Sunday, November 23, 2008

Abortion: A Woman's Right to Choose?


My brother and his wife are having twins. Identical twin girls, very rare. This is not a coincidence. God has His purposes, and He wants as many of His spirit children as possible to come to Earth to have a physical body. So when two righteous Latter-day Saint parents decided to welcome one more baby into their family of six, God decided to let them welcome two.

I'm devastated over the abortion battle, that there even is such a thing. Every time I think about it, my soul cries for those sweet spirits in Heaven who are waiting to be born, but the evil deeds of men prevent them from coming.

One of the lowest evils is the taking of a human life before it's even had a chance to begin. Our President-elect Obama wants to sign into law an act that will allow this to happen on an even more enormous scale than it already does. Abortions will be legal well into the pregnancy, babies from botched abortion attempts will be left to die on a sterile table in a doctor's office or hospital, and many, many babies will be denied the right to be born.

A woman's choice? Hogwash. Why on earth does her freedom of choice include the right to decide the fate of another's life? I’m appalled that so many people have been deceived and lulled into thinking that this is a matter of personal choice. How is another person’s life the matter of choice for someone else? In God’s eyes, abortion is murder, plain and simple.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a medical doctor has made this perfectly clear:

Elective abortion has been legalized in many countries on the premise that a woman is free to choose what she does with her own body. To an extent this is true for each of us, male or female. We are free to think. We are free to plan. And we are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences.

To understand this concept more clearly, we can learn from the astronaut. Anytime during selection or preparation, he or she is free to withdraw from the program. But once the spacecraft has lifted off, the astronaut is bound to the consequences of the previous choice to make the journey.

So it is with people who choose to embark on a journey that leads to parenthood. They have freedom of choice—to begin or not to begin that course. When conception does occur, that choice has already been made.

Yes, a woman is free to choose what she will do with her body. Whether her choice leads to an astronaut’s mission or to a baby, her choice to begin the journey binds her to the consequences of that choice. She cannot “unchoose.”

When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make. (Ensign, October 2008)

There are rare instances when abortions are performed because the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or the mother’s health is in jeopardy. It is being used today as a form of birth control. Despite this evil and disgusting practice, the work of God will not be thwarted. My brother and his wife are supreme examples of this. Instead of one baby, they will have two. I have so many friends who are raising righteous, good families who’ve been blessed with twins or multiples, sometimes more than once. I applaud these people and I truly believe that God, our Heavenly Father, is sending His precious children down in groups to families who will welcome them in order to combat this abhorrent man-made practice.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Having Gratitude


I'm a month behind in reading the Reader's Digest. This is one of the few "worldly" magazines that I can actually stand to read, mostly because in between all of the negative "we're all going to die of cancer because we eat too much junk food and the government is collapsing, etc." stuff, there are usually stories of hope and heroes.

In the September 2008 Reader's Digest, there's an article about the Herrin family of Salt Lake City, who, in 2002, gave birth to conjoined twins. Even after the medical community encouraged an abortion because of the possibility that the mother might die or that one or both of the twins wouldn't live beyond birth, this Latter-Day Saint couple prayed and fasted and decided to go forward with the pregnancy and birth. When the babies were born, they had a few medical problems, as conjoined twins obviously would, and it took several years before they were able to make the separation. When they finally did, they still had quite a few medical problems, but overall the surgery was a success and the girls are doing just fine.

I was literally sobbing as I read this article. It was very moving, and it brought to my mind a few of the issues I struggle with, one of which is gratitude.

Let's talk about gratitude. For some reason, just having gratitude about the things in your life can make you have a more positive outlook. After reading this article, I realized how much I have to be thankful for. While the Herrins had this experience that was probably faith-building and they are grateful for it, I am thankful that I didn't give birth to conjoined twins and have to sit through hours and hours waiting for the surgery of my precious children to be performed, all the while nervous of the outcome and wondering if I did the right thing, both by having them and by having the surgery done.

Just reading this article made me appreciate that my children are all healthy and have been since birth. I'm grateful that we aren't so steep in medical bills from something like this. I'm grateful that I had relatively easy pregnancies, compared to the one that this lady had to endure. The grass always seems to be greener, but really, when you take a good, hard look, you realize that even though other people seem to have it so much better, you really wouldn't want to have their little specialized package of trials at all. Then you really do become grateful for what you do have.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

What is This World Coming To?

Sex education as the responsibility of the government-run public schools? Gay marriage being legalized in one state after another, with the very definition of marriage being between a man and a woman being challenged? Abortion being viewed as something that is the "choice" of a woman to do what she wants with her body, without regard to what she chose to do to get in that situation? Parents assaulting children, children subjected to pornography at young ages, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on.

I have been popping on and off of different message boards online, and it never ceases to amaze me how immoral the world has become, how accepting of the most base and offensive acts people are. It saddens me deeply to think that my children will be subjected to these ideas and I will have to ward off these evil notions on a continual basis. That I might have to teach my children as young as 5 why being "gay" is wrong, when they do not even have an understanding of sexuality to begin with.

I'm grateful that I have the true gospel of Jesus Christ to guide me through this, but it will still be an uphill battle with all that we are facing, and the COMPLACENCY of the modern world on such issues. They give such a good reasoning behind what they accept that sometimes it's hard to explain our reasoning, other than saying "because it's breaking God's law."

Did anybody read that fabulous article by Elder Russell M. Nelson about abortion in the October 2008 Ensign? I read it and wept and loved every word he said. And to think that there are even people out there who claim to believe all those things but still think that Roe vs. Wade had a positive outcome. It's like they claim to understand the doctrine but they really don't, or they wouldn't have such a view.

I just don't understand how people who claim to belong to the church with the true gospel of Jesus Christ can accept such perversions on the basis that they believe them to be wrong, but people have free will and can do what they want. Of course they can! But legalizing such things simply allows Satan to win.

We truly live in a messed up world, and the more these things become obvious to me, the clearer it is that the members of the church need to take a stand and not be afraid of being different in our standards and beliefs.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

General Conference and the Charge to Move Forward


Wasn't General Conference inspiring? Each talk seemed to be directed at me, at something I'm either struggling with or have been pondering about recently. It seemed that the message of hope was underlying all that the general authorities had to say, and I daresay that hope is what many of us need right now in these turbulent times.

I'm eager for the transcripts to come out online so I can reread my favorite talks, but I'm also anticipating the November Ensign, which I hope to really read and reread and study deeply. The thing is that we are going through some financial issues, so to be hit with such an economic crisis on a national level on top of that has really opened up a can of worries for me that I haven't really had before.

We are trying to move forward and do what we can to pick up the pieces of our situation. We knew it was risky to rent out our house, but we did it anyway, hoping that only good would come of it. It has and it hasn't, and we're trying to brush the bad under the rug and start over with a "perfect brightness of hope" that things will work themselves out as long as we continue to pay off debt, live frugally, pay tithing and do what the Lord has asked us in not postponing our family or Corey's education. We have seen many blessings along the way despite the hardships.

General Conference has stirred up some new hope in me, something that is especially hard for me to maintain. The future is uncertain, but there is still hope.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Parenting 101


I've been frequenting parenting message boards as of late. There has been some discussion about how you know if you're doing the right thing with your children and raising them right. Some of the commentators have said things like, "I try to respect my kids the way I want them to respect me" or "I just do whatever I feel is right for my children".

To me, that sounds like a very hopeless way to approach parenting.

It got me thinking how fortunate I am to have the gospel of Jesus Christ as my guide. I may not have all the answers, or solutions to some more trivial aspects of parenting, like how to get my baby to sleep through the night (though I have some definite ideas I've developed since this is my fourth baby), but I do have a sound and solid guide for the big stuff, like teaching my children about why abstinence is best and answer questions about where we go when we die.

I have the scriptures, the four standard works as a guide. I have the monthly issues of the Ensign that I can obtain online if I've already recycled my copy. I have General Conference twice a year, filled with discussion about teaching your children to walk uprightly. I have church on Sunday and Enrichment throughout the year.

I subscribe to one parenting magazine, which I still subscribe to because several years ago, I paid for about 5 years worth of subscription. When I compare the advice I get from that to what I read in the Ensign, it seems so materialistic and fake-sounding. Sure, some of it is okay, like tips on toddler-friendly snacks or how to get a baby on a sleep schedule, which is important too. But the real stuff, the good stuff, on how to have quality family time and how to work together to build a home and how to be a family, that stuff I can only get from the gospel. The way the world teaches it is too amoral. The way the world teaches it leaves out important principles and reasons for doing certain things.

I am grateful I have the gospel as my guide.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Parents' Role in the Education of Their Children


Have you ever wondered why the education system in America is so widespread? Why some schools have all sorts of extra-curricular programs while others can't even allow their students to have a copy of the class textbook for their own use during the school year? There are good and bad schools in all socioeconomic settings, I realize, but I firmly believe that the education level of the parents, and the income level, play a big role in the quality of education that the children receive.

It seems that the more education the parents have, which often contributes to how large their income is, the better the schools are in that area. Take a college town, for example, where many of the parents are professors and work for the university. Often, the schools in the neighborhoods where these parents live are some of the better schools in the city and sometimes even state.

Parents with higher education are more apt to realize the value of education and place a high emphasize on it than parents whose education doesn't exceed high school or even less. I don't know that the less education a parent has necessarily means they don't value a sound elementary, junior high and high school education for their children. I think many of these parents are overworked and tired and have very little energy to contribute to trying to better the schools their children attend.

However, the biggest contribution a parent can make, besides becoming active in their child's school, is probably to support their students from home. They can look over homework, make sure the child is behaving in school and support the school's discipline plan, get their children to school on time and make sure they don't miss very many days. They can talk about what their kids are learning and use local public libraries to possibly support interests the children have--like checking out extra books about space when that child is learning a space unit and fascinated by it. Even if they feel they don't have a high enough education to help with homework, say a high school student's trigonometry assignment, they can still encourage and support by making sure the homework gets done and talking to teachers on behalf of their student if that student is struggling.

Parents can determine how good the education of their child is simply by being supportive and doing as much as they can, whether it be joining the PTA and becoming president or just checking that homework was done and put in the backpack to turn in.



Monday, September 15, 2008

Large Families Spur Hatred?


I admit that I frequent a website known as Yahoo! Answers. If you are unfamiliar with this site, as I'm sure you all have WAY better things to do with your time than to ask and answer questions to total strangers, many of whom have a huge chip on their shoulders, basically, people ask questions and you can answer and then they pick the best answer. You get points for answering questions and for getting picked as the best, kind of a game. It's just kind of fun, but sometimes controversial issues are stirred up and also issues that are close to my heart and my beliefs are often criticized. Here is one that came up today that still has my blood boiling:

The Question (grammar and mechanics edited--you know I can't stand those types of mistakes!):

What do you think about families having over a dozen children?
I think it's crazy and irresponsible. I mean, one family has 18 kids...the Duggars...they might have had one more. I think it's irresponsible. How can a parent be attentive to each kid...it shouldn't be the responsibility of the older kids. Also, what would happen if one of the parents died? Then it's going to be really hard, at least for awhile.

I understand her not believing in birth control...but there is such a thing as getting the tubes tied.

And with the money crisis in our country and how it's ALREADY effecting average families, things are probably triple worse for those types of families.

So my question is what do YOU think about families that are over a dozen? You have heard my opinion.

And those of you who say it's none of my or anyone else's business, don't answer...cause in all honesty, anyone and everyone CAN be effected by it."

Can you believe this? I mean, seriously, how exactly does someone else having 18 kids affect the economy all that much? Really, get serious. And the whole thing about what if one of the parents dies? What if I have one child and I die? That child still is without a mother too. It will just be a hardship that family has to face if that happens.

The nerve of some people, really. I can't believe how anyone can be so selfish and stupid and blame the economic problems in this country on families with more than 12 kids! How ridiculous!

You should have seen the answers. People agreeing and blaming all of the nation's problems on this type of family. Talking about how selfish and irresponsible those parents are. The last time I checked, having children, especially a lot, is the furthest thing from selfish. Those people should win an award! I have trouble handling my 4, I can't imagine how difficult 18 must be! And to be pregnant that many times! Ouch! Pregnancy is miserable. I still plan on doing it as many times as I can handle, but I'm pretty sure that's not going to be 18. I say, kudos to those parents. They are probably raising those kids with some good, old-fashioned values of hard work and integrity and having fun without all the worldliness. What a bunch of morons on the Yahoo! Answers to criticize them!


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Drowning


I feel like I'm drowning. I feel like I'm out in the ocean, perhaps caught in a riptide, and I'm screaming for help between the gulps of cold, mucky seawater. I can see people on the shore, and I'm screaming to them, throwing my arms around whenever I can between the waves, and all they do is smile and wave back while they continue to socialize and have fun on the beach.

That is my life right now. One. Big. Nightmare.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Favorites

I thought I'd try this, though it looked a little complicated.

Here's how it works: For each question, look up your answer on Google image search. Then choose your favorite image from the FIRST PAGE OF RESULTS ONLY.

My Name

Favorite Food (this beats anything you can eat for a real meal)

First Job

Nickname

Born

Bad Habit (you may be wondering what this is--I'll let you wonder)

College Degree

Want to go

Favorite Place

Favorite Color (I really don't have a favorite--love them all together)

Favorite Animal (yes, still a dream of mine to someday own some)

Past Love (I was never this good, though)

Doing Now (I love my job!)

Where I Live

Favorite Object (pathetic, I know)

Grandma's Name

Age


If you want to give it a whirl, I tag you. It's fun, you should try it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grammar and Mechanics Gripe


I get so tired of how often these days people don't follow grammar rules or they don't understand certain rules of mechanics. It makes me wonder where the schools are failing because my 7th grade grammar teacher did not give us room to fail that subject! She pounded that grammar and those mechanics rules into our heads so hard I can still recite some of it in my sleep 18 years later!

Here are some common mistakes that I often see:

1. People adding an apostrophe before an "s" to make a word plural. This one really irritates me. Every time I see it, I want to write to that person and ask them if they ever learned this rule.

Here is an example:
We were looking for house's yesterday.

It should read:
We were looking for houses yesterday.

When you need to make something plural, the general rule is that you add an "s". You don't add an apostrophe. Apostrophes are used to show possession, not pluralization! (or I guess some people would write that as...Apostrophe's are used to show possession, not pluralization)

2. Another one:
People using "there" or "their" instead of "they're"; "your" instead of "you're" or vice versa.

Example:
There our good friends.

Should read:
They're our good friends.

"They're" and "you're" are contractions for "they are" and "you are". If you're trying to say something belongs to someone, you can use "their" or "your". "There" refers to a place, such as "I put the book over there."

Those are the two that have been popping up a lot lately. I realize that the mistake a lot of people make is that they're (as in "they are") in a hurry, so they just type. I've even made similar mistakes (although, not usually with the plural rule, that seems so elementary to me), but I usually go back and double check my work before posting a question on a message board or an entry on a blog. Sometimes I still get it wrong, but at least I try to get it right. And at least I know all the rules--Mrs. Gorman taught me well!



Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Dream


My dream life is very simple. I would like to own a house, a modest-size home that fits our family's needs, without a ridiculous mortgage. I would like to be living completely debt-free, with an income large enough to cover our needs and have a little leftover for some fun--not a lot of fun--just a little. That's it. Of course, having well-behaved children who attend church and all that is in there too, but I'm just tired of all the financial issues and the housing market crisis that we are being crunched by. I'm plum worn-out!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bewildering Toddlers


Actually, just one bewildering toddler, my 23-month-old. He sure has a mind of his own, only I'm not sure he really knows his mind. See, we have these two DVD's that he loves to watch: Thomas the Train and Disney's Legends (includes the animated stories of John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, and Casey Jones). Did I mention that he loves to watch them?

All day long, all I hear from him is, "Thomas. John Henry. Paul Bunyan. Thomas. Casey Jones. Thomas. Paul Bunyan (etc.)." The problem is that even when I put in the one he has requested, say he requested Thomas, a few minutes later he's crying and screaming "Paul Bunyan." So I'll put the Disney's Legends DVD in and choose Paul Bunyan from the menu, but then he'll cry for Thomas again. It's so frustrating!

And then today at nap, after watching Thomas twice this morning and random Disney's Legends on and off between all that, he was throwing a temper tantrum because he didn't want to nap, but he wanted to watch Thomas. No, Paul Bunyan. No, Thomas. No, John Henry. I even tried singing him the songs from the DVD, but that didn't work.

So it all boils down to this: I am at a complete loss!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Epiphany of Sorts


The other day I had an epiphany of sorts. Most of you who know me recognize that I can be quite the pessimist, always looking on the glum side of things. I really do apologize for that. It's a personality quirk that I've been trying to rid myself of for years now, with no success. Sometimes I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but, alas, the tunnel always returns and leaves me feeling hopeless once again.

My husband and I went to a party for his work the other day. Many of you know that in the past several years, since buying a house, he has had a wretched commute to his store, which is one of the reasons we moved in with my parents and rented out our house. The current store he is at is much closer to our house than the one before, so when we (hopefully) move back, the commute won't be so bad. Also, his work hours can be quite deplorable--sometimes working night shifts for seven days straight, coming home after 1 am, sometimes as late as 3:30 am when we were in our house.

I don't have any acquaintances who are in a similar situation. Friends of mine whose husbands are gone for long hours are often that way because they are still in school, usually graduate school of some sort (law or dental, most often), and they have a light at the end of the tunnel (there's that tunnel again!). Even if their dear ones are gone long hours, they most often don't have an hour commute at 1:30 a.m. through foot deep puddles on rural roads during the rainy season. They really can't completely understand my struggle.

On Wednesday night, though, as I sat talking with one of the other manager's wives, I learned that she was in a very similar boat that I have been in. They live out where our house is and her husband works at the store mine used to work at. He has the weird hours and the long drive, and she stays home with their kids and has to cope with it all. Yet she was unexpectedly upbeat.

It was then that I had my epiphany. If she's so happy going through the same struggle as me, but she doesn't even have the everlasting gospel light that I have, why can't I be happy? And not just her, but there are a lot of people who don't have the gospel, who have worse struggles than me, yet they still find ways to cope and live on. Makes me feel guilty for being such a negative poop.

So now I have my work cut out for me. The natural optimist (my husband is one of these) doesn't have to work so hard at being happy because they come by it naturally. For me, happiness is a huge effort that leaves me feeling very drained. It's hard work. My very nature is to look at the worst case scenario and then, if I can live with that, I'm okay. I'm not quite sure how to turn this around, since, as I mentioned before, I've been trying for a very long time with little success. But now I really know I need to try harder.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Being a Perfectionist


I think that we perfectionists create a lot of extra work and worry for ourselves. We want everything and everyone to be exactly perfect, so we waste a lot of time worrying about how we're going to accomplish our perfect feat. We also don't accept help because we want to do it ourselves, thinking that others can't do it as perfectly as we can. Sometimes people come in to help us but don't do it right, so we go back and do it again our way, which in turn makes it so nobody wants to help us. Then we have all these things to do and too much to do and we can't do it all, but we can't accept help because we like things to be done exactly right. Make sense?

I'm a perfectionist, though I've become less of one since marrying my husband, who is the complete opposite of that. He's so laid back about everything. He doesn't have a worry in the world. If something doesn't get done one day, there's always the next. He doesn't seem to worry about how it's done either, as long as it gets done (and I admit, it doesn't often get done). But he's a lot less stressed and way more relaxed than I ever am! It's hard to become a non-perfectionist when you already are one. You just have to stop caring so much about everything. It's hard to do.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

School Babies


Why, oh why, do so many parents want to send their babies off to school so quickly? Little children who aren't even five yet, and won't be for 3-4 more months are being put in kindergarten because their parents think they need to be academically challenged. At age four. Start school early.

Do they realize that their little ones will be in school for at least the next 13 years? Why do they want to put an abrupt end to the pure freedom of childhood and throw them into a classroom where they are expected to sit still and be quiet for hours at a time? Why do they want to send them away so early to a place they will spend 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, 180 days a year, for the next 13 years?

These early years of childhood are so fleeting. I'm so glad my parents were wise enough to realize that, even though I probably could have handled school early, having taught myself to read at age 4, they didn't push to put me in kindergarten when I wasn't even 5 yet. I have a December birthday, and many of the parents I know who are doing this have children with birthdays in November and December.

I hear all sorts of reasons: she's so smart, he'll be bored at home, etc. I don't buy it. I think the real reason is that they don't want to have to deal with their children all day. They want them to be someone else's problem. Parents, for some reason, don't think they are smart enough to challenge their children and nurture them, so they turn them over to the schools. I think it's very sad indeed.

My oldest will be starting school on August 11th. He has a May birthday, so he has been 5 for a few months. Because he is a boy, I was a bit wary early in his life of starting him in school the fall after he turned 5 because I knew from personal experience that boys can be a bit immature in the early years of schooling and even up through high school graduation, so it's best to start them later, not earlier. Now I feel comfortable with putting him in school because he is ready. However, I feel like his real childhood is coming to a halt--the carefree days of playing dress-up, drawing to his little heart's content, looking at every book in the house, spontaneous day trips to the library, and swimming after lunch are all ending when he starts school in just over a week. It makes me sad and leaves me wondering if I gave him enough time for real free play or if I let him squander away these precious short years watching TV. Sure, he'll have summer vacation, but it's not the same as the freedom of the early childhood years. In my house, he'll have to keep up his skills during the summer so he's not behind when the next school year starts. I'm sad that his young years of free childhood are coming to an end. I'm excited because he has so much potential--he has demonstrated his giftedness time and time again. But those early years are over for him. He's a big kid now, in a whole new phase. And once the first one goes off to school, the rest follow closely behind.

You can bet that I will not be putting my two boys, whose birthdays fall in September and October, in school before they are 5. School will start, they will turn 5, and they will wait for the following fall to go to kindergarten. I did preschool at home with my oldest, and I intend to do the same for the rest of them. I want to cherish my time with them because it's very short. I'm not going to be pushing them to start school just because every other parent is trying to get their children into an early learning program. No way.

I want my kids to have a childhood.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Through the Years


20 Years ago...
--I was 10 and in between 4th and 5th grade.
--I was on a break from taking gymnastics, something I'd done for the past 6 years and would continue for several more years.
--We were on a family vacation to visit my grandparents and cousins.
--My favorite thing to do was hide in my room and create--stories, drawings, even building my own Barbie dollhouse out of cardboard boxes.

10 Years Ago...
--I was between my sophomore and junior years of college.
--I lived in the Foreign Language Student Residence (FLSR), in the Spanish House.
--I went to Mexico as part of the Spanish Intensive Program.
--I was waiting for a missionary (but that obviously didn't pan out)

5 Years Ago...
--DH and I had just moved.--I had just had my first baby.
--I was applying in different school districts to sub.
--I started taking a writing course by mail.

3 Years Ago...
--DH and I had moved again and were waiting for our house to be built to move yet again.
--I had two kids--ages 2 and not quite 1.
--I was finishing up my writing course.

1 Year Ago...
--We were living in our house and I was pregnant with #4 (a big surprise!)
--I was planning to start a home preschool.

This Year...
--We live with my parents (and our four children) while DH is finishing up his bachelor's.
--Our house is currently a rental property.

Yesterday...
--We went to church, as it was Sunday, and I taught the CTR-5 class that DH and I both teach because he had to take the kids all home.

Today...
--I did laundry and cleaned what I didn't get to on Saturday.

Tomorrow...
--I get to go to the dentist. Yippee!
--And watch my brother-in-law's kids.





Saturday, July 19, 2008

I've Become My Worst Nightmare


Okay, so that's a little dramatic, but I have become the mom I never wanted to be...the one who is always late! It seems that no matter how I try, I am late to everything now--church, kids' birthday parties, swimming lessons, etc. I pre-plan everything--even packing the diaper bag ahead of time, but often there are one or two things that I forget to do until it is crunch time, and then I'm rushing to get out the door, which usually ends up being fifteen minutes later than I had planned. Has anybody else had this trouble once they had more than a couple kids at home? Maybe it's to teach me to be less judgmental...


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Testimony


Isn't it wonderful how the Gospel answers all our questions? Since getting reacquainted with some old friends of other faiths, I've been researching what other Christian denominations believe on certain doctrinal points and have found two very interesting facts from this research.

First, we are the only one who believes in a premortal existence. The fact that my computer wants me to spell-check "premortal" tells me that it's an unusual belief. Yet it solidifies everything we believe about our purpose on this Earth and who we are and where we came from. Without this doctrine, there would be no purpose to this life. No wonder so many others are confused about things like gender and why they are here. We are so fortunate to have this doctrine.

Secondly, none of our points of doctrine conflict with other points of doctrine. So many questions that others have regarding their faith (specifically Christianity) stem from not understanding why certain doctrinal points conflict with other points. We don't have that problem. Everything fits together nicely, like one giant puzzle.

I'm very glad that I'm fortunate to have the gospel in my life. I have something that so many other people don't have--the truth. I have a guide on how to raise a family (the Gospel). I have the knowledge of where I came from, who I am, what my purpose in this life is (to some degree, anyway), and what will happen to me and my loved ones after this life. These are things that many people question every day, yet I have always known since I was small. I feel very blessed.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Please say one of the following options...


Is it just me, or has customer service really gone downhill in the last fifteen years? I loathe calling a customer service number and getting a menu where I have to say a certain topic. Almost always, what I'm calling about doesn't really fit in one of their categories and they end up having to transfer me to a real live human being anyway (which is, of course, what I wanted), but sometimes it takes forever to get to that live person. It's so annoying.

I guess I'm just old-fashioned in that when I call a customer service number, I'd like a real live person to answer the phone in this fashion: "Thanks for calling (blank), this is (blank), how can I help you today?" And then to have them help me out politely and kindly (this is, on the assumption, of course, that I'm being polite and kind to them), whether it be to answer a simple question, or go through a long complex process to resolve an issue.

Wouldn't that be nice?


Monday, June 16, 2008

The Roles of Men and Women in Marriage


Okay, so DH's class has got me all riled up this morning. I was reading some of his textbook (I can't help myself, this stuff is interesting to me!), and came across this:

Contemporary models of intimacy stress gender equality in marriage and other types of partnerships. Egalitarianism is the trend among many couples making a serious commitment to each other. But if women continue to make less money for the work they do outside the home and if men continue to avoid child care and household labor, the fabric of intimate relationships is threatened. The fragile bonds of intimacy can easily be damaged when one spouse is subordinate to the other, has more power than the other, or receives less respect and dignity in society." (Marriage and Families: Intimacy, Diversity and Strengths, David H. Olson, John DeFrain, and Linda Skogrand, Chapter 7, p 188, italics added)

This suggests that work outside the home is more worthwhile and meaningful than work inside the home, and that if a husband works but the wife only cares for the children and the home that she somehow has less value than he does and is therefore "subordinate" to him. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to be equal partners. That is definitely what the Church teaches about marriage and families.

Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, italics added)
Doesn't that paint a different picture than what the textbook paints? The rest of the chapter that this segment is taken from discusses more about "gender inequalities" between men and women and their determined roles, which is influenced by the Feminist Framework, a family science framework that is based on the notion that women are exploited, devalued, and oppressed and that society should commit to empowering women and changing their oppressed condition.

Now, I'm also not here to argue that the feminist movement did not improve some things about women's lives. But I also know that the Church was opposed to the feminist movement of the 60's because of how it devalued motherhood! We went from devaluing women to devaluing mothers, and, in essence, destroyed the natural inclination most women have to bear and rear children by making it seem wrong.

When you evaluate a couple's marriage based on these principles (the ones mentioned in the textbook), it sounds that a marriage like mine, for example, where my husband is the breadwinner and I stay home to care for the children, is very un-egalitarian and that I'm the lesser of the two people. Just because I choose to stay home and fulfill my obligation as a mother.

I wish that the world could understand that men and women have equal but different roles in a marriage. Our purposes are united and we need to work together to raise our family, but I primarily care for the children while my husband goes off into the workforce to provide the "necessities of life". That doesn't make my contribution to the marriage less meaningful or important! The thing that these secular social scientists fail to notice, I think, is that you can have different roles but still have equality in marriage, if you are committed to helping and supporting each other in those roles! Yes, those gender roles that the world also views with such disregard (gender is, after all, according to this textbook, merely the stereotypes that the world places on men's and women's roles in society, not anything inherent and important to your "premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose," as the Family Proclamation explains).

We can have a whole other discussion on the world's view of gender roles versus the Gospel's understanding of the "eternal identity and purpose" of gender (more than just a stereotype imposed by backwards thinking).

Oh dear. I think I've rambled. These assigned chapters he's had to read this week about gender roles and sexual intimacy and even gay and lesbian lifestyles have me all churning inside. It's very scary what has become the acceptable norm for the world. Very scary indeed.





Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Joy of Childbirth


Last night we were watching a T.V. show where a character gave birth and they handed her the baby afterward. It reminded me of all the feelings that I've felt after having a baby and holding that newborn for the first time.

That is my favorite part of having a baby. The part when you've just finished delivering the baby and they wrap him or her in a blanket and give them to you to hold. Their eyes are closed, their faces are scrunched, often they are crying from being so abruptly torn from their warm, cozy home for the past nine months, and they are yours. Such an amazing feeling! There's nothing better than it, I think. I can't think of any other time I ever felt so much joy and peace and excitement all at once.

If my mind and body would allow, I would have dozens of babies just to experience that over and over again! But, those sweet babies are so needy and grow up to be kids who are needy and caring for that many kids would drive me out of my mind (four is already a LOT to handle!), plus having baby after baby definitely takes its toll on one's physical body. But that is my most favorite experience of all--the time just after birth when you get to hold that sweet baby for the first time! What a wonderful time!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Power of Play


I've just finished reading this book called "Piggyback Rides and Slippery Slides" by Lynnae W. Allred. She says, "A child who has some free time to play and engage in child-driven leisure pursuits with a parent (or other beloved adult) grows up healthier, happier, and more intelligent than a child whose time is rigidly scheduled into structured academic and physical activities."

I really agree with the whole theory of this book, that children need to be able to express themselves in child-driven play and that playing with an adult, specifically a parent, helps them learn and grow in ways that structured academic and physical activities cannot. I think too many parents out there are too eager to get their kids involved in academics early. One reason is because many children live in homes where both parents work, and having a child go to preschool is a better alternative than daycare for most families. But the push for academics and early reading and math is still too great in those preschools. I don't necessarily agree with the philosophy of both parents working, but I can see that it is a necessity in some instances. The problem is that these preschools are getting attention because they are so focused on academics, and in this highly competitive world, it makes parents think they are getting the edge by putting their child in such schools. But children need to be in a play-driven environment more than a highly structured academic one.

As the author of this book points out, children who engage in imaginative play learn coping skills and can get a better handle on their emotions than children who do not. She cites studies of highly pressured teens who turn to drugs, alcohol, and even suicide as ways out of the challenges they face, and those are often the ones who were pushed into these competitive worlds (academics and sports) earlier than their peers who do not fall into those traps.

I think that we would fare better as a nation if we relinquished the urge to spend gobs of money on the "best" preschools and kept our young preschoolers at home with us, teaching them through working together and playing together.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Digital Vs. Before


I love using my digital camera. I love being able to take a quick picture and see it right away. I like using the video feature on my digital camera. Now, I'm a terrible photographer, and the majority of even my digital pictures come out grainy and blurry and not in very good focus, but at least it's quick and easy and I can store them all on my computer's hard drive, back them up on CD's and zip disks and on the web, and make slideshows, post them on my blog, whatever.

What happens when one of my kids needs a picture of themselves as a baby for something? All those pictures are on my computer or the world wide web. I've even slurped my other blog and made a book on Blurb, so those pictures are in book format. But I don't usually order prints online or anywhere of my digital pictures. I guess I'm going to have to have my digital pictures printed.

I used to enjoy scrapbooking. Haven't had much time for it in the last five years, I'm sure you all know why. I got to the first year of marriage and haven't done much with it since. I have kept a baby book on all my kids, although, Travis' baby book isn't put together--there are pictures and everything is there and in order, it's just not together, and Eliza's is, yes, digital, with the intent of putting together a hard copy after the first year is over.

But recently I was looking through old family photo albums of my mom's. I've decided that I'm going to regress into older times, and make photo albums. I'm going to buy regular photo albums and put the pictures in the album according to date, with a simple explanation of the pictures. After I'm done with my first two years of marriage scrapbook, I will only use photo albums for the kids' pictures. That way, if I need one, I'll be able to open the album to the right date and take a picture out. I will still do digital, but I will try and order prints. I will still blog and slurp it to make a book every year, but the pictures will have a hard copy elsewhere.

Even though keeping memories has become easier, it's also become more complicated. In my effort to simplify, I'm going to have to find a better way to keep our memories. A blog book was a great idea, but the pictures are inaccessible for future use, as they are with a scrapbook. So, back to old-fashioned photo albums I go.

One more question: Should I just toss the old film-using cameras or let them collect dust?


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birth Order of Children


"A recent study by BYU economist Joseph Price would surprise parents committed to treating their children equally. It shows that firstborns get far more quality time with parents than their siblings." Click here to view the story on NBC Today Show. (http://www.byu.edu)

I don't, in particular, want to argue with the findings of the study, but it did seem a bit negative. It seemed to me that the firstborn is the luckiest, and everyone else isn't. That's how it came across to me.

Granted, all I've seen is what they showed on the Today Show on NBC. I didn't read the entire study. However, I didn't like what the research seemed to be implying, so I've come up with my own idea of what I think about the birth order of children.

I feel the study failed to take into account a very important factor--the gender of those children. In considering gender, if the first-born is a son, I would hypothesize that he would be pushed more toward independence and leadership than a daughter. If the first-born is a daughter, perhaps she would be coddled more while she is young and expected to help out the mother more with the other children as she gets older. I think that would be interesting to study--the gender of the children in relation to birth order.

What about families who have more of one gender than another? If they have four girls and then a boy, I think it would be possible that the boy would be pushed more toward high success careers than a fifth girl might. Is it possible that because I was the only girl in my family that my parents' expectations of me were different? I feel confident that I spent more quality one-on-one time with my dad than any of my brothers did simply because I was the only girl (you know, "daddy's little girl"). I know my brothers spent time with my dad, but I don't think they spent as much quality one-on-one time as I did, yet I'm not the oldest, just the only girl.

What about spacing? Consider three kids who are all male, where there is five years between the first two and 13 years between the younger two. Don't you think parents are more likely to be able to spend more quality time with each individually than parents who have four kids in 5 years (spacing: 17 months between first two, 23 months between next two, and 14 months between last two)? Those four kids are more likely to spend a lot less time one-on-one with parents because the demands for a parent's divided attention is so great.

Is it even bad if the oldest gets more quality time with the parents than the others? Perhaps Heavenly Father considered this and sent each child down in the order He did for a reason. Perhaps the spirit who is the oldest needed to be the oldest and the others all had their special place too. What about twins who are the oldest? Or elsewhere in the birth order? What does the study say or suggest about those relationships?

It didn't seem to say in the study whether it was positive or negative that parents spend more quality time with the first-born. I'd have to also ask if those 3,000 hours included the time in the child's life when he or she had no younger siblings? Of course there would be greater time spent one-on-one with the parents during that period of time because there are no other children! I mean, say a parent spends 8 hours a day times 365 days during the first year of the oldest child's life solely with that child, that equals 2,920 hours in just that one year. If the oldest is only 1 year older than the next, that is almost 3,000 hours right there!

The point I'm trying to make is that there are so many factors, I think it would be hard to really come up with a conclusive study about birth order. Gender matters, spacing matters, the number of children matter. Did the study just incorporate two-parent homes where the primary caregiver is the mother (I assume this since he is from BYU), or did it also include single parent homes? Not to mention that what one person may consider quality time, others may not consider it to be so. For example, many men feel that watching TV with their kids is quality time--I tend to disagree. All in all, I'd really like to read the entire study to see if any of these other factors were weighed, and if they weren't, I wouldn't call it a very thorough or fair study.




Thursday, May 15, 2008

Simplifying and Economizing


I've decided that we need to become more economical. I feel that we already do a fairly good job at pinching pennies, but I feel that we still waste way too much. Not only do we seem to have a lot of waste, but there certain things we can do to be more resourceful than what we are already doing.

I feel one of the biggest areas we are wasteful in is time. We waste a LOT of time watching TV. And recently, I've spent too much time on Blogger and other sites, which I've tried to remedy by limiting myself to an hour each day. I'd like spend my time on more wholesome and quality activities. Not that TV can't be that, but when it's on 5-6 hours a day, that's probably too much. At least it will be summer soon, with nothing on that's worthwhile during Prime time. Unfortunately, the summers are much too hot to spend much time outside, so I will have to find other constructive activities inside to keep me and the kids busy.

I think another area we can cut back on is spending money on fast food. Our budget actually tends to balance out in the grocery category. We don't spend too much on groceries, so what little extra there we might have, we go hit the dollar menu a few times a week. But that is even too much, and I think we will be healthier too if we refrain from all the fast food. I'd like to make it a special treat, like it was for me and my brothers when we were kids. I can probably count on one hand the times we had fast food during my first 15 years. Maybe a little more than that, but you get my drift? Even though it was cheaper then, and even when we did get fast food, my parents never splurged on it. We would all get the cheapest thing on the menu, say, the 2 for a $1 burgers, and then my dad would buy a whole bunch and maybe a couple orders of fries and we would take it home, add a tossed salad and some milk, and voila!, a somewhat healthy fast food meal! No Happy Meals or Kids' Meals with the ridiculous toys that break within a week anyway. I just need to plan my meals better to avoid the fast food. I'm pretty good at planning dinners, I just need to focus on lunch and even breakfast more.

Another area that we need to be more resourceful is in learning how to grow our own food. Yep, I'm 30 years old and I really have no idea how to grow food. I mean, I have the basic concept down--you put a seed in dirt and keep it watered and in the sunshine and eventually you should get some results, but I've never done it. Nope, not once. I helped weed our garden when I was a little kid, I may have grown a bean or two in science in school, but I've never actually planted something I could eat, grown it, and then eaten it. Pretty pathetic, eh? So that's another thing I need to learn to do.

And another place I want to be resourceful and waste less money on is basic home repairs. Our tenants told us that they have a leaky faucet again. This greatly stresses me out because neither me nor my husband have a clue how to fix it, not to mention, own any sort of plumbing tools whatsoever. So it becomes this grandiose thing, when it's probably really quite simple. We need to become more handy around the house.

So these are my goals:

1. Watch less TV and spend less time in front of the computer.
2. Eat less fast food.
3. Learn to grow food.
4. Learn basic household repairs.

Good luck!



Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Mom

I've decided that every once in a while, I'm going to pay tribute to someone I admire and/or wish to emulate. It seems only fitting to start with my mom, especially since Mother's Day is coming up this weekend. So here it goes.

My mom is the third of five children. She has three sisters and one brother. She grew up mostly in Northern California. After high school, she attended Brigham Young University, where she got an associates degree in secretarial technology. She married my dad and shortly thereafter started her family. My mom is the mother of six children, five boys and one girl. When she was expecting her sixth child, she finally earned her bachelor's degree in history from the University of Texas at Dallas.

My mom has successfully raised six children in the gospel. All are currently living their lives in accordance with what they were taught. Four have served honorable full-time missions, one is currently serving. Five have married in the temple. She is the grandmother of 12--five boys and seven girls. She has served in various church positions, including Relief Society President and Primary President.

That is a list of many of her accomplishments, as trite as they may sound to her. I think that the calling she has served in all of her adulthood--that of visiting teacher--is the most important one besides mother that she's ever had and one that she has set a perfect example in. As far back as I can remember, she has never missed a month of visiting the sisters she is assigned. I've rarely met another individual in Relief Society who has a 100% visiting teaching record.

Through these callings and simply living the gospel, she has set an example to me of the kind of person I ought to be. She is selfless and always serving. She is kind and caring. She is strong and courageous. Always through hard times, she relies on scriptures, faith, and prayer to pull her through.

My mother has been and still is a wonderful example to me. She truly patterns her life after the Savior, and I hope I can follow her example.




Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friendship


I have been frequenting Facebook as of late, finding many past acquaintances from all the places I've lived. As I've exchanged messages with them through Facebook, I've found that there are so many people I could have shared good friendships with while I was among them, but I didn't. I was too busy trying to be popular and fit in with the "in" crowd.

I think it was my senior year of high school when I figured out that it's not how many friends you have and how popular you are, but what kind of friends they are. I actually had some pretty great friends my senior year. There were some people in past years that I didn't share valuable friendships with because the "in" crowd had somehow deemed them less than worthy. Sure, I was nice to them (I don't think I was ever blatantly mean to anyone), but I never really built a friendship. I was too focused on fitting in with the popular kids.

It's sort of sad that some of us tend to do that. We want acceptance and to be valued by those who often have a powerful influence on others (the "popular" or "in" crowd). Yet we don't always realize that many other people could give us friendships that would be more valuable to us. We have more in common with them, or they simply treat us better and therefore make a better friend.

Not everyone has done this or does this still, I realize that, but I have often fallen into this trap. I have even fallen into this trap in my college years (trying to be better pals with certain, more "popular" roommates than the ones that would have made better friends, etc.) and even beyond college (trying to always be friends with the people who seem to be "popular"). I don't know why that mentality captures me time and time again. Maybe I just want acceptance, but being accepted by the people who truly love me doesn't seem to cut it. I don't know. All I know is that I'm sorry I missed out on some great friendships in the past. I'm trying to remedy some of that now, but I guess the ultimate ideal would be to somehow transform into a person who doesn't need that "in" crowd acceptance, someone who can just enjoy the friendships she has rather than always wonting for more. Consider it a lesson learned (however failing the application of it may be).


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Getting Things Done



Each day is so much work at staying afloat that I often feel very overwhelmed. So overwhelmed, in fact, that some days all I can do is sit there not doing anything. I often feel like Goldie Hawn's character in the movie Overboard, the part where she is sitting on the couch after her first day of being alone with the four boys, and she is staring off into space while they throw grapes at her, saying, "bah, bah, bah," over and over again.

The thing that leaves me feeling overwhelmed is usually just thinking of all the things I need to or want to do each day. When I sit down and make a list, sometimes I get so discouraged looking at the length of it that my body seems to shut down and I can't seem to do anything at all!

Now, I have a small defect in my personality, and that is being a perfectionist. More like an idealistic perfectionist, where I want things to meet up to my expectations of how I think things should be and if they fall short, I beat myself up about it.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. I want to really get down and spend good quality time with my kids. I think my family spends way too much time in front of the television or computer and we should spend more quality time together. My sister-in-law gave me a book called The Preschooler's Busy Book. I've looked at it and some of the ideas are great! However, the majority of suggested activities require certain supplies, which I don't already have on hand and would need to collect. I compile a list of what I need, based on the suggestions in the book, and realize how much money I would need to spend to get these items together. Since I'm one who can't seem to start a project without having everything in order first, doing the activities that I have supplies for and gathering the rest of the supplies as I go is simply not an option for me. No matter how hard I try to break away from that tendency, I am never successful.

My list includes things like going through toys and "organizing" them (freecycling what I don't want and better organizing the rest into plastic bins), finding a better system for storing and cycling clothes that are off-season or too big/too small for the kids, cleaning out my dresser of clothes I will not likely wear again or clothes that are off-season, starting a filing system for the visual aids and activities we've made for our primary class that could be used for Family Home Evening, making behavior charts and chore charts for the kids, going through food storage and better planning each week's shopping list. The list goes on and on to include more worthwhile free time pursuits, like reading good books, exercising, and writing or scrapbooking, or doing a better job at keeping our side of the house clean.

Whenever my husband is home from work and doesn't have homework to do, he asks me if there's anything that can be done. Honey, there's always something that can be done! Always something more worthwhile to do than watch TV or frequent blogs and other websites (my weakness!). I think I need to come up with some sort of schedule to control how I spend my time. It's just very difficult for me to even be motivated to do it, even though I stress out about not doing it. Like I said, I have high expectations for myself and am constantly beating myself up for not meeting them.



Sunday, April 13, 2008

Coming Back into the Light


"My Rose-Colored Glasses

I am missing my rose-colored glasses
They fell off somewhere back there
and I can't find them anywhere
It's hard to see with the dark ones on.

I've found my rose-colored glasses
But I don't want to put them on
Wearing the dark ones
Gave an excuse to not see the light."
----July 1999

That is a poem I wrote between my junior and senior years at BYU. There is a whole back story to the poem, of course, but I have to admit, I'm not really wanting to delve into that here. All I can say is that sometimes, we want to wallow in self-pity for a while.

These past few years have been particularly hard for me when it comes to certain issues. Finances haven't been exactly ideal, children poorly spaced has been an issue for me as well. On Thursday night, I went to a stake relief society enrichment with my mom. The speaker talked about how life is like a train ride and most of it is over rocky terrain, but once in a while, we get to a mountain peak and are fortunate to be able to see a beautiful view, or vista and to enjoy the vistas. I thought to myself, "I can't remember the last time I felt like I was enjoying a vista!" I felt like I've been on that train ride through a really long dark tunnel for the last few years.

But the rest of the night, she talked about how we need to get back into the basics--scripture reading, prayer, and just keeping the faith--in order to arrive at a vista. If we aren't doing those things, then surely the vistas will be less often. After considerable thought, I realized that I could definitely do better in those areas. While I try to maintain some sort of routine with it, I'm nowhere near 100%. I can always blame that on having two babies in two years, but, really, in the final judgment when Heavenly Father asks why I stopped being 100% on my personal prayer and scripture study, if I say, "Because you sent me two babies in two years!", I don't think He'll really understand. If anything, He'll say, "That's exactly why I sent you two babies in two years, you weren't talking to me enough!"

So, that very night, I went home, opened my scriptures and read the chapter that the woman suggested that we read: Alma 5. Can I just say that it was like this balm just washing over me? It was wonderful! And the other thing I realized that night at the Enrichment was that I have not been listening to music very much lately. On occasion, I play it in my car, but usually not anything really uplifting and spiritual. The speaker had arranged four musical numbers that were so uplifting and just soothed my rumpled spirit. Let me tell you--getting to that RS Enrichment on Thursday night was one really rocky ride--the kids were TERRIBLE right before I was supposed to leave and I was SO NOT feeling like attending anything churchy, but I knew I was too upset to sit in that house any longer and only went for the sake of leaving the house.

So, on Friday morning, I put on some nice LDS inspirational music that I haven't listened to in a really long time, and it helped calm me. I committed to reading my scriptures each day and being more earnest in my prayers, and even having family scripture reading and prayer each day. So far so good. Of course, it's only been since Thursday, but now I can keep doing it.

I am really excited about "coming back into the light." I feel like I've been in darkness so long, the light seems very warm and comforting. I like it!



Friday, April 11, 2008

The Preservation of Femininity

I realize this is backward thinking and goes against feminism, yada, yada, yada, but I just don't think women belong in combat, or many other parts of the armed services. Nurses, yes, perhaps other behind-the-scenes type work, but in the front lines fighting in war zones (or driving the Humvees), no. First, it is contrary to the very inherent nature of a woman to be a warrior. Not that women can't do it or don't have the capabilities, but just that women are better cut out for other roles. Second, when a unit is taken hostage and a woman is in it, what do you think her captors will do to her that they most likely won't do to the men? Yep, the big ugly "R" word. Those are just a few reasons I have for this opinion.

Along those lines, I don't think that women should play harsh contact sports (think rugby, football, wrestling, etc.) either. Not that we can't, but that we shouldn't. Now you're probably thinking that I'm some prissy and somewhat wimpy girl, but I am not that either. I can throw a football as good or even better than a lot of guys. I can also shoot a basket and hit a baseball to rival the ability of some guys. Growing up, I liked climbing trees and playing outside with my brothers. I just think that women are better at other sports and better-equipped for duties outside of combat and war zones. It's not that she can't do these things, but that she shouldn't.

Let's preserve a little femininity at least. Just because we are as capable as men in just about everything doesn't mean we have to become them!



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