Monday, December 29, 2014

Musings: Christmas Letter

Making Minor Moments Memorable in 2014


Hello friends and family!  We just thought we would give an update of the family situation.

·         Erickson family camping trip
·         Yellowstone
·         Disneyland with a surprise visit to Legoland

·         And a million other little things that make a year:  dinners together, playing together, helping each other, and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ as best we can.  (Just speaking positively.  We had our share of stress, frustration, and chaos)

·         Mikaela
·         Going to school at UVU
·         Working at the testing center
·         She’s” got the moves like Jagger” when it comes to dancing

Chelsie
·         Senior at Mountain View
·         Plays the viola with the orchestra
·         Is super smart and unintentionally makes me feel dumb by her scientifical knowledge

Alyssa
·         Sophomore at Maeser Prep Academy
·         Plays volleyball for Maeser
·          Has discovered her inner artist when it comes to creating delicious, nutritious, pulchritudinous food.  (Pulchritudinous means pretty ;)

Braden
·         6th grader at Suncrest Elementary
·         Loves to play football
·         Eats, drinks and sleeps Legos

Jaycie
·         4th Grader at Suncrest Elementary
·         Sings in the school choir
·         Puts Tigger to shame with her happy bounciness

Marc
·         Working at DHI
·         Plays softball with the boys
·         Receiving letters from AARP continually (He turned the big 5 0 this year)

Brenda
·         Still on a quest for matching socks
·         Volunteer at the Homeless shelter in Provo
·         Became a substitute teacher this year

Koda
·         Our new little doggie
·         Is on backyard  border patrol protecting us from the evil birds
·         Adds so much fun to our family

A special thanks to our good good friends Kent and DeeAnn Slade which helped make our year memorable by taking us to Yellowstone, Disneyland/Legoland, Wicked, Odgen temple open house, and introducing us to our cute little doggie…and many other little great things.

Some of you we see often, others not so much.  However, know we love you and are so grateful you are in our lives.

And we wish you a Merry Christmas and a great 2015!


With love,
The Minor family



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Making Minor Memories: August to November

Major (or should I say Minor) catch-up time on pictures.  Name has been changed from Five for Friday to Making Minor Memories, or Memories for short.  Too much pressure to do it on Friday.  


Thanksgiving 

 Ogden Temple Open House 




Hiking Donut Falls for Labor Day
Yes, Birds LOVE Mikaela's car...not only for resting

Snow!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Musings: Elf on the Shelf? Good or Bad?





It was the month of Christmas, and this mom was getting ready doing my parenting thing, decorating, baking, making lists, pulling out my Elf on the Shelf, when all of sudden, I found out through social media that I am a bad parent for doing the Elf on the Shelf.  What?!?  I didn't know there was controversy.   I thought I was providing a fun addition to the Holiday Spirit.  I thought I was a fun mom!





According to the experts, which includes psychologists, bloggers like myself, and others, I am doing my kids a disservice by having this Elf on the Shelf in my home.  And this what I found:

 1) It just adds to the lie about Santa! Santa is not real.  Why do we promote it even more with one of his elves.

2)  It can be manipulative.  Parents use it as a crutch for their parenting skills.  "You better be good, Elf is watching and is going to tell Santa"

3)  Really?  An elf coming into your house and being mischievous and making messes?




4)  It makes moms work extra hard each night to have the Elf do something fun and creative.  Believe me. I do Pinterest.  I understand the pressure.



I am sure there are many more, but those were the main ones.

After reading the controversy, I started questioning my decision to do Elf on the Shelf.   Am I  promoting the commercialism of Christmas which I despise?  Am I using it as crutch for my parenting?  Am I caving into social pressure to make our little elf as cute as the Jones'.?

After my introspection, I came up with this.  First of all, we didn't buy the real Elf on the Shelf.  It's a generic version under $10.   In my ignorance of not having the book, and never having read it, I did not know little Elfie was watching for Santa looking for naughty and nice kids.  I thought he was a fun little elf adding to the magic of Christmas.

Which brings me to my next thing.  The Christmas lie about Santa Claus.  Trust me, I have wrestled with this, and those parents who tell the kids right off the bat about Santa, I understand where they are coming from.  Yet we do Santa Claus and the Elf at our house.   And now that I have teenagers and smaller kids, I have learned it is okay to do the Santa Claus thing. The teenagers eventually figured out about Santa and are not emotionally scarred by it.  Yay!  In fact, they have said as I have proclaimed; They loved believing in Santa Claus..  It made Christmas magical.  And in the transformation from the literal belief in Santa to the belief in the Spirit of Giving that Santa represents, they have a great love for Christmas and all it's magic, and a great love for why we have Christmas in the first place.   (For a great read about this and the symbolism of Christmas,  I Believe in Santa Claus by Diane G. Adamson is perfect read.)



And last but not least,  the extra work, I get that more than you believe.  I fail at the Tooth Fairy.  The Tooth Fairy usually makes the round of the gathering the prized tooth after about 3 weeks or so.  I am so teaching my kids patience! :)  Honestly, I would never do the Elf on the Shelf  for that very reason.  However, I have a teenage daughter who has creative ideas and loves doing the Elf on the Shelf thing. So when I forget, which I usually do, she's got my back.  

So there.  I am not a "cotton-headed ninny muggins" (from Elf) mom for doing Elf on the Shelf.  I  am a very imperfect mom, just having fun at Christmastime. And whether you let Elf on the Shelf at your house or not, that's okay. Whether you have deeply philosophical reasons for not doing it or just don't want to do it, good for you!  Enjoy your kids!  Enjoy Christmas and let's let us all celebrate this amazing time of year together.




"Christmas isn't about perfection. It's celebrating the One who saved us from our impossible need to be perfect." -Tsh Oxenreider










Monday, November 24, 2014

Making Minor Musings: Repost

A Letter to Thanksgiving


Dear Thanksgiving,

I know sometimes you get forgotten squished between the candy-gorging Halloween and the Christmas Machine, but I want to pay you my respects on this Thanksgiving Day.   I wonder sometimes it's good that you're forgotten.  I think if I put a light-up turkey on my front lawn it would  ruin the effect.  I like that you are a quiet holiday, one that causes me to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday:  Remembering the oh so many blessings I have.   

 I think of Thanksgiving as  Christmas' quiet brother, the one who doesn't get a lot of attention but it helps Christmas get the right kind of attention.  You see, as I give thanks for Him and remember Him, it helps me remember the true meaning of Christmas.

So I know you are much too mature to ever feel slighted, but I just had to let you know that I honor and celebrate Thanksgiving.  And I will try to celebrate it every day.

Your friend,

Brenda

And in my humble opinion, nothing honors or celebrates any holiday like the Charlie Brown gang.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wednesday Words: New Blog


Just an official notice to my all those who care.   I have moved Wednesday Words to a new blog called My Wednesday Words.  It will be a little like the Wednesday Words I have done in the past, but a little different.  Wednesday Words now will be focused on humanity and service. 

Making Minor Moments will be about what it says:    Making Minor Moments.  So if you want to hear about my family, Making Minor Moments is the one.  If you wanna a simple discussion and my thoughts on Social Issues I care about, Wednesday Words is for you.  

If you don't care about either, that's okay too.

Here is the link to Wednesday Words:mywednesdaywords@blogger.com

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Words: Conference and Prayer





Loved Loved Loved General Conference!  So last Fall during General Conference, I was a struggling (Depression of 2013) and Church things were hard, Conference was hard.  But I remember Saturday afternoon, Elder Holland got up and spoke.  It was about Depression.  I sat on my couch and cried.  And I wondered maybe Heavenly Father does know me (yes, at the time I was having serious doubts).

Fast Forward to this General Conference and I am a feeling great, excited for conference, prepared for conference by praying for specific answers.  Well guess what, my PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED!  God has called living apostles and prophets on the earth to guide His church. Yes God lives, and He loves His children.

As you know I'm a wanna be social worker. I have been praying to know how I can best serve those that are less fortunate--the poor.  I prayed for that before Conference and was floored when, guess who gets up and talks about poverty!   Yes Elder Holland!  Has there ever been a talk in the history of General Conference that spoke directly on poverty?  Not that I am aware of.  And yet here he is talking so sincerely, compassionately about my personal passion.  

This year I sat on my friend's (Kent and DeeAnn) couch and cried.  God is a personal, loving God who answers simple prayers like mine. Amazing.

Elder Holland said: 

.. I don’t know exactly how each of you should fulfill your obligation to those who do not or cannot always help themselves, but I know that God knows, and He will guide you in compassionate acts of discipleship if you are conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again.”

There's the promise.  God will show me the way.


Right now I will continue to work at the Food and Care Coalition in Provo, pray for the poor, and as a family  provide homeless kits for the homeless..   Then I will pray and search for other opportunities and do "what I can do."



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Making Minor Musings: Labels

Excuse me for just a moment while I climb on my soap box.....okay here we go.

 Yes I am going to express one of my "passions" my "pet peeve" or whatever you want to call it. It's called Labeling.  Yes Labeling. .  I understand it's human nature, and I know I am guilty at times.

I have a friend that has a labeling machine.  It's very cool.  It labels THINGS.  Labeling THINGS is helpful for filing etc.   It provides useful information for those of who can read:)

Describing people can be useful if we are using it to gather needed information.   I think the difference between describing and labeling is when there is unfair judgment involved .

Yes, I am guilty of it.  When I was in college, I remember walking towards a building heading to a class.  A guy in front of me was tattooed, dressed rough (this was 25 years ago, this is a little more normal now:/).  I remember thinking to myself, "eww"  and thinking what a rough and "bad' guy he must be.  It was about then he approached the door, smiled at me, and held it open for me.  I felt like an inch tall as I filed into the door and then had a great guilt trip and chew out session with myself after that.  

Why do we do that?  Leo Buscaglia, one of my heroes states this about labeling and stereotyping:



"  Labels are distancing phenomena. They push us away from each other. Black man. What’s a black man? I’ve never known two alike. Does he love? Does he care? What about his kids? Has he cried? Is he lonely? Is he beautiful? Is he happy? Is he giving something to someone? These are the important things. Not the fact that he is a black man or Jew or 
Dago or Communist or Democrat or Republican."

I volunteer at a place that serves the homeless.  Homeless.   Label alert!  What do we think of when we hear the word "homeless"?  Loser?  Drug Addict? Ashamed?  OR  Child of God in need of help?  Hopefully the latter.   I  have probably labeled them as such at times, but I now I cannot.  These people are amazing people with circumstances out of our judgement zone that necessitate where they are in life. 

Mother Teresa states:  "If you judge people, you have no time to love them"

Of course, the greatest example is Jesus Christ, who looked past the labels, the social stereotypes and simply loved.






I willl now come down from my soapbox and try to follow His example.





Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Words: Faith and Prayer

Having major writer's block lately.  I don't think it's because I don't have anything to say, it's because I have too much to say and it's all swirling in my head. Although I love to organize, I cannot seem to organize my head.:)

But I am going to try.  I talked about revelation last time, and how I sometimes don't know if I get it.  Sometimes I don't get faith.  I remember at the end of mission I expressed this to my mission president.  I remember this wise man said to me basically it's somewhat of a mystery.  

We can pray in faith for miracles, yet sometimes they come, sometimes they don't.  I remember when I was going through my nightmare last year, at first I prayed, and I prayed hard for the pain to end, and yet I never felt like I was heard.  It hurt to know God was watching me suffer and yet unwilling ( in my mind) to do anything about it.  

So I quit praying.  I know, judge all you want, but in all in honesty, anytime I did anything "spiritual" the torment would increase.  So for survival, I backed off being spiritual which was one of the hardest things to do because living the Gospel is everything to me, and yet I felt unable to at that time.  My daughter asked me about my 2013 Depression (that's what we'll call it) the other day and I said it felt like someone had ripped out my soul.

Now that I'm much much better, I'm back at living the Gospel and loving it, yet as I wrestled with the whole revelation thing last month, I realize my faith in prayer is a little shaky.  Yes I pray, and I pray a lot for others, and sometimes I pray as if it's an after thought for God to fulfill the deep desires of my heart.   It's kinda like, " you know if you have time, and get around to it, please answer this prayer". 

So on Pinterest the other day;), I found a great quote by Elder Holland:


God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.



 That really hit me and I felt of it's truthfulness.  God wants to answer my prayers.  He loves me!  And I need to have faith, but first, I need the Lord "to help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24)  
I am working on it and know my Heavenly Father will have patience with me and is waiting to help me fulfill my dreams.











Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Words: Personal Revelation

If there is a book out there titled "Personal Revelation for Dummies"  I would buy it in a heartbeat.  I mean I think I've figured some of the Spirit, but when it comes to making decisions, I struggle.

For example, one of my offspring is trying to make a decision right now and wrestling with it as well.  She's prayed, fasted, went to the temple (to do baptisms)  and just doesn't know what to do.  I don't either.  Sometimes I'm like you should do this,or no, this feels right.  I don't know what feels right.

I'm also trying to make a decision for my life and even though I know the direction somewhat, I'm trying to grasp the details.

In pondering this situation, I found this great talk that helps understanding the whole revelation dilemma:

"What do you do when you have prepared carefully, have prayed fervently, waited a reasonable time for a response, and still do not feel an answer? You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust. When you are living worthily and your choice is consistent with the Savior’s teachings and you need to act, proceed with trust. As you are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit, one of two things will certainly occur at the appropriate time: either the stupor of thought will come, indicating an improper choice, or the peace or the burning in the bosom will be felt, confirming that your choice was correct. When you are living righteously and are acting with trust, God will not let you proceed too far without a warning impression if you have made the wrong decision." (Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer  )

So there I have it.   Even though there isn't a book titled "Revelation for Dummies", there is one perhaps that could be called "Recieving Revelation for Mere Mortals".

It's the Scriptures, Living Prophets, and our own personal Gift of the Holy Ghost.


And now just a little David Archuleta to help me with my ramblings: 



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday Words: Create and Purge

I'm having a really hard time musing on Mondays, so I've changed to Wednesday Words.  Cute?  I like it.  I was brainstorming the other day.   Should I change it Thursday Thoughts?  I decided on Wednesday Words because I like the potential it has.

Just think about it.  Words.  I have declared myself  as pathetically uncreative.  If you've seen me play Pictionary...you know what I mean.  Yet when it comes to Words, we are all creators.   We have been given this pallet of letters, which form words, which form sentences, which ...okay you know where I'm going with this.  We create masterpieces with words.  We can use them to uplift, or demean.  To inspire or depress. We are creators with words!  First word of the week: 

 Create.

Which leads me to the second word of the week:  Purge

In the Minor household we have been on a purging spree.  Lately I have felt the need to get rid of things that are not needed.  My kids got the Purging Fever and they got rid of a TON OF STUFF!  And it felt good.  There rooms are so clean and organized and they are just happier.  I feel less burdened and less crazy.  And I know my kids do too.  It's been a great experience and in the words of Karen Carpenter "We've Only Just Begun".  

So along with Purging of many of our material possessions, I have been purging my life.  Well in the thinking stages of it anyway.  I plan to get rid of activities that are not in tune with who I am and the person I want to be.  And I'm excited!  Remember my C.R.E.A.T.E goals at the beginning of the year?  Yes I am creating my life to be all that It's intended to be.    Yet I'm finding in order to CREATE, first I must PURGE.






Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday: Summer Loves

Warning:  The use of the word "Love" is overused in this blog, but I attribute that to the English language and my English speaking skills.

Okay, we all have things we love  with all our heart and soul. I hope mine are obvious by the way I live my life:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ and my family and friends.

This post however will share some other loves of my life that I have experienced this Summer.  Where to start?   I love animals.  Cats especially, I loved them growing up, and would always sneak them in at night because cats were not allowed in the house while we slept.  However, a little over a month ago, our good friends Kent and DeeAnn introduced  us to a doggy that needed a new home.  And we gave Koda a new home.  Our home.  And I love that little doggy to pieces!  He is adorable, funny, playful and so loving.  




Here he is posing with the beautiful Chelsie.








 Next Love of the Summer.  This past week we went to Yellowstone with our very good friends Kent and DeeAnn.  I loved it!  I was Awestruck by the beauty of it all.   I love the mountains, I love the Daffodils...really I just love nature particularly the mountains, nature, animals, and Yellowstone fulfilled that love to the brim and toppled right on over.  We took 500 billion pictures, so I plan to devote a whole post and a book to Yellowstone, but here is a sampling of Old Faithful.  

More pics to come!

Third Love:  Certain Broadway Shows, like oh I don't know WICKED.  Yep love the music, story, message, the social perspective, and most of all watching it with, you guessed it:  our very VERY good friends, Kent and DeeAnn.  Thanks guys. It was Amazing!















It has been a great Summer. And it's not over.  I have loved it so far. So in closing I will share a pic of another love:  Ice Cream.  We have a tradition to make homemade ice cream on Pioneer Day.  Here is a new recipe:  Ice cream with Nutella and Oreo Cookies.   Yummy!