Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Reunion 2008

We just got back from our family reunion in Utah. It was absolutely wonderful! All of Clay's brothers and their families were able to come for 4 fun-filled days in a huge, beautiful house.

There were some great activites planned for kids and for grown-ups: a girls night in, a baby shower for Breanne and Liesel, the Bruce Olympics, a scavenger hunt (that was so creative it must become a traditon), Mark's mission report, a film festival (each family was asked to make a short film for this), hikes, biking, a trip to the sand dunes, ping pong, fooseball, air hockey, tons of wii American Idol, and tons of swimming in the indoor, heated pool.

Everyone will agree that the best part of having this reunion was watching the kids play together. Cole LOVED playing with his cousins. We can't wait to see everyone again in 2 years.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Taking on something controversial

Prop 8
Whenever I've written posts like this in the past, I've always deleted them, but maybe I'll keep this one for a while.

For the past few months, church members throughout California have been knocking doors; making phone calls; putting up signs, door hangers and bumper stickers; and donating money all for the Yes on 8 campaign. I did the walks and made phone calls and voted “yes” this Tuesday. I voted “yes” because:

I do not want it to be legal for teachers to talk about same-sex relationships with their students. It makes my heart ache to consider the possibility of Cole's first grade teacher putting the idea in his head that he can marry a boy. Everyone has probably heard this story in the news:

First-graders in San Francisco took a field trip to City Hall to celebrate the marriage of their lesbian teacher on Friday, but opponents of same-sex marriage in the state say the field trip was an attempt to “indoctrinate” the students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The field trip was suggested by a parent at the Creative Arts Charter School, and the school said the trip, where students tossed rose petals on their teacher and her wife as they left City Hall, was academically relevant.
"It really is what we call a teachable moment," said Liz Jaroslow, the school’s interim director, according to the newspaper. She said same-sex marriage had historic significance. "I think I'm well within the parameters."

I'm not arguing that all schools would be going on lesbian wedding field trips if prop 8 didn't pass, but wouldn't we be heading in that direction? In Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, public schools have been affected tremendously: kindergartners have been given picture books about same-sex marriage, second graders read a story about a king and a king who fall in love and the book included a picture of the two kings kissing. When parents asked that they be told when same-sex marriage is going to be taught to their children, the school board answered that they have no obligation to notify parents and the children may not opt out. There is a long list of things going on in Massachusettes schools that I can't list here.

So the question arises of why I don't want Cole to be influenced in this way. Am I afraid that he will become gay, and if so what's wrong with that?

Answer: I don't want Cole to see, touch, hear, think, muse or chance upon anything that could negatively impact him. I guard him so carefully from worldly influences that I can't imagine sending him to school where he would be taught the very things I'm trying to protect him from. He and all the kids in his class would be taught that marrying someone of the same sex is another option to consider when choosing a mate. I do not want Cole to be presented with this option. Why? Why would it be so horrible to be part of a same-sex marriage?

Answer: Heavenly Father has a plan for Cole and a very important part of that plan is for him to marry one of His daughters and know the joy of having children with her and raising a family in righteousness and doing amazing things as a family now and forever.

Something very important to note is that neither I nor the church have any negative feelings of any kind toward homosexuals. We are taught to love them and we do not think we are better than them and we know that God love's them exactly the same as any of His children. Voting “Yes” does not take away any civil rights from same-sex couples. They are entitled to every right that married couples have. The only difference is their union cannot be called a “marriage”.

I can understand the case against prop. 8. But for us its not a civil rights issue because they already have the same rights. The marriage issue is just about how we classify same-sex unions, not about what homosexuals can and cannot do. We understand that not everybody shares our beliefs, but we believe that Jesus Christ really is the Savior and that he really did have prophets who explained that homosexual behavior is self-destructive.

Where was I going with all this? I'm not sure, but I feel kind of dizzy now.

I have to share a quote though, that my dad e-mailed to me. It is so prophetic. It was said by Elder Neil A. Maxwell in a talk he gave at BYU in 1979:

"Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had ‘never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life.' This is hard doctrine, but it is particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. . . . Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. . . . This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself."

Thanks to all you out there who helped awaken a slumbering 52% majority.

7 Months

Luke is now 7 months old. There have been a few minor developments with him. For example, I can now sit him in the front of the shopping cart instead of putting his infant seat on the cart. My favorite thing is that when he's sitting on the floor and starts crying, as I reach down to pick him up, he reaches up to me. He has also discovered the joy of baby swings. Cole was the one with the idea to ride in the same swing together.


I love Halloween! This year we drove down to my parent's house where my sisters Emily and Amanda were with their families. We started off the festivities with a few rounds of Halloween Bingo. (Cole's Aunt Liesel had sent him a package with Bingo and a matching game and other goodies-Thanks Liesel!)

Cole and I were very excited about turning my sister Katie's room into a (small) haunted house for the cousins to go through. Cole played the part of Casper, and Clay really put it over the top with his performance as Dracula:)

Here's our little baby animals whose trick-or-treating experience never made it out the front door.

I love going door-to-door with Cole. He's the dark, mysterious figure on the right. And he love's having cousins who live close enough to go trick-or-treating with. He got a lot of candy and he's been so good at just having a few pieces each day. And I've been really good at not stealing any of it!

Barks and Books

Our library does a little reading activity each month called "Barks and Books", where kids sign up to read to "Maddie", a big golden retriever. We picked a short story for Cole to read, 8 sentences in all, without any "tricks" in any of the words.