31 March 2007

Saturday afternoon session, General Conference

Our two hour break goes too quickly and we wolf down lunch during the first couple of minutes instead of listening closely. They are in the Tabernacle!!!! We are watching via BYUTV internet connection - which seems to work better than the direct lds.org video connection, but not quite as good as the sound only connection.

The choir sounds so much better - the Tabernacle is a much more pleasant place to sing in - you can fill the place and not feel like it's disappearing into the void. Although it is a nicely furnished void. And much more comfortable.

President Gordon B. Hinckley presiding

Come come Ye Saints (beautiful, haunting, beautiful!)

Elder Boyd K Packer

Elijah. Nephi. Hmm... the Still Small Voice? Power in Music - not separated from Voice of the Lord. Ah. An elegy for the MoTab? No, all things Tabernacular.
Wait, now we're on the Word of Wisdom?

the RC is trying to smile her way to destruction. the Dude says the beetles are naughty and can bite your head off.

Now the destroyer is after us. Back to the Tabernacle - and the Choir. Stands as a standard.
As the Dew from Heaven Distill- traditional closing song of Choir's weekly Broadcast.

Elder Earl C. Tingey

History - past and future.
Brigham Young - a pioneer
The Dude is describing how various insects will hurt various members of our family to his daddy, and now he's decided he's had a very long time with him and has come to grace me with his presence.
One of America's Grestest Colonizers - the Perpetual Immigration Fund - education!
God is at the Helm - You stick to the ship, don't worry about anything else. The ship guided by Him. Do your post, get there safely.
Heber J Grant - practically an adopted son

President Hinckley
Brigham Young looking over Pres. Hinckley's shoulder - don't ask me what to do, ask the Lord - it's His work!
missing missing skipping stalled paused dying? hm. no spinning beach ball.
and we're back!

youth love Pres. Hinckley.... and it's gone again.
AACCK! missed the rest

Presiding Bishop Burton

The reconstrucion of the Tablernacle - more knee room! more music room! 14 coats of paint! The walls speaking - 1918 Pres. Joseph F. Smith "I have not lived alone these 5 months" received revelation of work for the dead.

Great Depression - Church Welfare Program - curse of idleness done away - self-respect help people help themselves. Work is reigning principle

1964 Elder Lee Parental Responsibility
We talk about the weather, don't do anything about it. - FHE 50 years old, not really done. (and still.... for some of us!)

stuck stuck stck Elder McConkie - testimony of Jesus' atonement

1995 - women of the church forewarn - Proclamation of the Family

SING!!SING!! I don't know this hymn that well - the melody is familiar, but I don't know many lyrics

the kidlets are really restless - the Rosita goes back and forth between her mommy and daddy. The Dude monologues to his two Thomas books.

Only one verse! I feel cheated!

Bonnie D. Parkin (recently General RS President)
women of the church share many great and glorious privledges
attack of the Cita! no power cords for you!
express gratitude - oblivious to Lord's hand. Don't murmur! universe permeated with Richness of God - see Him everything
live in thanksgiving daily
Dude says I should read the Spanish Thomas book to her because she wants it
the grateful leper (interesting the 1 in 10 ratio, eh?)
gratitude is acknowledgement of Lord's hand in our lives
be grateful for trials - more than surface gratitude

Elder Marlin K. Jensen

memory, remember
The RC has self-induced pain while exploring the house - and just entered the bathroom. I hope the toilet is closed! It must be because she exited immediately.
phone call from someone who forgot about conference

i'm sorry, Elder Jensen, but your talk is lost on me.
Ah! the First Vision! Memorizing scriptures!
much screaming as the SM tickle tortures the Dude (it's a toss up as to who's more bored)
look to past and future to live righteously in the present
Forget yourself and go to work!
the SM puts forth movement to banish children to their bedroom
most important: always remember Jesus
get spirit when take sacrament - spirit brings all things to remembrance

President James E. Faust

kudos to the presiding bishopric for restoration of tabernacle.
the Dude is singing "you are my friend" to RC as he waves two books in her face
early temples not big enough to hold all members who want to attend - outdoor meetings by temple in the grove people sat out in grove while listening to Prophet Joseph
tabernacle contemplated for Navoo inspiration for the Salt Lake Tabernacle

President Tomas S. Monson

8 years old Baptism - not as common for fathers to baptize their children
the Dude attempts to load the rest of the cereal box we cut up for the Friend Conference dial on his back to haul to the trashcan
Speedy Repentance - Vietnam War?
The Dude gets his yogurt and the RC gets cranky that she didn't get any!
No, she is just tired beyond all reason

Misty deciding to get baptized.
Time out for nursing the RC to oblivion, sweet oblivion
Oblivion didn't last.

President Hinckley!!!!

Dedicatory Prayer for the Tabernacle

The Spirit of God (Mac Wilburg again!) the RC adds her shrill soprano screams to the rendition
It would be a lot more impressive without all the blips inserted by the poor streaming. Still inspiring. Not a performace.


Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring!!!! This has been one of my favorite musics for many moons - I hear the Joy in it.

Until tomorrow!

General Conference (Saturday Morning Session)

I decide to appropriate Theric's idea of blogging General Conference.

9:00 am! We have already gorged ourselves on the traditional sacrificial donuts. MMM! Crispy fatty goodness. Especially the chocolate old-fashioned.
The SM is cuddled in his blue fluffy.

Glory to God on High!
President Thomas S. Monson: We're so glad you all can hear us.

Sweet Hour of Prayer - I haven't prayed for an hour for a really long time. Years. The SM says hour is metaphorical. Duh.

Agreed: We need a better couch to sit on for extended periods of time

Statistics in the morning? I thought it was always the Saturday afternoon session!
The Dude learns the joys of sustaining General Authorities.
President Monson's Spanish accent is so cute.
We're losing the RS General Presidency and the YW General Counselors!!!!! Well, at least it's not too many new faces. =) Unanimous in the affirmative as usual.

Auditing Guy
Everything is legit. Your tithing goes for things good and great. Don't complain or doubt.

Growth and Activity 2745 stakes! 344 missions! 630 district 27475 wards! 12,868,606 members! 53164 missionaries! sacramento temple dedicated! (and helinski) total temples: 124.

Cita Bonita twitches her way to sleep without too much complaint.

Elder Richard G. Scott

Converse! Prayer good for everyone, anytime. Motives trump flowery language. Father is listening. Ask the right questions - honestly seek what He wants for you. Never too unworthy to pray! Vocal prayer important. Learn from Pres. Hinckely's prayers - prayed from heart (hem,hem opening prayer-talkers!) Complete responses not the norm - come in packets - like a treasure hunt! Exercise faith! Answers seldom during prayer itself.
Why prayers not answered as wished? Sometimes hard to recognize what is best in long term.

Both the Rosita and the SM are napping now.

When have no response - express thanks? - Heavenly Father trusts you to make decisions in the moment.

The Dude decides cleaning is more exciting than listening to Elder Scott.

Testify: Father will always answer prayers in best way for your Eternal Good!

MoTab: Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel - I don't like this extremely legato and calm version - it's like work is something to dream about.

Elder Jenson

Hymns = sermons. Nearer to the Lord through music than any other thing except prayer. Music a performance when it brings attention to itself instead of bringing revelation.
Hymns of the Restoration: Praise to the Man, Come Come Ye Saints, We Thank Thee, O God for a Prophet, and others. Nourishing hymns lead to conversion.

Hymns and appropriate music at home. Sing hymns as lullabies. Be punctual and listen to prelude music. Exit meetings reverently to extend spirit of meeting. SING! Listen to Hymns more frequently in homes.

Elder ?

Addressing the youth. I exempt myself from strict attention: I am no longer a youth, and my children are nowhere near youth age.

The Dude experiments with the vacuum and attachments. Without power. He then declares, "Mommy, you need raisins!" I defer and request a drink of water instead. He complies.


Elder Jeffery R Holland

By words that all things are done. Power and sanctity of words.
Quoting the apocrypha! Stinging whips. Ouch!
Tongue a little member: set on fire of hell - untameable, deadly, poisonous tongue.
Perfect man - husbands! greatest gift = wife. voluntarily gave herself to you - think of her as your queen! Cold, caustic words - that which cometh out of a mouth defileth a man. Verbal and emotional abuse against wives (and vice-versa!) biting and acrid - drive people love futher away NO CATTY REMARKS, gossip, etc.
Children shaped by how we speak to them. and their faith in us and their faith in God - be Constructive. Never compare children (even if think are right). Praise child for what they are. Keep away from culture of comparing, competing. See only complaint makes us all miserable. Don't complain and moan - in Golden Age - everything too yellow! Nephi -- hit me, I can still hear you!
Maxim for living: no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse.

The Dude distracts by reading me an animal babies book.

Speak by tongue of Angels. Speak with a new tongue - full of faith, hope and charity.

Elder David Bednar
Parable of the Pickle

Orchards and veggies - canning season! Temporal Self-reliance, provident living.
Cucumber to Pickle as We are to Being born again in Christ
1. Preparing and cleaning.
2. Immersing and Saturating in Brine (steady, sustained, complete for curing to happen correctly)
3. Sealing - all impurities removed.
Mortal life to be changed, transformed. New creatures in Christ.

1. cleansed by Aaronic priesthood ordinances - and REPENT (preparing)
2. Spiritual rebirth - gradually and imperceptibly motives become aligned with God's)
SALT=covenants baptism - walk in newness of life sporadic and shallow dipping won't produce spiritual transformation to picklehood
3. Purified and sealed by Holy Ghost consecration

Search Ponder and Pray - this is one of the primary songs that I know. The MoTab seems lacking in passion today.

The Dude practises couch diving. SM and RC briefly awake during Dude tantrum, then fall asleep again.

President Thomas S. Monson!
We're trailing clouds of glory again
crucify Christ anew - denying divinity of Christ.
Man trying to deny Christ eventually came back to faith - wife died. Not her - soul gone.

Dude exiled for kicking.

Storytime - family of muscular dystrophy
reality of resurrection
Die we must. But the end it not be.
Easter - He is Risen!!!!!
Somtimes I think he's been general authority for too long because he speaks in cadences that lullabic in nature - more so than any other speaker I know.

Come Thou Fount
The men sound like they mean it for the first time today and now the women do, too - and I Feel it. The SM wakes to listen to it. We love Mac Wilburg!

The SM and I agree that we liked Elder Holland's remarks best - probably because it was most applicable to us. I wonder if we're spiritually masochistic.

30 March 2007

Spoza claims Victory!

We have become online Settlers of Catan addicts. As soon as the kidlets are tucked away for the night, we each gravitate to our separate computers and open a game of Catan. Many man-hours of productive time have been lavishly wasted.

Tonight, I finally claimed victory because I grasped this amazing concept that to win demands that I be ruthless! Utterly ruthless! And when the SM begs for some commodity, I turn him away empty handed. And when I have a development card that is really quite cruel to use, I play it anyway and delight in the wicked false laughter.

That, and the dice were kind. I'd like to take credit for this, too, but I don't think I can claim my brainwaves caused the dice to "roll" in my favor. Although I have some pretty nifty brainwaves.

Hmmm... a game that encourages ruthlessness and selfishness... I think I may need a new hobby.

29 March 2007

Can you Feel the Love?

SM: I really love you because sometimes I'll close my computer... just for you.

me: That's love!

24 March 2007

zoom! zoom!

The Spozo Maravilloso declared that today, rain or shine, he was going to test drive a Mazda 5. So we all piled into our car and adventured into downtown Oakland. I knew it was all part of his plot to convince me that we need a new car, but I actually liked this car (in theory) and I was looking forward to meeting it in person.

Earlier in our marriage, I did something that made the SM very happy. I worked for GM in one of their call centers. Now, the fact that I had a job in general made him happy but he was, in general, exceptionally pleased with the results of that summer. In particular, the fact that now I actually had opinions about how cars looked and could now join with him in lamenting the lack of innovative design available from most manufacturers.

Yes, the SM loves his cars. But not Porsches or Corvettes or really any other traditional guy cars to like - he likes to obsess over family sedans and minivans. And alternative energy cars - his new love is the Tesla roadster (a sporty car - I don't understand his rules, but he has them and adheres to them strictly).

The only lasting evil of my GM experience: I call all things with wheels "vehicles" which drives (ha,ha) him absolutely batty. Why, he has yet to explain adequately.

Back to our experience today: We loved the sliding doors on both sides. I liked the fold-down seats in the back. I liked the hatchback. Minuses: the "sport" version (read: no bells and whistles) only comes with one interior color option: black. It's like they want every particle of dirt to show so you can feel like you're "sporty". Even if you're not. I guess having kids would make me "sporty" because it would look dirty all the time.

And they barely come in manual. Apparently, you have to special order it.


Which makes my dream of buying one used (with all the gizmos how I want them) to be an even more impossible dream.

We confused the Dude by taking it for a whirl. Before we buckled in, he was saying, "Daddy, I like this car. We buy it now?" While we got lost, "I'm so much taller! I like our new car." And once he realized it wasn't ours and it wasn't going to be ours, "I'm hungry."

What a pragmatist. At least there's one in the family.

22 March 2007

Book Group Report

After an eight month hiatus from book group, I got to go to one tonight. I had read the book (thanks, Lady Steed!), and that helped my enjoyment greatly. But tonight's book group was especially fun because there were other Really Cool people there that were willing to make comments and have favorite parts of the book.

Before, I always felt like I was dominating the discussion, making loud remarks, and being either the bane or blessing of the person in charge of leading the discussion. Tonight I wasn't the only one speaking out about what tickled my funny bone, gave me pause, or provoked deep thought.

And I gave two of those Really Cool People a ride home.

And there were delectable brownies.

Most interesting discussion topic of the night: Are humans capable of more cruelty towards other humans than "demons"?

19 March 2007

I'm older than I've ever been

I didn't realize that I am so old that when I was little there were no cars. Apparently that was what one of my students told his mom after our Primary lesson (he was quite adamant about it).

He must've missed the part of the story that I was on my mission in another country (where the majority of people do not have cars).

He also missed the part about me getting better with no complications after having surgery in a ... well, not a third world country, but imagine the U.S. in about the 1950's. Put it this way: the entire hospital had one phone; which I was wheeled to in order to convince my parents that I was very much alive and nowhere near dead.

Also according to him, I never got better. This concerns me, because the whole point of the story was that it was a kind of miracle that everything went well. I really hope my other students didn't have such garbled facts to repeat to their parents or my release from Primary is imminent.

Or maybe he really thinks I'm that old and sickly.

17 March 2007

Beware! Sharp!

After much wailing and gnashing of gums, the Rosita Chiquita has two teeth!


09 March 2007


I've been craving lemon bars for the past week. I'm not one to crave lemon bars. Usually it's brownies with ice cream and fudge sauce.

But then, I just found a great recipe that brings superior results according to lemon bar afficionados. It also helps that I have an excellent source of fresh (and free!) lemons thanks to Lady Steed.

Chocolate has lost its allure for the time being. Too much of a good thing and all. Perhaps I'll nibble some infrequently. Purely for it's health benefits, of course. I'm sure the old passion will re-ignite soon enough.

Until then: Lemon bars, anyone?

07 March 2007

it ain't no Harry Potter

So, I just finished reading Magic Street by Orson Scott Card. I've been wanting to read it for a while and it finally got old enough that the library had it on the shelf.

I enjoyed reading it. The plot was twisted enough, the main characters believable and decent, the fantasy of it interesting (although I've decided that describing appearances is not Cards' forte)

But... there was something fish-out-of-water-ish with it. Although I felt Card captured the emotions of people pretty well (as he usually does), I just cringed at his "African-American" dialogue. He made several in-story references about how the neighborhood kids learned their "ebonics" from the TV, kinda like he was explaining away the stiffness they spoke it with - like it was a foreign tongue.

I felt better reading the acknowledgments where he explained the genesis for this book because he knew it wasn't perfect. He tried his best.

But it was still written as an outsider. I didn't feel he caught the soul of the African-American community. Not that I would really have any experience with that, but I really felt that although mentioned, the passion or soul or fire that I feel from my African-American friends is lacking in some essential way.

Except, interestingly enough, in the preaching parts. There, I found the dialouge completely compatible with the setting. And I always love it when Card throws in some religious discussion without making it seem forced or trite - well, except in Children of the Mind. But that's a different story.

That said, I thought he did a good job of capturing the difficulties that African-American youth deal with when going to school - having to be labeled as a "tom" or an "oreo" or a "traitor" (which were all definitely used on the students in my classes at school) if you excelled.

All in all.... a good read. But not Card's best.

05 March 2007

I scream, you scream.... Man, I need some ice cream

Today I almost threw in my mommy towel to head for the hills.

The Dude has been especially whiny for the past week, but today he overwhelmed and vanquished my tolerance for screaming. I haven't decided whether this is a new stage of sibling rivalry (because whenever the Rosita Chiquita squawks, she gets picked up and cuddled until she stops) or if this is just a new level of "terrible three"s, or if it is his new favorite way of getting instant attention.

If it were over not getting what he wanted, it wouldn't be so bad. I can handle that and even feel a little good that I am being a good parent and NOT bowing to his even whim. But the instigation of every screaming session is some minor hurt: a finger in the door, the RC accidentally (it really was an accident this time) pulling his hair, tripping and falling on a knee. I guess this could be because he got so much attention for his spectacular fall the other day that made him look like Dracula for several hours because he kept bleeding. We had to call the doctor, make a special trip to the store, check the injury every so often.....

Whatever it was, it seemed like most of my day was spent holding one screaming child or the other or BOTH. In the afternoon, I lost all sympathy for the Dude's wails and consigned him to his bed until he stopped screaming and would TELL me what the matter was.

In between the screaming sessions he was a good helper and very cheery and sweet. He especially enjoyed cleaning the kitchen table off with his spray bottle and cleaning cloth. We read The Ugly Pumpkin ( a long-time favorite) with great gusto. The RC had a very a happy time exploring the interior of our car and gumming the Tic-Tac container to death (so the container survived fairly well, but the Tic-Tacs themselves will never recover).

It was these delicious moments that fueled me until they finally, blessedly, went to bed.