Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I appreciated reading some of the hymns from church on Sunday. 

I Stand All Amazed

1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
2. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine
To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,
That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
3. I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Text and music: Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932

Lord, I Would Follow Thee

1. Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee—
Lord, I would follow thee.
2. Who am I to judge another
When I walk imperfectly?
In the quiet heart is hidden
Sorrow that the eye can't see.
Who am I to judge another?
3. I would be my brother's keeper;
I would learn the healer's art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart.
I would be my brother's keeper—
4. Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother—
Text: Susan Evans McCloud, b. 1945. © 1985 IRI
Music: K. Newell Dayley, b. 1939. © 1985 IRI

Truth Reflects upon Our Senses

1. Truth reflects upon our senses;
Gospel light reveals to some.
If there still should be offenses,
Woe to them by whom they come!
Judge not, that ye be not judged,
Was the counsel Jesus gave;
Measure given, large or grudged,
Just the same you must receive.
Blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore
Where the angels wait to join us
In thy praise forevermore.
2. Jesus said, "Be meek and lowly,"
For 'tis high to be a judge;
If I would be pure and holy,
I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor
All his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor,
I am in the narrow way.
Text: Eliza R. Snow, 1807-1887; chorus by M. E. Abbey
Music: Charles Davis Tillman, 1861-1943

Monday, January 26, 2015

Not reading

Have you been wondering what I am reading?
Well its a big secret I HAVEN'T BEEN!
I know its a tragedy.
Whatever toxicity that built up in my brain from postpartum depression caused my brain to really struggle with reading again. My dyslexia never has truly gone away, but after about the first year of college I have never struggled at compensating for it, until this summer/fall. I pick up a book and I feel like I'm 15 again, the words jump all over the page. The depression caused my dyslexia to come out guns blazing. So honestly I haven't been reading. I struggled through one book in September for book group and Brent read a book to me and my oldest in October. He also read The Hobbit to us, but I'm not sure how much I listened to, because I can't remember it at all.
Its actually quite embarrassing. I usually read about two books a month, I've read one book in 5 months! People know I'm a reader and so keep asking me if I've read anything interesting lately. The other night someone asked me what book did I read most recently. I was horrified with myself, I truly couldn't remember. (I looked up the book group email.) So it make it up to myself, I read a chapter last night. I'm so proud.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency  (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1)The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really quite enjoyed this book, but I hardly loved it. I almost read book 2, but never quite made time for it. Well it reality I'm in a bit of a reading slump. I'd probably rate it 3 and half stars. Spoiler alert, I loved the end of the book. I loved what she had to hear to agree. It was a fun read.

View all my reviews

The Giver (The Giver, #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. Everyone loves this book right? I remember in fourth grade when EVERYONE read this book, except for me, I didn't have an interest, I'm dyslexic and so I hated reading in fourth grade. This is THE original YA dystopia book, we read most of the YA dystopian out there but this book was fairly boring. My husband and I read it with our 8 year old, so it gave us a ton of great discussions but over all the plot was just *yawn*.
Although I would completely recommend it to any one who wants to discuss choice with their late elementary school age child. My 8 year old has two younger brothers, one a baby and one a two year old, so when he found out their society euthanizes he shed a tear or two. We discussed the topic and hopefully he felt better... What I found extremely sad is when they thought love was an outdated emotion that showed weakness. What a pathetic society.
The book more unique then most of the other YA dystopian because most of the books don't seem to "fix" people's abilities to think, reason, and love, they just try to outlaw it without actually taking it away. The Giver's society was able to stop it. I also found it interest that the bottom of the bottom became birth mothers they were literally breeding a dumber society. But it made me wonder about the ruling elite, were their children/them born of the dumbest of females? Females that were only fit for manual labor?

View all my reviews

Today a librarian that hosts toddler story time at the library asked me if I was going to sign up for the adult winter reading program. Hmm, I said I'll think about it. I'm a pathetic adult I'd rather not try than fail. I should probably sign up to push myself. That has been my goal for the new year to teach myself how to read chapter books again.
I do read all the time still, I'm always reading articles online. I read print magazines too. I read story books to my kids. I actually haven't had a problem reading print magazines, or story books. I'm not sure why the ink on books reacts differently to my brain. When my daughter was reading the I see Sam books this summer I didn't have a problem reading them because I can read simple sentences but the pages definitely bothered my eyes/brain. You know that feeling when you are reading outside on a sunny day, you look up for something then it takes a minute to focus on the page before your eyes can adjust to the change light? Looking at a page that bothers my brain is similar to that, except it takes more work to get my eyes to focus so my brain can interrupt the letters.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Pretend Conversation

Please do not tell me I am the only one to have fake conversations in my head?
You know a continuation of a conversation.
Or telling some one off when instead you felt quiet and awkward.

Well recently the fake conversation in my head, included:
-I got my degree in Political Science
[....] (honestly I forgot most of this pretend conversation)
-Oh really you did?
[...] More blah blah blah
-Oh I yes I miss being in school. 
Yes, I only miss my political science classrooms about once a day.

As you can see this non existent conversation had a lot more of me feeling forlorn than any real words. I can't even remember who it was suppose to be with.

But since I have done nothing with my chosen educational path other than research my votes and reading the news you can see where my political/educational  abandonment comes from. (Voting is far from my love, I love political philosophy/theory, I love discussing what makes politics or voters tick. Not changing the world, I don't need to change the world. Although my dream job would have been a lobbyist. Which pretty much horrifies everyone I've ever met except one lady who's daughter was a telecommuting work at home mom lobbyist and my husband.)

The most intellectually stimulating thing I have done since school is reading classics and non-fiction and writing goodread reviews on them.

Don't get me wrong, me, myself and I choose to stay home with my children, I choose to get pregnant  four different times. I choose my life, and I'm glad I did, it can be very rewarding but pregnancy, potty training and teaching small children to read is more akin to bashing my head against the wall, then being valued my for my opinions. When I was getting my degree no one every screamed.

I guess that's the reason I married my husband, if I was going to put my career plans on hold/completely change them, then I wanted/needed to marry someone who values my opinion, who tells me good point, who thinks I'm smart.

Every so often I hear older men say something to the effect of every woman/girl deserves to hear she is beautiful. Sure that is great and all, (and we do tell my daughter she is beautiful a million times a day) but doesn't every girl deserve to be educated and to meet people who value her intelligence and her opinions. Being told you are pretty is so superficial in compared to being told you are smart. That is where it is at. Then again memes on the internet tell me its only the pretty girls who complain they aren't told they are smart enough. I disagree its not pretty girls, its girl who's intellect is unappreciated.

Did you catch that a minute ago? The most intellectually stimulating thing I've done since school is reading classics. I do love discussing politics with my husband but we are pretty similar in our views, I'm a little more liberal/compassionate, he is a little more free market, libertarian in his. But overall we are probably about two points different on the scale of whatever non party goers political views could be.

I hate fighting so I rarely discuss politics with people. I do love to discuss politics but I do not love to fight and argue over anything even my love of politics. When you argue you lose control over yourself, and I am a control freak and so I do not like to give people control over my emotions. Which means I rarely open my mouth. I'm a little too liberal for most of my community. Plus I can't stand talking to people who base all of their opinions on passion and none on reason, so I just hush up. (It does not have to be MY reason, just SOME reason or logic. I took a the first philosophy class in college so I hate when people use fallacious argument after fallacious argument. Also I wish I paid closer attention so I still knew the names of all the fallacies.) Plus I can barely stand listening to someone who's only ability is to regurgitate FoxNews pundits. To be equal opportunity I'm sure people who regurgitate some liberal source of pundits would also drive me crazy but I've spent almost all my life in red state areas. In fact I often wish I lived somewhere blue so I could get a more middle ground newsfeed on Facebook.

Which means in the last 8 years I've spent a lot of time missing the opportunity to discuss political theory with people who don't share my views but are willing to discuss difference of opinions like rational adults instead of whiny preschoolers. I miss the respect that comes from implying lets agree to disagree, I value you for your opinions even if I don't agree. I miss bringing up a new and opposing point and getting praise from my professors on my realist views in a sea of optimist idealists.

I honestly can't think of a single time someone has said, wow that was an amazing diaper change. So you can see why I sometimes miss my political science classrooms. That being said, I'm not childish enough to think, my whole life needs to be fulfilling and validating. Parts of school sucked. Parts of being a mom suck, parts are boring. And I'm positive if I had a job outside of my house it would be the same way. I do find my chosen profession wildly fulfilling, just in a different way. In a way of it is so nice that my baby one week before his first birthday FINALLY started sleeping through the night. In a way that its so nice when they leave my house and have a successful day in school, when they come home with their testing scores and their little walking person is in the DARK green area. How my husband and I made so many genius children I will never know, because I've never thought of myself as particularly smart. My walking person would have never been as close to the edge as theirs.  Which explains all the typos in my blog posts, with four kids I literally do not have enough time to edit my posts enough if I ever want to press the orange publish button.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More 2

My two year old utterly flipped out when we dropped off my oldest at cub scouts. (Child 2 and 4 were at home with Dad.) Ten minutes later he was still yelling about his brother. I spent most of the time trying to calm him down with light conversation, but nothing worked until I asked him, "are you worried about him or do you miss him?"
"Miss him"
"Is he your best brother?"
"No, my best friend."
Awe, that was sweet, that declaration was what he needed to calm down.

Monday, January 19, 2015

"Me and Nattie"

I just walked up to my 2 year old watching Sesame Street.  He pointed and said, "That's me and that's Nattie." Pointing to Elmo and Zoe. I thought it was so sweet. It does actually call her Nattie.

Friday, January 16, 2015

6 going on 7

A few days after Christmas my daughter told me she is turning 7 for her next birthday. I said no, no, don't tell me that. 7 is much too old. She got excited and said, I know! You know three weeks after your birthday is a perfect time to plan your next birthday! I love these pictures they were taken back in october. She is such a character.

After she had her "Elsa Hair" for her birthday she was ready to cut all her hair off. It sort of makes me sad. She thinks it means she doesn't have to brush her hair anymore and so she screams if it happens.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bad Music?

Last week I read an article that implied if we are listening to bad music then we won't be worthy of inspiration. I have a tendency to take things to the extreme, to think if we are not utterly perfect we must be dammed to complete misery. So when I read that and thought hmmm, maybe my music is bad, maybe I should stop listening to music. If only I could convince my husband to stop listening to music. (Did you catch what I said there stop listening to music, not bad music to music, meaning all music? We would never last listening to only religious music, so we would have to go cold turkey.)
A few days went by and I didn't listen to ANY music which you know is normal, I don't listen to the radio in the car when I'm taking my kids to school, and often thats the only place we go. Then on Tuesday I took a nap, I woke up feeling like a the walking dead. Everyone wanted attention, all wanted food, more than half were incapable of feeding themselves without my help. I truly didn't know what to do, I sat in a comatose state as multiple children cried. I had a clear impression, turn on some music. So I did, I turned on my favorite pandora station, because I was too out of it, to do anything else. It is political rap, I've been really into political rap the last couple of years. I woke up, we had snacks, we all recovered life was good.
Should I be careful in what music my children hear me listening to? yes. But it turns out music is not bad. Telling me not to listen to music with political overtones would be like telling me not to read the news, it just can't happen. Its a part of who I am. Some music is clearly inappropriate and there are a few songs I probably shouldn't listen to but most of the music I listen to isn't any worse than the conversation Brent and I have while cooking dinner. My children are exposed to politics at a very young age. You should hear some of the conversations we have, like when a child tells me we need solar panels, or wouldn't we be healthier if we food dyes were illegal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Other People's Babies

I've been doing a lot of picture-y stuff lately.
I've decided I look far better holding other people's new babies than my own.
 Then I realize of course I do! I haven't just had a new baby, I'm not exhausted, I don't feel crappy, my pants fit, my hair isn't falling out and overall hormones aren't wrecking havoc on me.
(This picture is from February 2010.)

Monday, January 12, 2015


Well I've still been thinking about that.
I still agree with it, when I'm in a temporary bad mood, or going through a rough patch (like postpartum depression) my husband is an absolute peach and picks up so much slack. 
When he is in a bad mood I think of it as a blessing, because it reminds me to pray for him and to serve him. Serving people is not a natural talent of mine so I often forget so I'm grateful for the reminder. I know that sounds beyond cheesy but its true.
It never occurred to me to pray for my husband until a few years ago when he ended up in a conversation beyond his control that was really not a situation he or I wanted to him to be in. Is that weird that we were married for 8 years before I ever started praying for my husband?! There are countless conference talks about praying for your children, but your spouse is a different story...  Maybe there are plenty but I honestly never remember hearing any until just recently in the past year or so. Back to the point since it rarely happens I really do think its a blessing when my husband gets grumpy, so I remember to serve him and pray for him.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Thanks again to Facebook I read "What Really Happens When We Give Kids Everything They Want" (You may say I spend too much time on FB, which is probably true, but I've always loved reading magazines and human interest stories, so I think its a technological version.) 

I don't feel like my kids are too spoiled. In comparison of the world yes, we are over-consuming Americans, but as far as american standards my children spend far more time whining they didn't get what they wanted then with smiling with consumer driven faces. That is actually one of the foremost reasons I want to spend time abroad, I want perspective. Actually I feel like have plenty of perspective there is so many cultural norms in the US that makes me sick to my stomach. Many of which I participate in, for example Christmas. But I'm not good at fighting off our over consumption. I want to teach myself that stuff doesn't matter.

 Anyway, this is the point of the post. The above mentioned article gets into the affluenza virus. Have you ever heard of affluenza? Wikipedia tells us, Affluenzaa portmanteau of affluence and influenza, is a term used by critics of consumerism. The book Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic defines it as "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." Full disclosure on my pride I have no debt other than my house.
In the  article she references another article that shares this,

Diagnosing Affluenza

To conquer the affluenza virus, though, one must first recognize it within himself and ask why and from where it comes. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you frequently buy things you do not really need?
  • When shopping, are you unable to control how much you spend?
  • Do you envy the lifestyles of the rich and famous?
  • Do you feel bad when your neighbors have things you do not?
  • Do you measure yourself by what others have?
  • Do you ever use shopping as a means of escape?
  • Do you use your possessions to impress others?
  • Do you compare your possessions with what your peers have? If so, do you experience a feeling of superiority that yours are better?
  • Do you speak often about the things you want?
  • Do you find yourself complaining about the things you want but cannot afford?
  • Do you think of spending your money more often than saving it?
  • Do you often think your life would be more complete if you had more money and possessions?
If you find yourself answering yes to any of the above, you may well be infected!
I'm embarrassed to admit I said yes to more than 10 of those! Honestly I don't know why I'm sharing that detail of myself on my blog with all of you people I don't know! I just found out there are 120 of you! Ok, I know plenty of you, which might make it all more embarrassing.
I want to shrink these questions down, and tape them to my credit card or wallet. Maybe print them on the back of my shopping list each week.
Yikes I have issues.
I'm slowly slowly working on them. One step forward, five steps back. For years I use to get a rush to walk out of a store holding shopping bags, oh it was a wonderful feeling. Then that was replaced with guilt that I over stepped my budget, and the resulting shame and anger. I experienced that for a few years. Now depending on what I bought and how much money I spent I occasionally get that guilt again. If I stay home I'm fine, I can go months without shopping, but I walk into a store and all of a sudden I'm reminded of everything I never knew I wanted! Although it all depends on the store, I live in a small town with a grand total of three chain stores, walmart, kohls and home depot. Oh wait we have TWO walgreens, and two grocery stores. That's what I love about where I live, there is no shopping near and it definitely changes the lifestyle of the town. In my opinion for the good. Sometimes when I need a break from all my babies at home I go wander in Kohls, especially when I get a $10 off coupon. Many Many days, I struggle at spending even those $10. I can't find anything I would want to clutter my home with. I buy my kids far too many clothes at back to school time, so I never need those, their toys are overpriced and the same as walmart and I have the wrong body type for most of the clothes at kohls. Anyway I definitely need to reevaluate my relationship to money and those around me. Why do I use stuff and money to compensate for my feelings of inadequacy? Why do I feel so inadequate? Is it me, or is it society?

Bizarrely enough a year or so ago I checked out the book Affluenza, I couldn't get into it. I wanted to, I want to cure my disease but it bored me.


Thanks to facebook, I read this article, called "6 Reasons We Hang onto Possessions and 7 Solid Reasons to Let Them Go". Point 7 was eye opening, I have never thought about it this way before,
  1. Possessions give us more to apologize for, climb over and argue over.Possessions encourage greed. The more we focus on material things, the more we tend to brag, hoard, compete, and want more. The more we get the less we seem to be satisfied with what we already have.
Possessions encourage greed, I'm going to mull this around in my head for a few days. I think its true...
Then she quotes,
Bertrand Russell said, “It is the preoccupation with possession more than anything else, that prevents man from living freely and nobly.”
That is so true for my life, my husband is a dreamer than comes up with so many different ideas for adventures in our lives and often I feel like the only thing holding us back in my attachment to stuff. I wish it wasn't like that, but its true. I don't want to leave because I like our stuff, a direct quote from me, I don't want to leave our swing set, etc etc But we just got a new bed...
 The older I get the less attach to stuff I am, there is still hope yet.

Funny antidote:
Years ago when I was a newlywed, I was watching a movie or something with my husband, my brother, and his wife- my sister in law. Afterward we were joking and my brother said to Brent you don't have to worry about Lesli running off, the only place she would go is back to Texas. I can't remember who said the next line but next it was said, that nah, she would never want to leave all her stuff, she likes her wedding presents too much. Oh how true it was/is. Sad day, that I was so attached my plates!  I mean don't get me wrong, I don't want to leave my husband, but its sad that it was noticed the things I was most attached to were THINGS. That being said it was all said in jest, but it was also all true.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm a princess

Just found this old picture of me on the computer. 
It's about 5 years old. 
I just wanted everyone to know, I'm a princess!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Say What?!

I thought I had about 10 people read my blog. Turns out I'm totally wrong!
121 page views? Who are all you 121 people?
You know I do have a comment section. ;)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Perfect Marriage

I don't remember where I was or who I was talking. But afterward the other day I said to Brent, they say no one has a perfect marriage, but I disagree. I think ours is pretty perfect. He said and if its not its nearly as perfect as it could it be. I thought about it for a few days. I whole hardly agree with this quote.
My husband seems to have far fewer faults than me, seems to be much more perfect of a person that me. Whether or not that is true, the point is I believe it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Google Phone

I have a google phone and so all my photos are automatically saved on the google cloud. They enhance my photos quite regularly. Who knew my neighborhood looked so fancy?