Thursday, February 25, 2010

We All Come from the Same Parentage

A friend on Facebook posted this as her status: A girl in my class says "I cant help but be prejudiced against someone who doesn't believe like I do." This attitude is exactly whats wrong with this world!

I responded, Are you prejudiced against her for her prejudice?

My friend: lol... I actually thought about this later... And I would say no. I wouldn't decide to never associate with her because of her comment. I was shocked though, and I definitely don't agree. Disagreeing is much different than being prejudice.

My response: Too true. Plus, you can never get rid or prejudice through ignorance or ignoring. I have found that people are even opinionated over non-important things; sometimes it's hard to resolve differences on anything of significance when one or more parties are so caught up thinking that their way is the only way or the best way. You even hear people say things like, "I'll never use Facebook." That's fine; it's their choice. But it doesn't mean that they are better than those of us that do, or that they are right and we are wrong. It would be good if people really looked a little deeper at core values. They would find that they share similarities with people from all different walks of life. Cultures may be different; languages may not be understood; customs may seem confusing; but, if we really look at deep rooted values, I am convinced that we would be able to recognize each other as brothers and sisters a whole lot more easily.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Abrahamic Covenant 7

Patriarch blessings are given by one who has been ordained and has the power to prophesy concerning the recipient's life. The blessing then becomes a personal guide, an inspired document or scriptue, to which the recipient can turn and gain strength and direction.

In our patriarchal blessings, our lineage is declared. That means that we are told to which tribe of Israel we belong. It really doesn't matter whether we were born as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or if we are adopted in through baptism. The covenant of baptism, entering the waters of Judea, is actually what makes us become children of Abraham or children of the covenant. The making of covenants and the keeping of covenants is what makes us children of the covenant and heirs to the blessings extended to Abraham.

In our blessings, we may also find warnings. It is important for us to pay heed to these so that we can avoid unnecessary obstacles and so that we can call upon the powers of heaven in time of need. We are also promised blessings which are contingent upon our faithfulness and obedience.

Who was Abraham, and what blessings did he seek? Abraham was a faithful man surrounded by a world of wickedness. Even his own father sought to destroy him and offer him as a sacrifice to idol gods. Abraham knew of the blessings of the Priesthood that was held by Adam and by Adam's righteous posterity. He sought after the blessings of the fathers. He sought after the gospel of Jesus Christ and the promise of Eternal Life.

Abraham was a traveler. He went where the Lord asked him to go. While living in Ur the Lord directed Abraham to move to Haran. This Abraham did. Here Abraham prayed mightily to the Lord to receive the blessings of the fathers. Jehovah appeared to Abraham and covenanted with Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, that his seed would be like the stars of the heaven and the sands of the sea, that the Messiah would come through his seed, and that he would gain Eternal Life. He also covenanted to give him a promised land. This land was the land of Canaan. While living in the land of Canaan, there was a great famine in the world. Abraham went to Egypt to gain necessary food. He was told by the Lord to share those things which the Lord had taught him.

The earthly blessings of the Abrahamic covenant include a promised land, a great prosperity, and the gospel of Jesus Christ, along with the Priesthood, for Abraham and his posterity. The eternal blessings include entrance into the Celestial kingdom because of the covenant of baptism, eternal marriage and increase because of the sealing covenants made in the temple, and exaltation and Eternal Life with our Heavenly Father because we have kept the covenants that we have made with Him.

Joseph Smith explained that when someone is baptized there is a literal physical change within his or her body, and he becomes an actual son or daughter of Abraham and has the blood of Israel coursing through his or her veins. When we are baptized, salvation is promised to us through the Abrahamic covenant. When we are sealed as husband and wife in the temple, the promise of exaltation is extended to us through the Abrahamic covenant. All of these things are made available to us because of the atonement of Jesus Christ and these blessings are contingent upon our faithfulness and obedience and upon our making and keeping these sacred covenants.

In Gen 17:10-12, we find that circumcision is the sign of the covenant. All of Abraham's righteous posterity had their sons circumscribed at 8 days old. This was an outward demonstration of their inner faith in keeping the covenant. The actual covenants were not found in the circumcision because an infant cannot make or keep covenants. But this was a promise to the Lord that the people would not forget Him, but that they would worship Him and keep His commandments and the covenants which they had made with him, and that they would teach their children and everyone that lived with them to do the same. After Christ's resurrection, circumcision was no longer necessary, since Christ gave the law and fulfilled the law. The actual covenants were made with baptism, receiving the higher Priesthood, and Celestial marriage. These blessings were to be passed on through Abraham to his posterity through the Priesthood power given to followers of Jesus Christ. These blessings are for those who make and keep their covenants with the Lord. We cannot claim royalty because we are of the seed of Abraham, because we will not truly be of his seed unless we make and keep the same covenants that he did.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained:

“Abraham first received the gospel by baptism (which is the covenant of salvation); then he had conferred upon him the higher priesthood, and he entered into celestial marriage (which is the covenant of exaltation), gaining assurance thereby that he would have eternal increase; finally he received a promise that all of these blessings would be offered to all of his mortal posterity. (Abra. Abraham 2:6–11; D. & C. D&C 132:29–50.) Included in the divine promises to Abraham was the assurance that Christ would come through his lineage, and the assurance that Abraham’s posterity would receive certain choice, promised lands as an eternal inheritance. (Abra. Abraham 2; Gen. Genesis 17; 22:15–18; Gal. Galatians 3.)

“All of these promises lumped together are called the Abrahamic covenant. This covenant was renewed with Isaac (Gen. Genesis 24:60; 26:1–4, 24) and again with Jacob. (Gen. Genesis 28; 35:9–13; 48:3–4.) Those portions of it which pertain to personal exaltation and eternal increase are renewed with each member of the house of Israel who enters the order of celestial marriage; through that order the participating parties become inheritors of all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (D. & C. D&C 132; Rom. Romans 9:4; Gal. Galatians 3; 4.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 13).

Through the Abrahamic covenant we are blessed with property, priesthood, and posterity. The blessings of the covenant do not come without responsibilities. Abraham was promised that through his seed, or through the priesthood, all the children of the world will be blessed. We are commissioned as Jesus's disciples in ancient days to take the gospel to all the world. We have the responsibiloity to make the blessings of the covenant available to all of God's children, both living and dead. We also have the responsibility to keep the commandments and not break our covenants. We can help others receive the gospel through missionary work, providing temple ordinances, and by being examples of righteousness. This was the three-fold mission of the church: to preach the gospel; perfect the saints; redeem the dead. There is another part which has been added this year: to seek out and take care of the poor and needy. If we want to be equal in spiritual matters, we must become more equal in physical matters. It is hard for others to progress in the gospel light when they are concerned with obtaining their next meal.

(Please read the analogy made by Elder Boyd K. Packer. It is found in the lesson on You can find the link below.)

We have been given the Priesthood power in these last days to bless the lives of Heavenly Father's children and to prepare the world for His Son's Second Coming. No priesthood holder can lay his hands on his own head and pronounce a blessing upon himself. Both the priesthood bretheren and the general church membership, working under the direction of priesthood authority, have an obligation to share the blessings we have been given by inviting other's to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him; but inviting all to become chidlren of the covenant. The blessings of salvation and exaltation are made possible to all of God's children through the power of the Atonement and through Heavenly Father's children making and keeping sacred covenants, even the Abrahamic covenant.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Arrogance and Ignorance

Arrogance and ignorance do not make a good suit, but they are so often paired together.

I know that sometimes I am ignorant and sometimes I am arrogant. I just hope that I will be careful enough to not be both at the same time. It is so unbecoming.


These Latin words are on the emblem of the school uniform that I wore when I attended Friends School Lisburn.


Good sound advice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"You Can Be Right; I'll Be Happy"

As you read this, please understand that I will react differently in the future. My relationships with family and friends are so much more important to me than proving my point or winning an argument. I purposely did not include the material that presented the argument issue because my intent is not to prove anyone correct or incorrect. "You may be right; I may be crazy."

I was baited into a dead end debate this past weekend. I posted a Youtube video on Facebook that was against recent propositions for health care reform. I realize that all media has its biases, but I am so against the measures that current proposals have had. Someone took offense that I would post something that he considered so erroneous. He said that it didn’t represent a real bill. (But it did cite pages and lines.) I’m sure that the video was flavored by the one who made the video, but it did get its original content from a real bill. He implied that my cousin and I were spewing lies on Facebook and that we were stupid for posting the video.
One of his comments included a site which he said proved that the video was incorrect. I didn’t find this source any more trustworthy than the source we posted. But, once again, I wasn’t trying to credit or discredit my post or credit this person and discredit myself. I just don’t think that I was leading anyone astray. I definitely was stating that I am opposed to the current ideas for healthcare reform. Socialized medicine just does not work. But I do think that all of my friends can sift through what is real and what is not on their own. I give them credit for that.
My initial reaction was just to delete his comments. That’s where I wish I had left it. But I first saw the video when my cousin had posted it, and he also left many derogatory comments on her post. So I sent a note to his in-box.
As it turns out, we all feel pretty much the same about health care issues. His intent was to prove that he was right and to get me to fess up that I was wrong. He claimed to care about just posting truth, being brutally truthful as he would call it. My point was that I had a right to post things whether they are true or not. I think that all my friends are intelligent enough to take a video expression for what it is. I think that we all know that there are biases and propaganda involved in posting different sides to an issue. But he feels like he must defend issues that he opposes if they aren’t presented as he thinks they should be. So he pursued winning an argument instead of reaching a consensus. I feel more of a responsibility to be diplomatic than manipulative. I would rather retain a friendship with someone whom I share similar values than win an argument. It must be a lonely position to have to be right always.
His claim was we were passing on scare tactics with this video. He said that just makes it so partisan and that everyone should do research and not just spew lies. If partisan means being able to have your own thoughts and not have someone else tell you what you can and cannot post, then I guess I am for partisanship. I think it is interesting that we were actually “united” in how we feel about health care proposals, and yet he felt that he had to argue the point of the truth of a video not to persuade us that it was wrong, but to tell us that we are stupid and that he is correct. I really don’t think he cared so much about whether or not it was true as he did about winning an argument.
I originally had our interactions posted on my blog in their entirety. But my intent is not to prove that I am right and he is wrong or vice versa. So I deleted them. I often post blogs even while I am drafting and revising. My intent is to say that we should be kind and gentle with one another. If we want to persuade someone to see our point of view, it should be done with respect and not criticism. We should be able to allow others to believe what they want even if we think our beliefs are better. If we really care about someone being misinformed, we should approach them with kindness and express our opinions in a thoughtful manner. It doesn’t ever work to try to force someone to see things your way.
I tried to use private interaction by writing to his inbox. He preferred public interaction that would draw more people into the argument. He said that I was childish for removing his comments and that he would never hide anyone, delete their comments, or delete them as a Facebook friend.
I woke up Sunday morning with the intent to write him an apology for carrying this on so far. Well Sunday is a busy day for me. Finishing preparations for my Sunday school lesson came first. When I did look at Facebook in the afternoon, I found that he had copied my blog notes of our conversation into his own blog. He posted it on my Facebook page for me to go see. I read it; plus I read his dad’s reaction to it which was very wise and kind. I did write him a nice letter; I told him that I deleted the video and my blog notes; I even told him good luck with his new blog post. I thought that it was finished then.
But then I saw that he was really looking for validation that he was right on his own Facebook page. A friend of his told him that she had deleted someone over a politic issue a month or so ago. She was trying to persuade him that it wasn’t worth it to argue over politics. I did post a comment saying that I agreed with her and that it was over. He continued his debate with his friend that was posting comments and a new argument ensued. So instead of being baited in again and instead of worrying about how he is trying to present me to all of his friends, I did delete him as a Facebook friend. Childish, no. I care more about him and about myself than to continue arguing over things of such little import at the expense of kind feelings. It really doesn’t matter who’s right. It matters who knows how to walk away without proving he is right. Hopefully, I can apply this lesson better next time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Favorite Irish Joke

This is a retelling in me own words:

Seamus, Sean, and Derrick would always go to the pub of a Saturday evening. They would each buy a round of drinks in turn, and they would drink to each other's health and good fortune, and they would drink to each other's families and future happiness and successes. The bar tender knew that he should keep those drinks a coming three at a time. The tradtition was set, and it was important that they never miss the chance to be together as brothers, to talk about football, naturally, and to talk about work, their women, and the wee ones.

So as it happened, the brothers made a pact that no matter where they lived, they would always pour up the drinks by threes and wish one another all the best. If they be separated by holidays, by work, or even by death, they would certainly be together for their Saturday night toasts.

Well, sure enough, the time came where they must separate. Seamus married an American girl and left his dear Ireland to live in Chicago. Sean likewise moved to the States and took a job in New York. So Derrick alone stayed behind in Ireland. Yet, true to their promise, Saturday nights would find each of these lads in a small Irish pub reminiscing and wishing hard for the welfare of his brothers. They would write as often as they could, but never often enough. But the memories of all the times together would flood back to mind sure each Saturday evening as each brother sat down to a round of drinks.

The bartender in the Irish pub got used to Derrick's strange ways. At first he thought it was strange that he'd order three drinks at a time. So he told him that the draft would last longer if he'd just get one at a time. But then he learned of the pact the brothers had made, because Derrick explained all to him. So each Saturday night, the bartender would pour up the drinks three at a time, just as he always had in days gone by. And Derrick was always as happy and chipper as could be. After two or three rounds, he in fact was talking to his brothers just as if they were truly there.

So the bartender in the Irish pub had been observing Derrick for months now. He didn't want to intrude on this new melancholy; Derrick seemed so solemn and reflective. For two weeks now Derrick was only buying the drinks two at a time. Of course, the bartender knew that something had happened to either Seamus or Sean. He loved them dearly himself, and he was afeared to hear the truth of the matter. Strumming up all the courage he had, he offered his deep condolences.

"Derrick, I'd like to tell you how sorry I am that you've lost your brother."

"How's that?" says Derrick, "Me brothers are both fine. Sure you know that they are in America now."

"Yes, that I realize. It's just that you are only buying two drinks at a time now, and not the regular three."

"Aye, so I am," said Derrick, just as matter-of-factly as you can imagine. "Both my brothers are in the best of health, and their families are well indeed. You see, I only buy two drinks at a time these days, because Thursday evening a fortnight back I joined the Mormon church, so I did."

(So being a good Latter-day Saint myself, I would hope that our missionaries do a better job teaching. But being half-Irish myself, I couldn't miss the humor of a great and silly joke. I know of no other people who tell so many jokes on themselves.)

Making an application letter and a resume

My Experiences and Qualifications1. I taught my five children to read before they entered school.
a. We read, sang, and played together daily.
b. Teaching reading happened naturally as each child was ready.
2. I have been home schooling my youngest child since 3rd grade. We are now in our 7th year. She is in 9th grade.
a. For the first two years, we made up our own program.
b. She has been with CAVA since then working from the K-12 curricula.
c. Along with monitoring her lessons, I have been her main teacher. She has taken two years of Pre-Algebra, one year of Algebra, one year of Geometry, and this year she is taking Algebra 2. I have gone through her lessons and assignments with her each day.
d. I have also been the one who has taught her grammar and writing skills.
e. As a result of home schooling, I am very familiar with appropriate benchmarks and curricula for schooling through the elementary and middle-school years.
3. In connection with my daughter's charter school, there is a community day held once a week. I have volunteered help at this school.
a. I designed writing lessons to teach the children how to write to prompt. I taught these lessons in the 3rd to 5th grade class and in the 6th to 8th grade class.
b. I planned and oversaw art projects for the older group.
4. I have also been a backup nursery leader for the community day.
a. I have planned and presented stories, songs, finger-plays and activities to do with the children.
b. I have planned and presented a short lesson to share with the children.
c. I have planned and presented an art activity to do with the children.
d. I have supervised their snack time and story time.
e. I have supervised outdoor activities and playground time.
5. I have been in charge of the test high school class this year.
a. I have written a newsletter to the parents and 9th graders who may be interested in attending.
b. I have planned lessons from the students' on-line school to do with them at community day.
c. I have welcomed them to bring their current assignments.
d. We have also conducted a science experiment at community day.
e. We have also done art lessons.
6. I have also held a weekly story hour in my home.
a. I have planned and presented stories, songs, finger-plays and activities to do with the children.
b. I have planned and presented an art activity to do with the children.
c. I have supervised their snack time .
7. I have been a private tutor to a number of students.
a. Most recently I tutored a girl while she was in second and third grades. I helped her with math, reading, and writing skills.
b. I tutored a girl that was in 7th grade who was struggling with pre-algebra.
c. I tutored a girl in 6th grade to help her with her reading and English skills.
8. I have had numerous Sunday school, Relief Society, Primary, and Young Women teaching opportunities.
a. Currently, I am teaching the Gospel Doctrine class each Sunday. We are studying the Old Testament.
b. Prior to that I was the education councilor in Relief Society.
c. I have been the Sunday nursery leader at church for two years or more. This represents the children age 18 month to 3 years.
d. I have been the Sunbeam teacher at church for three years or more. This represents the children age 3 to 4 years.
e. I taught the Merry Miss girls on Sunday and held an Achievement Day in my home one day every other week. On these days we learned crafts, homemaking and literary skills. This lasted for two years.
f. I will not list all of the teaching posts that I have held.
9. I taught early morning Seminary for 3 years. This is a religion class that is held for high school students each morning prior to their school day. I taught New Testament, Old Testament, and the Book of Mormon.
a. This calling required preparation to present the material in an interesting fashion.
b. This calling required sensitivity to the needs of each individual student.
10. I have been a stake missionary and a ward missionary. These callings are to aid the full time missionaries in teaching discussions and to teach new member lessons.
a. These callings required much time and commitment.
b. I needed to be in tune to the needs and concerns of the investigator.
c. I needed to be able to present knowledge that I had at a level of understanding that was appropriate for the investigator.
d. I also taught the Sunday Gospel Principles class periodically in relation to the missionary calling.
11. I have spent countless hours helping in elementary classrooms, mostly from Kindergarten through 5th grades.
a. There were periods of time that I volunteered 15 to 20 hours per week helping out in classrooms.
b. I helped with reading groups.
c. I assessed reading comprehension levels.
d. I helped to tutor those who were behind, both one-on-one and in groups.
e. I helped those who were behind use their reading in a reading group as a springboard for discussion and writing.
f. I helped those who were ahead with creative writing assignments.
12. We had a co-op Joy School for teaching pre-school when my children were young.
a. I would have the children for two mornings a week, about every 5th week.
b. I had a lesson plan to follow.
c. I taught them new songs and we did activities.
d. We did art projects.
e. We took nature walks and did projects.
13. I enjoy teaching and I am good at it.
a I have been blessed with an ability to teach.
b. My greatest interest in teaching is to serve those who need it most.
c. I like working with the students who are behind and the students who are gifted.
d. I have strong language skills and a good writing ability that will be shared.
e. I am gifted at math and enjoy teaching it from Kindergarten level through middle school and into high school. (I have yet had no experience teaching anything above Algebra 2.)
f. I enjoy doing arts and crafts and sharing this talent and interest with children.
14. I am a first generation American.
a. My father is from Germany and my mother from N. Ireland.
b. I am sensitive to those who feel differently or don't see things the same way or learn things the same way as the majority.
c. I value diversity and do not think that everything must be done the same way.
d. I know that hard work brings positive results, but if there isn't some fun, everyone will lose interest.

Qualifications for a nursery teacher:

1. The teacher will be working with children age two to five.
2. She must plan and organize both indoor and outdoor activities.
3. She will be responsible to plan lessons and activities.
4. She must be there before the children to set up for the day and to greet the children and parents as they arrive.
5. She must be there until the last child is picked up, and then she must tidy up for the next day.
6. She will be responsible to monitor snack time and reading time.
7. She will be responsible to keep the parents up to date on their children’s behavior, development, and attitude in class.
8. The teacher must encourage the children to work and play cooperatively together, to share when appropriate, and to be respectful.
9. The teacher’s purpose is to aid each child in his development in the following areas: personal, social, emotional, and physical.
10. She must help each child develop his language, numerical, and literacy skills.
11. She must give each child the opportunity to develop fine motor and gross motor skills.
12. She needs to monitor the child’s development and identify problems that would require early intervention.
13. She must be tested for TB.
14. She must be fingerprinted for a background check.
15. She must be CPR and First Aid Certified. Done.

How do nursery teacher qualifications apply to me?

1. The teacher will be working with children age two to five.
I have had experience with this age group in rearing five children of my own. We participated in many pre-school activities together which developed their reading skills, fine and gross motor skills, and their social interaction skills.
I have been a nursery leader in my church when my first two children were in nursery, and when my next two were in nursery. This age group was 18 months to three years. Here I learned many children’s songs and finger and dance activities to share with the children. I learned how to move them effectively from one activity to another. This time included welcoming and gathering time, free play, art activity, lesson, snack time, song time, and story time.
I have been a Sunbeam teacher three different times. The first time was when I was in middle school. These children are 3 to 4 years old. This group had a longer lesson time than the nursery group, but we still engaged in songs, finger plays, and art activities with a short snack time.
I participated in a Joy School co-op when my children were young. This was a pre-school ran by the parents. Although, we were given a lesson plan, we learned how to run an effective program. Joy School had the goal of capturing the wonder of childhood and helping children retain their love and zest for life and new experiences.
Last year, I held a story hour once a in my home. Within this hour, we participated in songs and finger plays. I read a few books related to one theme to the children, and then we did an art activity together and had a snack. This was an opportunity for the children and their mothers to be together.
The past two years, I have been the back-up nursery teacher for CAVA’s community day. We have had a gathering time and free play. We have had a small lesson and art activity. We have had outdoor walks and play, sometimes at the playground. After the children have eaten there lunch, we have had story time and singing time.
I have helped out in many public school classes ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade. I have helped children individually and in small groups. I have helped with reading and writing activities, including assessments. I have helped in math teaching as well. I have helped with creative writing assignments and art projects.
2. She must plan and organize both indoor and outdoor activities.
I have had this opportunity in Joy School and the many other nursery teaching experiences that I have had.
She would be responsible to plan lessons and activities.
I have had this opportunity in Joy School and the many other nursery teaching experiences that I have had.
She must be there before the children to set up for the day, to greet the children and the parents arriving with the children.
I have had this opportunity in Joy School, in church nursery, and at community day.
3. She must be there until the last child is picked up, and then she must tidy up for the next day.
I have had this opportunity in Joy School, in church nursery, and at community day.
4. She would be responsible to monitor snack time and reading time.
I have had this opportunity in Joy School, in church nursery, and at community day.
5. She would be responsible to keep the child’s caregiver up to date on the child’s behavior, development, and attitude in class.
Because I have had opportunity in teaching experiences with children and adults of all ages, I feel comfortable speaking with adults and giving them updates on their children’s progress.
6. The teacher must encourage the children to work and play cooperatively together, to share when appropriate, and to be respectful.
Being respectful to the children first, helps them be respectful to each other. Because I have had many opportunities to care for children of this age group, I can handle their problems with sensitivity and redirect them as needed. I can also teach them home to work out their own problems in appropriate ways.
7. The teacher’s purpose is to aid each child in his development in the following areas: personal, social, emotional, and physical.
I enjoy teaching and witnessing the growth of each individual child. I recognize that each child has special needs and that each child requires sensitivity as he progresses in his own development. I enjoy helping those who may not fit in the normal range.
8. She must help each child develop his language, numerical, and literacy skills.
I have had much experience with this. I have helped out in public schools numerous times. As a stay at home mother, I spent the majority of my time with my children during their young years helping them develop the learning skills that they would use throughout their lives. This was done in an atmosphere of love and fun and enjoyment.
9. She must give each child the opportunity to develop fine motor and gross motor skills.
I believe in giving the child many opportunities to be creative. Art projects allow the child to develop fine motor skills as he colors, cuts, glues, and paints, etc. Outdoor activities help him use his larger muscles and develop gross motor skills.
10. She needs to monitor the child’s development and identify problems that would require early intervention.
I know that some behavior is age appropriate and some behavior may signify problems in the home, problems in development, or learning disabilities. I will watch for these and request the advice of others if I see problems.
She needs to complete assessments for each child and keep on-going records.
I have had some experience with assessments, and I will keep records and keep parents informed.
11. She must attend training courses and meetings. I will be glad to do this.
12. She must be tested for TB. Done.
13. She must be fingerprinted for a background check. Will need to redo for this post.
14. She must be CPR and First Aid Certified. Done.

Merged list of qualifications from which to produce an application letter and a resume:

The following list of qualifications will help me as a nursery school teacher:
1. I taught my five children how to read.
a. We read, sang, and played together much.
b. Teaching reading just happened naturally as each child was ready to learn to read.
2. I have also been a backup nursery leader for the community day.
a. I have planned and presented stories, songs, finger-plays and activities to do with the children.
b. I have planned and presented a short lesson to share with the children.
c. I have planned and presented an art activity to do with the children.
d. I have supervised their snack time and story time.
e. I have supervised outdoor activities and playground time.
3. I have also held a weekly story hour in my home.
a. I have planned and presented stories, songs, finger-plays and activities to do with the children.
b. I have planned and presented an art activity to do with the children.
c. I have supervised their snack time.
4. I have had numerous opportunities to teach within my church.
a. I have been the Sunday nursery leader at church for two years or more. This represents the children age 18 month to 3 years.
b. I have been the Sunbeam teacher at church for three years or more. This represents the children age 3 to 4 years.
5. I have spent countless hours helping in elementary classrooms, mostly from Kindergarten through 5th grades.
a. I helped with reading groups.
b. I assessed reading comprehension levels.
c. I helped to tutor those who were behind, both one-on-one and in groups.
d. I helped those who were behind use their reading in a reading group as a springboard for discussion and writing.
e. I helped those who were ahead with creative writing assignments.
6. We had a co-op, Joy School, for teaching pre-school when my children were young.
a. I would have the children for two mornings a week, about every 5th week.
b. I had a lesson plan to follow.
c. I taught them new songs and we did activities.
d. We did art projects.
e. We took nature walks and did projects.
7. I enjoy teaching and I am good at it.
a. I have been blessed with an ability to teach.
b. My greatest interest in teaching is to serve those who need it most.
c. I like working with the students who are behind and the students who are gifted.
d. I have strong language skills and a good writing ability that will be shared.
e. I am gifted at math and enjoy teaching it from Kindergarten level through middle school and into high school. (I have yet had no experience teaching anything above Algebra 2.)
f. I enjoy doing arts and crafts and sharing this talent and interest with children.
8. I am a first generation American.
a. My father is from Germany and my mother from N. Ireland.
b. I am sensitive to those who feel differently or don't see things the same way or learn things the same way as the majority.
c. I value diversity and do not think that everything must be done the same way.
d. I know that hard work brings positive results, but if there isn't some fun, everyone will lose interest.

Application letter:

My Address



I would like to formally apply to fill the position of CAVA’s nursery teacher. I enjoy teaching pre-school children, but I am also busy home schooling my daughter and working towards my bachelor’s degree in Family Science. So this part-time position is of particular interest to me. You have asked me to teach this nursery class several times on short notice, so the children and the parents already know me.

I have studied child development. More importantly, because of my life experiences, I have a working knowledge. I have taught people of all ages and ethnicities. I have had the opportunity to teach preschool aged children many times: in my home, in a preschool parenting cooperative Joy School, and as a nursery leader in my church for a total of more than seven years. I have also volunteered in the public schools, working with children individually and in groups. I have tutored children who are behind and offered enrichment to those who are ahead.

My involvement with the Joy School curriculum helped me understand that a child’s learning environment should be warm, fun, and friendly. In working with my own children and tutoring other children, I understand that everyone has his own way of learning and of viewing the world. Because I have children that are gifted and children with ADD, because I am a first generation American myself, and because I live in a highly diverse population, I am sensitive to others and realize that a teacher must often be creative in order to reach each child. To me, every child is gifted and every child has a special need. I will provide an atmosphere that is warm and inviting, where each child will be able to participate and learn and grow. I will help the children in developing their pre-reading skills, their social skills, and their fine motor and gross motor coordination.

I have had much experience as a nursery teacher. I know how to run a balanced program with a variety of activities: free play time, lesson time, art activities, outdoor activities, snack time, story time, and singing time. I understand the importance of being a greeter as the parents arrive with the children and having a gathering activity that is engaging. I understand the importance of communication to the parents how their children fared during class and how they are progressing.

Thank you for your consideration,



My Name
Job Objective: Nursery School Teacher at a Community Day
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Brigham Young University, Provo Utah (anticipated April 2012)
Major: Family Science
GPA: 3.3/3.8
Stake Missionary Certificate(2 yr)1996
Ward Missionary Certificate(2 yr) 2002
Volunteer of the Year Award (Elementary)2002
Seminary Teaching Certificate(3 yr)2006
Substitute Nursery Teacher 2009—2010
Receptionist/Clerical 1999---2003
Volunteer Service:
Classroom service:
Grades Pre-School through 5th grade
CAVA Community Day 2008—2010
Bonnie Oehl Elementary 2000—2002
Seneca Elementary 1994-1996
Joy School Teacher 1987-1988
Joy School Teacher 1992-1993
Private Tutoring 1992-2010
Church Service Among Primary Grades:
Counselor over Music and Nursery 1996—1998
Activity Day Girls (10-11)1992-1993
Church Nursery Leader (1 ½ -3)1991—1992
Church Nursery Leader 1985-1986
Sunbeam Teacher(3-4)1983-1984
Sunbeam Teacher 1976-1977
Special Skills: Reading Readiness,Arts and Crafts,Developing Fine and Gross Motor
Coordination,Learning through Music,Outdoor Appreciation,Kindness and Understanding

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What Love Means to Me Now

When I was young, I was in love with the idea of being in love. Now that I've lived a few years, I have found that love is constancy. It is a sweetheart that listens and cares and is there for you in good times and bad, that values you at your best and your worst. It is being that sweetheart for your mate. Love is holding your newborn child in your arms, and then holding that child again when he's a teenager or a grownup. Love is enjoying the simple pleasures of life with someone else; it is sharing those things with someone else. Love is not being afraid to be yourself in your sweetheart's presence. Love is being a better self because you are whole when you are with your special someone. Love is lifting that person up and helping him be his best self. "Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." The collective memories of the love I've shared with my husband take my breath away. The individual quiet moments that we share in love making take my breath away. The children God has sent to us take my breath away. The memories of all our days together take my breath away. And all these things restore my breath, restore my hope, and give me new life.

The kind of love that Jesus has for us is called Charity. It is the kind of love that we should seek to develop in our relationships with one another:

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth...And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity ( See 1 Corinthians 13:4-13). Christ's love for us will never fail. It is always His purpose to lift us up. We should follow His example and work to love each other with an everlasting love and the desire to lift each other up.

I have been blessed with a wonderful husband. I am in love and in awe of his love. Happy Valentine's Day, dearest Bobby. I am in love with our beautiful children. We have six. I am in love with our Heavenly Father's plan. Because of His love for us, He sent His Only Begotten Son.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved (See John 3:16-17).

I am thankful that because of Jesus Christ's mission of love, my love for my family and their love for me can extend beyond the grave and throughout eternity.

I Stand All Amazed
by Charles H. Gabriel

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me

I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine
That he should extend his great love unto such as I
Sufficient to own, to redeem and to justify

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me

I think of his hands, pierced and bleeding to pay my debt
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Secure in the promise of life in his victory
Thus ransomed from death I will live to my Savior's praise
And sing of his goodness and mercy through endless days

Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me
Oh, it is wonderful
Wonderful to me

God is love. And God delights in us loving and serving one another. Happy Valentine's Day. Because of Christ's atonement, Love will conquer all.

Another blog about love:

Thankful for My Marriage

Noah...Prepared an Ark to the Saving of His House 6

Enoch beheld Noah's day in vision. He knew that the earth would be destroyed by flood. He also received a promise that his seed would continue on the earth through Noah, his descendent. (See Moses 7:41-52) When the City of Enoch was taken up, Enoch's son Methusaleh was left behind as one who was a covenant son with God. Noah came through Enoch's and Methusaleh's line.

The world was in a state of wicked chaos during Noah's day. Today the world is in a similar situation, although there is more light, and truth, and goodness in the world than there has ever been before. So it is still up to us to use our agency to choose what is right, and by so doing, we are blessed.

Noah was faithful to the commandments of the Lord. He spent his days crying repentance unto the people. He warned them of the impending floods. They did not hearken to the counsel of the prophet. It is interested that President Gordon B. Hinckley's, the most recently departed prophet, greatest concern was that he would be the prophet that no one listened to. Even though the wickedness of the world is similar today to what it was in Noah's day, we do not need to make the same mistakes as those who were lost in the flood. Although there is a flood of iniquity about us, we have modern day prophets that can lead us to higher ground. If we listen to them and follow their counsels we will be safe. There are also messengers of the Lord throughout many countries of the world proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. As always, it is up to us who have been warned and who have a knowledge of the truth to stand up for the things that we believe in and to warn our neighbors.

We may all need to "build an ark" wrought in faith. The arks we build because of obedience to the words of the prophet may be just as vital to our families' preservation as Noah's ark was to his family's. Noah demonstrated faith, obedience and hard work when he built the ark. We cannot demonstrate our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ if we are not obedient to Him and if we are not willing to work hard.

'President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 61; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 49).'

'Elder W. Don Ladd taught: “When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. … We … need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 37; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 29).'

'President Spencer W. Kimball explained that when Noah built the ark, “there was no evidence of rain and flood. … His warnings were considered irrational. … How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. The ark was finished. The floods came. The disobedient and rebellious were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 5–6).'

There are many unforeseen dangers ahead. Our food storage is a safety net in times of unemployment, in times of want, in times of natural disaster or war. If there were no trucks to bring new groceries to our food stores, the shelves would be emptied in a matter of two or three days. There is no need for us to place ourselves in a state of panic if we are preparing now.

When Noah's family left the ark after the waters had receded, the very first thing that Noah did was to build an ark, offer sacrifice and give thanks to God. How many times has God helped us through our own personal trials? Do we remember to stop and give thanks and offer our hearts to Him who is our salvation?

God placed the rainbow in the sky as a sign of his covenant to Noah that never again would the whole earth be destroyed by flood.

After Noah's posterity again became large, there were those who thought that they could build a tower sufficiently high to reach the heavens, the Tower of Babel. Because they again forsook the gospel of Jesus Christ and did not acknowledge that it is only through Him that we can approach our Heavenly Father, the language of the people was confounded and the people were scattered all over the world.

Elder L. Tom Perry taught:

“Just as it is important to prepare ourselves spiritually, we must also prepare ourselves for our temporal needs. … We have been instructed for years to follow at least four requirements in preparing for that which is to come.

“First, gain an adequate education. Learn a trade or a profession to enable you to obtain steady employment that will provide remuneration sufficient to care for yourself and your family. …

“Second, live strictly within your income and save something for a rainy day. Incorporate in your lives the discipline of budgeting that which the Lord has blessed you with. As regularly as you pay your tithing, set aside an amount needed for future family requirements. …

“Third, avoid excessive debt. Necessary debt should be incurred only after careful, thoughtful prayer and after obtaining the best possible advice. We need the discipline to stay well within our ability to pay. …

“Fourth, acquire and store a reserve of food and supplies that will sustain life [if local laws permit such storage]. Obtain clothing and build a savings account on a sensible, well-planned basis that can serve well in times of emergency. As long as I can remember, we have been taught to prepare for the future and to obtain a year’s supply of necessities. I would guess that the years of plenty have almost universally caused us to set aside this counsel. I believe the time to disregard this counsel is over. With events in the world today, it must be considered with all seriousness” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 46–47; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 36).

I believe that Noah built the ark. I do not believe that this story is just a myth. I cannot explain it, but I have faith that there are lessons for us to learn by studying the story of Noah. The earth needed to be baptized by water, and one day it will be baptized by fire, just as each one of us is commanded to by baptized with water and then be baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost. During Noah's day, the wickedness became so great that the earth needed to be cleansed and have a fresh start. Only Noah, his wife, his three sons and there wives were saved from the flood. Even though we know that the earth will be cleansed by fire, we can be prepared and be among those who are ready to meet the Lord when He comes again. We can be caught up in the air to meet Him when He comes because we have been faithful and built our own personal arks. When the earth is cleansed by fire, we can be safe because we have listened to the words of the prophets.

My Food Storage May Be My Personal Ark in the Preservation of My Family’s Lives.
o We have a three day supply of food and drinking water in our home. _______
o We have a three day supply of food and drinking water and a change of clothing in travel packs. ______
o We have a two week supply of food and drinking water and other necessities in our home, including sanitary supplies and medication. ______
o We have a three month supply of food storage. ______
o We have a three month supply of drinking water (or that much water saved with a process of purifying the water). ______
o We have a six month supply of food. __
o We have a six month supply of water.__
o We have a year supply of food. ____
o We have a year supply of water.____
o We have a two year supply of food. ___
o We have a two year supply of water.___

Y = Yes; N = Not yet; W = Working on.

Noah was a prophet called to preach the word,
Tried to cry repentance, but nobody heard.
They were busy sinning—Noah preached in vain.
They wished they had listened when they saw the rain.

Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!
In this there is safety; in this there is peace.
He will send blessings;
He will send blessings.
Words of a prophet:
Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.

We are His children; we are His children,
and we must be tested to show we are true.
Hold to His promises;
Hold to His promises,
Heeding the prophets:
Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.

Lesson 6 is found at this URL:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

If Thou Doest Well, Thou Shalt Be Accepted 5

Adam and Eve had many children. It was a great sadness to them that so many of their children rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ and chose evil over good. So when Cain was born they had great hopes that he would be a covenant heir. Eve said, "I have gotten a man from the Lord; wherefore he may not reject his words." (Moses 5:16) Yet Cain did not hearken to his parents or to the Lord. He asked, "Who is the Lord that I should know him?"

The Law of Sacrifice had already been instituted. This sacrifice was a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God. Jesus has always been the way, the truth, and the life, and it has always been through Him that we approach the Father. So it was important that the law be followed as a reminder that Jesus would be like the firstling of the flock that was offered, pure and without blemish.

Adam and Eve had another son, Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground. Abel offered a righteous offering when he presented a lamb that was the firstling of the flock. He was being faithful to the commandment of the Lord in doing so. Satan encouraged Cain to offer the fruit of the ground as a sacrifice to the Lord, and Cain hearkened unto Satan.

'The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith. … Shedding the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man … was the plan of redemption; … and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared; to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised … ; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 58).'

When Cain's sacrifice was not accepted of the Lord, his countenance fell. Satan knew that the offering wouldn't be accepted and he was pleased. Even thou the Lord said encouranging words to Cain, he became bitter that his offering was not accepted.

"And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen?
If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him." (Moses 5:22,23)

Instead of listening to the word of the Lord, Cain became angry and stopped listening to the Lord or to his brother Abel or to his parents, Adam and Eve. Satan told Cain that if he were to kill his brother Abel, Abel's flocks would then be his, and Cain believed him. So Cain went to his close family members and had them enter into his plot of secrecy to kill his brother Abel. He was the first one to institute an evil secret society that was set up to get gain through murder and wickedness.

So Cain killed Abel, and Abel's blood cried from the ground which received it. The Lord knew Cain killed Abel, but in His fashion of helping us accept accountablity, he asked Cain where his brother Abel was. Cain's reply, "I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?" (Moses 5:34)

Cain did not receive Abel's flocks. Things did not play out the way Cain had expected. Cain became an outcast from the society of believers. He and his followers were cut of from the presense of the Lord. A mark was placed upon Cain and his followers to distinguish him as one who rebelled against God and made a pact with the devil.

So there are some questions to ask ourselves?

Have you ever offered a substitute offering. Cain probably chose really good fruits and vegetables to present to the Lord, but he was enticed to do so by Satan. This was not what the Lord commanded him to do.

We are commanded to attend our Sunday meetings, both to partake of the Sacrament and to worship with the saints. But we hear some say that they can worship in their own homes or in the mountains or on the lake just as well. They do have the agency to choose how to worship, but in order to be worshiping in an acceptable way, they need to follow the commandments of the Lord.

There are those who say they won't pay tithing while "So-and-so" is Bishop, or that they choose to give their tenth to the United Way or some other worthy organization. While they have the right to choose what they will do with their tenth, unless the follow the commandment of the Lord they are choosing an alternative sacrifice even like Cain did.

I know that I have offered alternative sacrifices at different times. I am not happy about that. In fact, I feel ashamed to say so, but I think that many of us have. The thing to do is to not become angry or offended when we recognize through the Spirit that our offering is not acceptable before the Lord. We do not want to become angry like Cain did. We do not want our countenance to fall. We do not want Satan to rejoice over us. We do want to repent and do better, and we want to be accepted of the Lord.

How about being our brother's keeper? After killing Abel, Cain said, "I am free." (Moses 5:33) Truly, he wasn't free. He did not lay claim to Abel's flocks. He was an outcast. We are not free when we fall short on our assignments of being our brother's keeper. When we neglect our home teaching or our visiting teaching, we are not free. We may be haunted by those things which we know we should do, or we may not have the measure of the Spirit in our lives that we desire to have.

Cain's choices affected his eternity; they affected him immediately and throughout his mortal life; they affected his family and his friends and followers and his descendants. So, too, will our choices affect many thousands beyond ourselves.

'Bishop Robert L. Simpson said: “The world today tells you to leave your friend alone. He has the right to come and go as he pleases. The world tells you that persuasion to attend church or priesthood meeting or to discard a bad habit might lead to frustration and undue pressures; but again I repeat the word of the Lord: You are your brother’s keeper, and when you are converted, you have an obligation to strengthen your brother” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1971, 114; or Ensign, Dec. 1971, 103).' We cannot leave our friends alone. We are our brother's keeper.

Now let us turn our thoughts to Adam's righteous fourth great-grandson, Enoch.

Much of Adam's posterity were living wickedly. Enoch was called by the Lord to preach repentance until the people. Enoch was humbled and concerned and said, "Wherefor am I thy servant?" (Moses 6:31) But the Lord made Ench a promise. "Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy amouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you. Behold my apirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me." (Moses 6:32-24)So Enoch was called and set apart by the Lord with special blessings given in connection with his righteous service in his calling. We have a similar experience every time we accept a calling and are set apart for that calling.

The people were all offended at what Enoch had to say, but they were curious, too, and so they kept listening. Enoch taught the gospel to the people in pure simplicity. (See Moses 6:47-63) A miracle occured. All the people of Enoch's city repented and became righteous. They became a Zion people. The were of "one heart and one mind." (Moses 7:18) Because of their righteousness, God took up the entire city of Enoch to himself. Each soul became a translated being that would not experience death, but live until the last day and then be resurrected.

We all have agency, and we understand the difference between right and wrong. We can be like Cain and choose to follow the devil, or we can be like Enoch and choose to follow the Lord. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) I hope that all of us may feel the peace of the Spirit that comes from serving the Lord and offering an acceptable sacrifice. There is no greater gift in this life than the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the confirmation that the Lord is pleased with us.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Robby.

Robby's 20th Birthday is Here

February 8, 2014:

Happy Birthday to our son Robby. He would be 20-years-old today, and most likely he would be serving a mission for the Lord. Well, actually he has been on a mission for the past 20 years. We receive no emails or phone calls, but every so often he he drops by in spirit to check in with his mom and let her know all is well. Thank you, Robby, for your ever so brief time with us that, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, has sealed you to us for eternity. We love you so much and are thankful for your place in our family and in our hearts, and for the blessings you've brought to us.

Robby's 19th Birthday is Here

Now it has been 19 years since the day Robby was born. The year after Robby died, no one could have convinced me that 19 years would pass so quickly, but they have.

Robby has remained an integral part of our lives, because he is forever in our hearts. I know that he is at our family's special events, and we have had a lot of those lately.

This past October conference, the new missionary age was announced: 18 for young men; 19 for young women. I realized how excited Robby would have been about going on a mission. But, in reality, he has already been serving a mission for the past 19 years in the spirit world.

Today I will go to the temple to commemorate Robby's birth, to worship, serve, and celebrate. Thank you for being a part of our family. We are indeed blessed to have our personal angel, reminding us of the importance of returning home with honor.

Thoughts from Robby's 16th Birthday 

Today our son Robby would have turned 16 years old. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed. And life is so good and so sweet.

I remember when I first found out that I was expecting Robby. I was over the moon. I knew that it was going to be a boy and I remember just running and jumping in the air and shouting for joy. I couldn't wait to share the news. So Bob was not even the first to know.

Ilene Fisher still had a blue binky at her house so she gave it to me. When Bob came home for lunch, there was a blue pacifier sitting on his plate. We planned to name him Robert after his dad from the start. But originally we were thinking of Derek as his middle name. When we found out there might be complications, I decided that I wanted him to be named Robert Dee, just like his dad. I felt that would be important to Robby and a way that we could express our love for him and his importance to us.

When I was around six months pregnant, I had an ultrasound. I was anticipating finding out that indeed Robby was a boy, but that isn't what I learned. Dr. Ojeda told me that my amniotic fluid was low which made it hard to see everything clearly. He said that there might be a blockage in the urinary tract that would need to be repaired during my pregnancy. He also said that the femur measured shorter than how far along I was which indicated that Robby might have the same dwarfism as our oldest child. So Dr. Ojeda sent us to a specialist, Dr. Brar.

I prayed that if it were possible that Robby would not be dwarfed. I really thought, at the time, that this might be a more difficult situation for a boy than for a girl. But I was looking forward to having him no matter what. Ilene thought that it would be wonderful for Cathy to have someone in the family like her. I am sure that they would have had a wonderful bond. I think we all bonded with Robby anyhow.

Dr. Brar tried to locate Robby's kidneys for the longest time. He had me drink some water, wait a while, and then he tried again. He said that he did find them. But he was more focused on Robby's dwarfism than the situation of such low amniotic fluid. He did not give me any advice to help increase the amniotic fluid and he did not check to see if there was a leak in the amniotic sac. What he did do was call our house the same evening as our visit telling us that he had friends that were geneticists who could see our oldest daughter the following day. She was diagnosed as an infant and there was no reason for her to be seen accept to satisfy Dr. Brar's curiosity.

I became suspicious that the amniotic fluid was leaking. When Dr. Ojeda tested for that, indeed it was leaking. So, even though Dr. Brar gave me no instructions to promote the health and life of my unborn baby, I put myself on bedrest. I still went to Dr. Brar's office for ultrasounds once or twice a week until Robby was born.

During the six weeks that I lay flat on the couch, the leak healed, and I learned to deal with my four children with much more patience and creativity. I also got closer to Robby and I cherished every single movement. The amniotic fluid increased from 2 or 3 centimeters to 7.

At 8 months, a technician at Dr. Brar's office seemed concerned when she performed the ultrasound. But she was not at liberty to tell me why. Dr. Brar wasn't in the office that day, so she asked me to come back the next day.

The following day, Dr. Brar began an ultrasound, and then he abruptly informed me that he didn't think the baby had kidneys. I questioned him about my first visit, and he said that maybe he'd just seen the adrenal glands. He said that he'd call the O.B. to deliver the baby that evening. When I questioned why, he did say that the baby was under stress. I just wanted to do what was best for Robby. Then he asked if I wanted another opinion. If the baby was under stress and needed to be delivered that evening, I didn't understand what another opinion would do. When I questioned him about that, he said that I could just have him vaginally since he was going to die any way.

Well, Robby was delivered Caesarean that evening. The hospital team worked to get him on oxygen so that he could breath. Then they hurried him away to do ultrasounds to check for kidneys and to take x-rays of his lungs. When they returned, they told us that Robby's lungs were extremely weak and brittle and that he did not have kidneys. They wanted us to understand that his lungs could burst because of how weak there were. Then they asked us what we wanted to do. I said that we just wanted to hold him.

Our home teacher showed up during this time. We got to see Robby while he was still on oxygen and looked wonderfully bright and beautiful. Bob was able to give Robby a name and a blessing along with our home teacher. The Spirit was so strong in that room that everyone present was touched by it.

They gave Robby some pain killer before taking him off oxygen; then I held him, and then Bob. I saw eternity in his eyes. I know that he is our son and that we can rear him in the Millenium of we live worthily. When I touched his foot, he jumped because it tickled. I am so glad that I got to hold my baby while he was alive. That in itself was worth a Caesarean Section. I would do the same thing again in the same situation.

The hospital staff was very kind and we got to hold Robby much of the night even though his spirit slipped away from his body shortly after he was taken off oxygen. His heart kept beating for almost one hour. So in all, Robby lived for about 2 1/2 hours. Although, someone asked me how long he was with us today. He is still with us.

Bob and I are the only family members that saw Robby alive. But we were surrounded by family and friends that shared this experience with us. We had a family night funeral at my parents' home, a viewing at the mortuary, and a little graveside service at the cemetery. We also had a memorial service at Bob's parents' home. We are so thankful for the testimonies we have, the strength of the Spirit sustaining us, and the support of family and friends. Ilene and Donna were my extra angels during this time.

For those who have expressed sadness or regret to us over our temporary loss, we have said, "Don't be sorry for us. Our family has our own angel." We have been blessed by Robby's life in numerous ways. For over a year, I felt that Robby was by my side comforting me. I felt like I was walking on clouds somewhere between this world and heaven. There were sad times when I thought I just couldn't make it through that first year, but between the Spirit of the Lord and Robby's spirit, I did make it. We all did.

Christine joined our family 2 1/2 years later. No, she didn't take Robby's place. But there was much joy and healing in our home.

It's been 16 years. That's one-third of my life! I'm glad that I have the memory of Robby always in my heart and the anticipatory memories of time with him ahead.

Each one of us had a spiritual experience that testified to us the reality of the immortality of the human soul. We all knew that Robby was alive, even little Tommy. The hospital rooms we were in, the mortuary, and many other places became holy ground to us.

The temple continues to be a hallowed place where we can all go and feel the blessing of our family being sealed for eternity.

Happy Birthday, Robby!

Robby is our angel child
Robby is our love
Robby is our angel child
Sent from heaven above
To lift our hearts and thoughts and goals
And dreams to reach the sky
Robby is our angel child
Robby lullaby
Sweet Robby lullaby

(A blog concerning when Robby's oldest sister Cathy was born:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sheila's Birthday

It's my sister's birthday today. Happy Birthday. I can't believe that you are 53. I guess that will be me in another 5 years.

Thanks for all the wonderful things you've done for me all these years. Thanks for being the oldest girl and the second mom. I appreciate it. Thanks for inviting me to go with you on outings when you were in high school and I was so much younger. Thanks for buying a ticket for me to see Saturday's Warrior with you. That was so cool of you to do. Did you buy the tickets for A Day, a Night, and a Day as well?

Thanks for letting me learn to play ball with you and Kathy. We were all pretty good at it. I'm glad that Glenna was our coach. She was totally awesome.

Thanks for the gifts that you have given to me and to my family. You've been a wonderful aunt to my children. I appreciate that. You had great words of wisdom for me when Cathy was born. You have always been so helpful and loving. All the extra things you've done--from giving the kid's McDonald's certificate, to movie tickets, to paying them for raking leaves--have not gone unnoticed. We all have appreciated your thoughtfulness.

Thanks for watching out for Mom and Dad. I know that you love them so much and I'm glad that you are there to be in their corner. We had a wonderful time staying in your home a few years ago when Mom was ill and not up to having company. Thanks for having us. Mark is a great cook and you are both wonderful hosts. And you showed me how to make marzipan.

I remember that when we were young, you had such a special relationship with Eddie. I'm glad that you can have all those memories. You were there when he broke his arm. You were there when I broke my collar bone. Thanks for that.

Well, I just wanted to tell you that I am glad you are my sister. I love you so much. Have a great year.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Because of My Transgression My Eyes are Opened 4

Moses 4-6; Genesis 2-3.

The Fall of Man is an integral part of Heavenly Father's plan. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that our salvation is contingent upon three pillars of eternity: the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. Even though our Father knew that the Fall was a necessary part in our progression to return to Him and to become like Him, it had to be a mortal decision to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

So it appeared that God gave two conflicting commandments: first, for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth; second, that they could eat of any fruit of any tree in the Garden of Eden, but that they must not partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Nevertheless, the Lord told them, it is given unto thee, but in the day that you of it, you shall surely die. So there would be a consequence if they took of the fruit. They would be cut off from the Lord's presence, spiritual death, and they would not live past 1,000 years (which is one day on Kolob), physical death.

Satan appeared to Adam through a serpent and tempted him to eat the fruit. But Father Adam, true to the integrity of his immortal soul would not partake, but he would keep the Father's commandments with exactness and honor. So Satan then turned to Eve, and he beguiled her. Her explained that she would not die, which she certainly would because God had spoken it, and that her eyes would be opened and she would become as the gods knowing good and evil. He said that God also gained His knowledge that way. She questioned, "Is there no other way." Satan answered, "There is no other way." Eve believed Satan's half-truths and partook of the fruit. When Eve explained to Adam that he must partake in order for them to remain together, Adam said, "Eve, I see that this must be. I will partake that man may be." So their eyes were opened, they knew they were naked; it was necessary for them to be cast out of the Garden so that they could not partake of the Tree of Life and live forever in their sins.

So man was given a probationary time: a time to repent and to prepare to meet God. Adam and Eve became mortal and were given the powers of procreation. They were able to have children. Because of agency, they were capable of now choosing between good and evil and they could recognize good and evil. They could experience both joy and sorrow, and they could feel the joy of their redemption. Because of the Atonement, they could obtain Eternal Life. Angels were sent to teach Adam and Eve the gospel. They were both baptized and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This also testified to the truth of the gospel.

If we recognize that Adam fell, then we can recognize the need for a Savior: One who could conquer death for all mankind and One who could bring us back into the presence of our Heavenly Father. Adam and Eve were commanded to offer blood sacrifice. This sacrifice was the firstling of the flock, pure and without blemish. This sacrifice represented the Son of God who would be offered for all mankind, both a sacrifice for our sins and a way for us to overcome both physical and spiritual death.

The reasons for the Fall and the Atonement are recorded beautifully in 2 Nephi 2. Eve said it best, in Moses 5:11: "Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient."

Thanks be to Adam and Eve for the important step they took. Because of them, we have all had the opportunity to come to this earth and be given bodies and gain experience. Thanks be to Jesus, and Heavenly Father for sending Him, who has prepared an excellent way for our deliverance from death and sin and for our return to Him.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Again and Again

Have you ever found that the most difficult commandment is to endure to the end? I can be perfectly at peace for a minute. I can be perfectly charitable for an hour. I can be on top of the world for a day. But one small mishap can quickly shatter it all. I guess it is a little bit like Peter walking on water. He had his eyes on the Lord, and he was doing it! Then he noticed the great expanse of water all about him, and he quickly began to sink.

I remember the first time I prayed about the Book of Mormon. I was twelve. I wanted to know if it was true. So I put Moroni's challenge to the test, and I asked Heavenly Father in Jesus's name if it was true. I felt the greatest peace and calm come over me. It was beautiful. I wanted to hold onto that feeling, and I relished that experience the entire evening. I savored it.

I finished the Book of Mormon again a couple days ago. I prayed about it again, and I felt the same Spirit that I did when I was twelve. Then last night as I was reading, I felt that same Spirit. Then one small conversation brought the worries of the world back into my heart, and the peace was chased away. Why did I allow that? I guess it's because we need to be aware of the water all around us constantly, so that we don't sink. We need to look to the Lord like Peter did.

I have found grace and mercy and obtained a forgiveness of my sins. That is a sweet experience. But then I have been caught up in the struggles of daily life, and I continue to make mistakes and I constantly fall short of the glory of God. Again and again, I need to rely on Him and on His redeeming blood to save me. Plateaus are no good. Ladders do not always progress at a vertical slope. But Jesus is a constant. If I could learn to always keep my eye on Him, I know that His perfectness would carry me. How can one sink when Jesus is his focus?

I do not understand how He only did His Father's will and never followed a personal agenda. My small, insignificant tasks are often left undone because I get sidetracked by the things I want to do right now, thinking that I will do the things I should do later. And so I rob myself of peaceful free time and the satisfication of meeting some timely goals. How did He do it?

I know that I need to be more prayerful and turn over my life more to my Heavenly Father, but I'm quite content with how my life is now. I am truly uncertain of the new steps required in such an intricate dance. But I know that when I am ready to learn, He is willing, able, and ready to teach me. I need the faith; I need the courage; and I need the ability to regain focus after every time I notice all the water surrounding me.

Lord, don't let me sink. And, help Thou my unbelief. Again and again, I need Thee.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ed

1 February 2013

This post was originally written in 2010; that was three years ago. Ed was born on 1 February 1964; He would now be 49 this year. It is hard to believe that he has been gone from us for nearly nine years. He passed away on 23 May 2004.

I'm glad that we still have contact with his wife, their son, and his brothers. We spent time with them this past August. I know that Ed is looking down smiling on those three young boys (and on their older brother, too). Like I said at his funeral, there were two things that Ed really felt sure about: the first one was the gospel and His love for the Savior; the second, he was sure he wanted to be with Melinda. It was wonderful to see and feel how much love Ed had for his wife and son when we were all at my parents for their wedding. That was a perfect day.

1 February 2010

Today my brother would have turned 46, but his life was cut short nearly 6 years ago. He died in a drowning accident leaving behind a wife and a son. Today his son is 6 1/2. I spent time with him, his mother and her sister, and his twin brothers this summer. It is delightful to still see Ed in his son's eyes.

Ed left behind many friends. I really don't know many people like Ed; he was a friend to everyone. So many people told me at his funeral, "Ed was my best friend."

I feel kind of guilty that I didn't know him much in our adult lives. I lived out of state and I was married. But I have always loved Ed. Ed was two years younger than me, and as children, we did so much together. I especially remember playing in Horman's basement. We all had a good time playing blind man's bluff in the long hallway. Briggs would somehow climb the wall and be on the ceiling above of us all.

Ed had a beautiful voice. Clear as crystal. He loved to sing. As a child, our Oma would give him money to sing to her. I didn't think that was so fair, but I'm glad she did. As an adult he would sing all the time. Melinda said that he would just break out in song in the middle of the store if he heard a song he liked. He loved to sing Karaoke. He had the most winning smile and the kindest eyes.

He loved to be with people. With Ed, the more the merrier. He never wanted to leave anyone out. He loved to color and do puzzles. He loved to watch Hawaii-Five-O and Bananza. He loved to go to movies, and to bowl, and to play tennis. he was great at tennis and basketball. He loved to laugh. To Ed, life was about fun and about being with family and friends.

I would love if any of you that knew Ed would share a memory with me, or your thoughts and impressions of Ed. Sometimes, I try to recall the good memories and all I can do is cry because I miss him. I know that he must be in a happy place, but I'm sad for his son to grow up without a father and for his wife to be without her husband. To my cousin, Nancy Ann, thank you for your thought of sending him a helium balloon today. I would really appreciate it if you do.

Let's all remember our loved ones: those with us and those far away, those already gone home to heaven and those yet to be on earth. If we remember them with love, they are alive in our hearts. If we live with love and kindess for all our brothers and sisters, we will become like God and all be together again.

Ed, thanks for being my brother. I miss you. Happy Birthday.

Notes copied from Facebook:

Heather: I could not leave a reply. I said that I loved Ed and you playing in my current home. I loved him working at Smith's and was always helpful and smiling. I was so sad when he left! Life is too short for Ed and Shelley (my sister). Celebrate a good life.
Me: Thanks, Heather, I copied your reply onto the blog. :-)
Penny: Happy birthday to your brother.
Heidi (another one): Happy birthday Ed! I'm so sorry his life was so short. I loved seiing him at Ardell Brown RV. I'm sending my love to you and all of Ed's loved ones.
Brenda: Thinking off you all today on Ed's birthday. Sorry I never got to meet him.
Me: We'll all have a big party together one day when Jesus returns. :-)
Korby: Amen Heidi! Shelley and Eddie were 2 great people that I had the chance to grow up with. I miss them both. They are great examples to me and cannot wait to see them again!
Michelle: I have so many memories of ed. Especially singing! He spent a lot of christmas time with us and one year I got a kareoke machine we sang shaniah twain for hours. I loved all the spiritual gifts he gave our family. But most of all us kids loved how he gave us boxes of cereal every year.
Sheila: Michelle is right. There are many memories of Ed. He loved to sing and it was fun doing karaoke with him. The kids loved Ed and when he was working at Smith's he would buy them a favorite box of cereal for Christmas. He also gave us Saturday's Warrior when the kids were small and they watched it over and over. Mark used to joke that Michelle would know all the songs by heart before she knew her ABC's. Great memories.
Sheila: Happy Birthday Ed. We love you.
Laurie: happy birthday to one of my best childhood friends. I was so sad to hear that he had passed us a place in heaven:D love you laurie jean.
(Uncle Des liked the link. :-)
Dee:Thanks for this remembrance of Ed.

Posts from Saturday, January 30:
Me: Happy Birthday, Brother Eddie. My brother's birthday is this Monday, February 1. He would have turned 46 this year, but he passed away almost six years ago. We all love and miss him. I'm thankful he is my brother forever.
Korby: Eddie was a great guy! I miss him as well!
Michelle: I miss him so much! Sad to think about him being gone....
Wendy: Every time I hear the song "I'm already there" that was played at his funeral I think of him!
Me: Yeah, I do, too. There are so many fun and wonderful memories.
Michelle: I cry every time I hear that.
Lisa: I saw a guy the other day that looked like Eddie. I thought about him a lot after seeing this man. He was too young. I miss him.
Me: I've seen some men that look like Ed, too. He was really handsome. Thank you all for your comments. :-)
Heather: I loved his smile and laugh.
Nancy: I will send a helium balloon to heaven on Monday.
John: whoa, it's been six years? Ed was a great guy...