Monday, August 27, 2012

A Few Things...

Our life is not terribly exciting, but a few things have happened this week...

I veered off from my book list.  I know, I know... I made kind of a big deal about finishing my list, so why did I veer off course so soon?  Well, for two reasons.  First of all, I got through the first two chapters of Wizard for Hire and haven't been seriously impressed yet.  Second, The Hunger Games just came out on DVD, so I watched it every day for a week until I was aching for the next movie to come out (which isn't due for well over a year), so I decided to take a break from my list by reading Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  I plan on picking my book back up tonight.

David and I got smart phones.  And now there's no going back.  We're kind of addicted to the fact that we can do anything we want on our phones.  I'm sure the newness will wear off soon enough, but right now, we're kind of smitten with them.

James turned 21 months old.  I actually don't know how that happened because I'm pretty sure he's still my little baby.  Well, he's my little baby who can unlock the deadbolt on the front door now.  He'll be two years old in just three short months.  I can't wrap my head around that just yet.  Good thing I have some time to get used to the idea.

Aside from that, David's birthday is this coming Sunday, so I'm still figuring out what we're going to do on that day since it is a Sunday.  Other than that, we've been perfectly boring. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Book #4

I would just like to announce to the vast audience of bloggie readers here that I just started my fourth book from the reading list.  I am pretty proud of myself and figured that it was quite important for you to know this.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Fun

Mom, David, James and I all went over to Tony and Jen's house for a cookout and some s'mores roasting on their newly finished patio and fire pit.  James also took over his new Dinosaur Train train set so that he could play with it with Uncle Tony.  The train set was purchased with money that Uncle Tony gave to him in order to buy a special present, so this was the first time that Uncle Tony got to see his present and James was only too happy to help him break it in.

We obviously had fun.  Here's James wearing Aunt Jen's sunglasses.  He thought he was quite the stud.  (Let's face it.  He was right.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Free to Act for Ourselves

Nearly two years ago, the Human Rights Commission delivered a petition to President Boyd K Packer (a senior apostle and a leader of the LDS Church) asking him to denounce what they referred to as his "anti-gay statements".  This was based on their interpretation of his remarks from the October 2010 LDS General Conference.  

While I realize that this news is outdated, the issue presented here is not.  The Church has always preached that we should treat one another with love and respect and that under no circumstances should we bully or belittle others.  The Church has also never wavered on its stance regarding sexuality immorality, in any form.

I bring this all up because there is a video I wanted to share with you.  This is the Church's response to the petition that they received from the HRC.  I encourage you to watch it, particularly if you have questions or concerns about the Church's teachings in connection with the same-sex marriage debate.

None of us is limited by our feelings or inclinations.
Ultimately, we are free to act for ourselves.

Friday, August 10, 2012

People Read For Fun?

Yes!  People totally do that sort of thing.  And I'm that sort of person.  Because I also married another one of those people who loves to read, I have a good number of books on my shelves that I haven't read at all.

What?  Unread books?  In your house?!  That's outrageous!

I know.  That's what I was thinking, too!  So, I'm making myself a list of books that I own, but have never read, and would like to read by the end of the year.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember my attempt to do something similar a few years back where I failed spectacularly.  Well, that's not gonna happen this time!  You know why?  Because I'm not cold starting on a huge list after not having read for a while.  I recently finished reading all seven books of the Harry Potter series and, just tonight, finished my first Agatha Christie novel.  So, I'm kind of on a roll right now.

This is going to be my August to December reading goal.  I know that it's already the tenth of August, but since I just finished a Murder on the Orient Express for the first time and started it only last week, I'll be certainly counting it.  Woo hoo!  One book down already!  See?  I told you I wouldn't fail again! :)

Okay, so without further ado, here is my reading list:

  1. Murder on the Orient Express  by Agatha Christie
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray  by Oscar Wilde
  3. Fahrenheit 451  by Ray Bradbury
  4. Little Women  by Louisa May Alcott
  5. Alice In Wonderland  by Lewis Carroll
  6. The Catcher in the Rye  by JD Salinger
  7. Sophie's World  by Jostein Gaarder
  8. Wizard for Hire: Storm Front  by Jim Butcher
  9. Wizard for Hire: Fool Moon  by Jim Butcher
  10. Wizard for Hire: Grave Peril  by Jim Butcher

I know, I know... most of these are classics that I should have read in high school, but for whatever reason, never needed to.  Now I want to read them.  The last three books are a fun series that David thinks I will like, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I'm going to create a separate tab on my blog here so that I can keep track of my progress.  (And you can too!... you know, if you actually care that much.)  Also know that I'm not going to necessarily read them in this listed order, that way, I can read what I feel like reading at the time and not feel forced to complete this goal in a rigid way.  I like my flexibility. :)

Also, if anyone has suggestions of good books, particularly classics or fiction, that you think I will like, go ahead and comment.  I might add them to this or some future list!

All right... here I go!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Miss Aly

Is it a bit sad that I have a little 18-year-old hero?  I don't know, but I have no shame about it.  I was rooting for Aly so hard during the whole Olympics.  I'm so glad that she came out on top.

Yay for Aly!  Yay for Team USA!  Yay for the Olympics!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Defining Intolerance

There has been a good deal of talk about Chick-fil-A and their recent declaration in support of traditional marriage and family units.  This particular comment sparked controversy from gay marriage supporters, especially from a few mayors of major cities who made public statements denouncing Chick-fil-A and even threatening to ban the company from operating within their city.

A friend of mine posted this picture quote that addressed an angle of this particular issue that I'd like to discuss.  Here it is...

Being intolerant is being intolerant, no matter what side of the argument you are on.

I know, I know... I've been known to make fun of picture quotes on occasion, but this one actually made me a little happy.  Why?  Because it is saying the very thing that I have been thinking since I heard about this entire incident.

How is it considered intolerant to hold traditional views on marriage and family, but it's not considered intolerant to (attempt to) ban the free enterprise of business just because you don't agree with the personal views of the leaders of that company?

Ever since the issue of legalizing gay marriage became a hot-button topic, it has seemed like the opposing parties have failed spectacularly at being able to discuss the issue with civility and respect.  

Being a supporter of traditional marriage and family values, this is how I see things:

(Please note that while I speak in a generalizing fashion, I do not speak for everyone who believes as I do.  I'm simply speaking based on my own beliefs and conversations that I've had with others who also support traditional marriage.)

For many proponents of traditional marriage, opposing gay marriage isn't about denying anyone anything. Many of us simply feel as if our very core values are being challenged and spurned by society. If society decides that believing in traditional marriage and family units is unacceptable, and that everyone should accept same-sex marriage as part of the norm, then that infringes upon our right to freely exercise our religion (where the basis for this belief generally comes from) and teach our children those same values. There have already been incidents of pastors being arrested for civilly preaching against homosexuality, and gay marriage isn't even legal in most states. This is why many traditional marriage supporters are so vocal about their position on legalizing gay marriage; it does affect everyone. It is also important to note that marriage (in any form) is not a protected Constitutional right, whereas the free exercise of religion is.

While I do recognize that there are plenty of bigots and hateful people out in the world who are preaching against homosexuality, failing to support gay marriage does not automatically make someone one of those people.

Why have I taken the time to explain this position?  That is where the intolerance comes in.  With understanding comes tolerance.  I believe that a large part of why many gay marriage supporters are so hurtful towards those who don't support gay marriage is simply because they can't see beyond the "equality issue" (which is a discussion for another day) or think that anyone who disagrees with them is automatically homophobic.

But understanding goes both ways.  As supporters of traditional marriage, we also need to realize that the other side is simply trying to do the same thing that we are trying to do; they are standing up for what they believe is right.

We all need to learn to see what others see.  We don't have to agree, but we should strive to understand and to be respectful of our differences.

What do you think?  Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to chime in.  Just make sure that you keep all comments respectful.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Did It!

Woo hooooooo!

I actually made it through July and blogged every single day.  I even threw in a bonus post at the end, just for fun.  Hopefully, I'll be much better at blogging regularly now, even if I don't post something every single day.

Anyway, I just wanted to make this announcement for you all to hear.