Sunday, February 10, 2013

Catch up- New Year's Eve




This year we rung in the New Year at the YMCA. It's our family tradition. Unfortunately, Elyse and I had had the flu so we were not feeling very festive. They do a count down for the kids early so they feel like they stayed up, but they don't actually have to stay up. We were too sick to stay, but the girls still had a great time. Here's hoping for a great 2013!

Catching up- Christmas

We had a great Christmas this year. Mike didn't have to work until that night, and we also got snow just in time to have a white Christmas. Santa brought a Wii this year, which was pretty exciting. Our niece, Abby, made those adorable monster hats. We love them!




Elyse was too fun. It didn't matter if this present was wrapped or unwrapped, it was in the mouth. Too cute!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pantspocalypse


With all the drama surrounding the Wear Pants to Church Day, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a woman in the church. To be honest, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot in the last few years.

I want to preface this with the fact that I absolutely have a testimony that the LDS  church is God’s church. I believe that President Monson in our prophet today, and he leads God’s church. I believe the Book of Mormon is scripture from God, and that it can bring us closer to our Savior. I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and he restored the church for the last time on the earth.

However, I do feel that there are gender inequalities in the church. I know that God loves his daughters just as much as his sons, and I don’t know why women don’t have the Priesthood. That’s not really the issue for me. I do feel like there are cultural, not doctrinal, gender issues. And I think it’s painful. Especially as the mother of three daughters, one on which already is asking me questions about the visibility of women in the church.

There are already so many women who have written about where gender inequality is found in the church, so I’m not going to delve into that right now. If you are curious, check out these links:


The real reason I am writing this post is because I am horrified by some of what was written on the Facebook Page. Horrified. And embarrassed. Some of my fellow Mormons are declaring that women who have questions about gender in the church are apostate, that they should leave the church, or even that they are going to hell.

I was in serious turmoil. Am I really apostate? Am I really unfaithful if I have questiona about women and their role in the church? So, I’ve been praying a lot about this, and I’ve been searching for answers.

And as it turns out, there are a lot of women in the scriptures and in our LDS history where women have had questions, and they haven’t been struck by lightening for it either.

Lets look at the daughters of Zelophehad (see Numbers 36). Moses was dividing up inheritances to the various tribes of Israel, and setting up the system where land was passed down from father to son.  However, Zelophehad had no sons, he had five daughters. These women went to Moses, the prophet, with their problems. They felt that they should inherit their father’s land, even though they were not men. Did Moses call down the fires of heaven to consume these unfaithful daughters? No, he did not. He took their question to the Lord. And the Lord responded and told Moses that these women could inherit their father’s land. Now, does it mean that Moses wasn’t the prophet because he didn’t automatically receive revelation on this matter? Of course not. Revelation is often received by asking questions. Women inheriting their father’s land was not on Moses’ radar for whatever reason. As far as we know, it wasn’t a question that he had thought to ask.  I also find it interesting to note that these women were looking for a gift, a blessing, and they only got it because they were willing to ask.

How about Ruth? She took some initiative in getting Boaz the marry her, and wasn’t declared an apostate. Or Ester. She risked her life by going to King to save her people. These women were not women who sat idly by when they felt they needed something.

Let’s look to our own history of the Relief Society. Sarah Granger Kimball and Margaret Book wanted to put together a Benevolent Society to help make clothing for temple workers. They had Eliza R. Snow write a constitution and by laws which they then took to Joseph Smith. Yes, that’s right. It was not the other way around. Joseph Smith did not go to the women of the church and tell them that he was going to create a society just for them. The women went to him first! And they obviously were not declared apostates. And once again, just because Joseph Smith didn’t present the idea first does not mean he was not lead by inspiration. He took the question of a women’s society to the Lord, and thus the Relief Society was formed. The blessing was there- but they had to ask for it.

I am deeply saddened that all this pants craziness has happened. The original intent of the Mormon feminists who created it was to show solidarity with other people in the church who sometimes feel marginalized- women who go against the cultural norms and wear pants to church,  or single mothers, or divorcees,  or gays oranyone else who is made to fell less than sometimes.  Unfortunately this happens in the church. I’ve seen it happen. I saw a woman get reamed at church for wearing pants- a convert. And she never came back. That is not okay. That is not how Christ would act.

Some commenters are upset because they feel that Mormon feminists are trying to be men. But that is not true. Mormon feminists have a wide spectrum of feelings and beliefs, and not one of us wants to be a man. To call us man haters, or prideful, or looking to lift ourselves up is also simply not true. To say that we are not following the prophet or that we are apostate is not true either. Yes, we have questions we would like answered. But that’s ok. We are allowed to have questions. Whether they will be answered any time in the future, I don’t know.

However, there are ways that we can make women more equal with men, and it doesn’t have to change our doctrine. I’ve shared this link on Facebook before, but for those of you who haven’t see it, check this out:


So, is it really just about pants? Not really.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

It wouldn't be fall around here if I didn't post any pictures of our annual pumpkin patch trip. This year, Mike actually came with us! It has been a few years since he had any time in the fall to go with us. We are pretty much loving third year.


I love this picture. We all look so happy!


What good looking pumpkins.

Here is Syracuse, the squirrels are crazy. And I mean crazy. They chewed a huge hole into our trash can so they could get the food inside (we were wondering why there was a squirrel running around with a piece of pizza, and two fighting over a peanut butter jar). They ate and destroyed five of our neighbors' pumpkins in one night. So, this year, our perfectly picked pumpkins stayed inside. 

Five Months

I can't believe it's been five months and I just barely took bath time pictures! Poor third baby. 



Like her sisters before her, she is a little fish. She loves bath time. Unlike her sisters, she's still our little chunky baby. She weighs about the same as Avery did when she was one.

At five months:

  • She is pretty close to crawling. I can't believe it. She is up on all fours, rocking. She uses her feet to push herself around the room. Between that and rolling, she is all over the place. Mostly, she still gets herself stuck under the futon. I'm not quite sure why. It doesn't matter where she starts, or in what direction she's facing, she ends up under the futon.
  • She just discovered how to make raspberries. And she won't stop. She makes raspberries while I'm nursing her (that's a nice, wet surprise), when she eating sweet potatoes, when she supposed to be going to sleep, and pretty much any time when she's awake.
  • She is a happy, social baby. She absolutely loves it when any one talks to her. Elyse is full of smiles.
  • She still only naps for twenty minutes at a time. And she is still waking up a million times at night. Good thing she's so smiley.




Monday, November 26, 2012

Halloween

This year, Bailey and Avery wanted to be a black cat and witch (again- they've done this combo before). Bailey was insistent on a green face, and although I was worried about it getting everywhere, it ended up working out well. We kept calling her Elphaba, which she didn't like. (: It made me want to see Wicked again.










Our little pumpkin only made it to a few houses until we were back at home passing out candy. I'm just glad it wasn't a wintery Halloween this year. We've been lucky the last few years!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

First Cereal- Four Months

Elyse has had some digestive issues, and the doctor recommended we start giving her rice cereal twice a day to hopefully help things out. But, like Bailey and Avery before her, she was just not into it. This picture pretty much sums it up:


What are you giving me? Why?



I'd rather eat my hand!


I'm not going to swallow it!

After about a week of battling it out, we decided to wait another month or two and try again.

At four months:

  • Elyse is very proficient at rolling- she started when she was two and half months old. She rolls all around the house, and often gets herself stuck under the futon. 
  • We are finally getting more giggles out of her. After months of Bailey asking, "What does a baby laugh sound like?" she finally got her answer. And she agrees that it is one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
  • Elyse is starting to play with toys and puts everything she grabs straight into the mouth- even Avery's fingers.
  • She is still a stinker about naps. Maybe someday she will nap longer than twenty minutes...


In other news, I finally got my haircut, and Bailey took this picture of me while I was giving Elyse her first cereal. It was long, long, long over due and I'm glad to have less hair for little baby hands to grab.