were thrown open to refugees.
As I stood there that December morning, I marveled at the miraculous contrast of the oppressive power mowing down students in one nation and the spirit of a Christian people in another who bowed their heads in prayer and reverence, then rolled up their sleeves to provide succor and salvation.
What shall we do then with Jesus which is called Christ? “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matt. 25:35–36.)


as you can see there are some themes shining through.

A Far Greater Gift
By Elder James M. ParamoreOf the Presidency of the Seventy
James M. Paramore, “A Far Greater Gift,” Tambuli, Dec. 1990, 14A number of years ago our family had the privilege of serving a mission in Belgium and France. We had six small children, including a new baby born in that country. Before Christmas we had written home for some clothing and Christmas gifts for our children. They did not arrive in time for Christmas as we had hoped.
As we sat together Christmas Eve reading the New Testament and the account of the birth of the Savior, there was a little melancholy because there would not be many gifts. But as we read the words about the gift our Father in Heaven had given, his beloved Son, Jesus, we realized that there were many in our city who needed help. So we quickly gathered together some of our possessions and a Christmas box of groceries and sought out one of those families.
As we all visited that tiny apartment and began to sing Christmas carols, our hearts were full as perhaps never before. We felt the spirit of giving, we felt the spirit of those who were receiving, and we felt the spirit of our Father in Heaven. We returned to our home that Christmas Eve with a far greater gift than those gifts we had anticipated from home. Truly, the only real gift is the gift of oneself.

Christmas Sun

Here is another researched story.

A “Sunshine” Christmas
By Elder L. Tom PerryOf the Quorum of the Twelve
L. Tom Perry, “A ‘Sunshine’ Christmas,” Tambuli, Dec. 1990, 12Many years ago I found myself as part of occupation troops in a foreign land just at the end of a terrible war. It was not long after we arrived in this country before we developed a great love and concern for the people we were there to watch over. This was especially true of the young people, the children. Many times we would find them scavenging in our garbage cans looking for food to keep themselves alive. This deeply touched us, and we wanted to make a more substantial contribution to them. We raised what money we could and found a local religious group that was willing to open an orphanage for them. We donated as much time as possible to improve the facilities and provided them with the operating funds they needed.
As Christmas approached, we sent letters home to our families asking that, instead of sending gifts to us, they send toys for the children in the orphanage. The response of our families was overwhelming! Toys arrived daily from our homes.
We found a tree suitable to use as a Christmas tree, but we had no traditional decorations for it. A lady taught us how to make little birds by folding square pieces of paper, and these became the major part of the decorations for the tree. The presents were wrapped mostly in discarded Stars and Stripes newspapers. I’ll never forget Christmas Eve with those children. I am sure many of them had never seen a Christmas tree in their lives.
We sang Christmas carols to them, but we weren’t very good at this. They had been rehearsing for weeks so they could sing a song to us in English. It was not a Christmas carol, but it was beautiful. They sang, “You Are My Sunshine.” We were deeply touched with the spirit of the children that Christmas Eve, especially as they opened the presents sent from our families. I suppose some of them had not had a toy in many, many years.
This is a Christmas I’ll never forget because we were learning the true meaning of this great holiday season. The greatest joy we can receive in life is giving—to bring into the life of someone else a little joy and happiness.

Lacking in the Christmas Spirit

My mother and I both found ourselfs lacking in the Christmas spirit this year. No desire to shop, cook or put up light. But then I was assigned to read my favorite Christmas Story as part of the Christmas Sacrament meating. So I begain researching.

Thomas S. Monson, “In Search of the Christmas Spirit,” Ensign, Dec. 1987, 3

We can learn a treasured lesson from the pen of Dickens and from the example of Christ. As we lift our eyes heavenward and then remember to look outward into the lives of others, as we remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive, we, during this Christmas season, will come to see a bright, particular star that will guide us to our precious opportunity.
Such was the experience of a Sunday School class some years ago when a wise teacher placed aside the manual one Sunday morning as Christmas approached. With her class members listening in, she telephoned me. I was serving then as the bishop of a large ward situated in the central part of Salt Lake City. The teacher inquired, “Are there any poor in your ward—people who need a sub for Santa?” She then described her own neighborhood as one of affluence and mentioned that she wanted her class to remember this particular Christmas. I responded that our members had the necessities of life but mentioned a family that would welcome a special experience—one that would also greatly benefit her young class members.
The family I had in mind had recently emigrated from war-torn Germany and had rented a humble, older home in our area. The children were new to America, and, while they were learning to speak our language, they were shy and reluctant to mingle with others. Their personal possessions were few; they had lost so much during the war.
In a private telephone conversation with the teacher, I suggested an appropriate evening when her class could accompany her to our ward meetinghouse and together we would journey to the home where the Mueller family lived. Again the teacher stated that she wanted her choice class to remember the true meaning of Christmas. I responded, “Could I suggest, then, that each child bring with him or her a gift that has a special meaning to the individual; a gift the person treasures and would rather keep for himself.”
Just four days before Christmas, the class journeyed to our ward. Several adults brought them in large, expensive automobiles. Such an array of wealth had never before graced the parking area. We then walked to the Mueller home, singing carols along the way. The laughter of the children and the hurried pace of their steps reflected the anticipation of Christmas.
It was at the Mueller home, however, that the frills of Christmas became the spirit of Christmas. I watched as one girl looked into the eyes of one of the Mueller children, a girl about her age, then tenderly handed her a beautiful doll she had received on her own birthday, a gift she herself loved. She anxiously told her newly found friend how to dress the doll and hold it ever so tenderly in cradled arms. I observed a normally rowdy boy take from his left hand his genuine leather baseball glove, which bore the replica signature of Joe DiMaggio, and place the glove on the left hand of a German-speaking boy who had never seen, far less worn, a baseball glove. He then explained how to catch the baseball in the special pocket of the glove, which he had hand prepared hour after hour with a particular oil. Such was the experience of each child with each gift.
As we left the Mueller home and walked back to the meetinghouse, not a word was spoken. One could hear the crunch of the newly fallen snow as young feet, guided by happy hearts, made the two-block journey. We entered the building, there to have donuts and apple cider. In the blessing that was asked upon the food, a beautiful girl, her voice choked with emotion, described the feelings of all as she prayed, “Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the best Christmas we have ever had.” That night, as children who had found the real spirit of Christmas filled the automobiles, left the parking lot, and disappeared into the darkness, I recalled the meaningful words from the hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem”:
How silently, how silentlyThe wondrous gift is given!So God imparts to human heartsThe blessings of his heaven.No ear may hear his coming;But in this world of sin,Where meek souls will receive him, stillThe dear Christ enters in.(Hymns, 1985, no. 208.)
And so He had. The quest for the Christmas spirit had been rewarded.

Friday, December 08, 2006

can you buy a baby girl

with tithing money?

I doubt it, if that was true then my mother certainly would have had another.

But it is a cute thought for those of us dying for a girl. With blue eyes, brown hair and fairly tall. about 5' 10" or 11".

33 days

no aunt flo, no posative pregnancy test. Which will come first? I am planning to test on Monday. So I will let you know what I find out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

overrating money

We sold our house last week, adn walked away with a check for $48K. I paid bills today. I owed $10k to my Mother, which I borrowed with the move to help fix up the house for sale. So that left $38k. I paid off our student loans of $34k and had $4K left over.

THen I paid tithing. I wrote the inital check for $700 (this included a regular pay check too), figuring that the student loans didnt count. But then I realised that when we borrowed the student loans we didnt pay tithing, and so this money should be titheable before I paid off the loans. So I rewote the check for the $4k, which means I can be proud to be a full tithes payer.

I know the Lord will bless me in this. I was planning to put some money back in my savings account, now that will not get done. But we have never gone hungry, and somehow our children have all survived every potential disastor, adn that alone is worth far more then a few thousand in the bank.

I have always had a testimony of tithing, and I thought that was unshakable, but I have never had this much money, no wonder some rich people get greedy. It is easy to immagine what you can do with large sums, but no one ever thinks about the $5 they spend on junk food at the gas station. Overall, all small sums add up to big sums, and big sums are just tools to do good. Any other excuse for money is overrated.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

30 days

negative pregnancy test- no sign of aunt flo.

tender belly, tired and somewhat ornery.

However, it could all be related to sinus issues. It could also be that I ovulated a little later then "normal" for a 28 day cycle. If I ovulated around my hubbie's birthday day then I wouldn't get a posative pregnancy test until next week. And If I did ovulate around his birthday at least I know that there was enough sperm to choose from. And if the sperm and egg did not meet then I would have to wait for next week for a visit from aunt flo.

Generally I have found that when I and my hubby are both horny that means I am fertile. If I am horny and ornery that usually is a good indication of PMS.

Today however, I am jsut mostly tired. Does that mean anything? Guess we will just have to wait to find out.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

28 days

Tomarrow will be 28 days since that start of this cycle. Normally I wouldnt be counting, but I am hoping this cycle will not end for 9 months. My last cycle was closer to 21 days. And I am looking for the signs of pregnancy in everything I do. If I drop a pin, is it because I'm pregnant? (or just clumsy). If I want to clean something is it because I am pregnant or (just sick and tired of the mess?) If I feel tired, is it because I am pregnant, up too late last night, or because of a cold comming on?

If I don't want to eat much it must be pregnancy sitting in, if I do want to eat then it must be pregnancy...... see what I mean. Is the tenderness in my abdomen gas or an expanding uterus? I explained to my Dear Hubby the other day that early pregnancy always feels like your period is going to start at any minute. ..bloated, tired ornery, and many other little physical things that give us women clues that it is time to stick the pad in our purse. Then the morning sickness kicks in and you are sick as well.

When I look at it this way, I have a hard time immagining how much we are hoping that we are finally on our way to getting our little girl. I have dreamed about here since I was a little girl. I have seen her. We lost her at 16 weeks several pregnancies ago and feel that now is her time to come to us.

Of course there is a consollation prize if you are not pregnant yet- you have a good excuse for more baby making fun. :)