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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

scripture power

I love that Primary song.
Are you a scripture reader? I am. And I have a testimony of the power of the scriptures. When I am consistently reading, even unasked questions are answered for me in the scriptures.
(I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some know us as Mormons. We are Christians. We read the Bible. We also read The Book of Mormon.)
Last night I was reading in The Book of Mormon, the first chapter of Ether. My current set of scriptures is old and worn. I've marked so many verses, yet the verses that popped out for me this time were some that I had just skimmed over in the past. Not marked, not previously meaningful for me. This first chapter of Ether is where Moroni is summarizing - he tells us that Jared and his family were around when the languages were confounded because of the Tower of Babel.
I got to thinking about life at that time. It had to be really scary - not being able to understand or express - no communication. Jared asked his brother to go to the Lord and plead that their language would not be confounded. It was granted. Then this: "... Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth?" (Ether 1:38)
As I was reading this last night, I imagined their situation. I thought about life for us, here and now. Languages are not being confounded, but everything else seems to be. Jobs are being lost, homes foreclosed, confusion everywhere. People, so many that we know and love, are being "driven out" ... and for those who "cry unto him whither we shall go", many are being directed to, what for them is a choice land. For those who know the book of Ether, this was just the beginning for Jared, his brother, and their families. Yes - they were driven out, and yes they were carried forth into a land which was choice above all the earth. But it wasn't an easy journey. I love this part of the scriptures because it's a model for how life can be for me. These people built barges and were in the ocean for about a year before they reached land where they settled.
A little further on in the book of Ether we read about the being tossed in the waves and buried in the depths of the sea; but that they "did sing praises unto the Lord ... and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord" (Ether 5:9) all the while being bounced around in the ocean.
I want to be like them.
I want to have that kind of gratitude and that kind of faith.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

it's all fun & games

We get a fair amount of company since we moved to the Vegas area. We love company. When some people visit, our main source of entertainment is going to buffets. When others come we sit around and talk and talk and talk. When some come we do a bit of entertaining - seeing sites, etc.
There are certain people, when they come, that stir in us our game-playing-instinct. And when I say game playing, don't think it's all fun & games! We're a competitive lot here in the Chapman home. Yeah, we laugh and smile, but don't think for a minute that we believe "it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game". PSHAW. We want to win. Some of us want to win so badly that we go beyond playing aggressively.
We cheat.
And we're good at it.
In fact, for some of us, cheating well is the real game. And it's only fun if at least one other person knows you're cheating and watches with admiration as you get away with it. In the end, when we're all finished, it's confession time. And no one remembers who won - but we all remember who had the sneakiest cheating techniques.
DISCLAIMER: There are some games that it's just wrong to cheat in. For example ~ cheating while playing RISK - that's a big no-no. That's a game you have to win because of your brilliant strategizing. Don't even try to cheat at RISK in this house or you won't be invited back. And blatant cheating, like adding up your score wrong - that's baby-play. There's nothing admirable about that.
Stealthy, brilliant, covert cheating - that's what card games are all about.
Don't know what I mean? Come on over and I'd be happy to teach you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

brilliant move ... or dismal failure ..???

We lived in a town of 9,000 in Southeast Alaska for 12 years. That's where we pretty much raised our kids.
Great place. Beautiful. Quaint.
(those are code words for "the shopping stinks")
A couple of times a year we'd save up, hop on the ferry for the 9-17 hour ride to Juneau (depending on the # of stops we made along the way) and shop our little hearts out.
At Fred Meyer.
And Costco.
We thought Juneau was the shopping Mecca - a metropolis.
On one of those trips a Juneau friend of mine told me how funny it was to her that we could get so excited about shopping in Juneau. The Juneau-ites would save up their money to go to Seattle. I guess we all want what we don't have ...
Anyway, it's not like there was no shopping in Sitka. There was. There was one discount store that catered more to tourists, but to be honest - they did have a small line of clothes and toys. And there was one store that was all about girls - jewelry & clothes. Trendy, in fact. BUT it would cost our entire Juneau trip to buy one dress there.
So I had this "brilliant" idea:
I had my daughter-in-law bargain shop "down south" (the lower 48) and ship the affordable, trendy clothes up to me. We began with prom dresses and expanded into a small line of shirts, jeans, skirts, sweaters. The local florist gave us a corner of her shop. Business was slow going. Really slow. But we stuck it out. For about a week. At which time she apologetically came to us and told us that the other businesses were going to squeeze her out if she didn't get rid of us. Apparently they didn't like the competition.
Next, we made a deal with another business owner - her shop was a bit of the beaten path, but she was someone who couldn't be messed with. It was next door to the pizza joint, so we hoped we could gather a little business that way. It was short lived. It just didn't fly.
It's interesting: The prices were "down south prices" ... but it didn't draw in huge crowds. Why? My un-scientific study taught me that we all get comfortable in our lives. Like the monkey who won't release his fist as he holds onto food through the hole in the monkey trap, sometimes we get comfortable with what we're used to and we won't open our eyes to what might be better for us. Makes me wonder what I've closed my mind to. And it's made me more aware and helped me to step out of my comfort zone more often.
So the Little Boutique ... in the end I was in the hole about $700. Plus the work we put into it.
It appears to have been a dismal failure.
But would I pay $700 to have learned to open my life to what the world offers?
So for me, the Little Boutique was a
brilliant move

Friday, August 26, 2011

the love of a little one

there's nothing like being given a smile from a child
"Children make you want to start life over."
Muhammad Ali

Thursday, August 25, 2011

girls just wanna have fun

immediate disclaimer ... I mean, apology:
I hope you girls will forgive me, but when I started looking at pictures this morning, the three of you had me in giggles. I have to share these. Biggest apology to Azure. Your pictures are the most hideous. But here's the thing, Az: there were just SO many of you, I couldn't help myself!

To my blogging friends:
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. And the girls would have me tell you that they aren't always like this
(they'd have me tell you that - but don't believe it for a minute!)

"Fun is good."
Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

one thing i love about back-to-school-time

There are actually a million & one things I love about this time of year - but let me share just one:
school clothes shopping
and the required fashion show that goes with it.
That's right. Required.
Even for boys.
Granted, the girls' favorite part of clothes shopping is the fashion show afterwards.
The boys have always had to be coaxed.
But it's a family rule.
Everything about back-to-school shopping is fun for us! I think I got this obsession from my parents ... they're still addicted. After their youngest moved out, that fall the two of them went "back-to-school" window shopping. They strolled through the school supply aisles, hand in hand, catching the scent of new pencils and unused notebooks. This is true. I wonder if they still do it ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

when it rains, it pours

Actually, that statement isn't entirely true. Anyone who has lived in SE Alaska or in the Northwest US (probably lots of other places where I've never been) knows that it can actually drizzle for days on end with no downpour at all.
But! there are places where truly, when it rains, it pours. We lived on Guam for 6 years and that was the case there - none of this misty, drizzly stuff ... bright, hot sunshine every single day with HUGE downpours every single day as well. It would be like buckets from heaven just dumping water all over us - for about 10 minutes, then it would be over and the sun would be out again.
(This is a picture from 1991 - when Typhoon Yuri came through ... we were on the island then, and I'll tell you - those typhoons are actually a bit more exciting than the daily downpour!)
So anway, I was thinking about some friends of mine today. Some friends who it seems to be drizzling on ... and on and on and on. And some who are currently getting poured on big-time.
In fact, in the midst of writing this I got a phone call from one of those friends: I couldn't believe it when she told me the reason of having to cancel our meeting - her purse had been stolen. with her iPad in it. just a couple of weeks ago her 1st iPad was stolen. But as she said, "there are WAY worse things in this world than having something stolen" ... and there are. So back to what I was saying: Life is hard. It's designed to be hard. That's how we grow and learn and become. It's a refining process. But this I also know: just as in Guam, most of the time the sun shines. It's sometimes easy to think only about the current downpour and the last downpour that happened only a day ago, and that tomorrow it's going to downpour again. But when we let that consume us, we forget to go out and enjoy the sun. And just like SE Alaska, sometimes there seems to be no sun at all ... just constant drizzle - nothing huge, but so constant that we get worn down. But anyone who has visited a place like that knows that there is no beauty that can compare with the lush rainforest and the prolific wildlife that exists because of that constant drizzle. When you can accept that you're going to get wet, and go out in it anyway, it is absolutely breathtaking - the beauty that's all around. So this message is for me, for my friends, for everyone:
Find the sun
and if it's hidden for days on end,
find the beauty!
It's there - I promise.

Monday, August 22, 2011

decor update

So remember my attempt at making drapes?
Thanks to my daughter, Brooke, the house is now decorated with lovely, one-of-a-kind drapes which not only keep out the blazing Vegas sun, but also make our home oh-so-beautiful.
doesn't this look like cool IKEA fabric? ... Brooke created this (can you tell I'm proud?)
"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, August 19, 2011

when life gives you lemons ...

squeeze them!
3 years after moving to our home we discovered that we had a lemon tree! Well, more like a lemon bush ... but regardless, it's a plant that grows lemons. At first I thought, "one can eat only so many lemon bars, what will I do with all these lemons?" Silly me.
First of all, there is no limit to the number of lemon bars one can eat!
Secondly, (thanks to the world wide web) I have now educated myself on the health benefits of drinking lemon water. This is a great source filled with all kinds of information. But if you want a quick "what will lemons do for me?" lesson, here are a few facts:
prevent sepsis
treat asthma
help cure a cold or the flu
improve digestions
cleanse your body of impurities
Ah, yes ... the list goes on and on.
My daughter saw Martha Stewart share her morning ritual of drinking a large mug of hot water with the juice of a whole organic lemon. So I thought, "what the heck - if Martha suggests it, I'll try it"
So the moral is:
Lemons, not just for lemon bars anymore.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MusicBabies Giveaway!

"Research shows that singing lullabies quiets fussy infants, lowers their heart rates, and improves oxygen saturation. MusicBabies contains the same melodies clinically shown to lull babies to sleep."
Dr. Rosalie Pratt
And in listening to these tunes myself, in preparation for this giveaway, I can tell you that it does the same for fussy adults!
Besides that, I also love that, in addition to the vocal tracks, this CD comes with instrumental only tracks so that mommy, daddy or even a grandparent, can be the one singing the baby to sleep.

To enter simply leave a comment below.
For additional entries:
Go to MusicBabies on iTunes and let me know which song you like best
Facebook, email, blog or tweet about this post
(separate comments for each additional entry, please)

Winner randomly picked and announced on
Saturday, August 27th
(my baby's birthday ... ok, she's turning 14 ... but still ...)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

butterfly wishes

My mother-in-law is fighting for her health.
Here's my contribution:
Along with my prayers, I wish for you:
the strength of a newly emerging butterfly
the freedom of a butterfly in flight
the rest a butterfly feels as she lights on a flower
the knowledge that you bring beauty to others as butterflies do

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it.
~Sudie Back
I love Albert Einstein's secret:
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I love Family Reunions

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family."
Anthony Brandt
"The strength of the family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other."
Mario Puzo

Friday, August 12, 2011

arthritis? me?!?

So, a month or so ago I started to notice that my knee didn't appreciate all the bending and pressure it was getting. So I searched and what?! it appears I'm getting arthritis. Eeek. Then I had this conversation with myself:
"well, I AM 52 - my body should start wearing out."
"Nonsense!" I replied. "Methuselah lived to be 969, and his body held out!"
"But you're not Methuselah, and do you really want to outlive your great, great, great grandchildren?"
So I found my way back to google. I'm in the process of searching for natural cures for arthritis. And don't tell me it can't be cured. I've heard that before about other things. I don't believe it. Our body is constantly making new cells - and someone told me that every 7 years our body pretty much replaces itself. So I figure diet and some other natural stuff will do the trick.
I'm reaching out to all of you, and I'm willing to try anything that doesn't sound scary:
any suggestions?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

happy people

I just heard about this guy who, while on his morning jog, found an envelope with an invitation on the outside to open it. Inside was a $100 bill with a note telling the finder to have a good day.
The young man who found this decided that yes, he could have a great day now! Or he could take that $100 and help lots of others also have a great day. Thus, the
was created. His home page posts this quote:
It's an inspiring and fun blog ... so check it out!

Another great blog I found:
These ladies regularly share creative ideas for telling people you care. Yes, it's about marriage, but it also includes ideas for children, friends and others. It's definitely worth the click of the button to check them out.

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


All of a sudden I'm surrounded by people who are now living the simple life.
And it sounds SO appealing!
My brother and his family moved to the country in Missouri. They're on a bunch of acres, living the life our grandparents lived. They have cows and pigs and land.
My sister in law and her family recently moved to a place in Idaho with 26 acres. They have fruit trees and gardens and a porch to sit with family and sip lemonade.
I can totally hear the simple life calling to me! I'd love to climb a tree with a good paperback novel in my back pocket, find a perch - lean back and read and eat apples. I'm ready to head back in time and live as my grandparents did ... send the kids to trade with the neighbors - eggs for milk - and spend my mornings in the garden. Ahhhh ... it's definitely calling to me!
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

journey of hope

I recently learned about Heather ...
a young mother of 3 who has Myelodysplastic Syndrome - a cancer that kills bone marrow and blood.
She has a wonderful support system of friends and family, one who is running a website for her. I'm touched by this website because it's not only newsy, for those wanting to know how Heather is doing, but it is a site of action. Included on the site are links to the prayer calendar, a place to donate to help out financially, the link to become a bone marrow donor, Heather's story, and other ways to help.
So many of us have been touched by the humanity all around us ... I know I have. The world is full of people with good hearts, and actions to match those hearts.
Heather's Journey of Hope
is an opportunity to reach out to a fellow member of the human family. If you have a moment, check out the site and either offer your help, or leave a message of hope for Heather.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I've been traveling ... work. But also for pleasure. It's always a pleasure to be in Utah. I think it's a beautiful state. Anyway, some might think of Salt Lake City as a desert - I used to. But compared to Las Vegas, Salt Lake is feeling downright muggy! I was caught the other day in a real downpour!
(see that the rain is coming down in SHEETS?!)
I pulled off the freeway and into a parking lot to wait it out. Right behind me was a soggy motorcycle rider .. poor guy! 20 minutes later I zipped in to see my client, then back to get on the freeway - but it was closed down. Construction workers were thigh-deep in flooded roads. This is true. It was crazy!
(I took this picture in the parking lot - can you tell that the water level is up to the curb?)
I actually really love the rain, so this was fun for me. I'm reminded of the quote by Longfellow:
"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
That's the thing about rain - literal and figurative:
Sometimes it's best to pull over and wait it out, sometimes you just have to drive through it - determined and focused, and always ... always, it can even be enjoyable when you get out and dance in it.