Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Thoughts

Screenshot from "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"
 This holiday and I have had a love-hate relationship through the years, and since today is Halloween, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the subject. In my cursory research of All Hallows Eve, I have found that the religious observation of November 1st means different things to different groups. One source I found gives a much better explanation of the "whys" of the Catholic celebration, and others, like Wikipedia's, cover the day from a variety of viewpoints.

Because of Martin Luther and his Ninety-Five Theses, October 31st is an important day for those of Protestant faith.

 As a Mormon, I and others of my faith, do not celebrate Halloween as a religious holiday, though most do celebrate it in the secular way that most of society does today.

When we were first married, Russell and I both loved it! He liked the spooky, and I adored the dressing up, so we began our marriage doing Halloween up in "style." But as we continued on through the years, we both began to feel that our spooky decorations invited a feeling into our home that we didn't like. So I started removing more and more of the spooky and adding more and more harvest-type decor. That felt much better!

We continued Trick or Treating to family, dressing up with our kids, but we found we like to dress up as book or historical characters,or as something really fun, cute, and harmless. We've never allowed gore or really scary stuff. (Though the boys have dressed as "Death" a couple times, but in the most mild manner possible.)

In recent years, we have decided to forgo the neighborhood Trick or Treating in favor of our ward's (congregation's) celebrations. We love to participate in the chili cook-offs, the children's costume parades, and in the "Trunk or Treat".

Other than the gory, scary, violent turn that Halloween has taken (yuck), another of my objections to Halloween is the CANDY! I have been a big candy addict in the past, but I have never enjoyed seeing my children ingest gallons of the stuff, only to spend all of Autumn sick.

For the last few years, our kids have eaten 3-5 pieces after their "Trunk or Treat" rounds, and then have handed us their full bags. We then redistribute the candy, piece by piece, in exchange for the completion of their daily chores. (Can I just insert here that my kids have been soooo good about complying with our parental judgement on this issue!) It worked great for us! The jobs got done with less complaints, and we didn't have a glutton-filled candy extravaganza.

BUT, now that I have been off of sugar for months now, my objection to the inhalation of candy at our house is bigger than ever. We gathered the candy after our ward party the other night, but my husband and I are not sure what to do with it now. We'd love to do something nice like send it to the troops overseas, but we'll have to see what the night brings.

I have run into a couple of wonderful articles lately that have got me thinking more about why we chose to do what we do each year. They have inspired my husband and me to examine once again why we do what we do, and what we can do to make Halloween the kind of holiday that uplifts our family, and brings us closer to God.

Learning about the Reformation

Halloween: Two Ways To View the Holiday

Tonight, we have decided to watch a wonderful program about the Reformation produced by BYU-TV called "Fires of Faith."

Excuse me while I eat a yummy dinner made by my husband and a pumpkin pie to celebrate. And we'll thank our Father in Heaven for His blessings to us all-- especially for the gift of religious freedom-- as we learn more of the Reformation with our children.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Article on Declining Birth Rates

My oldest two children, 1995

This article made me so sad! To quote just a bit of it:

In an analysis of the 2010 Census, USA TODAY, found that 95 percent of U.S. counties have fewer children today than they did in 2000.
In fact, it's more common to have a dog (43 million homes) than a child under 18 (38 million).
The decline makes sense, when considering that more and more adults are getting married later in life, if at all, and then postponing children until they have finished their education, or until they feel financially secure or more emotionally ready.
In fact, recent Census data show that for the first time, fewer than half of households were headed by "traditional" married couples, in what the New York Times called "a milestone in the evolution of the American family toward less-traditional forms."
For more information on the census numbers, see this article in U.S. News and World Report.

In my opinion, this is a disturbing trend! And it makes me want to do more and be more to stand for the traditional family.

What can WE do-- today-- to help defend the traditional family and help other people understand the impact that a demographic winter could have on our society today and in future generations?


Saturday, October 1, 2011

My FAVORITE Talk Today

{Image courtesy of}
"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
~Matthew 19:14 KJV~

I'm sure it will surprise no one who reads this blog which LDS General Conference talk was my favorite today.

You guessed it, it was given by Elder Neil Andersen. It was soooo refreshing to hear one of the Lord's Twelve Apostles repeat what our Church leaders have been saying for AGES, and what is clearly spelled out in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."

As I listened to his inspired, uplifting words, (which I will post a link to as soon as the video of the talk is up on!) I received one more affirmation that all the sacrifices we've made to invite children into our home and family have been oh, so WORTH IT.

The Amazing and Wonderful Cocoa over at Chocolate on My Cranium pinned a link on Pinterest to the article Elder Andersen was quoting in his message this afternoon. It's a wonderful reminder, as well! Here's the link to the original article from the website "Desiring God", so that you can read the whole thing:

Motherhood Is A Calling

What a blessing it is to be a mother! And I am so grateful for each and every "blessing" the Lord has sent to join our family!!!

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