What's In This Blog

I created this blog for my journal. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this blog I keep many of the things I come across as a member of the church. I also share my experiences on the ACE Train and getting to work, my experiences in Manteca where we have lived for three years, and other things I think are noticeable.

Monday, December 28, 2015

LDS Short Story: A Christmas on the Other Side of Heaven: John H. Groberg (2004)

This short story is very well said.  John Groberg tells about Christmas when he was a missionary in Tonga.  It was the hot time of the year.  Gift giving was not possible as the residents were poor and did not have much to give.  Instead they would give acts of service.  He recounts how he and his companion were providing an act of service for a grandmother, who had grown tired and weary caring for a sick granddaughter.  The missionaries decided to give her some needed relief.   However as they cared for the child through the night, his companion in term gave Groberg a gift by letting him sleep through his turn of watching the child.
This story is a fine example of the true spirit of Christmas.

Health as I See It: A Review of Infertility

Training on Infertility through NetCE.

I did a recent online training on infertility.  Much of it was over my head, as they presented a lot of technical stuff.  Terms primary and secondary infertility, never pregnant versus pregnant before.  Infertility is unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex.  80 percent of couple conceive within 6 monthly cycles, another ten percent (subfertile) within 12 cycles.  There are 10 percent who are identified as infertile.  Infertility can be woman cause, man caused or a combination of both.  Infertility has increased among women as the age of reproduction has increased.  Infertility is classified into three types, ovulatory (the woman is not producing eggs) tubal Occlusion, and sperm disorders.  There are risk factor for infertility including obesity, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, alcohol usage, tobacco and caffeine usage, other controlled substance usage (this includes marijuana) and environmental issues.  Treatments are many, starting with something as simple as a lifestyle change.  Reduction of stress, along with exercise and better physical condition can increase the chances of fertility.  Cessation of tobacco, alcohol or illicit drugs can also make a difference.  There are some medications treatments, and then also physical procedures including surgery to improve blood flow to the male as well as tubal repair and other procedures for women.  Other courses of treatment include artificial insemination, as well as assistive reproductive procedures.  
One important factor about infertility is the training made the point that infertility is stressful, and can have negative emotional effects.  Up to 30 percent of women have bouts of some type of depression.  
Lastly, infertility can also cause marital discord.  Often the wife is more vested in becoming pregnant and couple  must be careful to not let infertility disrupt their relationship. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Dianna's Creches and Christian Art

While at the Normans I took a few pictures of some of their art.  This is just a sample.  Some of it is very good.  Of course this is mostly creche exhibits at this time of year.

on their piano

In their credenza

Flight to Egypt in Living Room

Living Room Christmas tree

Also in living room, large set

In living room

Christmas Dinner at the Normans 2015

For Christmas dinner we went to the Normans.  They had all of their children home for Christmas.  This included Nicole and her boyfriend Nick.  They live in the Bay area.  Joshua and Chelsea who live in Logan.  Natalie and Charlie who live in Provo.  Heather and Anna are both still at home.  We just had us, Annie and Grandpa Scoresby.  It was very fun.  A choice between ham or turkey.
After dinner we had a good conversation with Mark and Grandpa Scoresby.  We talked mostly about your, younger missionaries and some of the problems church members have such as pornography and now marijuana where it is legal in some states.  Many of the others played games after dinner.  The conversation eventually drifted to wedding plans and what would be the best thing to do.   However I understand that we have a joint meeting with the Banks to finalize the actual plans.  However there were many ideas presented.  Annie and Caleb only joined the conversation towards the end.  There is a lot of advice flowing their way.  Much discussion about how these events are becoming too elaborate, including Christmas where way to much carbohydrates are distributed.  However with regards to the wedding, Mark probably had the best advice.  "You should only do what you want to do."  There are no prerequisites.

around the table< Grandpa Scoresby, Sheri and Tony, Anna Mark and Heather

Nicole and Nick

Charlie, Dianna and Natalie

Joshua and Chelsea

Christmas Morning 2015

Christmas morning was fun.  We set out the stockings and gifts early Christmas, rather than staying up late the night before.  Even so we were up much earlier than Ton, who we finally had to wake up.  So it wasn't too terribly early of a day for us.  

Tony, who is really into Minecraft enjoyed his Minecraft toys and books.   He also got a pretty good collection of Legos.  However they weren't Minecraft but Ninjago.  We took turns unwrapping until one of use ran out of presents.  I probably had the most.  I bought myself lots of books and CDs and DEVDs.   Many were put into one big box and wrapped.  This also included some for Caleb.   I also have a new ping pong table in the garage waiting for me to clear and area and put it together.  That is a Saturday project.

 Caleb was a bit sick.  He coughed so much he gagged himself; however he seemed to recover as the day went on.  He visited Annie after breakfast and the exchanged presents.  He was given 40 pairs of socks.  he will never get through that many.
 Miranda had gone shopping and picked out lots of clothes for herself.  Mom had to content herself with the table the kids had made for her.  Grandpa Scoresby got his stocking, a new book he is already reading, new pajamas and new outfit.  It was a fun morning.  It ended quickly with breakfast.  Again Elder King and Elder Yuson joined us.  Sheri made her special cinnamon rolls punctuated with bacon, scrambled eggs and hash browns.

Health As I See It: Holiday Stress

The article below is taken from the Santa Clara County Wellness website.  As we enter the Holiday season it seems appropriate to share it.

Surveys taken on the average American indicate that more than 8 in 10 Americans expect their season to be stressful.

Many factors contribute to the stress. We often operate on a busy schedule that gets even busier during the holiday season. More travel, more expenses, more things on your to do list; but coping isn’t beyond your reach.

There are things you can do to make this busy time of year easier.

  1. Set a budget – Track your spending and keep to it. The holiday season is about family and friends not excess spending or overwhelming debt.
  2. Set your priorities - You can't do it all. It's ok to say "no" so you can focus more energy on the people and activities that are important to you.
  3. Have realistic expectations Keep things as simple as possible so you can enjoy this special time of the year. Focus on the experiences with your loved ones and not on the perfect decor, table setting or holiday dinner!
  4. Make memories with your loved ones. They will remember the love, support and cheer long after they’ve forgotten about a purchased gift. Try alternative gifts, maybe a family photograph, a homemade treat or special one-on-one time with that best friend where you do something fun together.  
  5. Try volunteering or giving to those less fortunate. You might find personal gratification that lasts beyond the holidays.
  6. Rest and relax -  Take time off from having a hectic holiday party season. Instead, allow yourself to kick up your feet, take a meditation class, go to a museum, or work on craft projects.
  7. Maintain your daily routine. Keep sleep hours, physical activity minutes and eating times as normal as possible. Stepping too far out of your routine sets you and/or family members up to be more frazzled and stressed by the hectic season.   
  8. Seek out help if you do feel blue or anxious. Talk to someone that you trust. 
My take: A budget is easier talked about than actually done.  Setting priorities is a little easier to.  I love to write things down and then make check marks.  Realistic expectations comes down to excepting yourself and others as you are, rather than comparing to some idealistic illusion.  Making memories is important.  It is not about how much money you can spend.  Volunteering and giving to others is a great way to make the holiday season.  Rest and relax is something I don't do enough of during the holidays.  I do try to maintain my diaiy routine. 

Church Movie Review: Joy to the World

"Joy to the World" is a film produced by the church which is very useful for giving to friends at Christmas time.  It features the Mormon tabernacle Choir and includes several narrators telling the story of Christ's birth in both Jerusalem as well as the New World.  It also shows scenes from the birth of Jesus.  The stable has many animals.  And Mary and Joseph look very lovingly at Baby Jesus.  The shepherds look so astonished.  They travel to Bethlehem to see the baby.
We also see Samuel on the wall from the Book of Mormon.  The story of the sign of a day and a night and a day without darkness.  The threat made to the people that they will be put to death by a certain day if the sign is not revealed.  Nephi's prayer and answer "Today come I into the World."
But this it not all this short film offers. We also see scenes from Jesus' life; his miracles and teaching the people.  Jesus' crucifixion is shown, as well as his resurrection.  And then a brief review of the prophets.  The darkness which entered the world through apostasy, and then finally the restoration, and new testimony of Jesus.
This movie is very well done.  I recommend it as a movie to share with your friends.  It gives a brief testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ.  It also invites people to learn more and tells them how they can do so.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

 Our Christmas Eve started with Sheri's delicious corn chowder.  It is really addictive and very delicious.  We had scones with it.

Miranda and Tony as Joseph and Mary, I as all the shepherds and the animals.  Caleb and the singles ward missionaries as the wise men, Sheri as the angel and Grandpa Scoresby as the narrator.

Missionaries shared a video with us.  The childhood of Jesus from Joseph's perspective.  They then asked what Jesus has done for us.  I said he health me.  Jesus heals.  He healed the sick and the lame.  He healed some by saying, "Your sins are forgiven you."  He brought some deceased persons back to life.   He healed the grief of his mother, by presented John as her son.  He healed us all everywhere, because he has gone under all things.  He has experienced all pain, all grief,  all sin.  Everything.  He has felt it, and paid the price for it.  He can heal me of all my wants and imperfections and needs.  That is what Jesus is to me, and that is what Jesus has done for me.
Elder King and Elder Yuson
We missed the driving around and looking at lights part.  Sheri had taken the family to Vasona Park in San Jose to see lights the night before, and we were ready for bed.

Christmas Creches 2015

This is a sample of the Christmas creches at our house.  This includes several different types.  Sheri says there are no new creches, but we still have quite a collection.  I do not think she put them all out.
Our first, Sara made this and gave it to us for a wedding gift.  Over the years the other pieces have broken.  I like Tony behind Mary and Joseph