As Elora was trying to talk to me....
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
As Elora was trying to talk to me....
Monday, January 30, 2012
1. Kylie got a new hair cut! Makes her look older and I would say prettier too, but I don't think she could be any prettier than she is.
2. Chandler did a drawing of Dennis' very favorite Clovis landmark.
He has a talent for capturing detail, as you can see.
3. Mike (Kris' husband) turned 4-0. Yes he did! And all the gang in Logan were present, including the newcomers to the town, Tyler, Karen and Richie.
And as usual he could not wait til we got home to begin reading....
6. McKay is in San Francisco where he has another interview with the same company he met with in November. McKenna and Grant are in Denver visiting her new little nephew. I wish they were all here with us instead, but we can't have everything.
7. Don't forget to go see Austin as the Anvil Salesman in The Music Man, opening this Thursday. He has the part of the Anvil Salesman! That's where I'll be this weekend.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
You may have seen this article (or below) on CNN news today. Or maybe you didn't.
I think you will find it very interesting. The post I shared right before this one may have seemed harsh, and I believe it was, but I wish that that "mother" could have read this article before she made the decision she did.
Editor's Note: Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain in Massachusetts and the author of "Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago."
By Kerry Egan, Special to CNN
"As a divinity school student, I had just started working as a student chaplain at a cancer hospital when my professor asked me about my work. I was 26 years old and still learning what a chaplain did.
"I talk to the patients," I told him.
"You talk to patients? And tell me, what do people who are sick and dying talk to the student chaplain about?" he asked.
I had never considered the question before. “Well,” I responded slowly, “Mostly we talk about their families.”
“Do you talk about God?
“Umm, not usually.”
“Or their religion?”
“Not so much.”
“The meaning of their lives?”
“And prayer? Do you lead them in prayer? Or ritual?”
“Well,” I hesitated. “Sometimes. But not usually, not really.”
I felt derision creeping into the professor's voice. “So you just visit people and talk about their families?”
“Well, they talk. I mostly listen.”
“Huh.” He leaned back in his chair.
A week later, in the middle of a lecture in this professor's packed class, he started to tell a story about a student he once met who was a chaplain intern at a hospital.
“And I asked her, 'What exactly do you do as a chaplain?' And she replied, 'Well, I talk to people about their families.'” He paused for effect. “And that was this student's understanding of faith! That was as deep as this person's spiritual life went! Talking about other people's families!”
The students laughed at the shallowness of the silly student. The professor was on a roll.
“And I thought to myself,” he continued, “that if I was ever sick in the hospital, if I was ever dying, that the last person I would ever want to see is some Harvard Divinity School student chaplain wanting to talk to me about my family.”
My body went numb with shame. At the time I thought that maybe, if I was a better chaplain, I would know how to talk to people about big spiritual questions. Maybe if dying people met with a good, experienced chaplain they would talk about God, I thought.
Today, 13 years later, I am a hospice chaplain. I visit people who are dying – in their homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes. And if you were to ask me the same question - What do people who are sick and dying talk about with the chaplain? – I, without hesitation or uncertainty, would give you the same answer. Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters.
They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave. Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.
They talk about how they learned what love is, and what it is not. And sometimes, when they are actively dying, fluid gurgling in their throats, they reach their hands out to things I cannot see and they call out to their parents: Mama, Daddy, Mother.
What I did not understand when I was a student then, and what I would explain to that professor now, is that people talk to the chaplain about their families because that is how we talk about God. That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives. That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence.
We don't live our lives in our heads, in theology and theories. We live our lives in our families: the families we are born into, the families we create, the families we make through the people we choose as friends.
This is where we create our lives, this is where we find meaning, this is where our purpose becomes clear.
Family is where we first experience love and where we first give it. It's probably the first place we've been hurt by someone we love, and hopefully the place we learn that love can overcome even the most painful rejection.
This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.
I have seen such expressions of love: A husband gently washing his wife's face with a cool washcloth, cupping the back of her bald head in his hand to get to the nape of her neck, because she is too weak to lift it from the pillow. A daughter spooning pudding into the mouth of her mother, a woman who has not recognized her for years.
A wife arranging the pillow under the head of her husband's no-longer-breathing body as she helps the undertaker lift him onto the waiting stretcher.
We don't learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it. It's not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques. It's discovered through these actions of love.
If God is love, and we believe that to be true, then we learn about God when we learn about love. The first, and usually the last, classroom of love is the family.
Sometimes that love is not only imperfect, it seems to be missing entirely. Monstrous things can happen in families. Too often, more often than I want to believe possible, patients tell me what it feels like when the person you love beats you or rapes you. They tell me what it feels like to know that you are utterly unwanted by your parents. They tell me what it feels like to be the target of someone's rage. They tell me what it feels like to know that you abandoned your children, or that your drinking destroyed your family, or that you failed to care for those who needed you.
Even in these cases, I am amazed at the strength of the human soul. People who did not know love in their families know that they should have been loved. They somehow know what was missing, and what they deserved as children and adults.
When the love is imperfect, or a family is destructive, something else can be learned: forgiveness. The spiritual work of being human is learning how to love and how to forgive.
We don’t have to use words of theology to talk about God; people who are close to death almost never do.
We should learn from those who are dying that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully - just as each of us longs to be loved and forgiven by our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters."
Saturday, January 28, 2012
This is just the saddest story, on so many levels. But it's also thought provoking. Makes me realize how shallow some people are. Not to mention heartless. Do some people not get life at all?
A lady in Australia was told one of her twins would be born with a serious heart condition, so she wanted her Dr to abort that twin at 32 weeks. That's just 8 weeks before the due date. And the Dr accidentally killed the "wrong one."
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Do you want to know something you can quickly fix when you are hungry and looking for something filling?
This is it:
I made this last night....the picture is from a magazine. But I made so many changes that I won't even give you the original recipe. And mine did pretty much look like this picture, minus the tomatoes, since they aren't in season right now.
Here's what I did:
1. 6 tortillas....I used a corn/wheat blend but any kind will do.
2. Brown 1/2 lb gr turkey (or beef) with 1 chopped onion and 1/2 green pepper.
add 1 1/2 T taco seasoning and 3/4 c water and let simmer a few minutes
3. one generous cup of frozen corn.
4. 16 oz can of refried beans mixed with 1/2 cup salsa
So you start with the 2 tortillas flat on the bottom of the casserole dish sprayed with Pam. Then add 1/3 of each mixture till you have everything layered. Then you top with 3/4 c cheese and bake at 350" till bubbly hot.
We loved this but it was a bit too hot for me even though I used mild salsa. Dennis thought it was just right, but next time I will cut the salsa down to 1/4 cup or maybe even leave it out entirely and just put it on the table to use as a topping.
This is a recipe you can play with to get it how you like. We will definitely make it again.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Dennis and I attended a funeral Friday morning which included a complete Catholic Mass. This is far from the first Mass I've attended, but I always find them interesting.
Friday morning was different though. The Catholic Priest (I hope I am identifying his title correctly) actually quoted a Mormon during his talk. He mentioned Steven L Covey's book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." I have never even read this book, but I've heard quotes from it for years. But hearing about it in a Catholic Mass? I admit I was surprised.
Quoting Covey, this Priest talked about how we should "begin with the end in mind." That we should envision our own funeral and think about the words that we wish to be said about ourselves. This can help us visualize what we value the most. To begin with the end simply means to start with our destination in mind. That gives us a sense of where we are in our life.
I love it when religions come together in shared beliefs. I personally think the Catholics and the Mormons, and many other religions, have more common beliefs than we have differences. After all, we both pray to the same God. We are all brothers and sisters.
The picture below shows "Uncle Bill" on his wedding day back in 1961. About in the center of this picture is Rose Emler (Uncle Bill's sister) along with her 4 children surrounding her: Robbie, Terri, and Karen and holding baby Tammy. Anyway this was 51 years ago...the same year we moved across the street from them. And somewhere through those years, they have become like family.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Back in the day. And I do mean way back in the day...did you know it was popular to photograph small children while sitting on their mother's lap...while the mom was completely covered by a blanket?
Then later the lumpy Mom would be hidden further by a mat before the picture was placed in a frame.
So what did they tell the children?
"Don't worry, Mommy's still here with you but we don't want her in the picture so we're covering her up."
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Dennis was tense the entire drive over to Sweet Tomatoes tonight. He said it was a bad idea to take the twins there, and it would never work.
I think he was reflecting back earlier today when we took the twins to the care center to see a few of our friends there.
Don't get me wrong, he adores the twins as much as I do. But like he reminds me, they are TWO and there are 2 of them. He thinks it's best to just love on 2 year olds at home, and not bring them out in public until they are civilized.
My argument was
1) At least I would not have to clean up after dinner and
2) It would put us that much closer to bedtime after it was over. (no offense intended, we just get tired)
On the drive there I put my hand on his arm and said, "Just remember, we can't always change the circumstance, but we can change our attitude." Good thing he has a sense of humor.
As we were going towards the door of the restaurant I told the twins, "Just pretend you are FOUR."
Good thing we will still be related because I know we will miss them.
And as soon as we have a good nap, and a good night sleep, we will miss them even more.
Just about every time I cough or sneeze, Téa says to me, "Are you okay?"
And I answer, "Yes, I'm fine. It's just a cough."
Téa: "Ohhhh, is it an owie?"
Me: "No, it doesn't hurt. Just a cough."
This is when Jonas joins in: "A cough? Do you need medicine?"
It plays out like a symphony. Nearly word for word every time. And Jonas always come in at the end.
Dennis laughs and says, "I've never heard anything like this."
I will miss all their sweet sympathy!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Amy asked Logan if he would take this week off to take care of the kids so she could have a little getaway with her girlfriend Crystal. So he did.
But instead, she had it all planned out that she would surprise him instead. I played into this whole thing by asking Logan if I could have the twins for a few hours today. This gave Amy an excuse to bring them over, complete with clothes for the next few days.
I haven't heard yet how it went, but at 2:20 she was planning to tell Logan he had 25 minutes to pack. And at 4:40 this afternoon they both flew to Las Vegas together!
So Den and I have the twins until Thursday.
Amy gave me permission to do this all Grandma Honey style.
When I served them spaghetti for dinner Jonas took just a few bites and said, "I give plate back." Téa wasn't interested in it either. Before Amy left she said, "If they don't like what we are eating then we don't make them anything else." but then she added this very key phrase, "But you are Grandma, so you can do what you want."
So away the spaghetti went, and I gave them English muffins coated with honey and mandarin oranges instead. No complaints here.