Thanksgiving

The Church is so awesome!!! Check out this video on lds.org .

 

Lots Happening!

Today, when I look over the whole last year, I realize that this has been a BUSY BUSY year. We have been blessed to the n-th degree. But listen to this…We have earned the most we ever had at my new job, gotten a hugh tax return, went on vacation to Boston, bought the new computer, I got sick with bronchitis, we have had the new baby, we went on vacation to Utah in a van, driving across the country with all 6 kids, visited Nauvoo on our way back and NOW, we’re buying a house. Sheesh!! Thank you for a wonderful year, everyone! Thank you Heavenly Father for making all this possible!

9-11

That One

THAT ONE

Providing providently ensures the ability to serve others without distraction. Providing providently includes fasting.

A talk given by Michael J Smith in sacrament meeting at the Farmington Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, “I made a difference to that one!”

I have associated with the Saints in these Latter-days for over twenty-five years, and was baptized some seventeen years ago. In that time, this story, adapted from a Book, The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley, has been read over the pulpit, used in lessons and has been the object of firesides more times than I can remember. Despite the author’s self-proclaimed religious reluctance, I have concluded that its relevance to us is an important component to our everyday practice of spirituality.

In my observance of the Saints wherever I go, I am pleased to report that people everywhere are directly concerned with helping one another. I see in each of us the basic need to serve others – one by one – like the Savior did while here on earth. Counsels of the Church are focused on how we can meet the need of the individual, how can we help others, how can we reach out. Gospel living people practice the art and commandment to love one another, and as King Benjamin portrayed, are ultimately only in the service of their God. We, as a ward do that and actively strive to refine ourselves so that we serve unconditionally and without reservation – for that is how the Savior himself did it – unconditionally.

I see, however, that, “the sun is up and the tide is going out.” Our Heavenly Father has asked us to perform missionary work, because “it mattered to that one.” We cannot just be onlookers in the events around us – we must be active participants – and as such, we act, because so many of us are converted. Converted into action. For if we do not act, the beach of starfish will surely perish – all of them.

It is increasingly difficult to act – to serve unconditionally. The tide of the times pull us in a direction that focuses on the “me” and “myself.” Economic changes makes it easy to turn inward and forget that those who are the least of us are often the servant. There are more problems. More of us with more challenges that can distract us from being fishers of men. Conversely, I see a time that requires more of us now, than at any other dispensation.

To do this, he gives us spiritual gifts, talents…even the priesthood power. We must always be ready to serve – always able to perform the work our Father has for us. We must always recognize Spiritual promptings as they come – and recognize activity that will spiritually thwart our progression and ability to serve. We must also see that there are activities which will impede our freedom to choose to do such. To sum it up, in serving others, we must be able to provide providently.

Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sees it too. I quote from a talk given at April’s General Conference this year. He states,

I speak to all whose freedom to choose has been diminished by the effects of ill-advised choices of the past. I speak specifically of choices that have led to excessive debt and addictions to food, drugs, pornography, and other patterns of thought and action that diminish one’s sense of self-worth. All of these excesses affect us individually and undermine our family relationships. Of course some debt incurred for education, a modest home, or a basic automobile may be necessary to provide for a family. Unfortunately however, additional debt is incurred when we cannot control our wants and addictive impulses. And for both debt and addiction, the hopeful solution is the same―we must turn to the Lord and follow His commandments. We must want more than anything else to change our lives so that we can break the cycle of debt and our uncontrolled wants.

Elder Hales defined a provident provider as one who “joyfully…[lives]…within our means, being content with what we have, avoiding excessive debt, and diligently saving and preparing for rainy-day emergencies. When we live providently, we can provide for ourselves and our families and also follow the Savior’s example to serve and bless others.”

He continues, “the foundation of provident living is the law of the tithe…in addition to our tithes, we should also be an example with the payment of fast offerings. A fast offering is at least the cost of the two consecutive meals from which we fast each month. By not eating these two meals, we draw close to the Lord in humility and prayer and also participate in anonymous giving to bless our brothers and sisters all over the world.”

In confession, I usually do not fast. I had a physical ailment which prevented me to do it – until the last few years. I discovered that I no longer had that problem. Oh, I tried to start fasting again, but usually failed. Two weeks ago, with a mounting challenge to overcome, I approached the Lord in prayer. The prompting came to fast. I was able to fast for two meals and paid a fast offering. I was actively seeking the Lord’s counsel in prayer. I was sensitive to spiritual promptings. On that day, and much to my surprise, I was asked to participate in a PPI (personal priesthood interview), where I made an account of my stewardship, identified weaknesses and strengths and made goals for improvement. The Spirit was strong during the meeting with my priesthood leader. At that time, language was used by that priesthood leader which I also heard in revelation during a prayer earlier in the day. I was overcome with gratitude and a sense of wonder at how Heavenly Father supports us and cares for us. Later, the Bishop asked for my assistance in a priesthood blessing. Afterwards, as if the Bishop knew what to say and when to say it, thanked me in language that was like the other two encounters. Three times the Lord told me that he loved me, through revelation and his Angel servants – our priesthood leaders. The words were slightly different, but the message of trust and love were the same.

Experiences like these are made possible because the act of fasting and offerings directly affects our brothers and sisters. There are those – our brothers and sisters – who are starving (temporally and spiritually), finding themselves destitute and unable to serve, distracted, and are not at liberty to choose freely and serve others. Fasting puts us in a position where we may feel – even to a small portion – the sufferings of others. It puts us in a position to supplicate for our strength and join with them. Then in a simultaneous exchange of giving and receiving, our fast offering can help clothe the naked, feed the hungry and heal the sick – as well as our own answers to prayers, spiritual nourishment, and spiritual growth. I testify that fasting fastens our testimonies. I testify that our fasting can bring us closer to the Savior. In the moments where He worked out our salvation, he supplicated to the Father in what may be his moments of despair – even in his strongest acts of submission. Words like, “Let this cup pass from me,” and “why hast thou forsaken me,” came from his lips. But in his ultimate acts of service, Jesus paid the price for sin and overcame physical death. I cannot say that fasting is like the atonement, but similarities exist that helped me two weeks ago. It helped me to overcome my own inadequacies.

Brothers and sisters. There is much work to do. Let us providently provide for ourselves, our families and those for whom we have stewardship. Let us fast so that we can help lift our brothers and sisters. Let us fast to know how to providently provide – making us free to serve. Let us fast to know how to make it matter to that one and that one and that one – is my humble prayer – in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

See Also: Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Liahona, Jul 2001, 88–91

Prepared for General Conference

The church is such an awesome organization! I know that this is the Lord’s Church on the earth – the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This weekend is General Conference (watch it – it’s cool! 10am MST and 2pm MST). General Conference is broadcast by Satellite, by some cable stations, by radio, telephone (if you can believe it…it is in case all else fails, you can call a 1-800 number to listen in), and by internet. It is broadcast live, then archives of it are available within hours. It is simultaneously broadcast in several languages (ASL, Arabic, Cambodian, Cantonese, English (closed‑captioned), French, German, Haitian, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Laotian,
Mandarin, Navajo, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Samoan, Spanish (closed‑captioned), Tagalog, Thai, Tongan, and Vietnamese). Ultimately, audio files of conference is available in over 70 languages within hours of the live broadcast via the internet – actually video is available in hours, then the text is available within a few days – in MANY languages!! Can you imagine the preparation, organization, and power that goes into this thing – no small feat!! It is utterly incredible. For those of you who are unfamiliar with just how far-reaching the Church has become, look at this…

http://scriptures.lds.org for the scriptures (in 12 languages)
http://www.providentliving.org for the temporal and spiritual welfare of individuals
http://scriptures.byu.edu/ – this site allows you to look up scriptures by speaker’s references as well as other ways
http://www.lds.org – to see everything the church has – and there’s much more!

I love conference weekend. If you choose to listen to conference, then try praying about something you want Heavenly Father to speak to you about while listening to conference. For example, you might want to have an answer about how to have your prayers answered and what to look for. Ask Heavenly Father to help you find your answer to this in listening to general conference. Then listen. Just a thought.

New Nurse for a Long Time

I’ve been thinking about my nursing skill, ability, multi-tasking-ness, prioritization and organization skills lately. I keep coming back to the following quote from a blog called Strong Medicine regarding being a new nurse. I know I quoted it before, but here it is again… 

It’s OK to forget, it’s OK to make a mistake, and it’s OK to need more time than others to complete something. That’s why it’s called practice. The more you do it, the better it gets. For you, for your colleagues, and of course for the patient. The key here being, to correct the mistake so that you don’t do it again.

Nursing is a learning process. You will learn more about yourself, your skill and your profession each day that passes.

Remember how much you didn’t know in the beginning? Just imagine how much more you’ll know tomorrow.

At the same time, I see things from the ENA’s description of an Emergency Nurse quality list that I am good at, as well as things I need to improve at…

Is emergency nursing right for me?
If you like variety and complexity, emergency nursing has it. Some personal characteristics that will serve you well as an emergency nurse include:

  • Ability to shift gears and accelerate your pace as needed
  • Good observation, assessment, and prioritization skills
  • Multi-tasking ability
  • Good interpersonal and customer service skills
  • Stamina
  • Good personal coping skills
  • Assertive patient advocate
  • Ability to maintain calm amidst chaos
  • Good sense of humor
  • Ability to think fast and on your feet

You know – I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn about being a nurse in a specialty instead of being a nurse at a med surg floor. I have never thought of myself as a med-surg nurse and I fully subscribe to the philosophy that you can learn the skills and abilities of a specialty in nursing without a med-surg floor. I know that is a burden on the existing seasoned staff. Mentoring a new nurse is hard, but in a specialty I’m sure it’s even harder. Thank you to the awesome nurses on my unit who are mentoring Ash and I.

More More

I’m tired of trying to come up with an alphabetical title in my posts. This experiment is now officially retired on my blog.

This is what my new iMac looks like

This is what my new iMac looks like

My new iMac is so stunning, fast and fun. I had fun getting to know it a bit more today, since I’m so sick. I also laid my hands on Aperture.

 Aperture is Apple’s equivalent to Adobe Light Table. I don’t know who came up with which first. Apple often comes up with things first, then others copy them. In any case, Melissa showed me light table the other day. I used Aperture today and the past few days off an on. They’re both hard to get used to because the features are packaged differently than Photoshop’s interface. BUT WOW! Aperture sure is nice. It has a very nice workflow and it’s filters, adjustments and tools are quite remarkable and easy. I manipulated all my photos from the “Gone to Pot” post with Aperture. Very nice.

It’s hard to use my iBook after playing with the iMac all day – but here I type…in the dark, waiting for my pain medication to kick in. I rarely use the iBook since I’m out of school and have the iPod Touch. It really is the FUNNEST iPod ever! I can use it anywhere and for almost anything. Yep – they have an app for that. I use this thing at work and on the go. It plays music, videos and stores my pictures. It has all my contacts and I can browse the web, get my e-mail and send text massages. It can even show me where I am, play games, give me medical information and walk me through a code using ACLS algorithms. It is an amazing work of art.

My uncle Mark died unecpectedly. I am sorry to see him go. Laurette is most affected by his passing. Mark used to see Laurette quite often. Every time I see someone attempting suicide and ends up in my E.R., I am angry with them and my uncle for doing this to themselves. It leaves behind such ache. I know it isn’t about us…it’s about them and their choice and their suffering. To try to understand what would bring a person to this point is quite dizzying. He is the second in this family to succeed in taking his own life.

Is that all the updates for now? Yep.

Gone to Pot

I have a new love. It’s called my great grandmother’s pot. I want to name the pot. It comes with a long line of tradition and good taste, so your comments would be welcome with any suggestions for the new title.

Oh – and by the way…I know I haven’t posted lately. I hope I still have loyal followers. And Betsey – I think you’ll like this one.

This pot has been handed down from my Great Aunt Laurette, who got it from her mother. It's possible that this pot has been used by 5 or 6 generations. It is arguably the Best pot to cook anything, Food cooked here reaches its full POTential!

This pot has been handed down from my Great Aunt Laurette, who got it from her mother. It's possible that this pot has been used by 5 or 6 generations. It is arguably the Best pot to cook anything, Food cooked here reaches its full POTential!

Chicken Coup Soup

1 family pack of Bone-in Split Chicken Breasts

1 family pack of Chicken Legs

Carrots, Onions, Celery

Water

Seasoning of your choice

about 1/3 cup of rice, pasta of your choice and amount

Soy Sauce

Ground Ginger

(sometimes very little of “better than bouillon” soup base)

Prepared Bisquick Dumplings

Salt & Pepper (and maybe other spices if you wish)

1 Great Grandmother’s Pot

 

Instructions

So I cook the chicken, celery and unpeeled carrots and onions together. When the chicken is done, I de-bone and skin, then return the bones and skin to the pot to reduce the stock. Once the stock is complete, I strain the stock to remove bones, skin, meat and veggies (discard those) and decide if I need more water. If more water is needed, then I add a LITTLE “better than bouillon soup base”. VERY LITTLE. I add rice, chopped celery, peeled and chopped carrots and onions. I season with salt and pepper, soy sauce and ground ginger. You can add your own spice. The soup must be boiling, but not rolling. It must maintain temperature when we add further ingredients, so just before you add more, then turn up the heat temporarily depending on your stove. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta and chopped chicken, then add spoonfuls of dumpling

The pot is filled with chicken legs and split chicken breasts, unpeeled carrots and onion, celery and water filled to 1" above the stuff.

The pot is filled with chicken legs and split chicken breasts, unpeeled carrots and onion, celery and water filled to 1" above the stuff.

 mixture over boiling soup. The steps of adding pasta and chicken mustn’t drop the temperature too much…the boiling must recover quickly or you’ll overcook the pasta and veggies. If the boiling gets rolling, the dumplings fall apart. So once the dumplings are added, simmer with cover off for 10 minutes. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Voila!! Your Chicken Coup Soup is done.

This is a really simple and uncomplicated recipe. You could simplify the stock part, but you’ll sacrifice the flavor. Bones, skin cartilage is REQuired – NO BONELESS CHICKEN. Skin-on meat and veggies add all sorts of nutrients, but final product needs peeled stuff for right texture. Soy sauce and ginger are my secret ingredients – but use cautiously!! – they can also ruin the dish. The dumplings thicken the soup quite nicely…but not too much as long as you haven’t added too much pasta and rice. I must also warn you that without the Pot, you may not get the same results. The pot is my other secret ingredient. I’ve tried this technique in other pots…it just doesn’t make the same soup. This pot makes A LOT of soup. Enough to feed our family for 2 meals – then left-overs! Thank you Laurette for giving this pot to us. It has found a nice home and we use it so often for many different things.

 

The finished product after we ate it. You can kinda get a hint of how much was in the pot by looking at the sides.

The finished product after we ate it. You can kinda get a hint of how much was in the pot by looking at the sides.

We also have another of her kitchen-ware…her cast-iron skillet. This is also an heirloom and thought to be her mother’s before hers. Our favorite thing to make in it is Double-corn Corn Bread. The cornbread mixture is poured into the hot oil-smoking skillet and placed into a heated oven. Nice-n-crispy, right sweetness and perfect everytime! That skillet makes the best steak, eggs – er anythin’ you wanna make in it. Man!

Strong Medicine

What an impressive site. I visited My Strong Medicine, a blog of a nursing professional, among other things. I love his post titled, “Hi, I’m the nurse. We’ve never met.” Read it. I applaud his style and enthusiasm. Thank you for posting this.

He mentioned something in another post. Here’s the quote:

It’s OK to forget, it’s OK to make a mistake, and it’s OK to need more time than others to complete something. That’s why it’s called practice. The more you do it, the better it gets. For you, for your colleagues, and of course for the patient. The key here being, to correct the mistake so that you don’t do it again.
Nursing is a learning process. You will learn more about yourself, your skill and your profession each day that passes.
Remember how much you didn’t know in the beginning? Just imagine how much more you’ll know tomorrow.

Thank you, Strong One, for reminding me of these things and helping others embrace the same!

President Elect OBAMA!

Wow what an inauguration! I rarely get to watch inaugurations. I am either busy, uninterested or whatever excuse. I didn’t have much of an excuse today. In fact, now that I am trying to be more involved in our homeschooling efforts, I had so many reasons TO watch it. Among my reasons are these:

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is still alive and is playing out before our eyes. Rosa Parks efforts were not in vain. And it gave me a reason to pass this knowledge on to my kids.
  2. I was so proud to be American today.
  3. Barak Obama is so personal. He makes a direct link to me personally. He is living much of the American Dream – and inspiring others to do the same. Most of what America is built on was made for TODAY and the President gave me a taste of that.
  4. It gave me a reason to educate my children on the Presidency of the United States of America.

Please forgive me for saying so, but this seemed like a spiritual event for me. Like a cleansing. Today breathed new life into our country’s momentum. Did you know that he said, “So help me God.”? Did you know that he used President Lincoln’s bible to be sworn in? Did you know that the Constitution has no provision to make the use of the bible necessary for an inauguration? The bible was not open. Other presidents had the book open to a verse, though he did quote scripture. Did you know that this president has never been in a military uniform, but he is now commander-in-chief? I don’t think he needs to have military blood. I just think the time is right for his kind of change. Many people fear change and will critique him every step of the way. I say, phooey! Let the change come. We may not see eye-to-eye on some issues, but I believe President Obama’s character is what our country needs. May Heavenly Father bless him and watch over him and his family, which he so obviously adores.

Kim has mastitis. She needs horse pills. She has ’em.

Look at the pictures…new ones today.

Strong Medicine.

Righteous

Nursing is such an awesome profession. It comes with some heavy responsibility, heavy people and heavy attitudes. Now add being an emergency nurse into the mix. Not only is everything heavy – it’s crusty, too. Add in a smell (like under something that rarely gets lifted, or be it someone’s coming who you know will say something stinky). For the most part I LOVE NURSING and I LOVE EMERGENCY NURSING! HOORAAAh! However, there are some moments that put my patience, confidence and love to the test. This weekend was one of those moments.

I am a new nurse AND my first job in nursing just happens to be in the emergency room – where things are fast, furious, never the same and sometimes things gets heated. I just didn’t expect my charge nurse to be this way. You see, a few people report to me that one of the charge nurses was complaining about me to the staff in an open forum. One nurse told me that the charge nurse was talking to her directly about me. To my face, though, the CN was nice and cordial. She did complain about my lifting restriction to me (as well as behind my back). THIS IS A CHARGE NURSE! She’s supposed to be professional. Oh well…that’s OK. More on this later.

Let’s go on to a related subject. We recently found out that (our family) have upset “people” in the past. Those people didn’t come to us to resolve the matter. When we run into an incident in discussion with others, we find out about their concerns through almost offensive means. What is it with we as a society? I don’t get it. When you’re upset with someone…just go to them. When I offend you, come to me. What is so wrong with that? C’mon people? Because you know, what happens is that I am in the dark, I keep going the way I always go – suddenly I find out that something’s wrong from someone else and matters are blown WAY OUT OF PROPORTION!

You know, truth be told…I have probably offended many people and I have done lots of things wrong…I know you’re shocked! But wait! There’s more! I’m not done yet. That’s right…I’m not done. There is something yet to do wrong to someone. You know the best part? I won’t even know I did it. And that someone won’t tell me – and I’ll keep doing it. I think some of us ought to go back to kindergarten – where communication is VERY open and there’s no question in your mind what others think – and there’s no question in your mind what my intentions are.

Some of us are stuck in high school, where the social climate is caustic. Kids talk behind others’ backs, gissip and damage reputations and [seemingly] lives. Forgive my drama here, but really. I am learning so much from my collegues, friends, professional acquaintences and religious people too. No matter what others think of me or say, I must maintain my confidence, be humble and still be loving. This, in the face of being maligned, wrongfully used, abused – or on the other hand, being lovingly corrected, etc.

It’s interesting to note that nurses are quite a strong bunch, but weak in one area…we’re all human. We’re bound to make mistakes. We’re bound to learn from them. We’re bound to be offensive. We’re bound to be caring and kind.

Well, I’m bored of what I’m saying now. I just went browsing the net to get away. What am I saying here? Instead of going to other people to complain about me, come to me. I can take it. I will be better for it. It will be a win-win situation. I guess you could just avoid that all together, though. It will be more offensive to find out about your complaint from other people. I will, however, have more reasons to practice the simple, yet powerful principle and commandment of forgiveness if you go to others instead of me. I need practice in that.

Remember – come to me. Let’s work it out.