Sunday, February 22, 2009


On Friday, the kids and I met Carrie and her boys at the Planetarium in Salt Lake. Its one of our favorites because the kids have lots of fun, and its free. Colson calls it the zoozeum. When I tried to explain to him that it was the planetarium, he lovingly let me know that I was incorrect. He is certain his parents called it the zoozeum. Afterwards, we went down to Carrie's house. Brad was working and Eric had class until 10 that night so we decided to have a slumber party. Taryn came too. We had so much fun. Its been a while since just us girls got to spend that much time together. First we had a little birthday party for Griff. He turned 2. Carrie made him the best cupcakes (I ate way too many). Then he opened presents, which of course made the other 2 boys jealous. Eventually, we got all 4 kiddies to sleep and us big girls got to stay up and talk about anything and everything. We even rented a really girly movie, but we talked so much we were too tired to watch it and went to bed instead. I can't wait until we can get together again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing

Here's the thing. I recognize that I have been full of doom and gloom lately but it's not without reason. Some of the people I care most about in the world are frequent readers of our little slice of cyberspace. Lately the things I have said here are things that have been the most consuming to me and I share them not to bring everyone down (which I am fully aware it has this affect on some people) but to share what little I may know about things that are wrong with the world. I am fully convinced that the largest problem Americans share is their lack of education on real world topics and even more so, their lack of concern.

Don't stop reading here! This is quite practical. Anyone who has been paying any kind of attention to what is happening in the world will quickly note that there are wars and rumors of wars, there are storms and earthquakes in diverse places, famine, pestilence, drought and disease are rampant.

Today I read several blogs and articles about a woman named Dr. Susan Puls. She was a cardiologist and has been in the full employ of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in order to prepare for pandemic crisis situations. She has given a number of lectures, firesides and presentations outlining ways to prepare.

In a nutshell Dr. Puls is saying that the "experts" who study world health issues are all predicting a pandemic. Dr. Puls believes that she expects this to occur within the next 2 years, and "sooner rather than later" and it will likely come in the form of the Avian Flu virus which is apparently one mutation away from being able to pass from human to human (there are incidents where humans have been infected in Asia).

Different organizations are predicting different things, but I have read the expected death toll to be at least in the millions, some are saying over 1 billion. I am sure that this will mostly be in poor countries where food and water supplies are likely to be largely affected and shared. Reportedly the World Health Organization is expecting 40% of the world popuation to be infected with a 50% death rate among those who are infected. (I'm still trying to verify this, their website is pretty huge). This is expected to be a very rapid ordeal with the damage coming in a 3-4 month span of time. During this time there will be quarantines and most public systems will be shut down. You will not be able to leave your house without literally risking your life. The entire point is this: organize yourselves and prepare every needful thing (D&C 109:8)

Dr. Puls says that every household should have a minimum of a 3 month supply of food, water and supplies. For LDS folks out there this is nothing new. For those who are not, it is quite practical to have a food storage that you can rotate. When you fall on hard times, or if/when you are not allowed to leave your home for months. So there are a couple different ways to look at this, you can say that I'm crazy and it will never happen, at least not to you. You can let fear and anxiety overcome you so that you end up doing nothing, OR you can get your house in order. Even if it ends up never happening (and I hope it never does) the worst that will happen is that you will be prepared.

Once again, I hate to be full of crazy bad news, but I love you all. It would make me so happy if nothing were to happen to any of you, and I can only hope that you would warn me. Listed below are a few links to back up what's above and ways to get prepared.

blog article about Dr. Puls

La Crosse Tribune Article

Emergency preparedness information

Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Balancing Act

I've always had a hard time finding balance in my life. Everyone finds different things challenging, and I find taking care of my kiddies, along with everything else, quite difficult.

The part that makes me feel inadequate is that I have really good kids (we all say that I'm sure). I don't feel like I should have a hard time accomplishing everything in a day because Jack is really great at entertaining himself for long periods of time, and Addie allows me to get a full nights sleep. Even so, I do have a hard time. If I feel like I've actually spent a good amount of time with Jack and planned activities that help him learn, I feel like I've neglected Addie. If I feel like both children are getting enough attention, I realize the house is a wreck and I haven't paid any attention to Eric in 3 days. Then on top of that you add in church callings, budgeting, grocery shopping without breaking the bank, preparing meals, etc.

When I'm feeling particularly bad about not getting something done, I like to remind myself of something Elder Bednar said. Eric attended a meeting where Elder Bednar was asked how you balance all of your responsibilities. He compared all of our tasks to spinning plates. You spin all of the plates and tend to them as necessary. When one starts to slow down and begins to topple, you go to that plate and spin it faster. While you're doing that chances are that another plate will then begin to topple so you spend extra time with that plate. I always take comfort in the fact that we aren't expected to be super heroes. I would fail. Instead I do my best. If that means that the laundry and dishes pile up while I play peek a boo with Addie, that's what happens. Jack won't feel neglected if he has to watch a movie while I work on Activity Days for church. I guess stress and worry can sometimes be helpful. They push me to keep working hard to do my best. I just have to make sure I keep them in check.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No Mama!

I pulled out a headband and clip for Addie today and passed Jack on my way to put them on her. When I got close to him he put his head down and said, "No mama!" I just laughed. He thought I was gonna put them on him. Now where would he get an idea like that?!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Video