23 December 2012

Spiritual Sunday: A Brother Like That

One of my favorite Christmas stories is "A Brother Like That." I love the message and how it inspires me to be a better person, to be a brother like that. 
Paul received an automobile from his brother as a Christmas present. On Christmas Eve when Paul came out of his office, a street urchin was walking around the shiny new car, admiring it.

"Is this your car, Mister?" he asked.

Paul nodded. "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astounded. "You mean your brother gave it to you and it didn't cost you nothing? Boy, I wish..." He hesitated. Of course Paul knew what he was going to wish for. He was going to wish he had a brother like that. But what the lad said jarred Paul all the way down to his heels.

"I wish," the boy went on, "that I could be a brother like that."

Paul looked at the boy in astonishment, then impulsively he added, "Would you like to take a ride in my automobile?"

"Oh yes, I'd love that."

After a short ride, the boy turned and with his eyes aglow, said, "Mister, would you mind driving in front of my house?" Paul smiled a little. He thought he knew what the lad wanted. He wanted to show his neighbors that he could ride home in a big automobile. But Paul was wrong again.

"Will you stop where those two steps are?" the boy asked. He ran up the steps. Then in a little while Paul heard him coming back, but he was not coming fast. He was carrying his little crippled brother. He sat him down on the bottom step, then sort of squeezed up against him and pointed to the car. "There she is, Buddy, just like I told you upstairs. His brother gave it to him for Christmas and it didn't cost him a cent. And some day I'm gonna give you one just like it...then you can see for yourself all the pretty things in the Christmas windows that I've been trying to tell you about."

Paul got out and lifted the lad to the front seat of his car. The shining-eyed older brother climbed in beside him and the three of them began a memorable holiday ride.

That Christmas Eve, Paul learned what Jesus meant when he had said: "It is more blessed to give..." 
I know sometimes it's hard to be a brother like that. It's easy to say, "I don't have a brother like that, so why should I be like that?" But the fact is, we do have a brother like that, Jesus Christ. I hope we can all  keep him in our hearts these next few days as Christmas is upon us. Merry Christmas!  

22 December 2012

Water for Elephants

I first read Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants many, many moons ago. I love the idea 
of the old circus, the glamour and the sparkle and the majesty, even though I've never 
actually been to the circus! 

Once the movie came out, I meant to read Water for Elephants again to refresh my memory, but life got busy and books get packed (and moved and moved again) and other books get read instead and the movie was never seen. But it finally made it to the top of my pile! 

I enjoyed Water for Elephants as much the second time as I did the first. It encompasses the magic of the circus along with the devastation of The Great Depression.  It's a love story, love for a woman, an elephant, and the circus. It's a touching story with characters who come to life. I really felt like I knew the characters and I cared about what happened to them. 

The only thing I don't like about this novel is the bookending of the past by the present.
 Of course, I always say that about books like this. I don't feel the need for the small story
 of the present. I'm happy with the story of the past. It's enough for me. It's a great story 
and I think you'll like it too! Enjoy! 

20 December 2012

Of Two Minds & More Minds

Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman's Of Two Minds and More Minds, the sequel, are about Princess Lenora and her betrothed, Coren, while Lenora's stubbornness takes them on an adventure. I read these, and liked them better, when I was younger, but they're still a fun quick read with a good moral. These are best for upper elementary/middle school readers both in level and demographic. Happy reading! 

18 December 2012

I'm a Feminist & You Should be, too

Hi. My name is Jayme and I'm a feminist. 
("Hi, Jayme!") 

Now, before you get all bent outta shape because you think feminist is a dirty word, you should know that it's not. A feminist isn't a bra-burning, hairy-armpit-ed, man-hating lesbian.  That woman can be a feminist, but you don't have to be her to be a feminist. It's like how all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. 

A feminist is, simply put, any person who wants equality between the genders, anyone who believes women should not be submissive and subservient to men. Anyone who wants to give women a choice and a voice.  

Being a feminist is embracing my womanhood without diminishing my husband's manhood (heh. That sounds funny).  Being a feminist isn't about woman being better than man, it's about equality, opportunity, and choice. It's allowing women the same rights and choices we allow men.  It's that I can be a doctor or a lawyer, if I want. Or I can be a stay-at-home mom if i want. It's about the freedom to do what I want and be who I want to be and allowing others the same choice. 

So really, should we all be feminists? 

16 December 2012

Super Short Spiritual Sunday

I was going to write a post about why I didn't wear pants to church today. But as sacrament came to a close, I just didn't feel right about it. It's Christmas time. It's time to love our neighbors, regardless. It's time to do something nice for someone; time to be more Christlike. So I encourage you to be a little bit more friendly to someone today, whether they wore pants to church or not. If I can do it, so can you! 

10 December 2012

This Swallow is Nesting


So the crafting bug has hit me, and these are the fruits of my labors! Mom and Jenn are always crocheting or knitting, but I wanted to try my hand at embroidery and cross-stitching. I got these onesie kits at JoAnns (on clearance! Boo-ya!) and it was really fun to work on them and know that they were still going to have a use when I was done. 

I did the bear first, and I think it's adorable, duh, but after washing it I can see where some of the stitching is coming loose and where I didn't do such a good job. I kind of want to fix it, but I don't want to over-fix it and ruin it. I did a better job on the ducky, not that you can see because the pictures are blurry, my bad. But I like having something to keep hands busy! Being crafty is so fun! :) I can't wait for baby girl to get here so she can wear them!

On a side note: Last night, Cass had his hand on my stomach, and I guess Baby could feel him because she kept kicking right at his hand! 

05 December 2012

Gone Girl

On their fifth anniversary, Amy disappears. And Nick is the police's number one suspect.
Something's up, and evidence is mounting against Nick.  He's definitely keeping a secret, but did he kill Amy? And if not, what happened? 

Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is quite the adventure and enjoyable read. It's so crazy, but I really liked it. I didn't really like the end-end, the wrap up. But what other ending could their be? I don't know. I think I would have left that out, but really. Great book. Go check it out. Now. 

04 December 2012

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

If I was quoted and it was put on the front of this book, it would say, "If you enjoyed Face on the Milk Carton as a teen, you'll love Jackson's A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty."  It's also reminiscent of  Esme Lennox with the southern feel of Harper Lee in today's world. Okay, it's not Harper Lee good, but I sure did enjoy it. It's almost a 5. Just not quite there yet. 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty tells us the story of the three Slocumb women, 45-year-old Big, 30-year-old Liza, and 15-year-old Mosey. Yup, getting pregnant at 15 runs in the family, and even though Mosey is a virgin, she regularly pees on a stick to assure herself she's not pregnant. Big feels that God sends her biggest trials every 15 years, and this year is no exception. All three of these women tell us their part of the story as Jackson takes us down the winding road of Liza's past as we try to unravel her secrets as well as the truth. I liked the twist and the mystery, but I'm not sure that I loved this novel. It got a little blurry at parts, especially at the end, and the logical me things there are some legal ends that will need to be tied up that are not discussed in the novel. Granted, that's not the point of the novel or the moral of the story . . . 

It was weird for me, though, that I related more to Liza's high school years than Mosey's, that I'm closer in age to Liza at 30 than Mosey at 15. Regardless, I really liked this novel, and I think you will too! 

03 December 2012

Albert of Adelaide

I didn't really know what I was getting myself into with Albert of Adelaide. I guess I was sort of hoping for a platypus on an adventure and kind of picturing Perry the Platypus in my head. That's how Albert of Adelaide presents itself. Albert is a platypus who has escaped from the zoo in Adelaide to find the Old Australia where he can be with other platypuses and live in the wild and be free. It seems like this will be quite the adventure of a read. 

Except it's not.  It's kinda lame. The story line is heavy on over-description and the characters were fairly flat and not very distinct from one another. It's really just about Albert suddenly becoming friends with different animals, then suddenly making enemies with others, and lots of fighting that's boring to read. I can't even think of anyone I would recommend this book to. Maybe those who like Westerns? That's my best bet. I just didn't enjoy this novel. 

*I won this novel from Goodreads FirstReads. All opinions expressed are my own. 

28 November 2012

How to Not Look Like A Victim of Domestic Violence

So, I'm clumsy. And I bruise fairly easy. Sometimes, I look like an abusee. Yet I still have this small child obsession with bruises. I want to poke and prod and sometimes I wonder how much blood is under there; it's gross. But I also wanted to know if there was anything I could do to make my bruise go away faster. It's rather unsightly and Cass felt bad about the bruise, family even teased him about hitting me & I kept saying I "walked into a door."  It going away would be good all around. Plus, it was deep so it hurt. 

My internet research said to ice it initially, then heat it. So I iced it a few times (remember the rule when icing: 20-30 minutes, no direct contact with skin), saw a little change in it, and then did some heating on Monday (follow your heating pad's instructions!). Warm showers help, but it's not a direct enough contact to help the bruise. If you don't have a heating pad, a warm wash cloth would help a little; it's better than nothing! And a little over a week, my bruise is healed! All gone! 

And that, my dear friends, is how to stop looking like a victim of domestic violence without awkwardly layering on the clothing even though you're pregnant and think it's too hot every where and really just don't like long sleeve shirts anyway! 

Initial Damage: bruise is so fresh it looks red, black, and purple
After Ice & Heat, a day or two later: Visible change
A few days: Starting to fade around the edges & lighten in color
One Week: Blood flows down. Bruise is darkest at the lowest point, and fading a ton.
A week and a few days: hardly visible. 

Christmastime is Here Again!

Last night, we set up our Christmas tree. Or, rather, I set it up and Cassidy worked on grad school applications and mocked me! 

27 November 2012

Ice Skating

Saturday we went ice skating. It was great to have almost everyone there, but we missed Dylan! We all had fun, I just wish my feet weren't getting so fat so I wouldn't've had to take a break so often! 

Brit, Pyper, Chris, and Nathan.
It was Brit's first time skating but he did great! 
Madi & Colby
Cass, Pyper, and Chris
Pyper loved skating, until she got tired.
Pyper was all done skating and ready to eat!
(also, I love her hat! Someone should make one for my baby!
*hint hint*)

The Living Planet Aquarium

Last Friday, we went to the Living Planet Aquarium.
We had a great time and I thought it was really neat!

cute napping otters!
I just really thought the otters were adorable. I wish I had gotten a better photo!
Nemo in his "ane-ma-nem-a-nee!"
upside down jellyfish!
it's alive! crazy!
the octopus has sensitive eyes, so I couldn't use flash. but it's such an interesting animal!
I told Cassidy, "I wish we were seahorses cuz then you'd carry the baby!"
Matthew petting the shark
Jordyn and Ammon with the shark
Jenn, Adam, and Dad
Rays are my favorite!
shark!!! aah!!!
fish face!
warrior face!
penguins! It was hard to get a good picture of them, too!
Penguins are tall!

26 November 2012

Thanksgiving Break

Cassidy and I had a great Thanksgiving Break. We took off Tuesday night after work, got about to Beaver, and Cassidy realized he forgot the voucher for the GRE. Without the voucher, he wouldn't be able to take the test. So we ate at DQ and headed back to Cedar, grabbed the voucher, and got started all over again! Luckily, Cass stayed awake and alert the whole time and we made it to South Jordan safe and sound! 

Wednesday morning, Cass took the GRE and I met my mom and siblings at the new outlets in Lehi. I was hoping to find lots of deals on both baby and adult clothing, but the baby stores didn't really have anything for that good of a deal. Luckily for me, I had gift cards and a coupon for Gap, so I got me and Cass some cute new outfits. After shopping, I headed back up to South Jordan to meet up with Cass and hang out with the McCoys. A lot of the cousins came and it was good to see everyone.  

Thursday was Thanksgiving, of course, and we spent the day at my parents' house with all the Stones, Johnsons, Ainges, and Borens. Cassidy's dad and grandma were able to come down and join us, too. It was so great to have everyone together. Too bad the family is getting so big we have to have two tables! But it was good food & a good time! 

On Friday, we went to the Living Planet Aquarium with my family. I hadn't been since it was at the Gateway. It was neat to see how much they've grown, plus I liked looking at all the animals. I'll post more later with pictures :)  That night we headed back to the McCoys for hair night and leftovers. More cousins came and they all loved playing with Cassidy!

Saturday morning we met up with Dylan and Morrell at Golden Corral. Turns out they have a breakfast buffet, which was great (read: they had biscuits and gravy!!). We stuffed ourselves (sort of the theme of the weekend!) and had a good visit. Afterwards we headed up to Chris's house to visit & play with Pyper, who was very excited to see us! That night we went ice skating with almost the whole clan, everyone but Dylan, and I'll post pictures of that later too. 

We had a great break and are so grateful for our wonderful families! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! 

19 November 2012

People Who Do Things

This past weekend, Cass and I were one of those people, you know, people who do things! How strange for us!

On Friday, I went out with some of the ladies from work. We ate at Pizza Factory (Ranch Chicken Pizza . . . yum!), hung out at Walgreens (yup, we're that cool), and saw Breaking Dawn. I have only seen seen Twilight and New Moon, but I've read the books, so I wasn't lost. I actually really enjoyed myself. The cheesy one-liners, the new part, Taylor Lautner, etc. I had a great time. 

The Elder's Quorum had an activity on Saturday up at the shooting range, and they invited the wives to come along too. Cass and I had never been shooting before, and it was pretty fun! We even hit a clay pigeon or two!

Showing off his manly skills

Me with the other girls.

My awesome bruise. I started holding it the right way, but then it would slide down my arm I guess. It looks awesome. It's all nice and purple today!

16 November 2012

It's a Girl!

awwwww . . . isn't my child an adorable little thumb sucker? 

We went and got the ultrasound done on Monday afternoon. I had a feeling, not super strong but still there, that it would be a girl. Cassidy had no predictions either way, but thought I was being ridiculous in thinking it was a girl. Well, I may be ridiculous but I was right! 

We skyped with our families that night and everyone is way excited for our baby girl!

Now, if you're not into alien-esque fetus photos, feel free to leave now. 
But I just think my alien is adorable! 

11 November 2012

Spiritual Sunday: New and Everlasting Covenant

A few days ago, I was reading in Ezekiel and came across ". . . I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant . . ." (37:26) the footnote for "everlasting covenant" was for the Topical Guide "New and Everlasting Covenant" and it got me thinking. I've never realized what exactly the New and Everlasting Covenant is. It's something I've just felt like I missed out on. Everyone else seemed to get it, so I figured there was something wrong with me. I never wanted to ask and be embarrassed, but on the flip side if it was something nobody knew, then the teacher would be embarrassed. And if it's something no one knows but everyone knows nobody knows (you still with me?) then asking would still be awkward. So I never asked and just figured I never knew and couldn't ever know. 

But I'm older now, and took research into my own hands. If it was listed in the Topical Guide, would it be listed in the Bible Dictionary? The answer is no. So I returned to the Topical Guide and looked at some of the related scriptures. They didn't clear anything up, but they did give me two ideas. 

1. Any promise the Lord makes is both new and everlasting. It is new when he makes it and everlasting because He, we, and the covenant are all eternal. My reasoning is that the different times it is used in the scriptures are mostly different. In the case of Noah and the ark, God promises to never again flood the earth: "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Gen 9:16)  There is no other promise where God promises to not flood the earth. He's already promise that; He can't promise it again. So it stands to reason that any more covenants He makes would also be new and everlasting. 

2. The New and Everlasting Covenant is the sealing, or binding, power of the priesthood. So often we hear "the new and everlasting covenant of [eternal or celestial] marriage" (D&C 131:2). D&C 132:19 also implies it's celestial marriage. Ergo, because of the power of the Melchizedek priesthood, we are able to sealed, and that is the new and everlasting covenant.  

I wasn't satisfied with my two ideas though. Could it be that simple and straightforward? Could I really figure it out by myself? I needed more "proof" so to speak. I needed someone to spell it out for me. 

Don't laugh, but I turned to Google. I wanted to know the church's stance on it, of course, but I also wanted to see what other religions thought. The phrase is in The Bible, even the Torah portion, so Christians and Jews should have something to say about it. The first page of Google was basically LDS sources; other religions almost see it as two separate covenants, which was unhelpful. It just didn't seem right. Other religions also vaguely referred to Jesus as The New and Everlasting Covenant himself. Other of the top Google results were from anti-/former LDS sites. Most of them think it refers to polygamy (from the D&C scriptures, I'm sure) or is taking away from the remembrance and importance of Jesus Christ as the New and Everlasting Covenant himself. 

The logic for Jesus as the New and Everlasting Covenant is that God made a covenant, the "old covenant," with the Jews. Jesus fulfilled that promise, law, covenant, and became the "new covenant" and because he is eternal, also everlasting. 

The first site I found was a BYU site written by D Cecil Clark (of whom I've never before heard and Google was unhelpful), who posits: 
The new and everlasting covenant is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The sum of all gospel covenants that God makes with mankind is called "the new and everlasting covenant" and consists of several individual covenants, each of which is called "a new and an everlasting covenant." It is "new" when given to a person or a people for the first time, and "everlasting" because the gospel of Jesus Christ and Plan of Salvation existed before the world was formed and will exist forever (MD, pp. 479-80).
Baptism, marriage, and all other covenants from God necessary for salvation are new and everlasting (D&C 22:1;45:9;66:2;132:4-7). Holy covenants have been introduced anew in each of the dispensations of the gospel from Adam to Joseph Smith, and have been available whenever the gospel of Jesus Christ has been upon the earth. Therefore, these covenants are spoken of as everlasting. Covenants of salvation and exaltation are everlasting in the sense also that once entered into they are forever binding and valid only if they are not broken by transgression.
All covenants between God and mankind are part of the new and everlasting covenant (D&C 22;132:6-7). Thus, celestial marriage is a new and an everlasting covenant (D&C 132:4) or the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. Some covenants, such as baptism, have force in all dispensations. Other covenants are made for special purposes in particular dispensations; circumcision as a sign of a covenant is of this type (MD, p. 479). The same eternal covenant conditions may be established through other ritual signs at other times.
Okay. That makes sense. But what else is out there? Who else thinks that? lds.org gives us a similar, yet more succinct, answer. "The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 66:2). It is new every time it is revealed anew following a period of apostasy. It is everlasting in the sense that it is God’s covenant and has been enjoyed in every gospel dispensation where people have been willing to receive it. The new and everlasting covenant was revealed again to men on earth by Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. It contains sacred ordinances administered by priesthood authority—such as baptism and temple marriage—that provide for man’s salvation, immortality, and eternal life. When people accept the gospel and promise to keep God’s commandments, God covenants to give them the blessings of his new and everlasting covenant."

Alright, I'm starting to get my answer. I can get that. It's the what everyone thinks put together. It's Jesus, the priesthood, every time the Lord makes a promise, it's the whole gospel. That makes sense. That's simple. (Why do I not like the simple answers? The church is full of them!) So I was right, partially. I was just incomplete. But now I know what exactly the New and Everlasting Covenant is. 

I'll let D Todd Christofferson (Quorum of the Twelve) close for me. The video sums it up quite nicely. I especially like the idea that it is "newly restored in each dispensation."

text of video: 
The scriptures speak of the new and everlasting covenant. The new and everlasting covenant is the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, the doctrines and commandments of the gospel constitute the substance of an everlasting covenant between God and man that is newly restored in each dispensation. If we were to state the new and everlasting covenant in one sentence it would be this: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Jesus explained what it means to believe in Him: "Now this is the commandment [or in other words, this is the covenant]: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day" (3 Nephi 27:20). (Ensign, May 2009)

But here's more "proof" if you need it, plus they're nice quotes:

Joseph Fielding Smith (while in the Quorum of the Twelve)
What is the new and everlasting covenant? I regret to say that there are some members of the Church who are misled and misinformed in regard to what the new and everlasting covenant really is. The new and everlasting covenant is the sum total of all gospel covenants and obligations. (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:156)
Now there is a clear-cut definition in detail of the new and everlasting covenant. It is everything—the fulness of the gospel. So marriage properly performed, baptism, ordination to the priesthood, everything else—every contract, every obligation, every performance that pertains to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise according to his law here given, is a part of the new and everlasting covenant. (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:158)
Bruce R. McConkie (Quorum of the Twelve)
"The new and everlasting covenant" is the fulness of the gospel, and the gospel is the covenant of salvation that the Lord makes with men. It is new because it has been revealed anew in our day; it is everlasting because it has always been had by faithful people, not only on this earth but on all the earths inhabited by the children of our Father. (Brigham Young University, 6 November 1977) 
[Doesn't McConkie's read similar to lds.org?? :)]

05 November 2012

The Knight, the Princess & the Magic Rock: A Classic Persian Tale

The Knight, the Princess and the Magic Rock is a retelling of a classic Persian tale. I was initially excited to read it because it looked like an adventure book, and because it's Persian lore, I was sure I hadn't heard of it before. But, really? To be completely honest? I thought it was pretty lame. Basically everything is wrapped up with the power of prayer. I mean, I'm all about prayer, but in a children's book that is about a princess and a magic rock, I didn't get how prayer related. It's really just not the book for me. 

*I won this novel from Goodreads FirstReads. All opinions expressed are my own. 

04 November 2012

Spiritual Sunday: Jonathon Napela

Today in Stake Conference, our Stake President spoke of an awesome man in LDS history, Jonathon Napela, and I couldn't help but try to learn more about him and share with all of you. 

One of the earliest coverts in Hawaii, Napela was a prominent member of his society and became an important member the church and helped George Q Cannon translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian. 

A stand-out story from the stake president's talk told of a time when Napela and Cannon prayed for good weather for an outside meeting. Cannon started to worry that the weather would not hold and began to make preparations to move the meeting inside. Napela was confused at Cannon's actions and asked him, "Did we not pray for good weather?" The meeting was held outside and the weather was not an issue. 

Napela was also instrumental in the missionary efforts in Hawaii. He taught his language to Cannon, who returned the favor. Napela offered to open his home to all incoming missionaries and teach them the language and the customs of his people before they began to teach and serve. He was setting the stage and planting ideas for missionary training, for the MTC. 

What stuck out most to me of the tales of the life of Napela was his devotion to his dear wife, Kitty. She contracted leprosy and was to be quarantined for the rest of her life. Napela applied to go to the leper colony with her. He said he was devoted to his wife and had promised before God that he would be with her "til death do us part." Though death would surely come soon, he could not abandon his wife, he could not break his promise. He was allowed to go into quarantine with his wife. In the leper colony he still taught the gospel and presided over the saints there. Eventually, Napela, too, contracted leprosy and after six years in the colony preceded his wife in death. 

Learning about Napela today was so neat. I had an abstract knowledge that the church grew early and strong in Hawaii, but I was not familiar with the people or the stories. I had never heard of Napela before, and his story touched me. He was a good strong man, devoted to his wife and his God. He is an inspiration. 

03 November 2012

Red Ribbon Week

This past week at CMS was Red Ribbon Week. It's a big deal, because all faculty and staff can dress up too. And some times dressing up equals jeans, and since I have two and a half pairs of pants that fit, and one is jeans . . .  I'll let you do the math :) 

The best part of Red Ribbon Week? This poster ---

(She probably would have gotten first place if she could spell 'girlfriend'!) 

"Undercover Day" as "Where's Waldo?" 
College Day
Pajama Day
My super cute slippers

Thursday was "Career Day" and Friday was "Best Dress Day" so . . . I just wore my normal work clothes. Hope your week was as fun as mine!