Monday, May 9, 2016

Everyone's A Mormon...

Well, at least at heart.  I have proof.  Two words.  Blue Blood.

Over 13.8 million weekly viewers tune in to watch another good-guy/bad-guy, cops ‘n robbers shoot out.

Why?  Is it because Tom Selleck graces the screen with his calm sophistication and underlying charm?  If that’s the wrong generation for you, how about Donnie Wahlberg?  His dual singer/actor persona hits a girl right in the swoon area.  Or, maybe you are drawn to the savvy Bridget Moynahan who navigates a precarious balance between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law while maintaining family harmony and raising a responsible teen.  

For me, it was none of these things.  It was the FAMILY DINNER.  I fell in love with the family dinner.  A safe gathering place for family to be themselves and know they are loved.
This week Donnie Wahlberg was on CBS This Morning.  In discussing the rocket-booster popularity of Blue Blood, one thing stood out in contrast to any other drama or comedy on TV:  

 The Family Dinner.

One of our family dinners

While other shows mock, belittle and disrespect fathers (moms, too, but mostly fathers), Blue Blood stands as a beacon shining on a value that is being trampled, throttled, stomped on and packed down by our culture.  The contempt and disregard for fathers is being demonstrated in every media available to us, and more importantly to our youth.


This value is at the very heart of our civilization.  It’s one of the fibers that binds together republicans and democrats, Catholics and atheists, Mormons and Methodists, blacks and browns and whites, literates and illiterates, rich and poor and Abrahamic religions with one another.    Honoring and respecting our parents plants within us a common core and weaves us into a cohesive culture.
When this value is misplaced, society suffers.  I see it every day in our headlines and in our homes.

It is no secret Mormons place the family at the very heart of the meaning of life.  In every meeting love and respect for family wafts through the air penetrating every psyche, influencing every plan, enveloping every heart.  There’s even a night set aside (usually, but not always, a Monday night.) especially FOR families to eat together, learn together, play and pray together, grow together.   

 Family Home Evening. 

When I saw that so many viewers were drawn to Blue Blood because of the family dinner, I felt a kinship, a connection with them.  I felt a tie binding us together.  I felt hope.  In spite of what we witness on the media, we are truly one big family.  

OK, everyone’s not a Mormon.  But, if you are drawn to the family dinner on Blue Blood, then you are experiencing a tiny Mormon moment.

And, thanks Mom for all those family dinners

Here is a family home evening project: Daniel, Lions and Me       For instructions GO HERE

Daniel, Lions and Me

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear Grandchildren

You are a light in my dark room.  You are a smile that comes from nowhere.  You are a spark of warmth in my heart.  You are a focus of my thoughts and prayers.

You are growing up much faster then your parents, but then I grew up faster than my mom.  It's the way of the world--like it or not.  During this fast paced trip to adultatopia, you--we all--need rules.  Rules are like the railing on a toddlers first bed.  They keep you from falling into places you may not be able to get out of by yourself.

I just thought perhaps you would like to take a look at the rules YOUR mom or dad had to abide by when they were growing up.   I first posted this old list of rules in a letter to my children IN JANUARY 2011--FIND THAT ARTICLE HERE

This time it's for you.  Maybe reading it will give you a greater perspective.  Maybe the rules you now have to abide by won't seem so bad.  Or, for those of you who are out on your own, maybe you will realize rules are always necessary, even if you have to impose them upon yourself.

I made this list of rules way back in 1984. My kids--your mom or dad--were ages 12, 15 & 17.  I think it might make you thankful for the rules your parents have given you.   (Especially the one about the phone!!)              Love, Nana  :)

Please do not invite friends in the house when parents are not home.
If you go to someone else’s house, their parents have to be home.
No last minute over-nights.

TAKE TURNS deciding what to watch---check schedule in cabinet.
Two hour MAXIMUM daytime TV –this means before 7 PM.
No late night TV except by special permission.  Remember, you are on vacation, but Dad and Mom are not.

Please ask friends not to call before noon.

Continue to make your beds daily and keep your room tidy.  YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOUR ROOM IS IN SHAPE. SO DO IT AS SOON AS YOU GET UP.

You MUST keep the lawn mowed!  Don’t worry, we’ll take turns.

We will continue to have lunch at noon and supper at 4:30.  We are going to take turns fixing lunch, check schedule in cabinet.  You may decide the menu.
You will also take a turn at suppertime chores.  Check schedule.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Narnia, A Prototype

Last week I went on a trip through the wardrobe for the first time in many years...

Oh, I realize some may not "get" the reference to the Chronicles of Narnia in the Blog Title, but, that's ok.  I use it anyway.  Just because I love the book, the movie and the author.

My granddaughter (the youngest, the newest, the last) watched the Chronicles for the first time a few weeks ago.  When she came to visit last week she brought the movie along so we could watch it together.  I loved it all over again.  The thrill of discovery.  The joy of adventure.  The shock of evil.  The anguish of betrayal.  The heartache of loss. The rapture of resurrection.

When Aslan rose up in victory, Elli snuggled close beside me whispered in my ear, "just like Jesus."

A thrill shot through me. She's only four years old and she knows the most important thing in life.  She knows to come out of the wardrobe, leave the make believe world behind, and focus on the Savior.

Would that we all knew that.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Energy Drinks--Really?

I’ve long been interested in energy drinks. Blood sugar disorders run rampant in my family so over the years I perfected protein drinks and smoothies. They are filled with high nutrition, high energy and are representative of true fitness and health.

The “power”, “sports”, “fitness” or “energy” drinks are only extensions of my original concept. I question the real power or energy one gets from them. The Red Bulls and blue Gator Aides are Trojan horses filled with questionable additives and faux-nutrition. I groan inwardly to think of how many folks guzzle them down without a thought to their health. And, don’t even get me started on letting children and teens drink them.

One of the newest claims to fame is a near-beer from Germany, Alkoholfrei. Erdinger, the brewmeisters of Alkoholfrei, are hoping it will succeed with Americans where other alcohol-free beers have failed. Like its predecessors, it is not totally without alcohol having a less than 5% content which fortunately compromises distribution to minors in some states in the US. In Germany, Erdinger dispenses their near-beer at sporting events and hand out free cups at finish lines. I would never promote it as a sports drink, or any other kind of drink but it does contain real energy-producing B vitamins and carbs, potassium and sodium. And, it’s a natural golden color with a sudsy appeal. Don't let these "benefits" fool you,  It's still beer.  It's still an alcoholic beverage.

We are a sleep deprived nation, so naturally we depend on external stimulants to get us through the day. If you are in this category take time to reevaluate your schedule and your diet. And, check out my matrix* for making REAL healthy drinks on MY WEBSITE .

*Since writing that piece, I no longer make the Balance herbal mix for sale.  Sorry.  Just substitute a good protein powder.  And, I also have added kefir to the mix.  Milk kefir or coconut milk kefir.  YUM.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Words--Good, Bad and Ugly

BIBLIOPHILE: noun a person who collects or has a great love of books.

Yep, that's me. And, by association a bibliophile would also be a lover of words. That's me, too. Just ask my husband. He says women have a certain number of words that have to come out each day and if they don't, we'll burst. Don't you feel like that sometimes? That if you don't speak the words will catapult out tumbling, rolling, wrecking havoc of their own accord? Can't you just see them in there scheming, plotting, giggling to get out and do their worst? Or best?

Words are powerful. More powerful than we realize. Words create. Words destroy. Words inspire. Words discourage.

When I was very young, six or seven, I learned a new word. I'm sure, considering my environment, I had heard it before, but it had never caught my attention. I was with my parents in a smokey little bar on the corner a couple blocks from our apartment. It seemed as if the word just flew out of someone's mouth, glided through the air, slipped into my ears and stuck in my brain.

There it circled round and round, repeating itself. I wondered outside and sat on the curb under the steetlight. I loved words even then and knew how to sound them out to arrive at an approximate spelling. I had found a small rock that I carried in my pocket that served as make-do chalk.

I sounded out the word and wrote: F *** U *** K on the sidewalk. Then I wrote it again. And, again. AND AGAIN until the entire section of cement was covered with my new word. When there was no more room I tried to fill the sky with it. I shouted it over and over until I was sure it had reached the stars.

Bar patrons coming and going smiled and laughed at my antics. I didn't care. I had a new word.

I began to notice the word everywhere in every discourse in every situation spoken by children and adults. Why hadn't I heard it before. It was pervasive. I also noticed it accompanied anger, violence, drunkenness, insolence, vulgarity and rudeness of every kind. I came to hate my new word. I loathed the sound of it. I cringed and shied away every time it was spoken. It's very utterance conjured ugly situations and abhorrent memories.

As I grew older I deliberately put myself out of reach of that word by associating with folks who never said it. Later in my life I could go days, weeks, months without so much as a whisper of that word.

Then, I'm not really sure when it happened, the word creeped slowly back into my life. I noticed it being said in casual conversation by folks who didn't spend all their free time in a bar. I heard it in the business world at work where it was once taboo to use profanity. And, by teens, pre-teens and, gasp, elementary children and double-gasp, teachers. I heard it at the gas station, the grocery store, on the escalator, on the television, at the movies. It was everywhere. And, each time I heard it, I cringed inside.

This morning I was reading one of my FAVORITE blogs. I had received her newsletter and as usual I clicked on over to her blog. She is a delightful, insightful lady. She is a mentor to thousands--tens of thousands--of women all over the world. She is artful and quirky and smart. Her advice leads countless women to success in their personal lives as well as their businesses. I love her.

Except: that word is showing up more and more frequently in her writings. Today's post was exceptionally full of it. My question is WHY??? There are SO many other ways of saying things. There are so MANY words out there just waiting to be used in good meaningful inspiring ways. And, she is such a good meaningful inspiring person. But, I think her vocabulary could stand an upgrade.

Maybe we should have a contest to see what ALTERNATIVES we can come up with.