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Sunday, February 2, 2014

A random montage of events

Abby went to the pediatrician this week. It's a new one.  I like him better than our last.  It was her 2-year appointment.  No vaccines!  No more until Kindergarten!  Yay!  Even more surprising news, she's up to 42% in weight!  She was 15% in August.  Apparently she's getting plenty of calories, despite not drinking milk.  Haha.

All her stats:
Weight: 24.69 lbs.  42.14%
Length: 32"  5.57%  (unsurprising)
Head: 18"  14.73%

While we were there, Kessa showed him her missing tooth.  He was surprised to see it gone at age 4.  When I told him she had 12 teeth by 12 months, he was equally surprised.  He then concluded that she had mature bone growth, which is why she got them so fast and started to lose them so early.  And why she's so tall.  It also means she'll probably stop growing sooner than her peers, so she might be the tallest for awhile, but she'll probably end up being fairly average eventually.  So maybe she does have some of me in her.  I was the second tallest in 2nd grade, but ended up being one of the shortest in high school.

We had baptisms again on Saturday.  And for the first time maybe ever, everything went incredibly smoothly.  I spent the whole time wondering what was going to go wrong.  It was a pleasant change.

My hip has been feeling somewhat better.  Annoyingly, now when I sit on my legs or cross them at the knee, I can feel it pulling on the sore spot on my hip.  So it gives me more incentive to not sit like that, but that doesn't mean I like it.  I went back to the chiropractor this week and he agrees that I'm doing better.  I'm not going back in for a month unless it starts to hurt again.

Saturday Kessa got to go to a neighbor's bday party.  (A boy!)  We took her shopping the night before and she picked out a large ball and a 5-pack of toy cars to give him.  Then on the way home cried because she wanted to keep them.  Haha.  We had to explain that we want to give people gifts that are really great.  Which often means we like those gifts, too.  So it's a good thing she likes them.  But we have to be happy when we give them to someone else.  That eventually pacified her.  She ended up having a fantastic time and came home so excited to tell us everything about it.

I got a break from ward conference this week!  We don't have them on Fast Sunday.  It was nice to get ready with the rest of the family AND come home with them.  We even walked to church today with the new double stroller your parents got us for Christmas.  So far we love it.  BJ played the piano for Primary as a substitute, so I went to Sunday School alone (and RS, of course).  I had some interesting thoughts. You're a missionary, so you might care, so I'll share.  Haha.

The Sunday School lesson was on Cain and Abel.  One point we talked about was how Cain was a tiller of the earth (aka farmer) and Abel raised flocks.  I sense there was probably competition between the two brothers for most of their lives.  Abel was the perfect child and Cain was more of a rebel, probably often getting into trouble.  And probably often being compared to Abel.  ("Why can't you just obey like Abel does?!")

Sacrifices were made using animals.  Cain didn't have animals.  He planted food and grew it.  So to get an animal to sacrifice to the Lord, he'd have had to go to his brother, Abel.  That had to have rubbed him the wrong way.  So one day Satan comes to him and tells him just to sacrifice his food.  I can just imagine the justification in Cain's mind.  "How come Abel's hard work is good enough for the Lord?  How come I can't sacrifice my hard work to him?  Isn't my best good enough?  Of course not.  Only Abel is good enough.  Is it wrong to want to grow food?  Is raising sheep the only good profession?  Psh."  So he sacrificed his food.

The point he missed though was that blood sacrifices were there for a reason.  They were a type and shadow of Christ.  They symbolized the blood that Christ would shed for us as the ultimate sacrifice.  It had nothing to do with favoritism between Cain vs. Abel.  But Cain, prideful and selfish, couldn't see past himself and his own rivalry to see the purpose of God.  We do that a lot, don't we?  We get so focused on ourselves and how something in the gospel affects us and how it's unfair that we forget to look for God's purpose.  Usually it has nothing to do with us.

Moving on to Relief Society.  The lesson was on Women and the Priesthood.  Now, you've probably missed most of this, but maybe you were around for part of it.  There's this movement right now of women who want the priesthood.  They stood in line to get into the Priesthood session at this past conference.  They've written letters to the First Presidency.  Most do the thing properly.  No riots.  Going through the right channels, etc.  (There are, of course, some vocal women who do damage.)  I can see their perspective.  The Bible Dictionary tells us that there are blessings he's willing to give us, but only if we ask.  So they're asking.  Not demanding.  Asking.

So this lesson was a highly charged one.  (Though, most of our class were senior women.  They make up 60% of the ward and most of the younger women we do have teach Primary or YW.  So it wasn't really *that* charged.)  It was based off a conference talk, though, so we spent most of the time quoting from that, which helped keep us on topic and from going off on self-righteous tangents.  Mostly it focused on how men don't control the priesthood, they channel it.  They can open the window, but they can't control where the sunlight goes or how warm it gets.  And we focused on how everyone in the church is equal in receiving the blessings of the priesthood.  Even priesthood holders have to seek out a priesthood holder to get a blessing, for example.

But I couldn't help but remember my thoughts from Sacrament meeting.  And I have to wonder... this movement, is it so focused on what women want that they're forgetting to look at God's purpose?  Specifically it made me wonder if, perhaps, men holding the priesthood is symbolic of Christ's ministry and works.  Blood sacrifices had to be the oldest male animal and without blemish.  Because Christ was the oldest, was male, and was without sin.  Could men holding the priesthood be symbolic of Christ, a male, doing good works with the priesthood?  I don't know.  I've never heard a church authority say as much.  But it did make me wonder.  Perhaps there's more to the decision of men holding the priesthood instead of women than just God thinking men are better.  Maybe it's more than just women can have babies and men can hold the priesthood.

Cain's hard work wasn't bad.  He could offer up the best of his work to the Lord by giving it to those in need.  Cain's food wasn't bad or lesser than Abel's animals.  However, the ordinance of sacrifice was not about what things are good or bad.  It was about Christ.  Same with the priesthood.  Women aren't bad.  They aren't lesser than men.  We are of equal worth to God.  But, perhaps, the priesthood isn't about men vs. women.  Maybe it's simply about symbology.

Anyway, that's my current speculation.  It's an interesting thought, anyway.

Speaking of churchy things, a couple of weeks ago I was doing some family history.  I'm convinced that there's actually no temple work left to do on my line.  Instead, my job is to find all the work that claims to be ready, then go through and prove how it's wrong.  "Nope, this person who needs work is actually a duplicate of this person who has had his/her work done already."  I do a lot of merging of duplicates.  And finding sources.  Anyway, I surprised myself by finding an entire family that legitimately needed their work done!  I spent hours cleaning them up, merging, sourcing, etc.  And then I reserved all the work.  16 or 17 cards to print and 42 ordinances!  I was so stoked.  And then... I realized they weren't really my family.  In my cleaning up I deleted a child that wasn't really their child.  But he was my ancestor.  And my link to that family.  When I deleted his relationship to that family, they suddenly ceased to be my family.  Which means I wasn't allowed to do all that work.  (Confirming my suspicions that my family has no work to be done.)  I was so heartbroken that I had to stop doing family history.  I just didn't have the heart.  It took me until today, after a talk with my stake family history consultant, to finally release those names and hope and pray that someday, someone related to them will come find them and be elated at the jackpot they found.

But in good news, I had the heart to start working on my own line again.  To prove to you the insanity on my line... I found a grandfather several generations back that claimed temple work needed to be done.  He supposedly had 13 kids, but I'm pretty sure that 6-ish of those are duplicates.  So I went and found a source for one daughter, Anne Marie, that proved her parentage and birth date.  I was pretty sure that one of her "siblings" was really a duplicate of hers, so I went to "Possible Duplicates" and found she had 10-11 duplicates!  I went through and confirmed that all but one really were duplicates.  Yipes.  In merging them, though, I gave her 5 more kids (all duplicates, but I haven't merged them yet) and 7 more husbands.  (All duplicates of her actual husband.)  So I decided to go merge the husbands.  So I went to the real guy and searched for possible duplicates... and found 11 possible duplicates!  Oh, I also gave her, I think, 3 more parents.  (All duplicates.)

Jessa, that is only on one of the 13 kids!  It's going to take me weeks of working for hours every day to fix this family.  [sigh]  It's insane.

I also found a duplicate in your family.  Grandpa Goddard was in their twice!  But I set BJ to fix it.  So BJ got to call your dad and teach him about duplicates and merging and such.  So that was fun.  :)

Oh, I also found a duplicate for my great aunt and her son... who are both living.  But listed as deceased.  I had to call my mom and be like, "I'm a horrible person in our family... but is Aunt Marlene dead?  She panicked a little, "No, why?!"  Thinking that maybe she had died, but no one had told my mom.  Haha.

Ok, let's get move on to kids for awhile.

Kessa is getting really into games.  She made us play Monopoly on the Monopoly table.  We simplified the rules a lot.  Like, we just handed out all the cards, didn't do hotels, etc.  Didn't collect $200 at Go.  And instead of charging the normal rent, we acted as though everything had one house on it.  And as we went forever doing it that way, we upped it to two houses.  Even then we finally just set a timer and said when it went off, we'd count up our money and see who won.  BJ won.  And then we had to teach a good-sportsmanship lesson, because Kessa was sad that she hadn't won.  But she calmed down really well.  But now she keeps asking if we can finish our game.  Hah!  She's also getting surprisingly good at Ticket to Ride.  She loves playing on the iPad and wins probably 85% of the time now!  If not more!  It's pretty amazing.

Abby continues in her diva ways.  Now when she washes her hands with soap, if we let her stay up too long, she'll start taking her wet hands and wiping the curls on the back of her head with them, saying, "Pretty hair!" the whole time.  Where does she come up with these things?!  She's also obsessed with chocolate (or rather, chwock-wet).  She knows where it is in the pantry (though, out of reach) and she'll stand there and yell, "Chocolate please!" until someone caves and gives her some.  Even if we successfully distract her temporarily with something else, food or otherwise, she'll always come back to it.

We took down the grateful tree, finally.  I cut out a bunch of hearts instead.  We're writing things we love on there and I told Kessa she could tape them anywhere on the wall she wanted.  In my head, I meant that section of the wall.  But she took me at my word and we now have hearts all over the place.  Though, we suggested she make a heart out of the hearts, so I think most of them have been gathered and put together to make the beginnings of a bigger heart.  Turns out, though, as I watch her spell phonetically, I'm again convinced that English is stupid.  Why is Mommy not Mome?  Why is Daddy not Dade?  Or Doggie, Doge?  Or Kitty, Kide?  It's adorable, so I let it slide, but if she knew she were spelling them wrong, she wouldn't be happy that we let it go.  She doesn't like to spell things wrong.  If she figures out that they're wrong, she makes us help her spell them correctly.  But then she gets confused when rules break.  Like she was writing "Swimming" and was confused why there was an i at the end when the vowel there clearly says e.  I had no good answer for her, except that lots of words like to break rules, so we just have to learn the sight words.  And anything that says "eeng" is really spelled -ing.  She accepted it, and moved on, but I hate those conversations.  "I don't know why.  Just because that's the way it is."  I like giving real answers.

In other news, we sold BJ's Honda.  The one he's had forever.  It needed repairs that would cost us more than the car was probably worth.  And a guy in our neighborhood, who happens to be a mechanic, offered to buy it from us.  He needed a car pretty desperately and he could fix it for cheaper (since he'd do the labor free for himself).  We figured BJ works at home and only drives it 1-2 times per month.  We are probably good candidates for a one-car family.  And this guy clearly needed it more than we did.  So we sold it.  Our garage is pretty empty.  But in good news, now we have ample stroller and lawn mower parking!  No more crazy maneuvers to get those things in and out!  We're toying with the ideas of either getting him a moped for the warmer months or investing in an electric car (that I would drive around town when I only have two kids with me).  The smog here is getting ridiculous, so we like the idea of electric/hybrid cars.  But they come with a hefty price tag. And where he doesn't commute, it's harder to justify.

Oh, and lastly, the girls are doing much better at going to sleep together.  It's definitely not perfect, but they're getting used to it.  Which makes our jobs easier. But Kessa is loving that her bedtime is pretty much indefinitely pushed back a half hour or more, in order to let Abby fall asleep first.  Though, I'm thinking that soon we'll stop that and just let them go to bed at the same time.  Especially as half the time Kessa ends up waking up Abby anyway, so we end up putting them back to bed at the same time.

And... I think that pretty much catches us up!

So... Kiddisms

  • This first one won't make much sense to you, as you haven't seen Frozen yet.  But just know that every other line (starting with the first) are lines from that and the other ones I can only imagine are from preschool:
    Kessa, singing while doing perler beads:
    I caaaan't!
    Who let the G out? Juh! Juh! Juh!
    Jinx. Jinx again!
    Who let the A out? A! A! A!
    I'm alone and free.
  • Me: you're a smartie!
    Kessa: No, I'm a cutie.
    Me: You're a cutie smartie.
    Kessa: Gooood point.  (Think how Nick says it.)

<3 Tianna and Co.

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