Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Gospel Makes Me Happy

Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, keeping the commandments, and spending time doing things of an eternal nature makes me happy.

The first time we attended our new ward, we felt like we were being given a lot of church homework. We were asked to read a chapter of scripture in preparation for the following week's meeting, we were asked to fast for a little boy in the ward afflicted with cancer, and we were asked to bring our own ancestor's names to the temple 25 April for Ward Temple Day. We were also asked to meet with the ward council directly after the block of meetings so they could get to know us and I was asked to be visited by a couple of sisters from the Relief Society in our new home after that. We don't always follow through on all such requests, but we answered to each one of those. And it feels great!

My husband is the best! He sits by my side at the computer while we watch tutorial videos for Family Search. We started a week ago yesterday and attended the temple yesterday to complete his grandmother's work (some stranger seems to have already done his grandfather's work) and to have his grandparents sealed together for time and all eternity! We called K's dad to ask for permission to do temple ordinances. His words were, "Thank you, Jody! Of course you can do those things. I'm honored that you would even think about and remember my ancestors." Big Smiley Face about that! I just hope that we can keep going with family history research, but when you live deep in Yellowstone National Park all summer with no internet access, it's really tough.

This morning I attended stake council. Our training focused on Sabbath Day Observance. It was a revelatory experience for me! Throughout the meeting while the stake presidency instructed, I kept feeling the Holy Ghost reminding me of things. I started making a list. The list is a list of the things that we are doing or that my husband is especially good at doing to help us keep the Sabbath Day a Holy Day. We are far from perfect, but the spiritual promptings are still making me so happy that I thought I would share them here with the whole world:

My husband always asks me about the Relief Society lesson. We attend Sacrament Meeting and Gospel Doctrine together, but then he goes to Priesthood and I go to RS. Another sister in the stake council meeting said her family calls it "Sunday Breakdown" as they discuss things with their children at the dinner table. I am so pleased that my husband even cares and I am also pleased that he shares the many wonderful things he learns during Priesthood Meeting.

Another thing that came to mind was the Crockpot. Ken does most of the cooking on Sundays and we do a lot of Crockpot meals because it's so easy to throw the food in and let it do the work for us. We don't have huge, elaborate dinners on Sunday. It's something simple that's ready for us when we return from Church. Dishes are minimal. Easy peasy.

Another thing K is good at is sharing Church videos and Mormon Messages with me from He finds a good one to share "just because" or he uses them for Family Home Evening lessons. For some reason, I never watch those so I love it when he teaches me in this way!

We have always avoided shopping and eating out on the Sabbath Day. However, once I wanted to order something on the internet (clothing or something) and K said, "On Sunday?!?" Wow. It hadn't even crossed my radar that buying something on the internet on Sunday is really no different than buying something at the mall on Sunday. He's such a good guy and I cherish his perspective on things. That's why we are Team Kyburz.

Sleep. We sleep in on Sunday (unless I have a 7:00 a.m. stake council meeting which only happens once every three months). The Sabbath really is a day of rest--physically and mentally. K encourages it. Sometimes he says, "Just rest." Because he is not a demanding soul and believes in doing things for me, I get naps and relaxation time. He is so mindful of those things when it comes to me. I can also thank his parents for raising him right to allow for things like this in our marriage.

We prepare for the Sabbath Day and K is especially mindful of this. After the temple last night, we went out to dinner rationalizing that if Grandma and Grandpa were still alive and got sealed in the temple, there would be a dinner celebration afterward, so why not? :) After dinner, we went to the grocery store (so we don't have to buy food on Sunday) and then we filled up his tank with gas. These are just our normal habits and of course, they are the habits of many, many people (not trying to pat ourselves on the back for originality), but how grateful I am for these good habits to help keep us on the straight and narrow. If we needed to jump in the car right now and drive to Idaho, we could with no stops!

Family History Research is more fun with K! He is interested and more intuitive with the computer software than I am, so together we are able to make things work. I am so pleased that he really doesn't want me doing his family's research without his involvement. He is a GEM, I tell ya.

Another thing we do well is attend all three meetings in the church block of meetings. And we do this while traveling also. We can be in some podunk branch in the middle of nowhere and we stay for all of the meetings. The locals are usually surprised, but we've been enriched so much by doing this. Whether it's struggling folks in Colorado or the Navajo members down on the res, or the aloha saints of Hawai'i, we go to Church! I feel so grateful that I am married to someone that believes in doing this.
K helps out when he can. He's not the loudest volunteer in the group, but he quietly serves on a steady basis. He often passes the Sacrament when it looks like nobody's headed that way. He's been a great home teacher, ward librarian, finance clerk, and Sunday School president. He's really good about listening to church stuff he downloads on his phone and/or iPod. No, it's nothing fanatical, but he quietly moves forward with a lot of balance in his life.

The Sabbath has been a Delight (Isaiah) in our home and I hope we can possibly do some one thing better to improve further. I believe that Sabbath Day Observance is like getting a vaccination to ward off disease. It is medicine by which we can be inoculated.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

All the Love...and Other Stuff

This boy I'm married to...

We finished doing our finances this evening and he stood up from the computer, stepped over to where I was seated at a small table and before kissing me said, "Thank you for everything you do. You are the most sweet, kind, and gentle girl."

Of course, I brightened up and said, "Thanks, Sweetie!"

And then he whispered in my ear, "But I've also experienced your wrath."

Laughed SO hard! He means well...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I'm Not Very Good at Drinking

So one of the things I hear a lot about is women in my area drinking. I'm not talking about alcohol. I'm talking about the legal for minors stuff--sugar, caffeine, and carbonation. For years I've understood that my entire school district subsists primarily on Diet Coke. Well, everyone except me. And now there's this craze (I asked the relatives from the Midwest if there's a similar craze out there and they couldn't think of anything) to get certain drinks with certain flavors and if you get it a certain way it's called "dirty" and another way is called "jacked up" or possibly just "jacked." See? I don't even know what I'm talking about. So out of it.

Yeah, so I hear about "Happy Hour" at Sonic. I also hear about teachers going through the drive-thru at Sonic like at 6:00 a.m. or whatever (and stay-at-home moms later on) because the 367-ish ounce drink is "only $.99 at that time of day!" I don't know--I can't keep all of the wonderful details straight.

Then there's this place called Slurp. And another called Swig. And not only can you get a can also get some amazing sugar cookie with frosting to go with!

Let's not forget the usual places. For example, McDonald's lets you order any size of soda you wish and all of the sizes are the same price ($.99?) so of course, everyone gets the biggest one they possibly can because it's such a "deal." Some stop at Maverick, some stop at Holiday, and who knows where everyone else stops?

Such an industry! There's a soda machine in the faculty room and people bring their own cans and bottles from home. All the pregnant ladies talk about how they tried to give it up for their pregnancy but then they decided that going without it was MORE harmful to the baby than consuming it and their doctor said it was okay. And so forth.

My other opinion is that Mormons who choose to follow their religion are in a way limited in their chosen vices, so sugar is an easy thing to justify.

To be clear, I am not here to judge. A donut walks into the room and I eat it. I gobble up sugar in various forms. I have a life-long problem with overeating. But I am SO THANKFUL that I do not have this problem with sugary drinks. Honestly, my very favorite drink in the whole entire world is water. I love it so much!

The PTA has us fill out this little survey at the beginning of the year and it always asks for your favorite drink (because that's how most teachers make it through their day). I always write "water." But you know what? People can't STAND giving water as a gift. They give Gatorade or Powerade because they rationalize it's "the same as water?" Or they attach little mix-in powders (which I tried and can't stand--ah! the chemicals!). In other words, people don't believe me. So let me repeat: WATER is my favorite beverage in the entire world!!! I LOVE it SO much!!!

I have my father to thank for this. When I was young, there was some news report about cancer causing agents in carbonated beverages (who knows?) and my dad dumped all of the soda pop we had down the sink. When we went out to eat as a family (often since both parents worked--wasn't a special treat--to this day going out for my birthday isn't very special to me--but being with people I love IS special), Mom would always order coffee and Dad just let that go. But the rest of us? Water. That's it. On the way from the Suburban to the restaurant Dad would chant, "Girls, the only thing you can order to drink is water." Got it. And now I'm so grateful! I really don't like soda pop. When the relatives were here last week, we took them to JCW's for lunch and everyone ordered a soda except me. My MIL said, "You're so good!" I had to let her know, "I'm not being good. I just don't care for soda." And she exclaimed once again, "I know, but I don't understand it."

So the whole point I'm getting at is...we went to Sonic after the temple last night (K's idea). He ordered a cheeseburger with tots and a peanut butter fudge shake. It was 9:45 p.m. and he hadn't had dinner. I on the other hand CRASHED after school until he woke me up when he got home from work so I could change and get ready. I wolfed down a meat and cheese sandwich at 6:30 knowing it would literally be hours before I would have the chance to eat. I innocently asked, since the menu was in fine print on the driver's side, "Do they have salads?" He jabbed, "At a place like this? No, they don't." Nothing looked or sounded good to me, so I thought I would, you know, really go out on a limb and try to act grown up like all the other ladies. I did it. I ordered a Cherry Lime! Didn't really know what I was getting myself into, but it turns out it's just lemon-lime soda with cherry and lime flavors mixed in. And you know what? It wasn't anything to write home about. I shared it with K.

Well, you're never going to believe this (if you're even still reading), but today after trips to Lowe's and Costco, the mister asked about the place called Slurp. I was incredulous. He said he was super thirsty and wanted to try it. There was a long, LONG line at the drive-thru, but we persevered and because I just don't know what I'm doing at places like this, and because we've been living so wildly this weekend, throwing all caution to the wind, I ordered a...wait for it...a Cherry Lime! It was better than Sonic's, but in the end, it's just a drink. Shared that one with K as well!

I think I'm done with all the peer pressure and experimentation. I have other nutrition habits to which I must attend. I'm going to have to live as a beverage nerd for the remainder of my life. Oh, the friendships that could flourish if only I could be more normal! Thanks for inviting me to go on a "drink run" with you, but I guess I'll just stay here saving calories and pennies. So boring.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Break 2015

Oh, what a Spring Break we had! We really "packed it in" once again!

The break started with illness. I had been fighting a nasty, NASTY cold all week at school and really looked forward to collapsing on Friday afternoon. Which I did. Last Saturday and Sunday were filled with five General Conference sessions watched at home in great comfort. It was pleasant. We purchased a new framed picture of Christ on that Saturday and hung it up on Easter Sunday, the first thing to go on the wall in our new place. LOVED General Conference! I stand all amazed at the love Jesus has for us!

So we left on Sunday afternoon to head for Panguitch whereby we secured a "free" room at the Quality Inn. It was freezing cold inside and took about two hours for the room heater to make things tolerable. The next morning we headed into Bryce Canyon National Park with a couple of quick stops before moving on toward Kodachrome Basin State Park.

We hiked the Panorama Trail in Kodachrome and met Fred Flintstone! We enjoyed playing in the desert once again! It was perfect Spring weather and so good for our bodies and souls to walk around in red dirt.

The following day we explored the Cottonwood Canyon Road which has a lot of sightseeing to offer. We hiked into a couple of washes until we got turned back by piles of boulders proving too risky for me to climb. Mr. Six Foot Three could have gone on, but not without his Beloved.

The wind was killing us. K had to take his contacts out like three times in an hour due to the sand blasting going on. We thought we would check out another state park, but bagged that idea due to the windy location. We finally found another little camp called...drum roll please...Deer Creek (how many places are named that?) off the Burr Trail. It was "tucked down in" and we decided we could live with it. We set up camp and took off on another hike. When we woke in the morning, it was SNOWING. Rain and snow. It wouldn't be Spring Break for us unless we found snow! The highest temperature on our trip was 68 and the lowest was 25!

Well, we had to make our way home because the in-laws were flying in. We had Mom, Dad, Aunt Judy, and Grandpa (aged 92 and jumped on the plane in Iowa without hesitation for his next adventure). We couldn't fit all of them and us and their luggage in one vehicle, so we both drove to the airport to get them. That first day, we brought them to our place so they could ooh and ahh. We had Taco Soup and Cornbread Supreme for dinner with English Trifle as our dessert.

The following day we hit the Tulip Festival and 250,000 tulips later...we had a few photos turn out. They loved every second of it! They weren't used to the warm Spring weather so that was a big treat for them as well. We took them to JCW's for lunch because they love hamburgers and shakes. While waiting for the food to arrive, Grandpa told about the time he went to Mammoth Cave. After he talked about crawling around through narrow passages and climbing back up out of the abyss, I asked when he went. It was when he was in the service. He and a couple other guys were driving some tanks somewhere so they decided to stop off for a cave tour. I asked, "So, did you drive your tanks right into the parking lot?!?" Yes, they did. We made Baked Ziti for dinner.

The next day we went on a walk in the canyon and had a picnic afterward. We fed the fish for twenty-five cents. TR took a nose-dive with his health around that time, so we scrapped the remainder of our afternoon plans so he could crawl into bed. During that time, I beat the pants off everyone at Scrabble (just lucky that day).

For dinner, my father-in-law took us all out to Milagros, a new restaurant for each of us. Wonderful! I wonder why I don't hear people talking about it. We all loved it!

Today we simply picked them up and drove them back to the airport. Teary goodbyes as usual. Grandpa asked me if I needed any gas money. No, I don't, Grandpa. Such a Sweetie. They have landed and are now safe at home. I left the airport and headed to Church in my ward (6th Ward). I caught the last half of Fast and Testimony meeting. Then I proceed to the first ten minutes of Gospel Doctrine Class but had to leave for a Scout meeting with 8th Ward. Left that early to join K in the 3rd Ward for the Sacrament. They had three baby blessings first, so we were there awhile. By the time the Sacrament had been administered, I left to catch the last twenty minutes of Relief Society in the 6th Ward. Later, I met with my presidency and the new presidency of the 1st Ward to train them. Then we had our own presidency meeting. THINGS GOT CRAZY once we dropped the relatives off, but at least I tried my best. Spring Break is now ovah!