Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food Labels

This kind of labeling would be nice. On Dr. Oz show he suggests that we should pick foods that have:

Fat 4 g or less
Sodium 430 mg or less
Fiber 2 g or more
Sugar 4 g or less

Wow, pretty restrictive, but then so is poor health. I'm going to be more conscious of what is on the labels.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Decorating

Whenever I feel tempted to stress out over putting up Christmas decorations and feeling some self-imposed pressure to hurry and get them up, I remind myself that Christmas decorations should be a pleasure not a duty. Whenever did it become such a contest and pressure-filled activity as if there is going to be a Decorating Police that is going to check up on me?

Years ago when I was suppose to be one of the hosts for a progressive Christmas Relief Society Social, I wasn't in the mood to hurry and decorate after just getting home from a family vacation and so I decided not to. I thought I would just have this plain, undecorated house and then make everyone feel really good about their decorating abilities. (Now, that is compassionate service!) It was interesting that as soon as I took the pressure off of myself and decided that I didn't HAVE to decorate, I suddenly had a desire to decorate and did it with great pleasure.

There are many of things like this is my life. Activities that should be filled with pleasure and joy, that I turn into some kind of obligation to perform in order to prove myself. Wow, it feels so good to be this old and realize that there isn't much I HAVE to do and that I don't have anything to prove, but that there is a lot I can enjoy. Christmas decorating is one of those things.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Molly Mormon Discussion

I am finally get around to sharing some of what I learned from your replies as to what a Molly Mormon means to you. I wanted to anonymously share (with her permission) someone's heartfelt experience with that label that brought tears to my eyes.

I had to take a while and really ponder your question before I decided to write down my response.....it really opened up some old wounds for me from when I was a teenager. I've really debated on actually sending this…….. And it turned out to be quite the mouth full…….But as I just told my sister, I feel like I just went through a therapy session as I talked this all out to myself…..And it feels good to get this off my chest……

"I realize that the saying "Molly Mormon" means something different to me now, as it did to me as a teen, and most of my life.
As a teen for what ever reasons, I was viewed as a "bad influence" to one of my best friends. (yes those actual words were used by a certain mom and dad in my ward to describe me to there daughter, as they were trying to get her from hanging out with me!! ) This certain friend had sister's that along with their mom and dad, judged me very strongly, with out even really knowing me. They had that "Holier than thou" attitude towards me. By the time I was 17, I had stopped going to church. I did refer to these people that judged me, and hurt me deeply as "Molly Mormon's"..... As a teen that is what I thought a Molly Mormon was..... All the people that went to church every week, went to every activity, didn't swear, couldn't do anything on Sundays, didn't ever do anything wrong.....the perfect Mormon…… But a lot of these people, I felt, judged me and were not very nice to me... I've carried that pain with me ever since. It affected me in such a way, that I didn't want to go to church. I didn't want to be judged because I wasn't a "Molly Mormon" ( or perfect Mormon) like them...... I believed in the church, but I wasn't able to give it all or nothing...... I've lived all these years thinking because of what happened to me as a teen, that the church was all or nothing...... Because as a teen I went to church most days but not all, and unlike my friends, I was allowed to watch tv on Sunday, or listen to the radio, or go to a friends house... All things that they couldn't... We weren't the "Typical" Mormon family. My dad and brother didn't go, and sometimes we were more or less active……So because I didn't want to be judged anymore, I thought it was better that I didn't go to church at all.. And I didn't....(Until May of this year......)

"But........... in May of this year my son suffered a major seizure one afternoon, and was unconscious for a half an hour. The next day out of no-where he said, I think I want to get baptized..... He had never been to church before. I truly believe that my son had something amazing happen to him while he was unconscious. My husband was a member, we had been married 17 years and had never gone to church. And honestly, I didn't think my husband would ever go to church. Our son then had the discussions, my husband sat in on all of them and it really sparked something in him I had never seen before.. He use to ask me, "how do you know for sure that god is real?" I would say, "I just know it and feel it inside with everything that I am" .... I now know that that is my testimony, after I told that story to my dear neighbor that is 90 years old. Through all the years of harboring these feelings and pain, I never lost that feeling, that I now know is my testimony that God is real!!! The three of us now attend church on a regular basis. We don't go to every class or activity, we watch football on Sundays and let the kids have friends over. But after letting some of my feelings out to my Bishop, he says that's ok. Something is better than nothing……and you never know where the baby steps will lead you one day... And guess what?? We are not judged one bit from our neighbors and ward members. They are all just happy to see us when they see us. I didn't know that I could ever feel as welcome as I feel when I walk in to our Chapel. And it's unconditional. It's not based on if I'm there every week, or if I'm "worthy" in there minds. We are loved and welcomed just because were us!!! My Bishop told my husband, whom still has some struggles, that God is not going to judge him by how many times he has been to church, but by his heart. And anyone that knows my husband, knows he has a heart of gold!! Even with his imperfections.

"So……… I use to think a "Molly Mormon" were the one's who followed the church 100% all of the time, and judged the one's like me that didn't……
But now when I think of the term "Molly Mormon", ………….
Gosh, you know I don't even use that term anymore………….But I know now that I wouldn't attach the people that judge me to it…..
To me I guess it's the people that "appear" to be the perfect Mormon……
Yet I know that no-one is perfect……. And that God is the only one that will judge us when our time comes…..
And yet that brings up a whole new question?? If I refer to someone as a "Molly Mormon", isn't that me judging them?? Thinking that they appear to be perfect?? When they could be struggling and hurting just as bad as I have…….

"I think that maybe we just shouldn't even use that term anymore……
Nothing good comes from "Labeling" people…….
We are all God's children…….

"Thank you for asking that question, What is a "Molly Mormon" to me……
To talk that out and be rid of those feelings feels good…
I just took a few baby steps, heck maybe even a leap…….."

I will continue to share what I have learned from some of you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Football Rivalry

Today was the Holy War in Utah and being a graduate of the University of Utah, I was happy they won. I have to say though I have never been keen on hating the other team. I like BYU and I do want them to win when they aren't playing the U. I have to say that I feel uncomfortable disliking and bashing another team. It doesn't seem right, I mean, we are all Americans and beyond that, we are all God's children. A little harmless rivalry is kind of fun, but I still want to be nice. I mean, it really is only a game and games are suppose to be fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I love traditions and one that I kept for this Thanksgiving was the simple frozen crushed pineapple in a cup with Sprite poured over it. It was what was always waiting on our plate at Grandma's house. It brought back wonderful memories of wall to wall tables and chairs in Grandpa and Grandma's small living room. I love those kind of memories and keeping those traditions alive.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A perfect Day

Today was one perfect day. Since I want to have more of these perfects days then I want to be clear about what made it perfect--wonderful, funny, and helpful family; hard work and careful planning that I and everyone else was happy and willing to do; teasing and good laughs; sentimental and grateful sharing, good food and a lot of it: organized but relaxed atmosphere; a great Disney movie and fun activities. I am immensely grateful for all of my family, past and present. I am grateful for my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother who established a tradition of family togetherness. I am grateful for wonderful family traditions and for new in laws that are incredibly supportive of our traditions and share some of their own. I am also grateful for all the people in my life that have been such a powerful influence for good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Preparations

I had such a blast preparing for Thanksgiving. I already commented on facebook how confused Talm was when he walked in the kitchen the day before and saw the tables all ready and me cooking. I have always been a gifted procrastinator and so to see me being prepared ahead of time made him seriously wonder if we were having Thanksgiving dinner that night. I do know one of the reason I don't start preparing too early is because I can get carried away the more time that I have to do something. I mean, when I started carving the butter to look like turkeys, I knew that maybe I have given myself too much time to prepare! I did seriously do something that I normally wouldn't have time to even think of, much less do, and that was I made name cards and on the inside, I wrote to each person something about them that I was thankful for. That was fun to think about.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Challenge

I have really been missing out. Yes, Thanksgiving in Hawaii was great and I thought that not having to cook Thanksgiving Dinner was a blessing, but now I see that a good challenge is really the blessing. I am on a quest to have a great Thanksgiving turkey and it has been satisfying to stretch myself. I have cooked turkeys before but not really exerting myself to find a great recipe and taking the time to get all the extra little fresh ingredients to make it special. It has also been fun getting the tables ready and decorating. I am finding the more I work at making something extraordinary, the more I enjoy it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The choice is mine

I now have this picture on my phone background. It has taken a little over half of my life (I am living until I am 100 years old so I am a little over half way there) to realize that if I am going to really enjoy life it is up to me and no one else. Any time I waste trying to blame someone or anything else for the fact that I am not enjoying my life is a lame excuse to not really live my life to the fullest.

Now let's be clear--this isn't an "eat, drink, and be merry" kind of declaration, but giving myself permission to be good to myself in a way that I can enjoy life and still keep my temple recommend. One thing that I am crystal clear about is that keeping the commandments are just that--a way to really enjoy life. I am just rejecting all the stupid ways that I have held myself back from enjoying life at a greater level. I am also giving up any notion that someone else has done me wrong when in reality only I can do me wrong. It is not what happens to me that matters, but how I react. The choice is mine because I am a free agent. (YOU GO GIRL!)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Winner!

I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful insight and discussion of "Molly Mormon." I will take the next few days to discuss what I have learned from you and what my experience has been. I would invite further discussion and comments if you feel inclined.

Now for the winner of the drawing...YVONNE!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Taste of Hawaii

For years at this time of year we have been in Hawaii, and one of our favorite things there is banana and macadamia pancakes with coconut maple syrup. Since we are missing our tradition this year for the first time in like 18 years, I gathered the family to have this delicious breakfast.

This pancake mix is amazing. Just add water and it is a great healthy pancake batter made with 100% whole wheat and oat flour and egg whites. It is both delicious and healthy, which I honestly admit doesn't always come in the same package. Even my granddaughter was surprised when I said the pancakes were healthy because she knows that what I make that is healthy doesn't always taste good.

We chop the macadamia nuts and put on each pancake before flipping and top with the bananas and this coconut syrup mixed with real maple syrup and heated. DIVINE! Now if we could just have the sand and waves and 80 degree weather, we will be okay.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I mentioned that I was glad that I could offer someone an opportunity to work. I like what Adam and Eve were told as they were kicked out of the garden of Eden that the ground would be cursed for their sake. Sake means purpose or benefit and so having to work is a blessing. I love the days when I go to bed tired from working.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I finally had our ugly front door painted and I love it. I don't know why I would procrastinate for so long doing something that makes me so happy. I get excited now when I go to the front door and see this great looking door. For WAAAAY too long I have hated the door because it was boring white and beat up. Now it looks like a new door.

So why would I wait so long to be good to myself and have something done that is beautiful and nice. I think there is this puritan imprint that says if I deny myself then I am more righteous. Weird, I know. Sometimes I feel guilty for being too good to myself and so I know that I unconsciously hold back. A psychologist said that one of the best things we can do to eliminate stress is fix or spruce up everything in our home that is broken. Not only is a home that is well cared for good for me and my family, but I also know that I gave someone a job that needed it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Free Pedicure

Three more days to get in your essay on your definition of "Molly Mormon" for a chance to get a free pedicure. It doesn't even need to be an essay, just a few lines will do. It is so fun to hear what people think.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Favorite Way to Teach

I love to teach (mainly because I love to hear myself talk), and the thing I love to do when I teach is ask deep questions that evoke a great discussion because I believe that a good teacher just leads a great discussion and can learn even more from the students than the teacher can offer. I have gotten some remarkable and heartfelt discussions on what "Molly Mormon" means to different people. I am still waiting for the deadline for the drawing to start sharing some of the things I have learned from some of you. There is nothing more exciting for me to learn from people's experiences. I love a good discussion and so thank you for discussing with me and teaching me.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I am getting some great essays on "Molly Mormon." I can't wait until I have collected all your comments and then be able to do a recounting. I kind of feel like a teacher, and I am seeing a lot of "A+" work. I have some wise and insightful friends. Keep it coming! Remember that there is no right or wrong answer. I am just incredibly interested in what everybody thinks.

Drawing for Pedicure

I want to make a deadline for comments about Molly Mormon. Have your comment to me by November 20 at midnight and then after that I will do the drawing and post some of your comments anonymously. I am excited, this should be really insightful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Molly Mormon

I want some feedback and so I want to motivate your response with a little incentive. For all those that make a comment by personal email to me or a private facebook message will be put in a drawing for a chance to win a pedicure at Sega Lily Day Spa. Whatever you do, please don't make your comment visible to other people for now so that your response won't influence someone else.

This is what I would like your feedback on. I want to know your own personal definition of a Molly Mormon and your own opinion about what you feel is good or bad about being a Molly Mormon.

Just so you know that there isn't a right or wrong answer but just what your personal definition and feelings are and what your experience has been.

You might wonder why I am interested. I am just doing my own little research to see how a definition of this term might be different based on varying experiences and thus how different people might view the same term. I wonder what kind of impact for good or bad these different definitions might have and how people's desire to be labeled as such might be embraced or avoided. I am also interested in what kind of impact it can have on the LDS church as a whole.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I was talking to someone the other day about what makes the difference for them having the motivation to do well in school. She said if she could see an important purpose in what she was learning, then she is motivated. Having good grades for her wasn't an important enough of a purpose.

I feel like sometimes I have been guilty of seeking a purpose for the things that I do that fall short of a more meaningful purpose. For example, reading the scriptures just so I can check it off a list or say that I have accomplished that isn't as good of a purpose for me as doing because I want to become a better person. I can see that always looking for a constructive purpose that isn't for the praise of man or just to go through the motions should be my higher goal. I think that within all of us is a inherent, God-given need to have a higher purpose in life. I believe educators would do well to honor a student's need to know why it is important that they learn something in school. If there isn't a higher, valuable purpose then maybe some of the subjects or information aren't worthy of our time and should be eliminated from the curriculum.

I am especially grateful for the gospel because it gives me purpose and direction.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Looking at the World Through New Eyes

As I change my beliefs and work toward having them in more in line with the gospel according to greater understanding of the scriptures, my attitude and heart changes towards life and people. It is amazing how much better everything looks now. The mountains seem more stunningly beautiful, the leaves on the trees are amazingly more colorful than I ever noticed before, and I see even more goodness in people and the many ways they have blessed my life. I am finding more joy in all aspects of my life as I repent of old cultural beliefs that have created judgment and condemnation; first for myself and thus for others. It is only what I do to myself first that creates the attitude and behavior I will then have towards someone else. That is why we should love others as ourselves because if I'm not good at loving myself, it is difficult to genuinely love others.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reading and Writing Connection

I use to hate to write. I discovered that I loved to read at a young age but it wasn't until I started to keep a consistent journal that I learned to love to write. For me now reading and writing are like peanut butter and jam. I can't have one without the other.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reflective Writing

Since I am a big fan of journal writing, I like this discussion about reflective writing which is essentially what deep learning and journal writing is.

"Reflective Writing is a practice in which the writer describes a real or imagined scene, event, interaction, passing thought, memory, or observation in either essay or poetic form, adding a personal reflection on the meaning of the item or incident, thought, feeling, emotion, or situation in his or her life. Many reflective writers keep in mind guiding questions, such as "What did I notice?" "How did this changed me?" or "What might I have done differently?"

"Thus, the focus is on writing that is not merely descriptive. The writer doesn’t just hit the replay button; rather, he or she revisits the scene to note details and emotions, reflect on meaning, examine what went well or revealed a need for additional learning, and relate what transpired to the rest of life."

I find that reflective writing is a much better way to learn than memorization for tests. Reflective questioning when teaching is also a better way to stretch learning than asking a question that just gets a Sunday School answer. I haven't found that the robotic Sunday School answers adequately help when I am in a crisis. It is reflective thinking and writing that has been the best preparation for me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Deep Learning

Unfortunately, in most of my school experience I was only taught to absorb a lot of information by memorization, and grades became my sole motivation and end result. It wasn't until my second college experience that I learned about deep learning and especially discovered it's value in studying the gospel.

Students, using deep learning strategies, constantly:

* look up the definition of key words for greater clarity and understanding
* try to find connections and links to prior learning and the ideas presented
* ask questions such as "How does this apply to my life and experience?" "How does this differ from what I have believed?" etc
* actively engage with ideas, concepts and theories by making goals for implementing
* reflect on learning by writing about the discoveries and the goals made

When I apply these strategies in my gospel study, my learning and application goes way beyond what memorization can do. I don't learn for a grade or even just to check it off my list, but I develop a love of learning and then that learning becomes applicable especially during trials. I love the concept of deep learning and hope to be able to encourage methods of teaching and learning that promote the kind of learning that changes how we believe, think, and act.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thank You

Today I learned what power there is on telling someone thank you for some things that I often take for granted. It was almost magical what came back to bless my life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Positive Influences

I am surrounded by positive influences that inspire to be better. A good friend just talks to me about how she is striving to work hard each day and go to bed with that satisfying, exhausting feeling. I didn't plan to do the same but her positive influence unconsciously rubbed off on me, and I am finding myself exhausted and ready to go to bed each night. It is helping break me of those late night, non productive nights. I am not going to underestimate the value of hanging with friends that are such a motivating influence.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Decorating Traditions

I love holidays and I love to decorate. For awhile I was kind of getting lazy and forgot how much it makes my heart sing (heart not mouth, for those nervous that I might be breaking out in song) to make a holiday special with decorations. Every month we have a family birthday party for all the birthdays in that month and for years I have used the "Happy Birthday" sign that I made with two balloons on each side. Recently I found this great birthday table topper that is just perfect to add to my tradition, and it was ON SALE! Don't you just love it when you find just what you have always wanted and to have it be on sale is just too over-the-top glorious. I mean, finding a cure for cancer couldn't be better than this.

Well, the real purpose of holiday traditions is to have the family gather and have fun together, and if I can do that with a little added creativity then I am a happy woman.

We are also going to play our traditional candy bar game with candy we gathered from Belgium and Germany. Sweet, huh? (literally) I think we have started another new tradition when we travel--to collect candy instead of trinkets. That way I can just carry the memories on my hips instead of having to dust it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lesson from the Scriptures

This morning I had one of those epiphanies while reading the scriptures that changed a belief that I have had about the definition of the word "wicked." When I looked up the definition, I was surprised to learn that it is defined as mainly the poor treatment of people.

I have come to know, and this morning’s discovery in looking up the definition of the word wicked has confirmed it, that what I have learned culturally can be so different from what I can learn from scripture. I think that culturally it is easy to believe that smoking and drinking are very wicked, but this morning as I studied "the word" I have learned that treating people poorly is wicked. It is still important to honor myself by keeping the word of wisdom because it is just that--wise to be healthy. I will always keep that standard for myself because I know of it's benefit and that it is a commandment meant to protect me from physical harm and heartache. I just shouldn’t believe that it is necessarily "wicked" to go against the word of wisdom but just remember that I am being wicked if I am not kind and thoughtful.

Once again, I am grateful for the change in my beliefs and then hopefully my actions as I embrace the true meaning of words spoken in the scriptures. Today's epiphany helps me know where my focus should be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Problem Solving

Life is really just solving one problem after another. When I have a problem in my life, it is such a time and energy waster to complain about it. Granted this doesn't stop me from continually trying to see if complaining will eventually work like the insane person doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Also, sometimes I feel like there is this subtle competition going to see who has the most to complain about and being the competitive person that I am, I am going to win.

I keep having to discover over and over again that what I need to do instead of complaining or just being frustrated is to openly admit I have a problem and then ask myself, "Self, how can I make this work better?" (I love talking to myself) When I get into creative problem solving and am willing to ask, ("ask and ye shall receive") then ideas flow and I feel such empowerment. Complaining is being a victim; problem solving is gaining personal power.

Finding a solution to a problem, even just little organizational problems and especially big relationship problems, is a great source of satisfaction and motivation. One simple solution found and implemented paves the way for other bigger solutions, and sometimes it is the simple things that can make such a difference.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lack of Motivation

I just realized something that kills my motivation. I had barely picked a couple of words to focus on to help me be a better person and that very day, I blatantly violated one of the words, especially one of the specific definitions of the word. After going against my resolve, I suffered from a lack of motivation. It was a huge epiphany to know that when I go against what I know to be right, that I feel dammed. Just like the water in a river that hits a dam quits flowing, my motivation stopped.

So I just repent and get back on track, for the billionth time. The good news is that I'm learning, and didn't the Lord tell Adam and Eve that they would go into this world to learn from their experiences? I'm just grateful for the gift of repentance.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reading my blog

Tonight I spent some time going back and reading some of my blog posts. It's interesting how easily I can forget. So much of it was new to me! I am going to read more of it to help me remember all the things that I said I was going to do that I have forgotten. It should be interesting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vitamins are working

Okay, so my hair doesn't quite look like that but I have been faithfully taking my vitamins for a while and my hair feels healthier, and if my hair is healthier then the inside of me is better off also. It really pays to take good care of myself and vitamins are one of the ways that I can be good to my body.