Saturday, September 20, 2008

Creativity in Education

If you are a parent who hopes for the BEST educational opportunities for your children, please watch this brilliant (and humorous) presentation til the end. When you are moved by its contents - decide to do something about it! Don't subject your creative children to a slow, uninspiring, educational death.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I was tucking Sikeli, my 4 year old, into bed and I said to him, "I love you more than anything in this whole world!"
He quickly replied with an even BIGGER, BETTER compliment, "I love you more than a box of macaroni and cheese."
I accepted the compliment, choking down the laughter. I knew I was a top rate mom - right up there with Mac & Cheese!!!

Today Sikeli told Sai that there are 3 important people in this world: Barack Obama, Jesus Christ and President Monson.

His 3 year old brother, Aisea, corrected him on one of his nominees: It's John McCain, not Barak Obama!

We have our own little political campaign going on at home, apparently!


Building on the last entry about the POWER OF INTENTION, which truly, I believe is FAITH. I wanted to share another component of power. But I'll begin with a little story.

Two years ago, I started training for my 1st marathon. We lived in Laie, Hawaii (sigh....) and I found that running was not about running. (I love Lance Armstrong's book entitled, "It's Not About the Bike." I feel the same about running.) So, while I was running one day, I chose to meditate about a long-term problem I'd had ...anger. Now, this anger, in childhood, was a protection, a defense, I didn't let ANYONE push me around. I remember in 5th grade being teased after school by one of our grade's biggest bullies (TJ Linfante, for those of you who went to East Elementary) and do you know what I did? I shoved him into the bushes and walked home. I often caused fights with my siblings - but they're all too mellow (darn peacemakers) to ever fight back. I sassed my parents (but didn't get to far with that). I discovered, during that personal development class at Dixie College, that I highly value JUSTICE (later discovered that is a common trait among social work professionals). So any time that I felt that I, or anyone else, was being treated unfairly or disrespectfully, I came UNGLUED!

As an adult, the anger, although subdued, could be sparked again with unjustice - if I felt I wasnt' treated fairly in the home, or in public, by an institution, etc. And I'd really get angry with people that I thought were just plain stupid (an indication of an incompetence complex within myself, but that's another story for another therapy session).

So, there I was, running down Naniloa Loop, past the gorgeous BYU-Hawaii campus, heading toward the ocean, and I ask my Creator a question I'd asked myself so many times before, "Why do I STILL have this anger problem? And, "How do I fix it?"

For a minute I rambled on, "I mean, I know that anger is really just a mask for fear - I learned that in therapy classes. And that the antithesis of FEAR is FAITH - so do I just need more FAITH?" That just didn't seem to be enough for me, so I asked again, "Why do I STILL have this anger problem? And, "How do I fix it?"

This time, I shut up and got the answer - it came while running, of all things. But first, came this question, "What is the opposite of Anger?"

"Hmm. Anger is hatred, so I guess the opposite would be love???"

"Yes! That's it." confirmed the Spirit. "The opposite of anger IS love."

"Great. So I just need to love more people?" Came my not-so-satisfied response. That just sounded SO cliche.

"No. You don't need to love more people, you need to love God and be filled with the Love of God."

WOA! "You mean, I'm not?" That stifling reality that I, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was NOT filled with the love of God, was a bit of a blow to my religious ego. However, not hard to admit, in all honesty, that it was true.

From this point on I went home and began a study of the Love of God. "What exactly is the Love of God?" I asked. "Where is it?" And "How do I get it?"

So fast-forward to today, Sept. 19, 2008, I was running again this morning, training for a marathon, and this whole experience came back to my mind. I reflected on how life changing it was for me and truly freeing of 29 years of being burdened by anger in my life.

Just to share what I've learned - It all comes from the Book of Mormon and Lehi's dream. Lehi teaches that the Love of God is the Tree of Life - which bears a fruit more desirable than any other thing. His dream also teaches us how WE can love God and be filled with the Love of God - it comes in the form of an iron rod. Holding to the rod will get us to the tree - it's the path. The iron rod represents the Word of God. That word is the scriptures and words of modern day prophets.

So my answer to years and years of a weakness, a crippling personality trait of anger, was really so simple (as is all of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), "ABSORB THE SCRIPTURES & THE WORDS OF PROPHETS."

I think of a mission companion who once said in her testimony, "I love the scriptures so much, I wish I could eat them." (I thought the pressure of serving in the staunch, Catholic country of Spain had consumed her brain.) Then she continued, "Because if I ate them, then they would become part of me."

What a concept - think of the metaphor - to eat something so that it goes into your body and becomes part of the matter that nourishes and builds every organ, every bone, muscle and cell. Wow. If we could consume, digest and absorb the scriptures, metaphorically speaking, we would be filled with the Love of God.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Power of Intention

I am so into personal development right now. During my associate degree-seeking days at Dixie College, I took a 1 credit class called "Personal Development" taught by a hippy-style woman that was the coolest person I'd met up 'til that point. I loved the class so much and asked the instructor why it wasn't a required class! Looking back, it was the most beneficial, impactful course of my entire college career! (All for 1 credit.)

Moving on,

Life is about cycles and my current cycle is back into personal development.

This week we have been putting into practice the "power of intention." And I just felt like sharing.

An intention is different than a goal - maybe it's just semantics - but in my mind, they're different.

My own definition of intention is that it is something you're grateful for now, that exists now, but may be currently en route to you. You may not have it, physically, literally, at the moment, but it is an "intention" in your life that is real, possible, perhaps even inevitable AS LONG AS you participate in the equation that predicates its receipt.

Let's see if Mark can explain this better - (Bible, Mark 11:24)

"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

And from the "voice of 2 or 3 witnesses..."

Moroni 7: 26 (Book of Mormon)

"...Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you."

These two examples of intentions introduce, or expound on, an equation, a pattern, an actual formula for obtaining anything. Imagine you're wanting something, praying for it. Is that thing you want suddenly created after your prayer is received? No - it exists already. Where is it? When will it come to you? How will it get to you? Will it ever come to you if you don't instigate its receipt through participation in the equation/formula upon which it is predicated? That's my question - that's my journey.

Will you receive it if you pray for it WITHOUT faith? Without REALLY believing that you deserve, or can possibly receive it? Let's be honest, how many of our prayers are undermined by these negative, fearful, disbelieving feelings? Perhaps only unconsciously for many of us. This will be another topic for another day, but I'm convinced that many of us who consider ourselves to be "faithful" individuals actually run day to day on Premium, Unleaded Fear, not faith. I digress...

What does an INTENTION sound like?

Example, "I am grateful for the home we own."

Is there a home out there for us? I know there is. Am I in it right now? Nope. Am I grateful for it today? Yes!

Example #2, "I am grateful for the successful home birth of my 4th child." Have I delivered yet? Not for another 6 months. Am I grateful for it? Yes!

What is the purpose of having, stating, believing in intentions?

It is the process (literally, the formula/equation/process) of bringing into our lives the things we most desire. Without it, obtaining our desires is as unpredictable and as fleeting as catching, and keeping, a bubble on a toothpick.

Where did all this come from? You ask. I had a nap today. It's amazing how many synapses can fire when I'm not sleep deprived.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Photos and Stuff

Here's more about Mr. Sai, the handsome guy.... So, after 2, 30-day cleanses, he's lost 50 lbs. We found a nice photo from 1 year ago in Hawaii showing the old Sai and wanted to compare it with today's Sai.

Below is a photo from a Nutritional Cleansing Convention I attended in Las Vegas at the beginning of August. Pictured with 2 sisters-in-law, Annie and Fiona, and my cousin, Amanda. We had so much fun!

Next post will be pics of the kids, I promise. They're much cuter than we are!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More details???

It was suggested that I needed to share more details about my pregnancy - due date, etc. But, I don't have anymore details! All I know is that I'm pregnant, there's a bit of discrepancy as to how far along I am.. I honestly have no clue. So, I'll keep you posted as we figure it out!


I'm inspired today by simplicity. Yet it is so difficult to create it in our lives today. I marvel at the constant motion of everything around us, I wonder how we don't exist in a constant state of vertigo. Cell phones buzzing, ringing, dinging, "New Text Message," or "Voicemail." Emails, Ipods, noise, noise, noise and distractions -
When was the last time you tried to read a book to one of your children? What happened? Phone rings, oven timer dings, doorbell chimes, other child starts crying or is hungry, dryer buzzing - more laundry to's crazy. And for me, it takes a serious effort to BLOCK OUT all of that distraction, and stay focused on the most important - that one on one moment with a child (or two, or three, or soon-to-be four!)
I love where we live - in the mountains, b/c it is far from a city and can help remind me of the need to create a space for SIMPLICITY in my life. Simplicity brings peace, happiness, focus, and closeness of relationships. No wonder there's such drastic opposition to it!

My dream, honestly, is to live on a large plot of land, with a huge, organic garden, a clothesline, a horse or two, and mountains and ocean nearby (likely, in Fiji.) I would wear a skirt or dress nearly every day and sing like Maria VonTrapp to my 10 children. Okay, this fantasy has gone far enough, but that is my dream.