Sunday, April 29, 2012

Castleford Idaho (More or Less)

Painted building as you enter Castleford.  This pretty much says it all!
I told you about Dietrich Idaho, a town of 200 that is almost 100% LDS.  Castleford is the exact opposite in LDS population. The population is 211 (more or less) according to the painting in the school hall and 277 (more or less) on the welcome sign as you drive in to town.  Yes, they all really say 'more or less'.  Blick is the biggest business around and what I think most men around Castleford work for.  I drive by it every day on my way to work.  Like Dietrich, Castleford has dogs with no collars at the gas station laying around or in trucks. Sometimes I see older men standing around and sometimes they help with the kids crossing the every so wide streets. On 2 sides of the play ground and football field is farm land. There is low income housing here.

The Town Hall, directly across from the school.  I and the teachers get fed there once a month by the PTO.

The entrance of the K-12 school.
Rooster and the Redneck, Mobile Kitchen.  This is right across the street from the school too.  It was pretty busy in the summer with people buying food.  The house behind it has a lot of junk and a dog that is not nice. 
The Castleford post office on the main street of the town.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Earth is Alive

Today is earth day. 

When I taught 5th grade I would teach that the earth wasn't alive.

Here are some scriptures that teach the opposite.  Take for instance the Saviors triumphant entry into Jerusalem: 

Luke 19: 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Moses 7: 56 And he heard a loud voice; and the heavens were veiled; and all the creations of God mourned; and the earth groaned; and the rocks were rent; and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory;

D&C 123:7......... is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.

We also believe that the flood was the baptism of the earth, and then the burning of earth will be it receiving the Holy Ghost.  We also believe this about the earth: 

Article of Faith # 10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. 
In this renewing just spoken of, it is in essence a death and a then a new earth, like being born again. Only a living thing can die and through the power of Christ be reborn or brought back to life again.  It's described in scripture this way: 

Revelation 21:  And I saw a anew bheaven and a new cearth: for the first heaven and the first dearth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

3 Nephi 26:  And he did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away;

D&C 29:  23 And the aend shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and bpass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a cnew earth.
 So Happy Earth Day.  
We believe like the Native American's of old, that we have a responsibility towards mother earth, a stewardship and will be held accountable for what we do with her.  God had a purpose in creating this beautiful planet and that purpose was US.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Five For Friday # 5

Parker my little Japanese chin is a runner.  He loves to get away and explore.  I have a long lead I put him on in the front yard, so he can get around, but when it's on, he does his business and comes right back in, then waits to sneak out.  It's worrisome to me.  He can get pretty far away within a short time.  Coco on the other hand stay very close to home and I never have to worry about loosing him.  I was worried about how I was going to deal with this come summer when we have the door open all the time.

Little Parker with his clothes on.  I love his little paws sticking out!
But a few weeks ago, he got out MANY times and each time I did not scold him at all, just told him he's my little baby dog, that I loved him and carried him back home.  I did this over and over again for the next few days and you know what?  He's coming back on his own ALL the time.  It's so nice not to have to worry about this  anymore and I hope it keeps up!  I wasn't even planning on this being the solution.  I just did it, not knowing why, but I think it's a lesson on the power of kindness.

I just finished reading my second book about polygamy. Each has been a little different.

The first book, Stolen Innocence concerns Warren Jeff's group. This story starts out in the metropolitan SLC area. This story is about manipulation, control, broken families and lies.  You can find it on CD and in hard cover complete with pictures.  This poor girl was forced to marry someone who had been mean to her all growing up.  Her father, mother and brother were often taken away from the family, brought back, changed, you name it.  It's shocking.

The second book, Shattered Dreams, is even more shocking.  This starts out in Murry Utah and Irene, the writer is a 4th generation polygamist.  It starts with her childhood and her mothers misery, leaving after dad goes to prison and her falling in love with a man who is 13 years her senior.  She's only 16 and is torn between marrying him or  her 1/2 sisters husband Verlan.  She picks Verlan and becomes a second wife.  Her life is mostly spent in Mexico, in farm land, in the mountains and by the ocean and for a while in Nicaragua. She lives in extreme poverty, with no electricity, no running toilets, thrift store clothes, and 25 or more people in a very small house.  Irene ends up having a total of 14 children.  The first dies the day of her birth. She struggles her whole marriage with loneliness, jealousy and her husband making promises he never keeps.  She falls in love with another man at one point, but stays in her awful situation. 

Verlan had been a temple endowed Latter-day Saint.  He ends up becoming the president of this church his brother started.  He often works in the states, and tries to find converts as far as Canada. Verlan ends up with a total of 10 wives and 58 children.  These people believed in the Adam-God theory, the "purity" principle, which means only sex for pro-creation, and glory and own worlds in the next life.  Irene can't stand the lack of sex and finally finds a text by Parley P. Pratt (I think) for 5 reasons for sex.  The Doctrine and Covenants is quoted as well as Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.  Irene lives having to be obedient to requests that go against what her heart is telling her is wrong and there for feels TERRIBLE about herself and so unloved.  All she wanted was love and someone to be there for her.

Once Irene leaves he becomes a Born Again Christian. After reading her story, hearing how she felt and then her experience in this kind of a congregation, I believe that God is giving her a gift to live out the rest of her life, responsibility free.  She paid a great price while being a 2nd wife and this is her break.  In the next life, she will know the truth, except it and be OK.  That is my hope for her anyway.

Why do I read this you ask?   Being single so long and in the single adult program that is 31 to dead, I've often thought if there was polygamy I would be a wife and a mother and there would be no need for the SA program. I would always say I don't need a man 100% of the time, 50% or less would be fine.  Another phrase I'd say is "I'll be wife number 2, there isn't going to be no number 3"  meaning of course, a second wife after a death or a divorce.  I was a 5th wife to Jason!

Of course I would never leave the Church for such a thing.  I KNOW it is wrong, unless commanded by God.  In reading Jacob, I believe polygamy is about children.  Abraham needed to have seed to fulfill the promise.  The Mormon Pioneers needed to have children to grow the church, the gospel.  In Jacob chapter 2 he tells the Nephities that they cannot excuse by using the scriptures (David and Salomon) to have more than one wife. The Lord tells us there, He Ok'd it for Abraham and for this purpose as described in verse 30:
For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up aseed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
The Lord’s law of marriage is monogamy unless he commands otherwise to help establish the House of Israel (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism Vol. 3, pp. 1091-1095).


You know my little rescue dog Polly, well her name is now Pearl.  I got an email and a picture from the family that adopted her.  The mom even knitted her a little dress.  Here she is all clean and cute. I love her and still want to hug her!  She's such a cute sweet dog, but I'm happy to know she has a good home.  I just hope they don't smoke around her! 

This last weekend I went with my sister Cindy, her husband Mike and Amber, their youngest daughter to take her for her second semester at BYU-Idaho.  Ricks used to be my old stomping ground and really the best 2 years of my life.  I had SO much fun there, made great friends that I am still friends with today, and got myself on anti-depressants.  The college then had 4 thousand students.  The hope how is to get 15 thousand students and they are well on their way!  The place has changed so much.  My second year I lived in Harmony House, across from the Spori building.  It's now men's housing and uses our old Vikings mascot in the name.  There are TONS of housing already gone up, and more going up.  More shops, more buildings on campus, more changes.  It's crazy!  They have a conference center called the Idaho-Center, or I-center.  It will hold all 15K students when they get them.  The conference center in SLC hold 21K.  They recently had a fire there (the one in SL) and I couldn't help but think that it would be OK if that burned down, because we have a plan B!

I also went to the temple there.  On the outside it looks like the Twin Falls temple, but it's much bigger and I have to admit I like not having to make an appointment!  The chandelier are amazing, covering the whole mechanism with those crystals  so you see rainbow colors when you look in it. I took some pictures of the temple and the conference center and some of the campus, that will be coming up soon!  Mean while you can go here to see the campus. It's beautiful!
I think recess is the hardest part of the day for me and there are 3 of them, totaling 45 to 60 min of the day.  Greg is usually fine playing by himself so I have a lot of down time unless the kids are coming up to me with problems.  Today I realized that all my thinking is negative.  I think negative about the kids, about Jason, other involved in that mess and even my childhood, and adult years in the past.  My life has been a disappointment to me.  I feel like a failure.  The sad part is, that in my realization (I suppose a step in the direction of healing) I don't know what to think about. Isn't that sad?  I cried about it.  I tried to think about things I could think about, but I really don't know anything that takes up enough of my life or time that would fill those minutes.

It also shows me how terrible this whole ordeal (mainly the marriage and moves) has been for me.  In my pattern changing class the teacher said she had worked with abused women who didn't even know what their favorite color was and other such simple things.  Any ideas of what I should think about?

Future posts about Castleford and BYUI coming soon!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Wonders of Idaho - Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is just a short 6 miles from the small town I work in. The day I planned to go see it (sometime in Feb), it happened to snow, so hiking it was not an option. The picture up above is the view from the street.  I was shocked at how small it seemed.  I expected something like Arches in Southern Utah, but there it is, just one little question mark shaped rock that is balanced. 

Each closer picture is taken with my zoom lens. 
The sign is so old and across the street from the parking area. 

This was the road I had to take to get there and back.  It's a strange drive, from flat land with lots of cows, to windy roads surrounded by rocky cliffs. I was a little worried that I might get stuck or slip all over the place and end up hurting my car, however I did just fine.   
 I took this picture to show you how rugged the rocks are.  I thought it was beautiful and looked so fun to climb and explore.  I'll go and explore another time and when I do, I'll post them here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Titanic and Our Iceburgs

symbolic of pride
This spoke to me. 
I've hit my own ice berg. 
His name is Jason and he left me to sink. 
On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic, the world is abuzz with Life Lessons using the Titanic as the object lesson or Metaphor for such rewarding opportunities to ponder "What If?" or  looking back asking, "What would I have done?' or 'How could I learn from this tragedy, even 100 years later?"

Humility would be a good starter lesson:  She was labeled 'unsinkable'!  And because she was, certain precautions were not taken.  Speed, insufficient life boats, safety procedures are just a few symptoms of the arrogance that accompanies Pride when one thinks they are 'unsinkable'.  

Goliath should have won his battle with his small 'iceberg' but he took for granted his size and 'unsinkableness'  and his Pride and Arrogance were his undoing.

David, should have learned from the down fall of Goliath but instead he perpetuated the 'unsinkable'  attitude and lingered on the balcony instead of running like his cousin Joseph of Egypt.  

I recently read the farewell words of one of our missionary assistants where he acclaimed his 'unsinkable'  testimony, but reading his words 25 years later was with great sadness as I know from his family that he has abandoned both his family and his church.   He found his iceberg and it took him down.  

I met just today with a wonderful and faithful latter-day Saints mother who, along with her husband, did all the expected LDS things with her family during the growing up years; church, scouting, early morning seminary, family home evening, family prayer, positive attitude, scripture reading...and with confidence they believed their kids to be 'unsinkable' only to watch some of them leave home and sink as they ran into the icebergs of education before they could get planted in the mission field.   They grieve and wonder what more they could have done to 'warn'  of the frozen waters and icebergs they were surely going to face?  They are not alone as they ask the "What if..."  questions.  

This nation,  the greatest ever 'born',  has been a beacon of hope for the world and for the last 60 years, she seemed unsinkable.  A Land of Opportunity.  A land of hope for anyone who with some education, a Christian set of values and the desire to 'get up early and work hard'  could 'find their oil'  and take it to the bank.  An unstoppable formula for success.   But we have scrapped up against some icebergs along the way, punctured our armor and are heading for the 'big one' because we have let Pride and our Arrogance lead us to believe that 'there is an easier way to  live the American Dream.  We don't have to get up as early or work as hard and worst of all, many now believe that the American Dream is an ENTITLEMENT. Our leader smirks and makes light of our massive and unstoppable debt and preaches the doctrine of 'fairness'  that he says will fix the leaks and tells us the 'big one'  ahead is not so big and for us to TRUST him and he will lead us to the promised land where we can all enjoy the beach. The scary part is that many are 'dancing on the deck'  while the double walls have been breached and icy water is slowing sinking the ship. 

I'm so thankful for my parents who poured the foundation of 'getting up early and hard work'; a pre-mission education with an Institute across the street to keep some balance in my 'pursuit of education'; a mission president who gave me the rest of the formula for success;  a wife who was grounded in the things that mattered most and wanted nothing else in her life;  an opportunity to be mentored by humble, but successful people who knew where the icebergs were and kept me focused on a course to avoid them.   Take anyone of those 'pieces' of my life away and there is a incredible chance my ship too would have sunk before it got through the ice fields of life. My early Foundation, my Mission and the Formula for Success, my Education, my Spouse, my Family, my Mentors, the Books I read, the Callings we've accepted, the Invitations we've received, the Failures we experienced and even the Successes we have had - each has played a significant part in providing the radar defense to warn of impending doom ahead - icebergs if you will - and have helped us steer clear of those dangers.

1,500 people died 100 years ago as a reminder to me, my family and to my friends that there is danger ahead and if the warnings are ignored they will certainly sink any ship that arrogantly believes they can move forward, full steam ahead, oblivious of the destruction that await us. 

I'm fearful that too many of us are, like David,  watching from the safety of our balcony, the majesty of a rapidly approaching iceberg and not realizing that what we see is only the tip and before we know it, it  could be too late and as the band plays on we might not get a seat on one of the few life boats.   

Thankfully most of us who are reading this are not like David, but are more like Joseph and have put on our running shoes, swim suit and thermals and are already sitting in one of the lifeboats and will enjoy the orchestra music as we are lowered into the sea and will safely await the Rescue.  And thankfully there is still time to get more into the lifeboats and to find a new captain who knows what's ahead. 

Man the Lifeboats...

Bro Jim (A church member in Hawaii that served with my Uncle and Uunt Mckell on their mission to BYU-Hawaii) 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Trial of Faith

You know that Preach My Gospel attribute questionnaire?  We'll I did it today and I only wanted to answer 15 of the 57 statements.  You rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on faith, hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience, humility, diligence and obedience.  I've done it in RS a few times in the past and even at home and normally it's filled out completely, with mostly fours and fives.  1 means never and 5 means always. If you'd like to do it yourself click here, then go to page 126. 

I've had a difficult month the last four or so weeks.  I've cried most of the way home from work some days,  thinking that if the next 40 years is anything like the last (almost) 40 years then forget it.

I've had a few blessings from Mike my brother in law.  One said that my financial problems were a trial of my faith.  That surprised me when he said it.  The one he gave me most recently told me to fast, pray, attend the temple and most likely  read the scriptures.  Most of my endowed life I've gone to the temple every week or at least every 10 days.  But here, it's been only monthly or longer. I've made a concerted effort to increase in that.  I went Saturday and as the time was getting closer, I found myself not wanting to go.  I told Heavenly Father that I was going out of obedience and duty.  That's all he could expect from me that day.

In he temple as soon as the lights went off I broke into tears. Then when it was over and we were all to head to the veil, I broke down again.  I was in the last row this time so lots of time to wait.   It was serious crying and one sister sitting next to me grabbed me including my face and held me to her.  She just let me cry.  The sister on the other side put her hand on my arm and cried with me.   It was just what I needed.  None of them asked me in the Celestial Room what was wrong, they just said they hopped it got better.  Other women gave me hugs  and said they were praying for me.

The beginning of this week, when my pay check was SO low, due to a week of spring break I was looking at my bank account and when I was almost done, the pains in my chest started again. There was a direct correlation for the first time.  It was due to stress.

The single adult scene is so stupid here.  There has been some very high school stuff going on with people in their 30's and 40's.   I realized that If I ever want that to improve  my social life I'll have to move to another area where it has a higher population.  But then I also realized that if I won't be getting married it doesn't matter where I live. The problem is I have no definitive answer, no pre-knowledge.  In my logical moments, when I'm not crying  I think that I need to find something to bring me happiness if not. But in my tears I think who cares.  I can just be a social recluse and hibernate in my home.

Today I got this terrible hair cut for 11 dollars at Great Cuts- you know that cheep place they don't even wash your hair, just spray it down with a water bottle.   I just feel like I'll never be pretty again and why even try.  Things don't look good from any angel (as explained above). 

I'm still angry at Jason and the Twitchell's for how STUPID they have all been. I'm in this butt load of crap and Jason just leaves every marriage with nothing and starts over again, not having to pay any one anything. I can try and get a lawyer and garnish his wages or unemployment.  Other than that I can do NOTHING but sit here and suffer and keep going on because what else am I going to do.

Why did Heavenly Father give me this life.  I know I screwed up by getting sexually involved with Jason and then marrying him, but before.... As my counselor (named Jason) told me with my years of  singleness, loneliness it's almost like I had to.  But the 20 years before all this.  Those disabilities haven't helped either. And they were disabling.  

The other thing is that I don't enjoy my job.  I get involved with the kids in the classroom that I'm not suppose to and then I get SO frustrated  with them for being SO STUPID, SO DISOBEDIENT.  I just want to spank them, to hit them on the head with an empty water bottle.  I want to tell them they they will be lucky if they aren't pregnant by the time they are 13, or that they most likely  will be gay, or that they have learning disabilities, or squeeze their cheeks and tell them everything I think of them, or that they wear their closes so low I can see their butt crack every day or where that style came from and what it means to be on the "down low". But I don't, because I know I can't, that it's wrong and that I'd loose my job.   But do you see what a bad state I'm in?  I don't feel this way all the time, but sometimes, like today, I even cried about it at recess when no one could see me.

So the list of things that are bad, go to my looks, my health, my job, my lack of a support system, etc. I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel.  It may take 9 years to get out of debt completely. NINE YEARS!  

How does one go to school to change their career when one can't afford to pay her bills? I don't even know what I should do- that is feasible in the beginning and in the end.

I just don't have the motivation for exercise.

I'm teaching the 16 year old's in Sunday School, and I've taught a few FHE lessons that were stimulating (compared to others).  

Some day I suppose this will all get better and I'll actually like myself and my life and I will be able to answer all the 57 attributes with 4's and 5's,  but for now I just try to keep my head out of water.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jamie's Conference Notes

No, these are not my notes.  I used to take extremely good notes, but now I just write a few key phrases down, but I've been sick and so this time it even waned to nothing.  But Jamie Lea Braithwaite took notes on EVERY talk and even the songs!  I love them.  Here are just a few! She blogs over at
if you want to check all of them out.

Also Mormon Soprano also has quotes and pictures of Sat already up. Check here for that.  I'll bet come tomorrow she'll have Sunday's up too. 

I watched on my computer and except for some stalls it worked out good.  I was on Facebook at the same time so I could see what quotes others were putting on and when I didn't know who the speaker was, because I was running around, I could ask and get an answer.

I loved conference and can't wait to get the Ensign with all the talks in there.  They will be up Thursday on too.