Sunday, June 28

The Voice of the Little Child

"But he hasn't got anything on," the little child said.

I can't get over the nagging feeling that I'm at the parade of the Emperor with No Clothes.  I'm standing in a crowd of people celebrating mass denial of sexual dysfunction.

I see people of opposite opinions on this issue, all crying for kindness.  Everyone is worried that speaking their mind may somehow seem un-Christ-like, or unkind.  The little child who told the crowd he could see no clothes on the emperor wasn't being unkind. He told the truth, and the Emperor was seen for what he was.  Naked. If people had mocked the emperor for being naked, that's where the unkindness might have come in.  But it didn't.  The emperor kept going on, suspecting he was naked, and that was the end.

Imagine a person with schizophrenia.  Do you convince yourself that hearing voices is normal so that you can be  Christ-like? Is denying a problem showing love?  No.  The kindest, most loving, Christ-like thing you can do for them is to accept that they have schizophrenia and love them, schizophrenia and all. 

Our story didn't happen like the emperor's.  People suffering from same-sex attraction have been mocked to the point they were suicidal.  Had that happened to the emperor, would people have blamed that child?  Would that mean that the child had been unkind? There's a difference between pointing out reality for sanity's sake, and mocking that reality.

 This isn't about love.  It isn't about being kind.  It isn't even about religious belief. Don't give me  over-simplified quotes and out-of-context scripture passages about love and acceptance.  They simply don't apply.  It is just as ridiculous to call someone a "hater" who is adamant and vocal about their belief that 1+1 doesn't equal 3.   You want to say "I'm glad you see things as so black and white."  Well, I feel comfortable using such simplistic analogies, because our anatomy is just as obvious.

People who can't/won't have sexual intercourse, who can not make a family, are not the building blocks of a family.  Marriage is what we do to make families.

There's a reason people in this society started getting married.  It was because they realized that domesticated men and women are the essential building blocks of families, and that we need families to be civilized.  That children need mothers and fathers.  Don't give me your ridiculous rhetoric about families being made up of different components and all being just as effective as the other.  You're not an idiot.  You don't even need statistics like these ( to know that a family missing a father misses its father.  You know a family missing a mother is missing a mother.  You know that not everyone gets what they need, and that overcoming deficiency is a part of life.  My beef isn't with families lacking certain components.  My problem is with people so insecure with their deficiencies and problems that they feel the need to pretend they don't exist. Or worse yet, convince everyone that their deficiency should be celebrated.

Somewhere along the timeline of our society, probably around the time that the entertainment industry got a firm grasp on us, and pleasure from self-indulgence became more important than the harder-to-attain pleasure that comes from doing right, people started thinking that marriage was about making themselves happy.  Which has lead to this nonsensical logic that now it makes sense to redefine marriage to accommodate people who are not and never will be the building blocks of a family in their current pairing.

Sexual dysfunction didn't become a political battle until, like generations before them, people who didn't want to admit their wrong-doing decided to change everyone else instead of themselves.  This law about marriage wasn't about "rights."  It was all about people wanting society to openly condone their backward actions.  It wouldn't have been possible, except for the growing misunderstanding people have about the reason we vote.  Somehow, a large percentage of people started believing that instead of voting your conscience... instead of voting to represent yourself, you are supposed to vote to make other people happy.  People suddenly didn't mind that they didn't have a voice about what they KNEW to be truly right and wrong, as long as everyone was "happy."  And then, as the voices crying "homosexuality" (which isn't even a sexuality!) grew loud and emotional enough, people forgot about defending right and wrong.  People started even to forget the difference between right and wrong.

Think back to your innocence.  Remember your very initial reaction to hearing that people of the same gender thought they could have sexual intercourse?  That was your common sense talking.  Since then, like people who acquire a taste for cigarettes, all the while knowing they are making themselves accept something that isn't healthy, isn't normal, a huge percentage of people have slowly convinced themselves that same-gender attraction is "homosexuality."  Once that became a word that people believed existed, common sense was already down the toilet.

If you want to quote scripture, quote one that is its own context: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! "  Notice it didn't say those who DO evil.  He wasn't talking about those acting on sexual dysfunction.  He was talking about the people unwilling to call it like it is.  

YOUR OPINION MATTERS.  Let people call your opinion what they will- your opinion not only matters, it is the only thing that will save the very people in dissent of it.

This situation is about the age-old plan of people who want to do evil trying to get everyone else to swim backward with them.   We've read about civilizations who let the current reverse.  Whose majority started swimming backward. Even those who you'd expect to know better get duped. The end result is never pretty.

To those who are feeling that pull of the current running backward, who are wondering if they should just quietly give up and swim in the same direction because it is just too hard to swim the right way anymore.  Swim harder. It is not just worth it... it's essential. 

Whether they know it or not, the very people calling your common sense unkindness--or even more boldly, calling it "hatred"-- they need you.  Their lifestyle of self-indulgence relies on having a society in the first place.  And you- those few people still swimming in the right direction- those people who are giving children mothers and fathers, or doing their best to make up for the deficiency of one or the other, whether you like it or not, you are the backbone.  You are the pillars.   The most Christ-like thing you can do is to keep doing what you're doing, teach your children how to be pillars, even while people try to redesign the building without the pillars.

In a sad way, it is comforting to me that the Supreme Court had to usurp power they didn't have to re-write our country's definition of marriage.  It means that the gagged majority wasn't working with them.  Which means that the majority still knows what marriage is really supposed to be, and is still unwilling to condone the writing into law of those practicing sexual dysfunction as building blocks of families.

Your beliefs may have been ignored and trampled on.  That doesn't mean that voicing them, over and over again, is "unkind."  It means that you love the people around you enough to  keep the roof up over them.  Teach your children to be pillars.  It is the only way to keep the building standing after you're gone.  Because those who have fallen aren't going to rebuild themselves.

Tuesday, May 19

The twins got baptized!

Las Vegas temple grounds in dresses handmade by Grandma Coralee

We went to Utah for Anya and Bree's baptisms. We figured more people could attend if we went up there, and we knew we were moving out of our ward when we set the date, so we figured we wouldn't be missing anyone in the new ward down here, anyway.  I almost regretted driving up when we hit heavy rain and I had to squint into the dark and against other drivers' headlights both ahead and behind, through crappy Vegas windshield wipers, for over two terrifying hours. Looking forward to living closer- I never want to deal with that again.

Zach is posing in front of this same picture with his dad when he was 8.  The twins were baptized in the same font. 

Proud of my girls.
Anya and Bree both filled out a spotlight sheet to be read during the meeting held before their baptisms. One of the blanks to fill out was "I am trying to be like Jesus by:____"  Anya said "Getting baptized and being kind."  Bree said "Caring for others when they're hurt."

When asked why they wanted to be baptized, Anya wrote: "Because it's like a bath, except it makes you free from sins."  Bree said, "I want to be with God."

They were so excited to get out of their dresses and into their font outfits.  Grandma Cork had made cute little collars to go on each one, and they looked so sweet.

I was still a mental stress-case from either driving the night before, or just my life in general, so I was super thankful for the help of both our moms, and the Primary secretary.  There were SO many details they thought of that made the whole gathering so much more fun and memorable than it would have been had we stayed home.   The girls will remember their baptisms every week for the rest of their lives, but because of all the extra effort from Grandmas and church leaders, they'll also remember how much joy their decision brought to so many of their family.

We went up to my parents' ward house for a get-together and dinner afterward, and had a great time meeting up with my sister's fam who we haven't seen since her son came home from his mission and her daughter got engaged.  They are expected to be the life of the party, and they fulfilled their Suiter obligation as beautifully as ever. ;)

Playing with cousins in the "secret hide-out"

We definitely get our silly genes from my side.

Jeremy catching the flu

Declan lost his pants, so he thought he'd practice his beefcake poses.  We found him in the middle of the floor like this.

Sunday, May 17

Day off

One of the effects of Zach having only four days off each month, is that when one of them isn't spoken for by a trip out of town, or running all the errands that don't get done the other 27 days, it seems like a holiday.  So, on this one, we made a reservation to go to Rainforest Cafe.

On our way there, we drove by a time-traveling Dolorian!  Zach and I were quite enthusiastic, and the kids were a little chagrined that they didn't understand the significance. We promised we'd update them with YouTube when we got home.  (I forgot about all the swearing in the Dolorian scene- oops.)

The kids wanted to go up the escalator to see the restaurant from above. So on our way home, we all went up. I was about to turn around and go back down so we could head to the car, but the kids went down the hall and realized there was a door to the outside. The restaurant had been so dark with a view of the "night sky" and shooting stars, it felt later than it was. But the view of the sunny bridge overlooking the strip looked so inviting, we headed out to take a peek.  Then we spotted the M&M store and the Coca Cola store, and since Zach had been meaning to get a very specific Coke bottle bank for the last four years since the last one his dad gave him broke, we headed down.

We got out the elevator and look who was waiting to take a picture with us!  At Disneyland we'd opted not to wait in line to get a pic with one character at a time, so this was pretty fun.  I don't think the boys even noticed Buzz looked like he was melting...

 We happened to walk by the line for the free M&M 3-D movie a couple minutes before it started, so we went in and watched it.  It was pretty cute!  The kids loved it. Then we thought we'd check out the new fourth floor, and while we were standing there, they announced that "Green" was coming out to take pictures on the fourth floor.  So we stayed while she walked out the door by us, and just kind of gathered around for a picture.
 A few stores down was the Coke store, and we went in so Zach could get his bank.  His dad would periodically give the change in the bottle to one of his siblings or him while they were growing up.  Then we used it for date nights when his dad gave it to him. So we're keeping up the tradition. We saw the Coke bear standing there with nothing to do, so we went over and took pictures with him, too.

 I always am a little anxious when taking kids to the strip.  When Zach and I go to shows or stuff at night, there's always a billboard with half-naked somebody, posing provocatively.  But this little stretch, during this time of day, was free of anything that needed to be turned into a discussion about modesty and God's plan for our bodies.  I kind of like the fact that, when my kids turn into young adults, Vegas will just be a place that reminds them of walking around with Mom and Dad when they were little, ha.

Monday, April 20

This time last year: April

Last April I was starting to get desperate about the barking coming from our neighbor's dogs. That was the month those crazy neighbors won 11K from a news station.  Karma Shmarma! I love being on the "tail" end of that situation, knowing that not even a year later we were able to get out of that "ruff" neighborhood. (BAhahaha I crack me up.)

I was, and still am,so grateful to sweet friends who kept offering sympathy and encouragement during that.  It was a nightmare, but it kept me sane to know that I wasn't the only one who would be bothered by that.

We lost our "Vegas Bevans" to Alaska

Paid our visit to the creepy bunny at Smith's.  I loved that store.  The Smith's here is overrun by old people.

Easter egg hunt with the ward.

The pool had been warm all month last year.  We're still waiting for it this year!

The twins celebrated turning 7 with both families.