Monday, July 27, 2015

Arwen Turns 3

Sweet little Arwen turned 3 today!

This Week at Our House # 29

  1. The month is waning. Summer has progressed at top speed and now I have to start thinking about getting ready for school. John's still working, though without a new contract I am not sure he will get paid for what he is doing. But that's ok. He is still looking for either more contract work or a full time job. We are mostly looking in the South East to be nearer to my family, but we will take a job about anywhere if the company is stable and the pay is enough. 
  2. I got to meet my dear MWS colleague and friend, Susan Porter on Monday. She was diagnosed with colon cancer and is moving to Florida to stay with her friends because her husband travels so much. I meant up with her at Temple Square a few hours before her flight left. I just run and run all of the time. When I just had 5 or 6 or even 8 little kids I was able to pace myself better. I could get naps and my kids would go to bed early enough to give me time to recoup. I even wrote a couple of times about how doable a large family can be. Well, 10 kids has finally beaten me, but I also think that having older kids who want to stay up all night and sleep all day are a big part of that.
  3. Ruth took Kate to the mall on Monday and bought her a nice dress. Then she took Kate and I out to dinner on Friday night. 
  4. Kate stayed up until 6:30am reading a book I gave her. I am not sure if I am glad or sad, I gave her a book I knew she would get  interested in.
  5. Johnny's voice cracks so much now. It's hilarious!
  6. I let the kids play computer games again this week and Adam played one game for hours and hours. I think I may ground them all again.
  7. Rachel played Star Wars with Anya, and when we went to visit a friend of mine and played her 3 acre yard, Rachel played pirates and even wrote a treasure map.
  8. Anya LOVES bike riding all of a sudden and begs and begs for me to take her on a bike ride. But since I need to exercise more, this is a good thing.
  9. Joseph began sucking his thumb at the end of the school year and now he sucks it constantly. I think I am going to have to put a glove on his hand to help him break the habit before school starts in about 3 more weeks.
  10. Joshua has been jealous of Joseph and Arwen's birthday's. He takes their presents and tells them they were meant for him and them. Today he told me what he wanted me to get him for Arwen's birthday. 
  11. Arwen's birthday is today. She's 3! She's potty trained! She's a little shy. She's very independent and can do most things for herself. She loves chocolate, shoes, dolls, changing her clothes about 5 times a day, playing on my phone, looking at books, drawing and coloring.
  12. It's still just fun to watch Suzy walk around. I love the wobbly baby walk.
This Week's Pictures

Joseph Turns 6!

Joseph had his 6th birthday on July 20th. He's so tall and smart now. He can read and he knows where everything is. If we tell him a story and ask him it 6 months later, he can recite it to us in detail. He still breaks just about everything touches. Maybe someday he'll construct instead of deconstruct.

Monday, July 20, 2015

This Week at Our House #28

  1. I can't believe July is almost over. John should get his work submitted this week and he will likely be done the contract. If they want him to continue on they will need to upgrade the contract or hire him on full time. I guess we'll see what happens.
  2. I have realized that I do two things that I really need to fix in my life. The first is that I am too critical of my husband. I know I need to become more gentle with my words. And the second is that I need to have more faith. I find myself doubting and worrying too much. The scriptures say that "...if ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."(Luke17:6) Obviously there is way more power in faith and in words than most of us have enough belief and understanding to make use of. I know that I need to work on that. I am sure this is a huge process of trust and belief and action that I don't yet understand, but right now I do understand that doubt, worry, and fear are in opposition to faith. I can work on repenting and eliminating those in my life.
  3. Ruth was sick on Wednesday and Thursday, but then had to work extra long hours on Friday and Saturday. And I think she will work a lot this week because the two head cooks will be on vacation. 
  4. Kate and I have both been mourning how much work this summer has been. The house is on the market for sale by owner. That may make things harder or easier. We really have to focus on keeping the house clean, but I would like to just take the kids camping at a lake for a few days so we are away from so much cleaning, repairing, and electronics and only have each other and nature to contend with. Kate would agree with all except the nature part. Unless she can get a bug-free natural setting.
  5. Johnny helped me with a lot of repairs around the house all week. He also spent a lot of time playing games with John, Ruth, Kate, and Adam. He loves games. 
  6. Adam likes to pick on his younger sisters. It can be a huge pain at times. I need to find a way to persuade him to be a little kinder.
  7. Rachel is the master at getting out of work. But I do agree with her. It is time for a vacation.
  8. Anya has been making up for Rachel's lack of effort so I told her she could stay up as late as the big kids the rest of summer break. That has meant she excitedly joins us in reading or watching a show and promptly falls asleep. 
  9. Joseph's birthday is today. He's gotten so tall, he's good friend, and he knows so much. If something is lost, Joseph likely knows where it is. Six years have passed quickly with this little boy.
  10. Joshua is not peeing his pants anymore. I can't remember the last time he did. I think I owe that little boy a train ride at last.
  11. Arwen is a girlie girl in every sense except that she prefer pants or simple dresses to go along with all of her other frills.
  12. Suzy girl is walking and is now 19 months old. She's strong willed and determined and has no problem letting us know how she feels about things.
This Week's Pictures

Sunday, July 12, 2015

This Week at Our House #27

  1. John is really close to finishing his contract, and our house is looking much closer to a show and sell state of being. I should have it listed and pictures up by next week. (Scary)
  2. I painted and worked hard and cleaned and cleaned. I also got to speak to the BYU-I students as well as listen to a lot of awesome speakers. I got to get together with my best friends all with big families. That was so much fun and such a needed break. I also took the little kids on a day trip to thank them for being so good while I ignored them for 2 weeks and painted the house. 
  3. Ruth came to the field trip with me and decided that she will need to take that class at BYU-I. The professor, Doctor Rarick, told her that BYU is the Church's school, but BYU-I is the Lord's school. 
  4. Kate worked like a slave for me. We got the entire downstairs painted in 2 days and then we cleaned a ton. We still have a lot to do. Kate will do some more slave labor, but she has had a great attitude about it.
  5. Johnny rolled the paint onto just about every wall in the house and didn't complain even once. He has also done a lot of cleaning and moving of heavy boxes and furniture and still without a single complaint. Oh, and he has finished reading the entire standard works as a 13 year old boy. He is and has always been unusual and mature. 
  6. Adam didn't paint this week, but he watched the younger kids and kept things picked up. Adam has also done a lot of cleaning and a lot of heavy lifting. He has been good natured about it too.
  7. Rachel has been one of the main kids keeping things clean, and watching the littlest kids. I am impressed at how well my kids have pitched in and done their fair share.
  8. Anya plays with Suzy to help out. She does such a good job. Suzy loves to have Anya play with her.
  9. Joseph has been really good too. Really, I am surprised at how easy this has gone when normally it would be very hard on everyone. I did allow Joseph to play a lot of computer games to keep him occupied. But still, he has not broken anything, written on any walls, or destroyed anything for more than 2 weeks, Hopefully this will be a permanent change.
  10. Joshua wakes up first every morning, and he is so loud! But he will go and play until everyone else gets up. 
  11. Arwen loves our little kitty. And we were really excited when she came out of nursery today with her coloring sheet. She pointed to a picture of Joseph Smith and said, "this is Joseph Smith," and she pointed to a picture of the Savior and said, "this is Jesus."
  12. Suzy is walking. Not 100%, but whenever she wants to go, she starts by walking. I think by the end of next week, she will no longer be crawling.
This Weeks Pictures

My Speech to BYU-I Students

Three times a year for the past 3 years, I have had the opportunity to speak to students taking a family advocacy course at BYU-I along with the other UFI volunteers and some state representatives and senators. Sometimes, I write down my speech and sometimes I just wing it. This time I felt like there were specific things that I needed to say, so I wrote it down. We got to hear from Senator Margaret Dayton and Senator Stuart Adams. What I had to say was very much like what Senator Dayton said. Senator Adams was  very interesting because he is the senator who wrote the freedom of religion/gay rights Utah bill often called the "great compromise". Hearing his experience was pretty amazing.

Anyway, I wish I could put up everyone's speeches. They were so good and the Spirit filled the room and one could tell that these students left the room more determined to do whatever they could to fight for religious freedom.

Here is what I said to these students.

"My name is Diane Robertson. I have been writing for UFI for more than 3 years. At times I help out during the Utah Legislation session. The amount I participate in that depends on how my children are doing, because, of course, family comes first. If I lose my own children from spending too much time trying to save other people’s families, I would be a failure indeed. Thus, I am very conscientious about the time I spend away from my family whether it be for church callings, volunteering at the school, or volunteering away from home for United Families International. My 10 children need me more than anyone else in the world. But they also need me to be fighting for them and the world they are going to inherit. It is a delicate balance and both have serious consequences.

I mostly want to speak to you today about the Supreme Court Ruling on gay marriage. I am going to read you this quote given in General Conference in 1967 by then Elder Ezra Taft Benson:

"In such countries as Czechoslovakia, the Communists have used an entirely different method of internal conquest. Instead of the force and violence of a bloody revolution (a "war of national liberation"), parliamentary and political means were used to bring about a more peaceful transition to Communism. The Communist strategists call this alternate plan a "proletarian" revolution.
This plan is as follows: Using unidentified Communist agents and non-Communist sympathizers in key positions in government, in communications media, and in mass organizations, such as labor unions and civil rights groups, demand more and more government power as the solution to all civil rights problems. Total government is the objective of Communism. Without calling it by name, build Communism piece by piece through mass pressures for presidential decrees, court orders, and legislation that appear to be aimed at improving civil rights and other social reforms. If there is social, economic, or educational discrimination, then advocate more government programs and control.
And what if riots come? Then more government housing, government welfare, government job training, and, finally, federal control over police. Thus the essential economic and political structure of Communism can be built entirely "legally" and in apparent response to the wishes of the people who have clamored for some kind of solution to the problems played-up, aggravated, or created outright by Communists for just that purpose. After the machinery of Communism is firmly established, then allow the hidden Communists one by one to make their identities known. Liquidate first the anti-Communists and then the non-Communist sympathizers who are no longer needed in government. The total state mechanism can now openly and "peacefully" be transferred into the hands of Communists. Such is the so-called proletarian revolution. Such has happened in other, once free, countries. It has already started here."

You may ask yourself, what does Communism have to do with gay marriage? Well, everything actually. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has done precisely what was described here by President Benson. Think about what has happened here. To legalize gay marriage and eventually to conform all of society to one way of thinking the gay lobby as a civil rights group has:
  1. Used non-Communist sympathizers in key positions to build communism piece by piece in the name of civil rights.
  2.  Used presidential decrees, court orders, and legislation that appear to be aimed at improving the rights of LGBT people.
  3. They have advocated for more government programs and control.

How many of you have heard someone say,  "This ruling does not matter. It does not affect me." Probably a lot, huh? Me too. And I think:

Have we so little compassion for the destinies of our own children that we can feel just about ignoring the destruction of the freedoms we have enjoyed?”

It may not be tomorrow that your school and others like it will no longer be accredited. It may not be tomorrow that an only “acceptable” college degree comes from a University in which the government approves of the curriculum. It may not be tomorrow that little children in every school both public and private are taught about sodomy. It may not be tomorrow that CPS enters the homes of parents who teach their children the Biblical views on sexuality. It may not be tomorrow that everyone who writes and speaks against gay marriage, homosexuality, or any other deviant form of sexuality and family life will be fired and branded. It may not be tomorrow that countless churches close down because they cannot afford to pay taxes when their exempt status is removed. It may not be tomorrow, but it is on the agenda, and today the Supreme Court has given the green light for the LGBT lobby to push forward this agenda.

Justice Kenedy declared that:

The limitation of marriage to opposite-sex couples may long have seemed natural and just, but its inconsistency with the central meaning of the fundamental right to marry is now manifest. With that knowledge must come the recognition that laws excluding same-sex couples from the marriage right impose stigma and injury of the kind prohibited by our basic charter.”

This means that on June 26th, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States determined that your religious views on family and sexuality are bigoted and acting on those views would be akin to racial discrimination. Do not think this will not affect you. It will. It will affect me and you and our children and grandchildren.

Don’t think that the LGBT lobby will not continue to use “presidential decrees, court orders, and legislation" that appear to be aimed at improving the rights of LGBT people and other sexual minorities. They will. And don’t think this will help them and hurt you. It will hurt every American of all races and genders, both gay and straight, religious, and irregilous. The LGBT lobby has essentially given the government power over speech, religion, education, family law, commerce, and more. Once a government takes power from the people, they never give it back. Which brings us back around again to communism. The last time I knew that the government just handed people freedom was when a war was fought and won and a sacred document was written to confirm the rights of the people.

But do not despair. Instead take your knowledge and share it. Be an advocate against evil laws and un-constitutional actions by government. Don’t ever let people use Joseph Smith’s words, “we believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the laws” to keep you from supporting truth and righteousness. Remember the same man that wrote that is the same man that escaped from unjust imprisonment. You do not need to obey, honor, or sustain wickedness even when it is written into law.

I heed you to decide now to become a good wife and mother, or a good husband and father. Spend your lifetime making your family a good family, and be an advocate for that lifestyle. Do it for your children. Do it for families. Do it for your religion. Do it because you love mankind. #lovewins when men are free. #loveswins when children are born into a home with a married mother and father who honor those marital vows with complete fidelity.

This Week at Our House # 26

Well, I totally missed getting this up last week. We've been so busy and when we aren't, it's really late at night and I am exhausted. So I am going to put up a few highlights for the week of June 29th to July 5th.

We painted all week long. I had us rush to get every wall, every door, and all of the trim finished before the 4th. Ruth, Kate, Johnny, and Adam painted with me. When John was not working, he repaired the sprinkler system and planted grass. The little kids have basically been left on their own to entertain themselves and to keep things cleaned up. These are my highlights.

  1. Anya made the kids mayonaise and pickle sandwiches one day for lunch, and the kids ate them and liked them. 
  2. Ruth was vacuuming the stairs with the shop vac and I was painting a bathroom. Adam had told Arwen that the shop vac is a robot and Arwen is terrified of it as a result. While the vac was running. Arwen ran back and forth saying, "It's scary. I need a hug. It's scary. I need a hug." I couldn't do too much except talk to her as I was covered in paint, but Adam redeemed himself, picked her up, hugged her, and carried her around singing to her until the vacuuming was finished. 
  3. Ruth bore a very nice testimony on Sunday, July 5th.