Search This Blog


Musings of a Zealous Woman

Hello. My name is Nicole Prasch and I am stubborn. (see i even put it in my favorite color!) I don’t have a problem with that demonized trait. In fact, I feel that it is a gift from God that I am stubborn. Stubbornness allows me to get things done as well as stick to my principles. I may be dead wrong about a thing, but I will stick to it until I believe otherwise. Luckily, I was also given another gift, the gift of a brain. I think and reason and therefore learn truth. Once I perceive a principle is true I act on it and I will stick to it. Calvin Coolidge, who was a President of the United States, said:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men of talent. Genius will not…the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
The ability to press on has been a blessing in my life. You see I am constantly opposed. Most of my siblings have all rejected the belief system we were taught. My husband also does not embrace my beliefs. As a result my children struggle with accepting them as well. Children struggle with that anyway, so that is to be expected. Many times I have found myself alone in leading the way to a happy, fulfilled and productive life. It is so enticing to follow the crowd, please yourself, and never go outside your comfort zone.
Nevertheless, I do it regularly. I can’t help it. I can’t be happy sitting back and watching the world head for a brick wall. I love the curiosity that afflicts my brain driving me to learn new things. I can’t help that I see consequences that others don’t yet see, and I cannot refrain from jumping out with a caution sign. I love the enlightenment that shows me connections between destructive behavior and miserable conditions.  Those light bulb moments are precious to me, but annoying to so many others. I’ve learned to be careful how I share those thoughts. People don’t understand the love that drives me to speak up.
It’s not politically correct to point these things out these days. I am my family’s crazy zealot. But you see, I looked up that word the other day. I am on a kick lately about dictionaries and thesauruses. Zealous is like being persistent, stubborn and devoted to a cause.  When I used the word zeal in a facebook post that was not about religion, but mentioned religion, my normally quite intelligent sister went on a rant about religion. I suppose she only thinks of that word as referring to a religious person who is unreasonably tyrannical to others, like Saul was before he became Paul. (Which is not true since he was far more zealous after his conversion experience) Most people who oppose me assume that all my opinions stem from religious arrogance and or an inability to think logically.  I find that these people are quite sensitive. I wonder if it is because they are so pricked by conscience and aware of what I stand for in my own life that they just assume that I am saying what their conscience is saying. Maybe I should take it as a compliment that I am on the right track!
I find myself unable to quit, give up, surrender or resign my loved ones to the chain of destruction that I see surrounding them. I don’t feel it is a sacrifice to raise my voice, but I am puzzled when I get so much close-minded resistance from people who are so quickly defensive and hostile. I struggle to quietly stand by while others make poor choices. It is hard to watch someone with a lead foot heading for a brick wall.  I ought to remember that I also make poor choices and I learn best by experiencing the consequences of those choices. The trick of a stubborn person is to wait for others to see what we see, or for us to see what others see. Maybe zeal is so often perceived as religious because 
religion seems to be one of the only things that evoke it.
I am a persistent zealot, a devoted disciple of truth, right living, or the path to happiness, and peace. Do I have a lot to learn? You betcha! But I love learning it and I love being in 
God’s University of Experience
because this zealot learns best that way! I fully realize that I am far from perfect, yet I am ok with that. I understand that we all share that common condition. Which is why I need this stubborn zeal.
God is so patient with us all. He is the ultimate zealot. He is stubborn, persistent and devoted to the cause of our happiness. Yet he is also kind, tolerant, steady and firm in truth and happiness because He knows. And knowledge of that kind begets persistent, loving, immovable, determined women who will press on to lead and guide families and societies victoriously back to the God who designed this mortal labyrinth. I aspire to that club of women!


Chicks update and other stuff that keeps me busy!

My word! The chicks are growing so fast! I can hardly keep up the food and water fast enough. We made a cute coop that looks like a covered wagon without wheels. I added my BFF's three chickens too. Nine is too many so I will soon be advertising the presumed rooster on craigslist and at least two more.
Just to add another project we have good news to announce!
We are adding another daughter to our home! Our new foreign exchange student, a 16 year old girl from Kuwait will be joining our family in August! Are so excited we can hardly stand it! I will be updating with more information after she arrives later this summer! I am also now working as a YES cluster director which means I am looking for host families for three students who will be attending Kennewick schools. This is going to be a busy and exciting year!


How Osama Bin Laden Affected my Life: Good Riddance from a Navy Wife

On a Tuesday morning in September, I prepared to drive my kids to school. We had to go on base to retrieve my son's backpack from my husband's car. As I drive through the gate to enter the base as I had done hundreds of times before, the guards were different. They had large guns slung across their shoulders,  
with their fingers on the trigger

They were visibly alert, nervous and active. They actually stopped the car, asked to look at my military ID, scanned the car with their eyes, and then let me go through.
I retrieved the errant backpack thinking that was weird. On the way out of the gate, more guards on the other side inspected me closely as I drove slowly through. On the way to the school I decided to turn on the radio. The people said that what had happened was
like Pearl Harbor 
for our generation. They did not say what was happening, just that it was life changing. At home again, I turned on the news. This was sometime around 8am Pacific time, after the second tower fell. As I watched the news show what was happening, and listening to the announcers tell what little they knew at the time, along with how many people worked in those buildings. I was paralyzed. I called my mother two states away what was going on?
She didn't know much either. Called my husband. He didn't know much either, just that it meant something serious and life changing. By this time it was obviously terrorism. We all knew who was behind it......
Osama Bin Laden.

In the hours and days following this moment in my life I began to see just how much this would change my life in ways both small and large. I vividly remember my husband saying that this was when he wished for sea duty. He wanted to go take down the enemy. 
This was why I had married him. 
I remember being horrified at the possible number of dead, praying for the rescuers to find someone..... anyone alive in the rubble. I could not go to bed because my heart was so intimately involved in the search for life. It was as if I had loved ones inside.......My husband finally dragged me to bed.
We lived in a housing neighborhood beside the gated off area of the base in Fallon NV. Immediately the base put up cement traffic dividers in a zig zag pattern in order to slow down cars both entering and exiting the gated off portion of the base, but also at the entrances and exits to our housing neighborhood. Armed military police
with fingers on triggers 
were stationed at each spot closely inspecting us. Although we never before had been required to show our military ID at the gates, were we were now required to stop, show ID, answer questions, and consent to searches each time we came home. Our home teachers could not drive to our home. No one without ID could enter our neighborhood. We had to  meet them, have them leave their car outside, and bring them through. Once, I counted how many times I had to show my ID just to go grocery shopping (at the commisary on base).
1. At the gate entering the base
                                              2. At the entrance of the commisary (grocery store)
3. At the time I paid the cashier (typical they only serve military but still I'd already showed it twice~ I think by now they can establish I am allowed to purchase milk here!)
                                                                  4. At the exit of the building
5. At the entrance to my neighborhood
All this to drive two blocks to the grocery store to buy milk. This remained the situation for the year we lived in that home. Nothing said we were a target like that.
During that year, I remember my antenna going up when I saw a car stopped at the road that ran alongside the airfield, with someone watching the planes fly over. I told the guard at the gate. He immediately radioed in while I waited and he asked questions of me.
At this time, my husband  was on shore duty. In the Navy, troops rotate between sea duty, where they are stationed in an actively deploying command such as a squadron or a carrier, and shore duty where they do not deploy. They may still travel from time to time but they do not go into combat or out to sea.
He had one year until he rotated back to sea duty and we immediately knew he would be involved in one year. Sure enough we moved one year later, having our household goods delivered on 9/11 2002 to our military house in Whidbey Island. By October, my husband was gearing up with short trips to sea as they prepared to leave on a long cruise. In January 2003 he left for what would be almost 9 months at sea on the Carl Vinson. If you are tracking the time line this was as we were gearing up to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. There are so many other things that were caused by these events that it would be a book to list them. But this is my memories.
Today, almost 10 years later, I had pretty much accepted that Bin Laden was going to die of natural causes, an old man. I knew and accepted that his death would not be a strategic victory and that we needed to pursue the movement as a whole. When I saw on Facebook that he had been killed. I needed proof so I went to Drudge. Yep, it was there. We turned on the news. Yep there too. We listened to the President give his statement. Silence. It's true.
Immediately the images from 9/11 of Palestinians dancing and celebrating sprang into my mind and I felt like dancing in their honor. So I did.........

I danced with my kids on my porch. 

I didn't worry if it was the right thing to do. I just did what I felt like doing. I don't take that luxury often.

I feel good that Bin Laden has met his 72 "virgins."  Sorry, none where you are headed :-)

Good riddance! 
I give him over to God. Let God decide his eternal fate. Let him brag about his actions...... to God. This. world, no. longer. cares.


My Peeps... or the Chicks with the Chocolate Eggs

Im egg-cited! I am now the owner of 6 chicks!
The four larger ones are Cuckoo Marans and they will lay a light chocolate colored egg. They are pullets which means they are supposed to be all hens.  The little black one is an Australorpe renegade that showed up in a batch of Delawares (the little yellow one). I bought the Marans for $16, or $4 each, and the other two were $5 for the two. The Delaware wasn't one I wanted but I needed a buddy for the Australorpe~ that I REALLY wanted. Australorp's lay large, light-brown eggs, and have a reputation for reliable egg laying, and friendliness.
Next week I will go to Milton-Freewater, Oregon for a flock of strait run (boys and girls) Black Copper Marans. They will lay a dark chocolate colored egg. Well, the hens will, the roosters will go in the freezer. (I might keep one rooster so I can make babies though....)
The light keeps them warm. Each week the light is raised higher to lower the temp a bit, as they are able to keep their body heat. that's why the little ones (which are younger than the big ones) are up closer to the bulb.
I showed the dogs what was in the tub. Mollie was apprehensive, but jumped into the tub to get a closer look while I wasn't looking. After I fished her out she kept hiding behind me. She has taken to whining when I am in the bathroom without her. George wanted a closer look, but not so bad that he jumped in. They are curious. I really hope they can get along. I just really want to let the chickens in the yard during the day. Sigh....Just a nice picture in my head....Especially, since I am going to have so many! (So much for starting small...)
So, yes, we have no chicken coop, but we have chicks!Cheep, Cheep Cheep!

PS I think I want a duck.....


Chicken Season?

Who knew there was a season for chicken? Well tis the season! Our local feed stores are advertising that they have baby chicks! So hubby and I went to see the chicks at our favorite store..... But they were sold out. Bummer. I even had him talked into having chickens...that day....
CHICKEN CROSSING Sign xing signs rancher farmer gift.
Although I knew I wanted chickens and hubby seemed to be on board....mostly...I haven't yet figured out how to do it. I guess getting some chicks will force me to figure it out. And how that spring is here, well I guess its the season to try! Good thing I have the books for that...

Canning VS Freezing: It's a Tie

When it comes to how to keep food so it is safe and convenient most Americans will opt for a trip tot he grocery store for a prepackaged mix of  "food" that is highly processed, laden with chemicals, and fat, and tragically lacking in nutrition. For many people ignorance is bliss, but for others the knowledge of what they are doing to their body leads them on to find better ways to feed and nurture themselves and their families. Many budgets won't allow for this expensive grocery store option either. What to do? There are a few options out there to to both provide for your families future and have fast convenient food ready to go for those times you just don't have the time or energy to spend cooking meals.

 My journey to find a better way has led me to a few options.  A couple years ago we got a freezer. A big freezer. Against my better judgment we bought a huge chest freezer. I promptly loaded it up with boxes and bags of food from Costco. We made freezer jam and added it to the stash. (Heaven on earth! If you've never had freezer jam, find your nearest Mormon and ask her to make you some!) We bought lots of meat too. Frozen juice went in. A few (unlabeled) leftovers went in. (not a good idea).
But just like I had feared the chest freezer design made it impossible to find what I needed before frostbite set into my fingers. Sometimes it didn't get shut all the way and the frost began to build up. Finally I located the knob that would turn it down of off and I turned it off to get rid of the frost. I figured it would take a loooooong time to thaw all that frozen stuff in that insulated freezer. Wrong. It was all soft by the third day. So I hacked at the frost (which was only slightly softer) until I could properly close the freezer and promptly turned it back up to refreeze everything.
This experience got me thinking though. What if we had an ice storm or other storm that took out our power for a few days? Doesn't seem so unlikely these days....
Enter canning... I have been experimenting with my mother's old canner the last couple years. I canned peaches, pears, apple pie filling, and lately salsa and beans. We have been including more beans in our diet the last five years or so, especially refried beans. Over the last several months I have been using more black beans. We love chili with beans (with or without meat) over Fritos! The peaches were mushy, the pears were good, the apple pie filling was good but not often used, the salsa was not good, and the beans have been used regularly. I found that the beans did not have to soak before canning them. Hurray!I also found that if you put too many beans in the jar you end up with soft mushy beans at the bottom ~ like refried beans! But the beans usually end up perfectly cooked and not salty! I put some garlic, onions and spices into some of the jars. Turned out great!
Last night, I made a big batch of spaghetti sauce, cooked up a bunch of ground meat and stew meat, and packed some raw pork into pint jars. Unfortunately, my mom's elderly canner turned in her notice. I burned my finger a bit on the steam when it wouldn't seal and I said no more! Time for a new canner. (I'd been thinking I needed one anyway.) I borrowed a canner from a canner extraordinaire and got at least one batch done last night. As I type my second batch is jiggling away.
What has worked the best and proved most useful?
Well the biggest hit of the list was freezer jam. My kids are already worrying because they can see that we are almost out. After one year they can't seem to handle a future without freezer jam.
The beans all ready to go and without worry about salt and chemicals, has also been extremely useful. Besides eating less meat, I love having beans ready to throw into salsas, salads, burritos, soups and all kinds of new things I hadn't thought of before. I love black beans and so does my picky boy! Now I'm excited to have spaghetti sauce ready to open. We tried it for dinner before I put it in bottles and almost everyone really liked it. It will be used for spaghetti, and lasagna.We don't eat alot of spaghetti at our house because hubby can't handle the tomato at dinner time, but when he's not eating it will be a quick fast meal that almost everyone likes.
The conclusion is that I think I don't need this huge freezer and that canning regularly would be a more useful method for having healthy, precooked, easy to fix meals on my pantry shelf. My freezer will still have its uses, for freezer jam, bread, frozen juice, and other miscellaneous tidbits, but I think I'm going to sell the treasure chest that wasn't such a treasure after all. The canner would have been much cheaper!

Here's some of the places I've found inspiration
safely gathered in
Old School Self Reliance 101

Now time to clean up....:-(

PS I think I will do some posts on my different adventures with freezing and canning.....


Breakfast Burritos in the Freezer

I found a great idea on The Simple Dollar for making breakfast burritos that can become a quick, cheap and nutritious breakfast for those who never have enough time in the morning for breakfast. (Those like me who are not morning people.) My kids are forever skipping breakfast and even lunch even though all it takes is grabbing something off the shelf. These burritos have a good protein boost for jump starting sluggish brains!
This combination of eggs, black beans and salsa appealed to me, but I could see that it might cause a revolt at my house if it was the only option. So I also cooked some cubed hash browns and chopped some bacon for half of them.
I broke 24 eggs and mixed in a little reconstituted dry milk, (What! I was almost out of milk....) and a dash of chili powder. After a quick whisk I dumped it all in my largest pan to scramble. I decided to keep the rest of the ingredients seperate for customizing later. I also cooked about 16 oz of Southern Style Hashbrowns (cubed rather than shredded). I found that by putting three tortillas on a plate with a small plate upside down on top for 30 seconds in the microwave made the tortillas nice and warm for manipulating. I opened some black beans that I canned in January, (Yikes! I need to do some more!) a bottle of homemade canned salsa, and shredded about one pound of cheese and got ready to roll.
Now I am not that good at rolling burritos because I always over stuff them. But I followed the method on the website and found that it worked better. (I still have to work on over stuffing them though.) I found that having them warm enabled them to stretch a bit and hold their shape better on the cookie sheets. I made 20 with the beans and salsa and then mixed the hash browns into the remaining eggs with the chopped bacon, stirred it up and made 12 more. I ate one that had split open.  So I now have 31 breakfast burritos! I figure each burrito is about 250 calories.
It was a bit bland so next time I will work on adding more flavor ~ maybe make a white sauce to give it some goeyness and fat to balance the protein or use refried black beans. I only used a pinch of cheese, but I think I'll be more generous next time and maybe mix it in while the eggs are warm so it melts just a bit.  I packaged them up with a paper towel wrapped around each one nestled in a baggie. They fit perfectly in the little snack baggies that I bought but no one uses. :) Why the paper towel? The Simple Dollar instructs that the burritos be nuked for two minutes on defrost and then warmed up for about 1 1/2 minutes all wrapped in a paper towel to keep it from drying out. It will also make a nice drip absorber. I like that idea.
Maybe next time I will make them into quesadilla's instead since I like more stuffing and less tortilla.
But that's just me.....

Of course, I won't make them again if they just sit in the freezer for lack of flashy packaging. Hump!/:(


Eve And The Choice Made Eden by Beverly Campbell

Beverly Campbell has some insights into what happened in the Garden of Eden. She shares them poignantly in her book Eve and the Choice Made in Eden. The first night I read this book I found myself in tears at the imagery. Beverly understands how misunderstanding Eve's choice has caused the women of the world to suffer both internally and externally. But through careful research and study she exposes just how misunderstood Eve has been over the centuries. She shows how Eve made a noble unselfish choice to fulfill her mission as the Mother of All Living. Beverly touches on many topics in her book from scientific DNA to meanings of Hebrew words from the account of the Garden in scripture. I always knew that Eve made the right choice but now I have a deeper understanding of how, why and what our first mother did.


The Silence of God by Gale Sears

The Silence of God is a novel centered on the lives of one LDS family who lives in Russia. The family is historically accurate with the father, Johan, mother Alma, and eight children. The Lindlof family is the first LDS family in Russia.
The Prologue, set in 988AD, tells the story of Prince Vladimir who marries a German Christian princess, is converted to Christianity, is baptized, and replaces the Paganism of the nation with Christianity. This sets the stage for the story which begin with LDS Apostle Elder Francis Lyman dedicating Russia to the preaching of the Gospel with the Lindlof family witnessing the 1903 event. Two years later we see one of the sons who is being persuaded to march with workers as they seek to present a petition to the Tsar. The next several chapters bring in a neighbor girl Natasha who grew up with Agnes Lindlof.  These two characters form the main characters of the story. Natasha, an only child, is raised by a religious mother and an atheist father who is a fervent Bolshevik. Natasha becomes part of the workers who are producing propaganda for the Bolsheviks witnessing the night of the takeover in Petrograd. Agnes is not into the political movement and begins to rebel against the constant talk of politics, yet their friendship is still maintained.
This story is engaging and the footnotes offer clarification on which circumstances are fiction and which are historically accurate. It is disappointing to find at the end that the story deviates quite dramatically from the reality. In reality only one of the Lindloff's six children who were sent to a prison camp in Siberia survived. Two daughters died there and the fate of the others is unknown. This story shows some of the brutality and religious hatred that occurred showing it in a personal context rather than a national context, although Ms Sears does not skip over significant historical events. The descriptions of the locations of significant sites such as the Winter Palace, several gardens, and cathedrals are well described. This book will leave you wanting more.


Tinkering With the Three Month Plan

See the previous post on how I came up with a plan for storing three months of regular family foods.

After planning three menus for my family, I decided to give them a try. I knew I needed to see how the plan I had made would work and not wait for the stress of and emergency to test it. I also don't have time, money, or pantry space to waste on untested planning.

Maintenance of the Plan or Practice Makes Perfect
I decided to try the first menu the next payday, so I took my list and went to the grocery store. I was surprised by how little I needed and how little I spent. I didn't buy what I already had, and I got a few extras that were on sale but I only spent $115. I began my preparation for the week by cooking the stew meat. The next day I soaked and cooked the beans and made refried beans for enchiladas. I found that the schedule for the first day was too much. And since we had a Birthday coming up we got off the schedule (we always go out or have a special request on birthdays). After less than a week we decided we had too much stew beef in this menu. It was hurting our gums because it got stuck in between our teeth. So I took off the stew beef sloppy joes and decided the chili could be just beans without meat. I also decided that buying a whole turkey breast for turkey sandwiches only was a bit much and I added a turkey dinner into the menu. I've decided to redo the breakfast menu also since the kids only want quick stuff that they can eat quickly or take with them. Same for lunch. I decided to space out my preparation tasks more evenly and try to make some of the items that appeared more often such as burritos and quesadilla's in larger batches to freeze for more than the week. These are items my kids love to have for snack and in lunches. I also decided to be more vigilant about freezing leftovers, since I always seem to make too much food.

I tried to keep in mind that I may not have any money for fresh items and I may be making homemade items when money is tight, like bread, from my long term storage. Wheat, beans, oats, and other regular baking ingredients are not added to the grocery list, so I need to remember to keep these items stocked. I should start a list.
 On my grocery list I also indicated the items that were perishable and which were homemade since I can not very well stock them. I can keep these in mind when planning a garden, or planning to cook ahead.
Overall it has been a good experience to think through this plan. I see that I have a lot of work to do to acquire these items, but probably more important to organize them so I can find them, use them, and count them.

Preparing for Three Months of Regular Family Meals

The LDS church advocates that its members prepare for family emergencies such as unemployment, illness, or natural disasters. As my Ward's Emergency Preparedness Coordinator I have been encouraging my flock to prepare. The Church put out new guidlines a few years ago that specified that we should first prepare three months of regular meals, then we should move into a years supply of "keep your family alive" food storage. I will talk about the three month supply since that is the one that gets some people overwhelmed.

Menus, Groceries and Plans (Oh My!)

One of the many preparedness blogs,  Safely Gathered In, published a good idea on how to plan for the three months of regular meals. It got my brain spinning. Basically it was based on something I and many other freedom loving people hate- Menus! Although the blog focused on dinner menus I decided that to be precise I needed to know what to plan for all meals. So I made three week long menus. I planned breakfast lunch and dinner as if all family members were going to sit down and eat a home cooked meal. I knew this would be overdoing the amount of food, but I wanted to see if I could come up with enough variety to satisfy my family. (Well mostly my hubby since he is the pickiest.)

My Name is Nicole and I Love Spreadsheets
First, I just wrote it out on a notebook page, but then decided to put it into an Excel spreadsheet. I then made a complete grocery list of all the items that would be needed for the weeks meals.

After I put it into Excel I could see a bigger picture and began rearranging the meals into groups that could be prepped together, such as three meals using beef stew meat (hubby just gave up hamburger :-/) or meals that needed beans such as burritos, enchiladas, nachos and quesadillas. Many of these items could be doubled and frozen for easy meals too. I regrouped and planned what I should do the first day of the week to make other meals later in the week a snap and minimize dishes. I also noted what bread stuffs needed to be prepared and included that on the first day. If I didn't have time but had money I could always buy these items (or store a little of them ready to bake).

When I was done I had three complete menus with minimal duplication, complete with instruction for groceries, and things that could be planned ahead. I labeled the menus AB&C. With three menus to rotate, I figured we could be fairly satisfied with the variety. I printed it all out and but it in a binder. (yes I also love binders)

Extreme or Not Extreme?
Also on Safely Gathered In they planned for the extreme situation of not being able to cook. Since this adds to the complexity I decided to start by NOT assuming life would be much different, except that I would need to rely on my pantry. I have even assumed that some money would be available for fresh items like tomatoes, lettuce, and milk. This would be a mild emergency like a job loss that still allowed unemployment income where money is tight and the need for lowering my spending would be high. However, thinking about what I would change if I had no power to my oven didn't really require much change because we have a propane grill that would do nicely for almost everything on the menu. Besides if the power is out for three months we will have more to worry about than how to cook our food (riots, freezer/refrigerator spoilage or freezing to death). So, I think I'll add some extra propane to the list of preparedness items and call it good. Course I could make plans to feed my neighbors.....

Part two found here Tinkering with the Three Month Plan

Oldies But Goodies: LDS Power Women

I ran across a passage in the comments at a feminist mormon website, that sparked a response in me. The discussion was commenting on an article that referenced D&C 25:7 , “And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.” The comments about this topic seemed to veer off into a discussion of the (lack of) power of women in the LDS church. I wondered if the women who commented on this issue were mis-defining the words exhort and expound. So let’s define the words for use here. Encarta defines exhort as “to urge to do something” or “give earnest advice.” Exhort is defined as “describe and explain something.” Synonyms are “urge, press, push, encourage, insist, pressure, and explain, expand, on, talk about, give further details about, develop, illustrate.” Clearly these are teaching activities. The discussion points out correctly that the majority of the teachers in the church are women including Gospel Doctrine, seminary, Primary, etc. But some of the comments seemed to think this was an activity that involved power. Thus the discussion seemed to veer of into a discussion of female power within the church. I see this type of thing pop up once in a while and it puzzles me. For instance, Sonnet says:
When we “expound” upon something, our mastery of an idea grants us the authority to experiment with, redefine, and reshape that particular idea. It’s a creative act. In the official structure of the church, we grant this kind of authority to very few.

First, many teachers have commented that they have benefited more from learning about a topic in order to teach it, than they expected. If we assume a teacher first has “mastery” of the topic we are way off base. And if we assume that we have mastery because we are called to teach, we need some humility. Second, the only one allowed this kind of “creativity” is God. We teach what the Lord wants us to teach. As a RS teacher I find that I “expound” regularly regarding the text but so do the others in the class who have their own uplifting experiences to share. I urge, encourage, explain and illustrate but I don’t redefine, experiment or reshape the topic to fit my own personal gospel. Our creativity comes into play when we are trying to find a way to reach our class members. But it should never reach the point of redefining or reshaping doctrine.
Lulubell commented about her experiences:

I was more often than not disappointed with the messages and activities– homemaking, staying virtuous, preparing to be mothers and wives. What I really wanted to do was get to college, graduate and find my way in the world, not sure if that would be motherhood, a career, or a combination of the two. While I, too, have been a teacher, let’s face it– we have very little power or authority in the church. Even our 12 year old boys have more power than we women do.
I take issue with her characterization of the power women have in the church. I wonder what kind of power she is looking for? I was Primary President for a little over two years and had so called “power” as the world may see it over the direction of our ward Primary. But it was far more work and stress than that little bit of so-called power was worth. Sure I could have done what I wanted but that isn’t the way things are supposed to work and I think the Lord (through the Bishop) would have yanked me out quickly. But I saw first hand that the Bishops and quorum leaders were in similar situations. The real problem of power in the church, for many unhappy women, is actually a problem of dominion. How much power do we want? Do we want to change doctrine? Do we want to extend callings? Do we want to arrange sacrament meetings? I always wonder just what kind of power these women want? Satan wanted God’s power and look what happened to him.
Do we think the Bishop or Stake President or Elders Quorum leader has power? Ha! He is a servant not a master. He deals with the rancor, pettiness, counseling, gossiping, people who want to criticize but not help, unrepentant sinners who must be removed, and –oh yea- weddings. He hunts for cooperation and planning in carrying out the programs of the Lord, as well as trying to serve the needs of others around him. He sometimes sets a calendar item. The only real power the priesthood has is priesthood functions, such as blessings, which by definition only operate on God’s will, not the desires of the one pronouncing the blessings( see D&C 121:37). As the saying goes, it’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it. Where’s the “power”? His only real power is in righteousness. And that is available to us all male and female.
I would suggest to any LDS women who feels slighted and that they have no power, to study D&C 121: 36-46 thoroughly. It does not just apply to the men. It gives the Lord's definition of real power and is not gender specific. Apply it to whatever role you find yourself in.
36.That the rights of the priesthood (motherhood, wives, women in general) are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man (woman).
38 Behold, ere (s)he is aware, (s)he is left unto (her)himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men,(women) as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood (womanhood, femaleness, motherhood, wifehood), only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest (s)he esteem thee to be his enemy;
44 That (s)he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men (humans), and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
 (My changes to gender and emphasis added for clarification)


Purple Passion

I like purple. My drapes are purple. My clothes are mostly purple. I have a purple purse. I have a purple pen. I have purple lap blankets. My mouse is even purple. My front door and shutters are painted purple and I have a beautiful dark purple (Raisin) wall around my back yard slider. I'd say I love purple.
But my car is NOT purple. My hair is NOT purple. My couch is NOT purple. Yep, Im pretty balanced.
"What is it with you and purple?" a friend once asked me.

Let me explain.....Purple is a rich luscious color. Purple is noticed. I get complimented when I wear purple. People like it! Purple is the color of royalty for a reason. It is striking. It draws people in. You can't not notice it. But I have learned a valuable lesson. Purple can't be the only color you use. It works best when it is paired with colors like light yellow, chocolate brown, black, or gray.It is like a frame around a picture.  My husband likes orange and he wanted to paint a wall orange in our living room. Orange is on the opposite side of the color wheel from purple. It has NOTHING in common with purple. But it works! I have orange on my dining room wall, and my couch cushions are orange.Our desk even has orange in the wood. (right next to my purple wall.)  My purple wall and lap blankets look great with orange too!
So you see purple IS the  best color in the world. There's just nothing that isn't improved by being touched by this lovely rich color. No wonder it was loved by royalty!


Old School Skills by the Damsel

I found a blog that I just LOVE! She calls herself The Damsel and she is a fabulous writer. Her goal is to bring back old school tricks in order to be more self reliant. She has a fun whimsical and humorous style of writing about the funny things she finds.
Select Your Poison
For instance, I feel like such a fool for buying dryer sheets all my adult life. Did you know you can make your own dryer sheets? Simply soak a washcloth in fabric softener, wring it out, let it dry and you have a dryer sheet that you can use for months!  What a fool I've been!
Another example is buttermilk. Yes buttermilk. I never buy buttermilk. It seems odd and foo foo to me. (not to mention expensive to use in an odd recipe I come across)  Besides almost nothing calls for buttermilk anymore. But she shows how to keep remaking buttermilk from a sample indefinitely- like sourdough.
She found a handy tip to get your disposable razor cartridges to last oh so much longer (like 2 years)! (Enjoy the shirtless stud who demonstrates!)
And her no worry pressure canning salsa that I can't wait to try!
Can I just say, Damsel, I LOVE you!

PS the popcorn idea is also appealing. And I don't like popcorn.
sugary corn

More Mormon Conspiracy Evidence

This video is evidence of the Mormon Conspiracy to change the world!


Best 100 Books To Read Before You Die

Anyone who tries to compile a book list is doomed to failure. But I must do it. I think I have a good mix of fiction and non fiction here. There is all levels of reading on this list from Dr Seuss and Beverly Cleary, to The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Aristotle. Some have multiple volumes. Some should be reread continually, like the first four on the list. After you read through this list you can consider yourself fairly educated.
  1. The Holy Bible
  2. The Book of Mormon
  3. The Doctrine & Covenants
  4. The Pearl of Great Price
  5. The History of Joseph Smith By His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith
  6. History of the Church, Joseph Smith
  7. 1776, David McCullough
  8. The Real George Washington, National Center for Constitutional Studies
  9. The Real Thomas Jefferson, National Center for Constitutional Studies
  10. The Real Benjamin Franklin, National Center for Constitutional Studies
  11. John Adams, David McCullough
  12. The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman
  13. Joseph Smith Rough Stone Rolling, Richard Lyman Bushman
  14. Narnia Series, CS Lewis
  15. The Great Divorce, CS Lewis
  16. Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis 
  17. The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker
  18. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About..., John R. Lee
  19. O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
  20. The Story of Liberty, Charles Carleton Coffin
  21. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini 
  22. The Naked Communist, Cleon Skousen
  23. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph From The Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Diodge
  24. The Burning Within, Ranelle Wallace 
  25. Life Everlasting, Duane S. Crowther
  26. Summer of the Monkeys, Wilson Rawls 
  27. Tuck Everlasting. Natalie Babbit 
  28. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  29. The Book of Virtues, William Bennett 
  30. The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt By Day, Scott O'Dell 
  31. A Wrinkle In Time, Madeleine L'Engle 
  32. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  33. America, Last Best Hope Vol. I & II, William Bennett
  34. The Three Pillars of Zion, Larry Barkdull 
  35. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott 
  36. The First 2000 Years, Cleon Skousen
  37. The Third Thousand Years, Cleon Skousen 
  38. The Fourth Thousand Years, Cleon Skousen 
  39. The 5000 Year Leap, Cleon Skousen
  40. A History of the English Speaking Peoples 5 Volumes, Winston Churchill
  41. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 6 Volumes, Edward Gibbon
  42. Teachings of Joseph Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith 
  43. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens 
  44. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens 
  45. Grimms Fairy Tales 
  46. Andersens Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen 
  47. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Amity Shlaes
  48. Common Sense: The Call To Independence, Thomas Paine
  49. The Well Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer 
  50. Financial Peace Revisited, Dave Ramsey
  51. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, Dave Ramsey 
  52. Who Stole My Cheese?!!, Ilene Hochberg
  53. The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton , James Madison, and John Jay
  54. The Anti Federalist Papers, Patrick Henry, Samuel Byron, Robert Yates 
  55. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell 
  56. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain 
  57. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  58. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain
  59. The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare 
  60. My Bondage and My Freedom, Fredrick Douglas
  61. Democracy in America. Alexis Tocqueville
  62. The Great Republic, Sir Winston Churchill 
  63. The Oregon Trail, Francis Parkman
  64. Women and Men on the Overland Trail, Jack Mack Faragher
  65. A Patriot's History of the United States, Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen
  66. Lives of the Signers of the Declaration Of Independence, BJ Loosing, Published by Wallbuilders 
  67. Rules of Civility, George Washington 
  68. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  69. Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Robert Bork 
  70. The Ramona Collection, Beverly Cleary
  71. Otis Spofford, Beverly Cleary
  72. Ralph Mouse Collection, Beverly Cleary 
  73. Parenting With Love and Logic, Cline & Fay 
  74. I Don't Have To Make Everything All Better, Gary & Joy Lundberg 
  75. So You Want to Raise a Boy?, Cleon Skousen 
  76. Lehi in The Desert, Hugh Nibley
  77. The BFG, Roald Dahl 
  78. Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  79. Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder 
  80. How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler, Charles Van Doren
  81. Jesus The Christ, James A. Talmadge 
  82. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, LeGrande Richards
  83. The Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball 
  84. The Peacegiver: How Christ Offers to Heal Hearts and Homes, James Ferrell
  85. The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict, The Arbinger Institute
  86. Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes, Gordon B. Hinckley 
  87. The South Beach Diet, Dr Arthur Agaston, MD
  88. Key To The Science of Theology, Parley P Pratt 
  89. How to Be Totally Miserable: A Self hinder Book, John Bytheway
  90. Three Against Hitler, Rudi Wobbe, Jerry Borrowman
  91. The Naked Communist, Cleon Skousen 
  92. Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, Boyd K. Packer 
  93. The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way, Joy Hakim
  94. The Fire of the Covenant, Gerald Lund 
  95. Work and The Glory, Gerald Lund 
  96. The Republic, Plato 
  97. Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle
  98. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr Seuss
  99. The Four Loves, CS Lewis 
  100. Whatever Happened To Penny Candy?, Richard J Maybury
  101. The Trumpet of the Swan, EB White
Now, I know I will not have included every good book, but that should keep you busy for a while! Several of these authors have many good books, and if you get especially intrigued by one chase down others. Good luck with these 100 books to read before you die! What would you add?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts