Saturday, March 28, 2009

Virtue and Courage

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~Mahatma Gandhi

I attended the Young Women's General meeting with my 12 year old daughter and some other mothers and daughters in our ward. As you all know, it has been a tough week for me, and as you know from Scott's blog, we are having a hard time with wanting to go to church anymore.

So, I wasn't sure I wanted to, but I haven't given up yet, and my daughter was looking forward to it, so why not--a chance to see if I could feel the spirit while in the presence of the prophet.

The focus of the meeting was virtue--the eighth and new young women's value. "Be an example of the Believers." The messages were good, but cheesy, and I was thinking that if I had gone to the meeting a year ago, it probably would have felt so much different to me. I kept reading into it, wondering if people were thinking about taking a stand for virtue with things like Prop. 8. But still, it wasn't offensive to me, and I agreed with many of the thoughts that were shared.

One of the general young women leaders told the girls they should do 3 things:
1. Pray morning and night
2. Read the Book of Mormon for at least five minutes daily. (I should even be able to do that.)
3. Smile (She said they should smile because true joy is found through the gospel of Jesus Christ.)

I began to think about the path I am on. I pray in my heart all the time, but I rarely kneel for a focused personal prayer. I have not been very good at reading my scriptures for several years now. I began to wonder, when is the last time I really truly felt the spirit? I know I have a testimony of the gospel, so even though I haven't been feeling anything at church for a few weeks now, I should still be feeling the spirit in my personal life if I am living as I should. I don't think that has been happening either, though.

I kind of made a decision in my heart that before I can make a choice to go inactive, I need to first do some of the basic things above to make sure I have the spirit in my life to help me with these important choices.

One statement that was repeated several times through the meeting is that one virtuous young woman (or man) can literally change the world. We must help the world return to virtue.

Partway through the meeting, I said a silent prayer that I might feel the spirit while I was there, that I might have the encouragement I need to stay active in the church, if that is God's will for me.

President Monson gave the closing address. His talks are always so easy to follow, because there are usually 3 or 4 bullet points that he repeats several times and expounds on with interesting stories. He spoke to the young women in a way they could relate to and understand. His topic was a good one for me this week:


(Numbered items are just a summary of what he said about each thing.)

1. Have the courage to refrain from judging others, don't gossip, don't criticize. "Love one another. By this shall men know ye are my disciples." Every individual has a contribution to make and should be loved. True love can alter people's lives..."

Wow. That is what I am trying to do: love God's gay children. Yeah, everybody should listen to this. The prophet is speaking.

However, am I doing enough to not judge and criticize those who are homophobic? Or do I talk about them unkindly when I am venting? Maybe I need to step up and reach out to some neighbors (with whom we are feeling a larger and larger separation) .

2. Have the courage to be chaste and virtuous. "Wo unto them that call evil good and good evil." Commandments are not negotiable; they are not the 10 suggestions. Immorality is wrong, but the promises of repentance are real. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow."

Although my mind obviously turned to undertones of chastising homosexuality, I then turned to the thought that this goes along with something Scott and I were discussing (again) last night. We also believe that immorality is wrong, but we don't see sexual relations within a same-sex commitment or marriage as immoral. We spent the evening with Scot and Rob last night, and we felt more comfortable there than we would in many LDS homes right now. There was a feeling of family, of love, of acceptance, and I cannot condemn them for who they are and how they live their lives. Their children and ours have become close friends, and it was wonderful to be there. So, my definition of morality is a bit different than the church's, but I still feel it is important.

3. Have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. The world is very confused right now about what is right and what is wrong, but we have to stand up for what we know is right. Our testimonies need to be firmly rooted. Satan wants us to doubt that the church is true, to believe others when they criticize the church. In Lehi's dream we learn about a group of people that make it to the tree and they taste of the fruit, but then they are mocked for doing so, and are ashamed, and therefore fall away.

I pondered briefly on that last scriptural referrence. I feel like I am "falling away." Am I ashamed? Yeah, this week I felt ashamed of making a student so uncomfortable when answering her question about what GSA stood for that her parents went to the principal and she and her friend are dropping my class. Have I tasted of the fruit? Tasting of the fruit means feeling the pure joy of eternal life, doesn't it? I have felt more joy than ever this year as I try to love and accept homosexuals. Have I been mocked for trying to do what I felt to be right? Definitely.

Chills went through me and my eyes filled with tears. I had prayed for a spiritual experience, and here it was. I have tasted the joy that comes through service to God's children, I have been mocked and am ashamed, and I am starting to fall away.

I felt God's message to me was that I need not be ashamed, and that it is not right for me to let myself fall away because of the mocking. I have to stand for truth, the truth that is in my heart, and continue to do what I know I need to do, even if it is hard.

Now I only have to convince Scott that I can't do it without him.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Peace and Harmony

I just finished reading the lesson for Relief Society today, #29 "Living with Others in Peace and Harmony" and I think I have decided that maybe it is a good thing that I am staying home again today due to illness. It it a beautiful lesson, and I am afraid that I might say something that might make others uncomfortable, or I would sit there uncomfortable myself because I want so badly to say something. (Besides, it will probably make the practice song, "I'll Walk with You" more comfortable and spiritual for the ladies in the RS presidency, who know what my agenda is with the song.)

So instead, I will share my thoughts here and be grateful for the situation. The entire lesson is great, but the last section is the one that gets me thinking. The subtitle is:

"We can cultivate harmony in our communities by respecting the freedom of all people to believe according to their own conscience."

It begins with the 11th Article of Faith, which says we claim the privilege of worshiping God the way we want to, and we allow others to do the same.

OK, so here is my thing. I have prayed about and personally come to believe that gay sex within a relationship of commitment (or marriage, rather, where available) is no more a sin than heterosexual sex. Maybe I am wrong and will eventually face the condemnation of God for my opinion, but that is for God's judgment and no one else.

I am not saying that I have the authority to receive revelation for the church and that they should change their stance. I'm simply saying that according to this Article of Faith, I should let them believe what they want to believe, and in return they should allow me the same privilege. Now of course, if I am to stay a member of the church in good standing, I obviously can't live what I believe (not that I would want to, of course) and I also shouldn't voice my opinion in a church setting since it is contrary to the teachings of the church. (Although I see voicing an opinion of gay sex vs. voicing an opinion that the church should not have been involved in gay rights politics as two different things, while my church leaders tend to view them as the same thing and therefore BOTH wrong to talk about. *sigh*)

So obviously, the main problem I have is the church's political involvement this past year, forcing their beliefs on people who are not members of their church, whom they have told are welcome to believe what they believe about God (and therefore about sin as well, don't you think?) But for some reason, they are so sure that this is a moral issue, that it is a condemnation of God that will bring destruction to any society that believes in it, that they will not allow me to simply believe what I believe without condemning me for it and telling me that I really don't have the freedom that they say I have.

Maybe the church needs to rewrite the 11th Article of Faith to align to what they truly believe, that others can believe what they want to believe as long as it is not in conflict with the moral teachings of the true church. Wouldn't that go over well for a church that teaches that pride is also a sin? But at least they would be honest instead of two-faced.

I can feel the heat of this issue rising within me, and I realize that it is a very good thing I am not in Relief Society today.

The text of the lesson, of course comes from Joseph Smith himself. Get a glimpse of some of his words here:

"If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do..."

"We ought always to be aware of those prejudices which sometimes so strangely present themselves, and are so congenial to human nature, against our friends, neighbors, and brethren of the world, who choose to differ from us in opinion and in matters of faith. Our religion is between us and our God. Their religion is between them and their God."

"...In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights."

"We will ... cultivate peace and friendship with all, mind our own business, and come off with flying colors, respected, because, in respecting others, we respect ourselves."

Um, does anyone else think we need to highlight that last statement and send it to the church leaders, PR department, or whatever?

So I can't really tell them what I want to tell them, and I am feeling anything but peace and harmony as I realize the conflict the church has with these words in their own lesson. So now that I have it off my chest here on my blog, I will turn to prayer. I pray for peace and harmony with the church and the world. I pray for people in every LDS congregation throughout the world (but especially here in the good old US of A) that as they hear and read this lesson, it will make them think a little bit about prejudice, and maybe even a little bit about gay rights. I know it has made me think, and I am honored to say that I have a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and I am very grateful for his words in this lesson. This church was founded on love and peace, and maybe, just maybe they will someday recognize that it is possible that they have drifted a bit from the Christlike love on which they are founded.

Jesus walked away from none, he gave his love to everyone, so I will, I will. I'll walk with you, I'll talk with you. That's how I'll show my love for you. (Carol Lynn Pearson, "I'll Walk with You")

I want to publicly thank a couple in my ward for their true Christlike love toward Scott and I. They have their own strong opinions, but I continue to feel of their sincere love for us regardless of whether they agree with us or not. Thank you, Jacob and Melissa. I don't know if you realize how much your friendship means to me and is helping me to stay active in the church and in our ward.

I am also incredibly grateful for the people I work with (specifically the math department), for being open, for listening to me and learning from me (and I from them) and most of all, for continuing to love me without judgment. They are all active members of the LDS church as well, and have been true Christians in supporting me as they do. I am truly blessed with an awesome support network.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Relief Society Practice Song

On Sunday the lesson in Relief Society will be from the Joseph Smith manual, lesson #29 "Living with Others in Peace and Harmony". I have been planning for a few weeks that "I'll Walk with You" would be the perfect practice song, and now after reading Eternity's posts about it (even though I haven't read the actual lesson yet) I still think it is a good choice.

Back in November I wanted to use it as the practice song when Scott bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting about being gay. I called the R.S. president, and gave her a general idea of what I wanted to say prior to singing the song as an explanation (that Carol Lynn Pearson had written it with gay people somewhat in mind). She said she needed to talk to the bishop. I asked her to wait until after Scott had talked to the bishop that morning (about bearing his testimony) and that I would call her back. But she didn't wait--the bishop mentioned it to Scott as he left that morning and told him that I did not have his approval.

The next week I gave the RS Pres. a copy of the following, and told her to run it past the bishop again with the exact wording I wanted to use:

Early in August 1987, ... I received a call from the General Board of the Primary, the Church's organization for children. She said, "Sister Pearson, we have a problem, and we wondered if you could help us solve it. We're preparing a new songbook for the Primary and it's ready to go to press, but there's one more song we need and we don't have it. We're asking you to write it for us. There are so many children in the Church who have special needs, so many who are handicapped or are different in one way or another. We want so much to include them, to encourage the other children to be kind and loving to them. We need the song immediately. Can you do this for us?"

I said, of course, I would try.

"I'll Walk with You" is found on page 140 of the Children's Songbook, music by Reid N. Nibley. It has an illustration of one girl in a wheelchair being pushed by another, both of them smiling. Sometimes when we sing it in Relief Society, I am asked to lead the singing. It pleases me so much to know it is sung in LDS congregations all over the world, by children and often by adults. As they sing, they have in mind children like ... the little girl in the illustration, but as I wrote it I also had in mind the little children who, as they grow up, will find themselves of a sexual orientation sure to present a challenge for them in our church and our society. (No More Goodbyes, page 112-113.)

So, I haven't talked to anyone about it since I gave the paper to her in mid-November. Two days ago, I sent her an email telling her I wanted to use it on Sunday and wondering what she and the bishop had decided. I just received a phone call from one of her counselors, the one over the lessons and music, letting me know that we could not sing the song I had chosen for Sunday.

Me: Can't sing the song? I questioned. It is in the children's songbook. Maybe they don't want me to say what I was going to say, but not even letting us sing the song is ridiculous. It is "I'll Walk with You."

Her: Oh, I love that song, and if it is in the children's songbook, I'm sure it is fine. I don't know. Do you want me to call her again and make sure?

Me: No (then I start crying and rambling about how I want to be released and out of Relief Society and if only people would let Scott and I talk about this incredible mission we are on and the difference we are making and the friends and family we have online that are not real family at all, etc, etc.)

I feel bad that I unloaded on her. I've had a stomach bug for two days now, and I really must go to work tomorrow, and I am getting rather grumpy about it. This was the last straw today. The last homophobic, stupid straw.

I want to just do it anyway, with their disapproval and all.

Thanks for letting me vent. Is it the flu-bug crazziness talking, or a streak of "revengeful" genetics that I get from my mom making me want to go against the adamant council? Our bishop had surgery this week, so I really don't need to add to his stress. And I ought to respect my RS president who has been pretty respectful and non-judgemental of me through all of this, starting with the anonymous letter I wrote to her last August. Bother, here comes the submissive "do what you know is right" side of me. I'm sorry, but I am not in the mood to be Molly Mormon any more. Argh!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

GSA clubs in UT High Schools

At the beginning of the year when I realized what a challenge my four algebra 1 classes would be due to behavior problems, I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

Now I am grateful. One of my classes is still from hell, but in two of my other classes, I have the greatest group of gay kids and their straight friends that I could ever hope for. About a month ago, I mentioned to a few of them that they could start a gay-straight alliance at the school and I would be willing to be the superviser. Immediately I had them all on board, along with other students in the class that overheard and volunteered to help. The next step was to figure out exactly what the students need to do to get it going.

At my school I have become the best of friends over the last few months with one of the school guidance counselors (who help students register for appropriate classes and make sure they are on track to graduate from high school, attend college, etc.) We first saw each other at the candlelight vigil at the SLC library the Sunday before election day. Amongst the 600 plus people in attendance, we happened to sit near each other and recognize each other, even in hats, gloves, scarves, etc. We have since decided it was not by chance. The next day at school, I went to her office to talk to her. I told her my story, and she told me about her gay brother and her efforts at being a gay advocate over the years. We met for dinner and helped each other through the tough days that came following the election and the passing of prop 8. She and I decided together to interview for Reed's documentary. Anyway, the point of bringing her into this is that she was going to start an GSA at the school last year, so she gathered some necessary information, but never followed through  with asking some students if they were interested in getting it started. She passed along a couple of binders to me with information she had gathered.

Last week, this group of students and I split up the materials, perused the student handbook, and started getting an idea of what we need to do to get this going for next year. I also decided to go talk to the administrator over clubs and ask her where to start with all of this.

The first thing she told me is that we need to come up with a name for the club, because we cannot call it GSA. I asked why, and she said it was against district policy, which, she added, made total sense to her. I mentioned that it didn't make sense to me, but that I would follow any policies I had to to get it started.

I sent a message to Scott, telling him about the district's homophobia. He decided to do some research of his own. Surprisingly enough (NOT!) some of the state policies on such clubs were introduced to Utah Law by our very own favorite Senator Buttars. The way Scott put it from some of the reading he did (and now he can't find the exact article for me), it seems that Senator Buttars is of the opinion that the only reason for GSA clubs to exist is for high school students to "recruit" students into homosexuality so that they have more students to have gay sex with. Bah.

Anyway, this whole story brings me to the purpose for my post: I would like some help coming up with a name for our club that does not mention any words that make people think of sex (like gay, straight, homosexual, etc.) yet lets students know (especially closeted mohos) what the club is about and that it is for them to have a safe place, friends and support that they desperately need.

Some of the official district policy is listed below

b. Names for Non-Curriculum Clubs

The administrator shall deny authorization of a club’s name, or require changes prior to granting authorization, if the administrator finds that the proposed name:

i. Does not reasonably reflect the nature, purposes, and activities of the club,
ii. Could result in undue disruption of school operations,
iii. Could subject students to harassment or persecution,
iv. Implies violation of (1)(A)* of this section, or
v. Implies inappropriate association with outside organizations or groups.

1A referred to in item iv. I think is the following (I have bolded the item that probably applies here):

a. Purpose and Activities of Non-Curriculum Clubs

i. The administrator shall deny authorization to any club or require changes prior to granting authorization if the administrator finds that its purpose or activities could:

A. Violate the law or administrative rules or advocate such imminent violation. This restriction does not apply to appropriate discussions concerning the changing of laws or rules, or to actions taken through appropriate channels or procedures to effectuate such changes.
B. Harass or denigrate any person or advocate such imminent action.
C. Intend to cause a person to fear to freely exercise or enjoy any right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States or the state of Utah, or advocate such imminent action.
D. Advocate or approve sexual activity outside of marriage, or involve presentations in violation of laws or regulations governing sex education or privacy rights of individuals or families (See High School resource Guide for Parents and Teachers on Teaching Human sexuality).
E. Include any effort to engage in or conduct mental health therapy, counseling, or psychological services for which a license would be required under Title 58, Chapters 60 or 61 of the Utah Code.
It seems from reading this that there is nothing that specifically says we can't use GSA, but if the administrator said we can't, then she must think that it somehow violates the policies outlined above, and thus she would not approve it. Anyway, with this complicated information, does anyone have any good ideas? Brainstorm with me please!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tangents and Sines

My trigonometry class is one of my favorites. (It is so hard not to have favorites.) The students have a variety of personalities, and though we work very hard (it is a concurrent enrollment, or college trig class taught at the high school), we also have a lot of fun. I am afraid that I am the very worst at getting us off topic, or off on a "tangent" as we always say.

Anyway, today we were learning to "verify trig identities" which basically means using other identities (which are like formulas) to prove that things are true or equal to each other. The process involves using a lot of trig functions or ratios called "sine", "cosine", "tangent", etc. It is a difficult process and can be very frustrating for the students to figure out.

As I was working through an example on the board, one of my clever students said in teasing frustration, "bad sine" (in the way you might say "bad dog").

I replied (teasing that I was angry), "Hey, who are you calling bad? My initials are SIN" (an abbreviation for sine, pronounced like "sign").

Student (shrinking into his chair): "Oh, sorry, I didn't know." :)

The class kind of chuckled and off I went into one of my "tangents".

Me: "Actually, when I was dating my husband, one day he said, 'Do you realize that if we get married your initials will spell sin?' "

Class laughing.

Student (same clever one): "Maybe it was a sign.." (everyone laughs harder, including me)

Me: "You just don't even know how funny that is."

Ah, I love my trigonometry class!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Weekend Notes

Brief overview, just for my own records mostly:

MoHo Party - Loved it, as usual! New friends, old friends, laughter and good food. Probably the funniest thing was that two sets of friends (who have been to our house before) actually went to the next-door-neighbor's house first. I laughed and laughed when I found out. One was a moho and his moho friend, the second was a MOM couple. I apologized to my neighbor about it today at church. It didn't seem to have been a big deal, but I wonder what she was REALLY thinking. :) Thanks to everyone who came; and those who live too far away to come or had a conflict, please know that we still love you and wish we could meet you or see you again.

Oh, a couple of quick notes:

In the future, please let Scott know if you are bringing food and if possible what you are bringing (and don't feel obligated to bring anything!) I'm afraid Scott is a bit anal about his catering, so when no one said they were bringing anything, he insisted on planning a menu that would stand on its own, and thus we had waaayy too much food. (Thanks for what you did bring! It was all wonderful!)

Second, we have a few lost-and-found items: a men's dressy black coat from January's party, and a small sparkly hair clip from last night. Let us know if they belong to you and we will keep them safe for you.

FYI, girl scout cookies are in tomorrow and I need money for them by March 29th. So you can wait until the next party to get and pay for them, or make arrangements with us to get them sooner. Thanks!

Church Today - I have decided that I really need a calling out of the Relief Society. I guess I should start praying for it. :) Nothing was said specifically about anything that could possibly bother me, but I am just more uncomfortable in general than I would like to be. Today's lesson, topic chosen by the Relief Society Presidency, was on "Virtue". Apparently virtue was recently added as the 8th Young Women value. The word itself encompasses a lot of different things: chastity, integrity, strength, etc. It was an interesting discussion, but I was slightly uncomfortable with some of the comments, but not because of what was said, but because of what my own mind did with them.

One lady made a great comment about choosing to make a stand at Marie Calendars yesterday when they were out of the pie she wanted and they suggested that she come back today to get it. She politely told them, "No we won't do that on the Sabbath." That lead one of my neighbors to talk about how important it is to make a stand on things like that, especially so that our children can see our example and know where the line is between right and wrong. I started to feel guilty because last month when my daughter was selling girl scout cookies, it was a Sunday and one lady in the ward specifically asked her to come over so she could order cookies since the order form was due the next day. When we got home, my daughter decided she should run to another neighbors' house since she never made it over there, either, to sell cookies. I know my neighbors pretty well (they are awesome people but really churchy), so I suggested that she wait and run over the next day after school instead. She decided to go right then, and I shrugged and told her it was her decision. She came back dejected that the neighbor would not order cookies because it was Sunday. During the lesson today I suddenly felt like my neighbor was telling me that I should not have allowed my daughter to come selling cookies on Sunday, that I needed to set a more "virtuous" example for her. Now, she didn't really say this, and I have no way of knowing that is at all what she was thinking, but my mind always thinks things that she might have been thinking, and it drives me crazy.

Before that comment, another lady also made a comment about how important it is for us to stand up for what we know is true so that our children will not be confused. Even though I feel strongly that I am standing up for what I know is true, the fact that God loves all of his children, gay or straight, I couldn't help but think that she might be thinking that I am only confusing my children by standing up in favor of gay marriage. Maybe I am, but I don't care. :P

Family Party - Today is the first time we have seen anyone in Scott's family since we took a moho friend with us last month. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Scott emailed them, of course, right after we figured out exactly what had gone on. The email led to some conversations by phone and email with several of his sibblings, both steps and biological ones. I decided to start sending them tidbits of things to help them understand our lives a little better, such as blog comments and excerpts of blog posts. Two of the step-siblings wrote back and thanked me for sharing. My mother-in-law let us know how great Scott's email was. From the rest we have been met with silence. I don't know if they are reading them or just filtering them into their junk folders, but I had to try.

Anyway, tonight when we arrived, within 10 minutes one step-sister gave me a hug and thanked me again in person for the emails. Another step-sister came over to talk to us, tell us she had read the email, and that she was praying for us. She is kind of the black sheep of the family and has so many things going on in her own life, but she is doing well right now, and I told her that we had been praying for her as well. I had to hold back a few tears while we talked. I could sincerely feel of her love for us. A step brother came in and immediately talked to us, asked us how we were doing. A few minutes later when he and I happened to be crossing paths away from the hustle and bustle in the family room and kitchen, he told me how much he enjoyed my emails and the stories I shared.

No one totally ignored us, and the atmosphere was generally comfortable, but the only conversation that happened between us and a biological sister and brother was necessary conversation as we interacted, cleaning up from dinner or whatever. They both asked Scott a computer question or two. At one point Scott was sleeping and everyone wondered why he was so tired that he could sleep through such a noisy atmosphere, and I mentioned our party and all of his food preparations. The sister's husband asked about who the party was for, and I told him we have a monthly party with our blog friends. (Apparently he and his wife don't talk about it, because I KNOW that she knows about our parties.) My mother-in-law asked about what food he made, etc. It was a brief conversation, but not uncomfortable like some conversations of that nature have been in the past.

Later, as his step-mom was cutting my hair and we were alone in her beauty shop, we talked in more detail about things. Scott's dad read No More Goodbyes during the last month and she says he learned a lot. I think he is going to try to pass the book off to Scott's brother. Maybe he would actually consider reading it if it came from his dad. We haven't even dared suggest it. He and his wife refuse to be friends with us on facebook, although they "are [our] friends in real life." (Facebook is EVIL!)

Anyway, all in all, it was a good night, and hopefully things will get easier as time goes on. Understanding and accepting that all of this is not going away is going to take a little longer with some of them, but we can keep praying and hoping and loving all of them in the mean time. The children had a blast with their cousins, no one stormed off early, and everyone loved Scott's birthday desert, as usuall. It was nice to have things a bit back to normal.

To everything there is a season...

I haven't really felt a need to write about anything this week. In fact, the time I spend reading blogs is less and less all of the time, which is probably a good thing in several ways. It means that emotionally I am less dependent on it. (There was a time that reading all of the blogs seemed as important to me as air or food or sleep!) Also, it means that I can put more effort into spending more time with my children, and that is a very good thing. They have been extremely patient with me, but sometimes I think that they believe I love my computer and my blog and facebook friends more than I love them. Of course I needed to take care of myself first so that I could be whole and functional as a mom, but it is time to re-adjust how I use my spare time.

Anyway, I have no idea how frequent (or un-frequent) my blog posts might become, and also don't assume that I am reading your blog even though I follow it. If you need me, send me an email or facebook message and I will be glad to help! This week will be good for me to learn to spend less time on the computer because I have girl scout cookies to help deliver and parent/teacher conferences, so there will be very little time for anything else.

Thanks so much to all of you that have become my blog family. I am grateful to know you are all there when I need you. Goodnight.