My Third Birthday

Twelve years ago I posted this about my third “birth.”

I was born physically almost 42 years ago.
I was reborn spiritually almost 34 years ago when I chose to be baptized.
20 (twenty) years ago today I had carbon monoxide poisoning.  Some doctors turned me away from their hospitals saying I was dead. Finally one accepted me, and through the modern miracles of medicine AND the Priesthood of God, I was given my life back.

Here are twenty of the thousands (infinite) things I have learned since my 3rd birth:
1~ I can do hard things ~2~ I can stand up for others ~3~ boundaries are important ~4~ we know even less than we think we know about other people ~5~ kindness wins ~6~ it can be fun to learn ~7~ it can be hard/painful to learn ~8~ we have to choose kindness ~9~ adults can be bullies in-person and online and it still hurts ~10~ true friends are hard to find ~11~ true friends are hard to lose ~12~ true friends are honest ~13~ all people are allowed to change for the better ~14~ it is hard to take care of others if I don’t take care of myself ~15~ drink lots of water ~16~ there is appropriate music for all feelings/times ~17~ cooking for allergies is like living in the Cutthroat Kitchen, except I have better access to Alton Brown’s knowledge online than if i was in that kitchen ~18~ YouTube can be an excellent teacher ~19~ favorites are subject to change without notice…color, food, music, people, quotes, movies, memes, et cetera ~20~ I am my own person and I have value, even when others don’t see it

Dare to Do Right

We have a bedtime routine that includes singing a number of songs each night. 
Every attempt to decrease the quantity has been met with great resistance and tears.
We told them we can still sing the same quantity if they will sing too.  Sometimes we insist that they have to sing to us while we listen.
In an effort to help the children learn more songs we choose one song to switch in/out each week.  This week we are singing “Dare to Do Right.”
These are the words (with some of my own commentary/thoughts):

Dare to do right! Dare to be true! *
You have a work that no other can do;  **
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,  ***
Angels will hasten the story to tell.
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

Dare to do right! Dare to be true!
Other men’s failures can never save you.  ****
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;  *****
Stand like a hero and battle till death.  ******
Dare, dare, dare to do right;
Dare, dare, dare to be true,
Dare to be true, dare to be true.

My comments:
*I think “true” can be multiple things. I think it can be about telling the truth. It can be about not deviating from a known path; similar to a bicycle tire, if it is wobbly at all it is called “out of true” and that is what I like to think of.
**Each person has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, as such, we each can do different things, and that enables us to be our own part of the whole.
***Sometimes making the right choice is not what other people want us to do, we can still do it, we can be polite about it, and we can still do it correctly.
****No matter what someone else does, we are responsible for our own choices and actions. Our success is not determined by the success or failure of another person.  We can cheer others on and not wish for them to fail.
*****What ever your moral compass is, stick to it; be honorable in your actions!
******While some battles end in death, I think this is a message of endurance. Do not give up. Fight the good fight your whole life through.

Beautiful Savior

I wrote this arrangement of “Beautiful Savior” (also commonly called Fairest Lord Jesus or the Crusader’s Hymn) and played it for our virtual Sunday church service.

The three variations invoke three different aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ: The first variation is simple, based closely on a children’s version, reflecting the simplicity of the Savior’s message, and His love for little children. The second variation is full of flourish and technical passages, symbolizing wonder and amazement at the miracles He performed. The third variation is strong and sonorous, suggesting the power and majesty of the resurrected Jesus.

Give Thanks

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Joseph Smith because he translated The Book of Mormon and he restored the Church of Jesus Christ.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Tommy Rivers Puzey because through his virtual running training he taught me to tolerate and sometimes even enjoy running.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the scientists and others who are working on vaccines and treatments, because they give me hope that we can get out of this pandemic some day.

Marcia the Elder:
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is strong women musicians like Pink, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Phillipa Soo, Linda Ronstadt, and the list goes on and on.  I haven’t intentionally left any out, this was just a quick, off the top of my head, start to the list.  I am thankful for their ability to share strength and vulnerability and support to others through music.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for are people who can look at the world today, and then regurgitate the information in a way that makes me want to laugh instead of cry.  People like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Seth Myers, Tina Fey, Michael Che, Colin Jost, Sarah Cooper, Shane Burcaw, Eric Snider, Dave Chappelle, Amber Ruffin, and again, this list goes on and on.  Something something, “look for the helpers” something something “laughter is the best medicine” something something.  I may not always be in agreement with everything they say or think, but they can help brighten some darkness.
A group of someones I have not met that I am thankful for is civil rights activists, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr, Bernie Sanders, Harriet Tubman, Jane Fonda, Elizabeth Freemam, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, Malala Yousafzai, Fred Rogers, and many many more.  Basically if a person stood up for the betterment of others without worrying more about the risks to themselves, then they make the list.  Again, “look for the helpers,” and “we are all in this together.”

Marcia the Younger:
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the farmer who raises chickens, because I can eat the chicken when it’s dead.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for is the US military, because they keep us safe.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Bruce Harris*, because he was the bishop and kept the church in town when Mommy and Daddy met.  And if they hadn’t met, I wouldn’t be here.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Jocko Willink because he was in the military.  And because he was in the military, he was helping to protect everybody else.  I learned “discipline equals freedom” from him.  The moral of the story of “The Little Red Hen” is “discipline equals freedom.”
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is the President-Elect because if there was no ruler for the country**, the country would have a lot of problems.
Some people I have not met that I am thankful for are the people that do the main jobs of the country.  The doctors, police, and firefighters that protect us***, because they keep the world safer, and they rescue lives when lives are in danger.

Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Maui because he can break the Lava Monster’s arms.
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Eva**** because she’s a robot who can turn her hands into the tops of guns (to help Wall-E).
Someone I have not met that I am thankful for is Wall-E because he can turn into a box and he is a trash compactor to make cubes and he cleans the Earth. *****

* She has met him, but she was so little when they moved away, she has no memory of him anymore.  However, Jacob and I remember him and think of him often.
** Such wise words from such a young person!  He meant “for the country going forward.”  He remembers that we had an election this month for president, and he was concerned, leading up to the election, about what would happen if “no-one was elected.”
***Controversial or not (it is, but for the issue at hand…), there is a distinction made for those that help.  He has heard stories of ones that help and ones that do not.  Some of us have had personal experiences with a variety, I know I have.  The idea that there are any people out there that may cause harm, makes him feel sick, and so he is thankful for the good ones who strive to help.
**** This was originally Eve because “Mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s…mom, all the way to the first one”
***** Oh, to have the innocent point of view of a four-year-old.

Give Thanks

I am thankful for Rachmaninoff’s “Third Piano Concerto.”  I am thankful for that piece of music because it is what inspired me to want to get good at playing the piano.

Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the song “Amazing Grace.”  It has been my most long-term favorite song, because it speaks to my soul.  Sometimes I feel “lost,” and sometimes I feel “found.”  No matter which I feel, I know that the lasting peace comes through Christ.  When they were babies, I sang this almost daily (nightly) to each of the kids to get them to sleep.  I have a runner-up category of “angry chick music,” which I actually think of as “strong woman music,” because they speak to me, too; albeit in a different way, and mostly when I am angry/grieving/need motivation to do hard things.

Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for the song for “The First Article of Faith” because it is the first commandment God ever gave to anyone.*

I am thankful for the song for “The Ninth Article of Faith,” because it is my favorite Article of Faith, I don’t know why**, I just know that it is.

My song of music that I am thankful for is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”  Because, I don’t know, because it (the star) means Jesus, and Jesus has God’s power.  And because Jesus is cool.  That’s not all of it.***

* First Article of Faith:  We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.
First of the Ten Commandments:  I am the Lord they God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
She feels like we are commanded to believe in God, and we claim to believe in God, so to her they are on the same level.
** I know why.  In an effort to help the Children understand what it is we believe, sometime in 2019, we were teaching them the Articles of Faith.  For the ninth, we decided to use a song to help us.  We sang it many many times in one week.  Then we decided to randomly sing it, and to this day we will break out into the song, and we can’t help but join in when anyone starts it.  And we all laugh together, and then move on with whatever we were doing.  The Ninth Article of Faith:
We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
*** Corban refused to tell us the rest of his reasons, maybe someday he will.

Isn’t It Nice

…when you can successfully Rickroll your own children?

On school day mornings, in an attempt to expose the children to many different songs, we (honestly, Jacob is better at getting up first these days) wake them with a song.  Most of the time they haven’t heard of it before.  Sometimes they recognize it from a movie.  These last two mornings we have played Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

And they have been humming and singing it! It is a good thing they stay on mute unless they are supposed to talk for class.  Otherwise we might be inadvertently Rickrolling two online classes.