Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Kate Kelly and Ordain Women - how I feel about it...

Kate Kelly was formally excommunicated from the LDS church. I kinda knew this would happen. Even though her efforts aren't in vain. I feel like I have had something of a spiritual feminist awakening and I cannot go back to the way things were. 

I am gonna try and be more Christlike - that is what I have learned while reading posts on FmH and the exponent blog. I think I used to be very selfish - you know, just kept to myself... I think motherhood will do that to ya anyway.

I went from being pretty outgoing to just a homebody in the last few years... First, I had two kids and I was still outgoing but then as baby three and baby four came along, I have withdrawn more and more from the outside world.

I have wanted to get out and get more involved but just the lack of sleep makes it difficult. I think it might be easier to get out if one has a license and a car - it might be actually easier then... but as I don't have that, I have definitely become a homebody.

I have found in the feminist Mormon online communities - a place of hope for something better. I can see why, the thought of being a baby producer in eternity can seem very undesirable. Here on earth, the more kids you have, the more tired you are - and the more you kind of lose yourself. Like I said, I went from being pretty outgoing, even developing different talents, to kind of just surviving day to day. 

It's hard because I don't want to be seen as ungrateful and unloving, because I love my kids and I find a real joy in listening to them talk - funny cute talk and in watching them do things - even the littlest one climbing up two steps of the slide and back down again, up and down, up and down... as he gains more confidence, it fills my heart with gladness to watch this...

So, I can see why they often have talks from over the pulpit to tell women and mothers to not fret - to just enjoy these mundane moments because they will be gone far to fast... (though, describing them as mundane is kind of a insult)...

but there is this sense that in eternity, this will be women's calling - divine calling to reproduce - to make babies for all of eternity.

I think that's why in the LDS feminist online community there is a such a push to know Heavenly Mother. What is she like? What is she doing right now?

I have thought, perhaps she is not involved in this process because she is busy with the little ones.... but then, she can enlist older spirits to help with the little ones.... which is why, we women often feel like, that's gonna be eternity for us - making baby spirits and nothing more....

It makes me worry a bit. I know that I cannot comprehend all that God can comprehend... but I desire further light and knowledge.

I think women want "the priesthood" because they don't want to just be baby makers the rest of eternity... although making babies in itself is super fun and exciting... the act of being pregnant has it pro's and con's... 

Taking care of little ones also has it's pro's and con's.... but I don't consider myself just a mother. I consider myself so much more. 

Ultimately, I feel a sense or sadness although I haven't shed any tears... but I will continue to dig a little deeper and try to understand my place in this world... and my place right now is obviously as a mother to my little ones, but in a few years, they go off to school, and for me to just not work and stay home doesn't feel right... it feels right to complement my husband by working and continuing to engage in my interests, hobbies and talents - explore them further... help others - work in activism, etc.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Using up Food Storage... and my thoughts on OW.

Since we decided to move back to the U.S. - we thought, now is the time to use up our food storage. We can save a little money this way, too. 
Having to do this, I have some thoughts... 
1) Church potatoes - aka instant potatoes, are really yucky.
2) Church fruit punch mix - gross! I would rather just throw it in the garbage.
3) Church white flour - disgusting. I made sugar cookies with it and there is not an absence of flavor - there is flavor but it's just bad - even though my recipe has 1 cup of sugar to 2 1/2 cups flour - it's terrible tasting.
4) And I was finally excited to open this can of Church dried apple chips - because my Grandmother used to make her own and hers were awesome... but the Church dried apples - again... yucky.

Luckily, all those bags of rice that I have - taste good. Phew. And the wheat tastes good as long as you grind it yourself. Otherwise, like I said above - it's just stale and unfortunately not tasteless - it's terrible.

I just had a thought. Maybe, the next time I make the sugar cookies, I can add 1 cup of that Church fruit punch mix in place of the sugar and that will or might make the sugar cookies taste better... I might try this? Maybe.

Has anyone else found a good use for that Church fruit punch mix? Does anyone seriously like any of this stuff?


A few months ago... maybe it was a half a year ago, a friend of mine told me that the Church should let the women have the Priesthood. I was only half heartily listening. I didn't agree with her. I thought, why would I want that "burden."

Then occasional news articles from friends or family starting popping up on Facebook in my feed. I was like, oh, what's this? Oh, those women again, those evil feminist women again... what is wrong with them? In a "I'm holier than thou" kind of thinking way.

 Then, this same friend posted an article... it was this one... and I read it and I thought about it and it got me thinking... what is this movement? I'm going to look it up. I'm going to keep an open mind and see what these people think and I'm going to try something and try and not be my usual judgmental self. Let's see if I can do that.

The first thing I did was go to the Ordain Women website. I read their FAQ and their About section. Okay, then I read some of the submitted profiles. All of a sudden I saw and read profile after profile of normal every day kind of people. Of stay at home Mom's just like me!

You see, I had assumed that Mormon Feminists where some kind of man hating, don't like babies, butchy loud mouthed people. I know, I am that judgmental. Or, I can say that I used to be. 

How has this movement changed my attitude? I did a 180! I went from being super judgy to being very empathetic. I went from being this girl who thought about occasionally, it would be nice to do some service, I should at least do something nice for someone else once in  while, I am Christian after all... to having a full blown desire to serve my Lord in a much greater capacity. 

I always had that. I used to love doing community service in college... and the thing is - I didn't really learn it from the formal Church setting. Because in Church we didn't do that much community service. We did do some... but not a lot. 

I have to admit that since moving to the Netherlands, I have done almost no community service at all. It has been something missing in my life for a long time. I have wanted to do some, I have pushed for it a little bit when I was in the Young Women's presidency and I have made suggestions to the people who organize activities in Relief Society (our so called society that is supposed to be great where we do something, but not really).

I am so looking forward to moving back to the U.S. where people are a little more service minded. Not that they aren't here... but finding opportunities for service is very difficult if you don't speak the language.

One of my passions that I was involved in, in my younger hey day was doing the March to End Domestic Violence. I participated in a march in Washington D.C. at the mall - and one in Phoenix, Arizona together with many prominent people including the then Governor. I really liked being a part of something so important. 

I have yearned for that kind of service opportunity within Relief Society but it never really came. I have come to realize that Relief Society maybe used to be about that but now it's just an auxiliary organization where we can learn Christ's teachings and then, we can go outside of our Church community - and into our own cities, towns, etcetera and begin being a part of whatever we are passionate about.

I learned through reading websites like the-exponent.com that I am not alone. That there are other women who feel the same way I do. I have been reading Feminist Mormon Housewives.com and have also found a similar community. This community of men and women don't encourage you to leave the Church, some grapple with faith crisis but it is a place to mourn with those that mourn and to bear one another's burdens. It is also a place to lift each other up. In a lot of ways it is a community of Christ - of people who love one another. 

To be honest, I haven't seen that kind of candor and honesty in my local Relief Society meetings. I think people are afraid to speak up and say what they really think. They just fall in line with the status quo. We keep having activities where we drink tea and eat cookies. There has been a handful of really neat activities like the one where we learned about the Universe from a Physics teacher - that was really fun... but mostly, it's just crafts and useless things. It is nice to gather with other women, but I wish there was more service going on. I feel like sometimes I just want to roll up my sleeves and get to work, put my shoulder to the wheel - push along.

Now, how do I feel about Women's ordination to the Priesthood? I have to say, it is something I am not against anymore. I don't feel like it would be a "burden". I saw this meme and I really liked it. It spoke to me:

I have come to realize again, that in the temple I received the blessing of being a Priestess... and that is something that I would like to have further light and knowledge about... It's interesting because they have a temple prep class but after that, there is no way to really ask any questions or get answers. That would be my big question. In the temple I am told that I can be a Priestess - but then what does that mean? How? When?

I have thought about what it might be like. I saw this picture on the-exponent and it wasn't scary or weird. It was like, very familiar - like a veil was lifted and I had seen this somewhere before.... like in the temple...

And I thought, that would be interesting.

Is it a righteous desire to want the Priesthood? Is it evil to want the Priesthood?

I am not against the idea of women being ordained. I don't think it's unholy. After all, that would be like pretty bad of me to say to Heavenly Father, hey, thanks but no thanks, I don't want that "burden", I have enough blessings and I don't want to have your power to bless other lives and build up Zion on your behalf. 

So, yes, after much consideration, if the Lord revealed that all worthy Church members, male and female are allowed to have the Priesthood, then I would accept it gladly. 

And if this doesn't happen - that's okay, too because it's the Lord's Church and I feel like he won't give this "burden" to the majority of women who don't want it - although, it is a shame to withhold it from those that would like to give Mother's Blessings to their children who don't have a Priesthood holder in the home...

Yet, I think their will come a day when those righteous wishes and desires will be granted to all and the Priesthood will be Restored once again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Moving on

moving on 

This link above takes you to my Pinterest board... all about moving on with less.

We have decided to move back to the United States. We are in the process now of applying for a work visa for Mark. The only way we know how to do this affordably, is to sell almost all of our belongings and do it on a budget.

It really is something else learning to live with less. I have already given away half of all my cookbooks and will need to eventually give them all away. 

Thank goodness for blogs. I will be posting my favorite recipes from my favorite cookbooks as a way to catalog them, find them quickly - it will truly become my online recipe box. Thank goodness I finally received my own very first iPad. It makes looking up recipes so much quicker. I used to have to print everything out or at least, write down the list of ingredients on a pad of paper so I could prepare my meals without having to walk back and forth to my computer while preparing a meal in the kitchen. 

iPads really make life a bit easier. 

I am just bummed because I just bought 3 new books. Plenty and two cake books that I don't really want to give away, but the more stuff I save, the more stuff I have to haul around.

I am selling or giving away all of my baby clothes. It literally took me about 8 years to organize them perfectly each in their own plastic storage box by size and now, I am going through each box and selling the very best clothes and giving away the other, not quite so new looking clothes.

I am giving away my paintings, and trying to decide what to do with all my stuff - like my wedding dress. Yes, it's true I don't wear it anymore, but I don't want to just give it away. It's MY dress. 

I am glad we have at least a year to go through all our clutter, beloved possessions and such to decide what must go and what can stay... I need a whole year to do it.

In the meantime, I am glad to get rid of some of the girls clothes... I am so sick of doing all this laundry. I think my girls need to learn to have less. It will certainly save them a lot of money in live :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Dakoda & Crafty Things

I just realized it had been quite some time since I blogged. Well, I was waiting for a baby to arrive. He came very late. Almost two weeks late so I decided to have him evicted in the hospital so there wouldn't be any other surprises or disappointments. 

We decided on the name Dakoda. I get mixed responses - from that is such a cool name, or such a fine name... to...  you know that's a girl's name, too?!

And I say, yeah, I know, but we are spelling it with two D's - and pronounce it so... then we can have nicknames like Koda, or Kody, or whatever. 

Siembra has taken to calling him Dakody. It's cute. She absolutely adores him. She is constantly poking him in the face. I really have to keep my eyes on her around him. She is poking him out of love, of course, not to hurt him - she says: Dakoda is my best friend. It's very sweet.

So, I have been busy... er relaxing... er recovering from this new birth. Fourth child takes a toll on the body. Especially when that child comes via induced labor. That was one of the most painful child births I have experienced thus far. 

Initially I was thinking, I will never do that again... but it's funny how within a few hours of holding and adoring ones new baby you start to think... well, maybe in a few years - we shall see.

I definitely learned from that birth experience that if I ever have to be induced again - to take it slower. Be patient. I wasn't this time. I said, give me more of that drug to speed up this labor process. I wanna get this going. I want this baby here already. So they did. And then it starting to be very painful and I wanted some pain medication and they said, you are doing great - ignoring my requests for medicine and then Mark turned to me and said it was going too fast now so I couldn't have any.

That was my big mistake... I never talked to any of the doctors or nurses before that whole procedure started - I never discussed with them how I would like pain medicine... I wasn't prepared. Oh my goodness... they said I was only pushing with his head stuck in the birth canal for 8 minutes. 8 whole minutes - doens't seem like much... but it was definitly the worst 8 minutes of my life. 

I will not make that mistake again... I will be prepared and have access to pain meds when I want them. If I ever get pregnant again. I feel like we will have another baby in the future... but I don't know what the future holds. No one knows. Anything could happen. I could have a total breakdown - or I could handle it. I don't know. I think I would like more children though... we shall see.

(All photos above by Mark... I really like this style of b&w he is experimenting with right now... very classy)

When I  have a chance, when this beautiful baby boy sleeps, like right now - I actually have time to crochet - which is something I love to do again. But right now I am typing this instead of crocheting. But anyway, I will crochet today.

Kids are back in school after a two week fall break and I have time to myself again. It's great... and I am so happy they get to see and play with their school mates again. I know they missed their friends.

Here are some projects I have been working on lately. An autumn afghan in the colors: sage green, plum purple, pumpkin orange, and cream. I am also applying applique crochet leaves to it in the shape of oak and maple. It's going to be beautiful. It will be a gift for my sort of half-sister.... which I will picture later.

I also made a couple of cute froggy hats. That one turned out cute. Pattern found here: RisC Handmade

(photo by me - via phone)

I am also finishing up a baby blanket with applique crochet seahorses. The applique patterns come from an etsy store called GoldenLucyCrafts. I have to say I am very impresses with these patterns. So many times in my life I have tried to make and follow patterns in books or on the back of yarn wrappers just to be disappointed because I just couldn't figure out what the pattern was explaining. I love that the patterns you buy from these accomplished crocheters like GoldenLucyCrafts have explained it step by step with photos for each row in the pattern. It makes making and crocheting "complicated" patterns fun and possible.

(photos by me with phone)

Until next time... it may be a while... Happy crocheting to all you loves of yarn and crafty things out there :)