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Preview: Rantings of a Raging Raven

Rantings of a Raging Raven

Updated: 2018-03-02T12:17:54.670-05:00




Religion, Politics and Civility~ Jenny PietzThe past week was General Conference and I spent some time pondering Elder Cook’s talk and his call for civility in all things, especially in civil discourse. I’ve spent many years studying the Church, politics and both, and as I remembered past pleas for civility I started to see a trend emerge.  For as long as I’ve been alive there have been themes at conference and throughout multiple conferences such as reading the Book of Mormon, food storage, the family, and pornography.  They obviously get a lot of attention, but one has been a recurring staple for over 100 years but gets little attention but just as important and that’s political neutrality and civility, especially among members on both sides of the isle.  In 1835 at a general assembly the Church adopted by unanimous vote a “Declaration of Belief regarding Governments and Laws in general,” which was to become the 134thsection of the Doctrine & Covenants.  It said: “We believe that all governments necessarily require civil officers and magistrates to enforce the laws of the same; and that such as will administer the law in equity and justice should be sought for and upheld by the voice of the people if a republic, or the will of the sovereign.” (D&C 134:3.) Verse 6 of the same chapter goes on to say  “We believe that every man should be honored in his station, rulers and magistrates as such, being placed for the protection of the innocent and the punishment of the guilty; and that to the laws all men owe respect and deference, as without them peace and harmony would be supplanted by anarchy and terror; human laws being instituted for the express purpose of regulating our interests as individuals and nations, between man and man; and divine laws given of heaven, prescribing rules on spiritual concerns, for faith and worship, both to be answered by man to his Maker.” Joseph Smith and the Twelve issued this declaration along w/ the 12th Article of Faith, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”, while their homes were destroyed and their lives taken.   Leading up to statehood most members of Church were Democrats, stemming from the Republican platform “Twin relics of barbarism: Slavery and Polygamy”.  But, in Utah’s path to statehood there was a call to even out church membership in both parties, and asked members of the church to join the Republican party.  When Elder Jensen sat down with the Salt Lake Tribune in 1998 he retold the story from Oscar McConkie.  “At that time, Mormons favored the Democratic Party because it was less stridently anti-polygamy than were Republicans. When members of the flock returned for an afternoon session, the Republican sign-up sheet remained blank, Jensen said. “Brothers and sisters, you have misunderstood,” said the church leader. “God needs Republicans.”“And Oscar said his father would wink and say, ‘And you know, Oscar, those damned Republicans think they’ve had God on their side ever since.” “  Not a full decade after statehood in 1896,  in 1903 Joseph F. Smith issued this statement “The Church [as such] does not engage in politics; its members belong to the political parties at their own pleasure. …” (“The Probable Cause,” Improvement Era, June 1903, p. 626.)             During this time the first Labor Unions are formed and Teddy Roosevelt is president.  The Department Of Labor is also organized.  This is also the year George Albert Smith became an apostle.  The words of this wise man were brought up in April 2006.  Robert S Wood (2nd Quorum of the Seventy) quotes [...]

She just does it.


Sariah - when she wants to do something she'll do it, and NOTHING I can do to get her to do it on my timetable will do. She did this with walking, talking, and day potty training. She just took to it immediately and is an instant pro. The last few weeks she did it again. She decided she was going to be dry at night and only 2 accidents, she's done. No more pullups at bedtime. We are officially out of diapers and pullups. It's such a wonderful feeling, and much easier on the budget. Hard to believe my baby is such a big girl. Where did the time go?

Speaking in Church


I usually have no problems speaking in front of small groups of children and/or adults, but when it comes to speaking in front of the ENTIRE congregation scares me to death. Last week the 1st counselor in our bishopric cornered me at church and asked if I would speak. I couldn't come up w/ a good excuse to say no, so I agreed. This is the 4th time I've been asked to speak since we've moved to PA, and the first time I was actually able to do it. The first time, I came down w/ a horrible headache, and couldn't get out of bed. The 2nd time I was moving that weekend. In an attempt to be sneaky, they then asked if I would be available in 3 month to speak then. I had to turn them down, because I was going to be gone the entire month of March. I thought that after 3 tries, they'd just give up, but no. My topic was teaching children to love the Lord. It must have been good, because lots of people came up and told me so. I get so nervous, I have little memory of the whole ordeal. The 2nd couns in the bishopric thought I should give talks more often. I laughed and told him good luck catching me again.

Deep Cleaning Week 3 - Living Room and Dining Room


Today I wiped down the dining room chairs and table, even using a toothbrush to clean the scroll work in the table. I cleaned under the couch cushions, and took the covers off and tossed them in the wash. I didn't quite finish today. I never got the fireplace cleaned out. That will be for another day, I am exhausted.

Dentist Appt Round 2


Today was Naomi's turn to go to the dentist. I originally tried to have back to back appts w/ the girls, but the day Sariah had her's Naomi was "Student of the Day" and I didn't want her to miss out on that so we rescheduled hers. We are 2 for 2 in perfect appointments. Naomi is 6 yrs old and NEVER had a single cavity. I am very proud of her. It also looks like the Tooth Fairy isn't going to be making an appearance anytime soon. Nothing looks ready to come out.

Deep Cleaning week 2 - The Bedrooms


This took longer than the kitchen, since I had 3 rooms to do, but I started in one room and cleaned out closets, drawers, under the beds, windows and vacuum. I did Sariah's room first so that it would be done in time for nap, then on to Naomi's room so that it would be done when she got home from school and then our room. There was stuff in our nightstands and dresser that hadn't seen the light of day in 3 or more moves. It was good to clear it all out.

Deep cleaning Week 1


Inspired by my desire to clean and organize the basement before Christmas I decided to deep clean the whole house. This week - the Kitchen.

I broke up the kitchen into 5 different zones. 1 The floors, 2 inside the cupboards and small appliances, 3 sink counters, 4 - Large appliances 5 - Windows and cupboard doors. It took me all day, but I finally got it all done. Next week Bedrooms!

Dentist Appt


Today I took Sariah to the the dentist.  The Dental Assistant had cute names for all the gadgets and got to hold the suction device and use it when ever she wanted.  No screaming, crying or fussing, and did a fantastic job.  And best of all no cavities.  She was so excited w/ all the loot she got that she had to brush her teeth the minute we got home.  I am happy she's excited about brushing. Naomi's appt in on th 19th, so we'll see how that one goes.

First Day in Primary


Today was Sariah's first day in Primary at church.  She's been in nursery for the last 2 yrs and is now old enough to be in primary and has been VERY excited about it for months.  I was a little worried. Most kids look forward to it, but as soon as they realize there are no toys and snacks reality kicks in and they revolt.  Turns out she did really well and enjoyed it.  The only problem she had is when the little boy behind her kept pulling on her seat and got hurt.  A couple minutes on my lap and she was ready to sit with her class.  My little girl is growing up so fast.  I am so proud of her.

She is mine afterall


Naomi is the only early to bed, early to rise child in our family.  Sometimes we wonder if she's our.  If she wasn't a dead ringer for daddy, I'd question it more, but she's definitely unique in our home.  For New Years Eve she could not last past 8:30 and was begging to go to bed.  Last night she wanted to stay up and watch the 3 hour Doctor Who season finale. We figured that since she did last past 8:30 on New Years we'd let her stay up thinking the same.  Nope, she was up until it was over at 10pm and watched pretty much every minute of it.  She even put her head on my lap, and I thought for sure it would be lights out. Nope, she stayed up and liked it very much.  She is my child after all :)

Happy Blogaversary to me!


Today is my 2nd blogaversary. And I thought I would review last years resolutions and write out next years

Since I spend so much time taking care of the family, I need to take better care of me. This involves loosing weight, getting out more, expanding my hobbies,

I did work on a few hobbies this year and I lost 10 lbs near the end of the year.  Now that I take D to work and Naomi to school, I have the car and I can get out more.  So, This one gets an N for Needs Improvement.

Get a schedule going for the kids and I and stick to it.
Complete Fail

Not let my laundry take over my life.
I am great for a while, and then I get sick of doing it for a couple days and I have a ton to do again.  Definitely needs improvement.

Potty Train Sariah
Except for night time I'll give myself a E for excellent.  She potty trained herself in 3 days.
Accept the things I can not change.

Not go off track from my menu plan even on the days I don't want to cook.
Also a big old NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.  We are great for a while and then we fall back to eating out again.  Though, I see dramatic improvement for 2010, since D is on a low carb diet and it's a hard diet to eat out/

Go through all the boxes in my garage and get rid of most of it, and organize the rest.
Another COMPLETE FAIL.  Actually the garage looks worse then it did last year.  I will have it done this year.  D doesn't want another winter w/o a garage.

Get to Church on time every Sunday.
Definitely improved there.  There are still a few times we are late, but I would say most of the time we are on time.

Next years goals

Finish projects I started last year and didn't finish

Read the Scriptures daily.  I also want to read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants in a year.

Clean out the Garage

Stay on top of housework and Laundry

Hopefully this year will be more successful.

Is this year over yet?


Well, this year started out pretty good, we spent 3 weeks out west, we did some decorating, and Naomi is doing well in school. We also switched dance studios and that's going really well. Not overly thrill about their costume choices, but over all it's going well. But the last month or so has not been good. I don't know what next year will have in store for us, but I pray it's better than the last couple of months.

Good bye 2009, I don't think I will miss you much.

Merry Christmas


It's been a nice morning, the girls got up and opened their presents. They got their kitchen, and they were so excited, they'll be playing w/ that all the time. After feeding us all morning Naomi wrote up a bill. Turns out they were playing restaurant, but didn't telling mom and dad. I think we go out to eat too much. They also got a wooden blender and mixer, and some pretend food. Other items they got include clothes, new dresses, crayola stuff, a new book, Sariah got Twas the Night Before Christmas, that is also a puzzle book. Naomi got Alice in Wonderland. And the got lots and lots of socks. Most of their socks have vanished, thanks to the sock gremlin, and Naomi managed to put holes in all of her tights, so I got them all new socks. It may seem like a lame gift, but one they truly needed, and that's part of their list for Christmas. Something they need, want, a new book and a dress.

I got an ab lounge (I am going to get rid of this flabby tummy in 2010) and a mandolin slicer, and the Alton Brown book, "Feasting on Asphalt" I think Alton is hilarious! D got some small drafting tools, an omelet pan, and some low carb peanut butter cups. I wish I got a cure for homesickenss. I really missed my family this year. Last year, I was too stressed out from moving to notive, ut this year it hit me pretty hard. I cried everytime I heard the song "I'll be home for Christmas" Yes, it's not pretty.






Another time honored Christmas Tradition.


Another thing common at Christmas time is there must be some item for at least one child that requires assembly before it can be placed by the tree. A doll house, a bicycle, or in our case for this year a kitchen. It was the one thing the girls REALLY wanted for Christmas, but Santa has been hit by the recession, so we weren't sure they were going to get it. But Santa called in a bunch of elves and they all chipped in and got them a really cute kitchen and a bunch of accessories.

Putting this together took just over 2 hours with D and I working together on it. I took pictures wheil it was being put together. Yes, it did annoy my husband, but I still thought it should be documented.






Christmas Eve Pajamas





I am not sure who started this tradition but it seems to be common among many people that I know, and that is to get a new pair of pajamas for Christmas. I love it! This year I started shopping late, but I still got matching pjs for the girls. Sariah's is a little big on her, but they are so cute!

Naomi's First Winter Program at School.


Tonight, though Naomi's age group did great, was a complete disaster. Seriously, the school really needs to work on accommodating everyone who was to be there. The allocated 1/3 of the auditorium for parents and the other 2/3s for the students (K-6) They did not think that each child who came would probably bring at least 2 other people, so it was jammed packed. Eventually they came up with a solution to have all the older kids move to the cafeteria so that the parents had a place to sit down. They should have thought of that in the first place. Naomi's group was first. (The only good call they made) No Christmas or holiday songs, just songs about winter. (That's a whole other post, I might do someday) They were very cute. I hope they plan better next year.

Sariah and I made this.


A couple of weeks ago we were walking through A.C Moore just wandering up and down the aisles, Sariah saw a wooden heart box that she wanted to get Naomi for Christmas. Since Naomi was with us, I told Sariah we would come back later when Naomi was in school. After we picked it up Sariah and I took it home to decorate it. She painted it pink and I used a hot glue gun to finish embelishing it. I forgot to take a pic of the inside, but I lined it w/ black satin. It turned out really cute, and it goes w/ her room perfectly!



The Great Snow Storm 2009


It's ugly today. It's been snowing all day, and people from church called to say it's going to be delayed 2 hours. Church was canceled last week due to freezing rain. They really wanted to have some sort of services since it is the Sunday before Christmas. We are expected to get about 8 inches, other parts of the East coast are expected to get at least double that.

Uniformly Dressed Policy


Attention all educators and administrators! If you are gong to have a dress policy MAKE SURE everyone who works at the school knows it inside and out. Yesterday Naomi came home and told me that the black jumper she has been wearing almost once a week, wore it the first day of school and wore the same jumper on picture day, was not dress code. I told her it was, and even should her on the school website where it says very clearly that her jumper may be black, blue, white or khaki. Yes, I know they are not to wear black POLOS, (A change from last year) But black pants and jumpers are ok! She was also told that her tights, that were a VERY pale pink was also not school code. There is NO WHERE ANYWHERE in the dress policy that mentions anything about socks or tights. I had her put on the pink ones, because she put a hole in her last pair of tights a couple days ago and I hadn't bought new ones yet. It's not like I put her in orange dayglow w/ purple polka dots. I had it out w/ the school this morning. Her teacher say, well, it wasn't like it was an official verbal warning. Um, sorry, it's not the point. The point is, you told her she was not dressed appropriately and she was upset that I dressed her wrong when in fact I didn't. I was so not happy with them today, but I hope they learn from this. If they want to quibble about tights, they need to spell it out in their policy.

Prmary Dinner/Training


Tonight we had our first primary dinner/training/teacher appreciation. In the past we had snacks after our training, but tonight we decided to go all out and have a dinner. It was a lot of fun and everyone was still talking about it at the ward Christmas party a few days later. First off we mixed all the different groups up so they could get a chance to meet others who work in primary, but not w/ them, and had 4 tables. Then as a presidency we served a different course to a different table and ate that course w/ them and got to know the teachers better. The food was amazing. We had a chicken tomato base soup, a Greek salad, chicken mars ala, and homemade éclairs (made by yours truly) Every one thought they were dining at a 4 star restaurant. After the first 3 courses we had out training lessons which were great even though the video we used was made in the 80s. Talk about scary fashion. Then we finished the evening w/ desert. I thought we should make it an annual tradition, the primary president looked at me like I was INSANE. Personally I still think it's a good idea.

Thanksgiving 2009


This year we decided to play host for Thanksgiving and invited some of D's friends over. I am thankful for a husband who took care of dinner, because I am still not doing so great. I feel like I am going to loose my mind from stress and worry about my family back in UT. We got through the day ok, and the food was good. I am ready for this nightmare to be over.

Happy Birthday Naomi!


Today my little girl turns 6. It's hard to believe she's grown up so fast. It seems like yesterday we just brought her home from the hospital. The next day was Thanksgiving and it was nice to go to my dads house and be taken care of for the holiday and I got to relax and play with my new little girl.

One third of her childhood has past and what a wonderful journey she has taken us on so far. I could tell right away that not only she was smart but had her own way of doing things. She rejected both the pacifier and swaddling her first week of life and we knew she was going to have a strong personality. She picked up things both quickly on somethings like letters and writing and other things like potty training she did it when she was good and ready and not a day before.

She has been such a big help when her little sister arrived and I can see how much her sister looks up to her. I can see them being best friends for life.

I am so proud of all of her accomplishments that I could burst if I tried to recount them all.

I can't wait to see what the next 12 yrs of childhood will be like, but I don't want her to hurry too fast getting there?

Love you

A six year old birthday party


Today was Naomi's birthday party. She invited a few girls from church and another girl from school. She basically wanted the same type of party she had when she was 4. I agreed mainly because we are in a different state and were inviting different people. So we had a princess theme and the girls made gingerbread houses (out of graham crackers) They had a lot of fun and the houses turned out cute. I am happy to see her have such a good time. Even though I really wasn't feeling like company.





The worst day of my life


I know people say that, and perhaps in hind site it's not so bad, but I really feel like today will go down as the worst. I was in the store buying a cake for Naomi's birthday party tomorrow, when my phone wouldn't stop beeping, I was getting text after text. It might as well have been a bomb that went off. Family members in disarray, no one knows whats' really going on and communication broke down. This will be something that will have long time long reaching effects. I pray and hope for the best, but right now I am devastated and I am not sure how I can pick myself up.

Primary Training in Valley Forge PA.


Tonight we got a rare opportunity to be taught by the General Primary President inmy church. I went w/ the other ladies in our presidency, and we all drove the 2 hours together. The drive was a nice way to get to know each better, and I found out more in those four hours (there and back) then we had in months. When we got there there was first a short program from the General Primary Pres, General Young Women Pres, and a member of the Relief Society board. And then you broke off into our respective groups. She talked about the changes that they were making to primary. Namely that teachers would no longer be teaching sharing time and that the children should be learning more from the scriptures and that all children should have their own set. They also changed the names of the classes, which is probably going confuse parents at first but we'll all get through it just fine. Then she opened up to questions. It was good to get clarifications on a few things. It was a wonderful meeting, and I could feel the spirit while she was speaking. Afterwards they provided a sack of snacks for the long drive back most people would have to travel. I am glad I got to be a part of this, and I am thankful for a husband who has a job where he can take off a little early sometimes if needed, so I could go to this. I have been excited since I first heard about it.