Friday, March 28, 2008

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Turning Mothers-in-Law into Mothers-in-Love

My Mother-in-Love (Mary Delena Perry Finch)

My Sister in Love (Susie) - My Mother in Love (Mary) My Grandma in Love (Delila)

Turning Mothers-in-Law into Mothers-in-Love by James W. & Mary Ellen Gleason Petty
One of the toughest roles a person ever has to deal with is mother-in-law. Historically, it is one of the most difficult, most maligned, and most dreaded parts on the stage of life. “Mother-in-law” has been caricatured in literature, films, in cartoons, and in public discussion as a domineering, opinionated, hyper-vigilant individual that strikes terror into the heart of the most courageous men and women. Her food was always the tastiest, her house the neatest, her position in society was always elite.

Or was it?

People tend to place other people high on pedestals, or low in pits. Mothers are spoken of in idyllic terms, and we hold the position in esteem; yet for some reason the term “in law” turns an idyllic being into the enemy, and we have to decide which person our spouse's mother really is.

Childish Things

Life is often a series of epiphanies, little revelations that can change lives and relationships if we apply those new interpretations to our life experiences. The Apostle Paul said in Corinthians: “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)

“In-law” is one of those childish things; it is a label our dismissive world attaches to individuals to define their place in society.

In the society that Jesus Christ established, love was the common denominator around which all life revolved. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another … By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35). Based on this law, isn't it reasonable that we should define our relationships? Rather than “in-law,” they should be “in-love.”

As in all things, it is sometimes easier to say something than it is to do it. I believe this relates to that “child” thing Paul referred to when he said, “I understood as a child, I thought as a child.” Unlike Paul, though, many of us in adult bodies remain as children way longer than needed, until we finally acquire that understanding of life that enables us to think as adults and be men and women.

Too often this immaturity is taken into marriage and so-called adult-relationships. We take on responsibilities in business, at church, and in the social world that identify us as people of value and status while only looking the part of being adults. But the child still shows its face after marriage when we continue to regard the family we have married into as the “in-laws” or even “out-laws” in some cases.

A Change of Heart

It is when paradigm shifts come though the tutorials of life and the little epiphanies are applied, that we start seeing relationships in a new light — in an adult way. And we are often amazed at how other people have changed. We begin to recognize good qualities in others rather than harbor ill will over their faults, and our hearts begin to turn.

This turning of the hearts may take place without us even realizing that we have changed our opinions, but often the change is so sudden, that it seems to occur like a lightening and thunder revelation from Heaven. That is what this article is about. Those experiences when mothers-in-law become mothers-in-love, and the result is a life-altering change.

I was one of the most fortunate of men. By the time I had a mother-in-law, she was already regarded as my mother-in-love. My mother-in-love, Ellen Eilene McRae Osterbauer, from the moment I first met her, treated me as one of her own, and accepted me with respect as a person of worth. My relationship with Mary was made so much easier, because I was “in-love” with her mother before we married. I learned from her that it was a two-way street and both must walk it. A mother-in-love relationship comes from how one regards others, and how others regard that one.

Mary's experience with my mom, was, well … let Mary describe it. “I have been married for nearly forty years, and am now well into the second decade of my own experience as a mother-in-law. During that time, this dramatis persona has moved from the Wicked Witch of the West to mother-in-love, because of my incredible, dynamic, powerful, and sweet mom, Medalou Winter Petty, my husband's mother.”

Arm's Length

Mary met my mother early in our nearly two-and-a-half-year courtship. I was the first of their children to marry and bring the in-law relationship into their experience. My parents welcomed her into our home as “a” girl that I knew. The longer we were together, the friendlier they became; but then, and even years into our marriage, Mom kept Mary at arm's length in their relationship.

Looking back on that time, I realize now that I was still their “child,” and the people I had attached to were seen as extensions of their “child.” Mary was my friend, not a daughter.

Mom was the wife of a small-town doctor, with two sons and four daughters; and played the social role to the hilt. She was active in community groups, ran the PTA, served as Relief Society president, contributed to the arts, and was active in local politics. On top of it she kept a beautiful home, and Sunday dinner often looked like it came right out of Norman Rockwell.

As a role model for Mary, she was very intimidating. Mary felt that her home was never pretty enough, or her table set right. Our clothes were too plain, and even our children, as they came on the scene, could not compare to the pictures of the perfect children my mother had in her albums. (I really was a pretty baby!) Mary had hoped through marriage to become daughter #5. It seemed it would never be.

My parents left their small town practice and home in the 1980's to tackle new opportunities in the country of Saudi Arabia, where my father worked as a physician for King Faud in the king's hospital in Riyadh. Mary and I learned of their experiences by way of postcards and long-distance phone calls. Once a year they returned for a short visit and shared their wonderful experiences with us and our growing family.

For seven years, Dad served in the stake presidency, while Mom was the stake Relief Society president for the entire country of Saudi Arabia. She also taught American English to one of the grandsons of the King. Highly skilled at shopping in the USA, Mom was absolutely in heaven when she visited the “suks” (stores) in Arabia. She maintained the financial base of that nation, and Dad labored to keep the bank account even.

Although life seemed grand during the seven years they spent working in that far-off land, circumstances drastically changed their position at home. Their house was sold, and all of their possessions were put in storage, awaiting their return. Overnight, it seemed, their social world in America dissolved. They had gone, and others in their age group began retiring, and moving away themselves. Mom lost her all of her closest friends, forever.

In 1987, Mom and Dad left Saudi, and directly accepted the first of three mission calls, this one to serve in the London England Temple. This is where Mary and Mom would discover each other.


In June of 1988, after serving half of their mission in England, Dad invited Mary and me to visit them. A principal portion of our ancestry came from England, and as a professional genealogist I had a great interest to go there and discover information that was not yet available in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Because of their mission and their activities in the temple, Dad and Mom were also very interested in learning more about their English genealogy. We planned out an itinerary starting from East Grinstead, Surry, where the temple was located, and traveling west through Hampshire, to the winter ancestral homes in Bath and Brompton Ralph in Somersetshire; then North to Wales and on to the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, where other grandparents had lived, and heard the gospel.

We went to the Moors of Staffordshire, and then to Birmingham and Stratford-on-Avon, from where my Father's family hailed, and then across the land to Nottinghamshire, where more of Mom's family stock were founded. And then back to London.

These three weeks were amazing. We visited village after village, drinking in the sights and history of the homes of our ancestors. The country was beautiful, the architecture was often both ancient and quaint; and we experienced miracles learning about our genealogy. But the biggest miracle was taking place in the backseat of the car.

I had learned to drive on the wrong side of the road when we first got to England, and I found I could do it tolerably well. But we let Dad do all of the driving. It was his ticket, and he felt it was his responsibility. During the course of the tour we only burned up three clutches.

I sat in the front seat with him as moral support, while Mary and Mom stayed in the back. To this day I don't know if it was the fact that Mom no longer had any close friends in her life, or if Mary had grown up to the point where Mom could recognize her as a companion in her own right, but during those weeks in the back seat they began to talk, and they began to share, and they began to laugh.

They talked and shared and laughed from Winchester to Evesham, where Dad made an unintended comment that hurt Mary, and she bolted, as the English would say. Mom bolted and found Mary and they talked, and they cried, and they laughed. The communication continued onto Birmingham and Stafford, to Nottingham, and back to London. When we said good bye at the temple, it was Mother-in-Love and Daughter #5-in-Love who hugged and said farewell.

In the twenty years that have followed, that “in-love” relationship has grown such that Mary can't believe there was ever any other feeling between her and Mom. Dad and Mom are home from their missions, and now in the twilight of their lives, they live nearby, and we visit often to talk, and share, and laugh, and love as family-in-love.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My Primary class 2008

Team Teacher Kathy
Team Teacher Rocio
Samantha M
Piper B
Samantha K

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Elusive Bird

I took this Picture. (It is a little fuzzy but you should have seen the others)
I kept seeing this bird in my back yard at the feeder. I took a ton of photos of it but they were all fuzzy then there it was and sitting very still and for a long time. It was about the size of the average Robin Red-breast.

It is a Varied thrush - Ixoreus naevius
Identification Tips:
Length: 8 inches
Orange stripe extends rearward from eye
Dark mask and crown
Orange underparts with dark breast band
Dark gray upperparts
Orange wing bars
Female similar to male but browner above with paler breast band
Similar species:
The Varied Thrush is somewhat similar to the American Robin but has a dark breast band, orange eye stripe, and orange wing bars.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oh Happy Day!!!

Shiloh is so hapy -- he feels like he can still be a "Missionary" He loves to share the Gospel.

"One Big Happy Family"

This is my little Baby Girl - Ashley Renee McDonald

Monday, March 10, 2008

A picture is worth 1,000 words - Part 2

A picture is worth 1,000 words------But words help-------

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A picture is worth 1,000 words - Part 1

A picture is worth 1,000 words------But words help-------

Don't really know what language this is but when I can read it and understand it - I think it is cute.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Answering Critics

Article by: John A. Tvedtnes

Soon after my retirement from BYU and our move to Bella Vista, Arkansas, I was invited to respond to anti-Mormon criticisms encountered by Latter-day Saint teens in their dealings with their non-Mormon peers. As I contemplated the questions brought out by the group of roughly 40 young men and young women of the Bentonville Second Ward, I realized that the answers to those questions could often be found in the Articles of Faith.

We are all aware that the thirteen Articles of Faith respond to general questions such as “What do you believe?” but they also deal with specific issues often brought up in anti-Mormon literature. Here, we shall discuss some of these.

“The Mormons are not Christians.”
The fallacy of this assertion is demonstrated in the name of the Church, which is included in the heading “The Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” [1] Several of the articles themselves affirm our belief in Christ. Article 1 declares, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

Believing in Christ is just a start. We also believe that he is our Savior. Article 3 states, “We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” These laws and ordinances are explained in Article 4: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.” [2]

We also believe in the return of the Savior in glory and “that Christ will reign personally upon the earth” (Article 10). Article 8 affirms our belief in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, both of which testify of Christ.

In July 1838, the prophet Joseph Smith declared, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” [3]

“Mormons do not believe in the Bible.”

Article 8 states that, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” [4] Moreover, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Article 9).

The verbiage in Article 4 is based on a Bible passage (Hebrews 6:1-2), and Article 13 derives from Paul’s epistle to the Philippians 4:8. Article 12 derives from another of Paul’s epistles, Titus 3:1.

“Mormons are intolerant of other religions.”
Article of Faith 11 responds, “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” This is hardly the kind of thing that intolerant people would believe.

“Mormons believe that they should rightfully rule the world.”
As suggested in Article 10 (“Christ will reign personally upon the earth”), we actually believe that Jesus Christ is the rightful ruler of the world and that, during the millennial era, he will be acknowledged as such by people throughout the earth. Meanwhile, “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

“Mormon culture is characterized by a history of crime and violence against others.”
Although a few Latter-day Saints have committed reprehensible acts, this is not characteristic of the Church or its members. Article 13 says that, “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul — We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

At the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting held 10 February 2007, President Thomas S. Monson told the story of his then nonmember friend Sharman Hummel, who sat on a bus beside a Latter-day Saint Primary girl who was going to visit her aunt in Reno, Nevada. He asked her if she were a Mormon and she replied in the affirmative.

When he asked what Mormons believed, “that little girl recited the first article of faith; then she talked about it. Continuing, she gave him the second article of faith and talked about it. Then she gave him the third and the fourth and the fifth and the sixth and all of the Articles of Faith and talked about all of them. She knew them consecutively.”

Hummel was so impressed that, when he got to San Francisco, he looked up the Church and ultimately became a member.

Not Just for Children
Some Latter-day Saints seem to think that the Articles of Faith are only for children to memorize and recite to the bishop or in sacrament meeting when graduating from Primary. We seem to forget that they were written in 1842 by Joseph Smith, a prophet of God, and that they are, indeed, the fundamental beliefs of the restored Church.

I recommend that we give Articles of Faith cards to friends and acquaintances who have questions about our faith. They will learn more about us from these statements of belief than from all the harsh critical literature produced in great quantities by those who misrepresent, either deliberately or inadvertently, our beliefs.

You can order packets of Articles of Faith cards from the Church’s distribution services at English copies can be ordered by going to

[1] Some critics point out that this has not always been the name of the church. However, it was incorporated in 1830 as “The Church of Christ.” At a conference of elders held in Kirtland, Ohio, on 3 May 1834, “a motion was made by Sidney Rigdon, and seconded by Newel K. Whitney, that this Church be known hereafter by the name of ‘The Church of the Latter-day Saints.’ Remarks were made by the members, after which the motion passed by unanimous vote” (History of the Church 2:62). The change may have been proposed because several other churches employed the name “Church of Christ.” The Lord himself settled the issue in a revelation of 26 April 1838, in which he declared, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (D&C 115:4).

[2] Baptism is performed “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 20:73).

[3] Joseph Smith, “Answers to Questions,” Elders’ Journal (Kirtland, Ohio) 1 (July 1838): 42-43.

[4] I have noted that, throughout the history of the Church, whenever General Authorities have named what we call the “Standard Works,” the Bible is almost always first in the list, with the Book of Mormon second. Modern revelations require us to study and teach from these two volumes of scripture (D&C 11:22; 42:12).

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Confusing English Language

Do you think that English is easy?????
I don't think it is, and that is why people coming from another country have quite a few problems with our language.

Read to the end . . . a new twist

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this. There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP …When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so........... It is time to shut UP.!

Oh . . . one more thing: What are the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U-P (you pee)

I give UP

Sunday, March 2, 2008

“Rods & Dogs”

So check it out – church activities in the west are so different than back east. There is something going on every weekend. If not at church then it is at someone’s home.

Last night was the 3rd annual “Rods & Dogs” this is an Elder’s Quorum and High Priest event - (As in Hot Rods and Hot Dogs) - it is a meal of hotdogs, chips and salads along with an adult Pinewood Derby.

We are new here (as you know) and so we did not know about how big an event this was until a day or two before so we did not have time to go out and build a new derby. Bill pulled out one of the cars that the boys had used in the past (about 15 years old) and he entered it.

They had state of the art timing equipment. There were 24 cars and each had to race in 24 races and in all three lanes. The computer timed and ranked the races. After about the 5th race all of the graphite was gone so those that did not know how to graphite the wheels had about the same chance to win as all of the rest.

At the end of the 24 races they tallied up the totals then called for 3 of the cars to come back and race again. They did not say what place these three cars were racing for but that they had tied. Bill’s car was one of them and after 4 more races it was found that bill’ car was the fastest of the 3 cars. by .0001 sec.

Then we found out that he was racing for 3rd, 4th, or 5th place. So he came in 3rd. big upset they tell us because he and three others beat the winner from the last two years (that person came in 5th place).

The cars were so cool in designs, and also some were plain. (oursis the plain yellow car next ot the white one) Now that we know what to expect we will be ready for next year, and I think that I might even build one and race it.