Friday, February 3, 2012

Five Things For Friday, 31st Edition


My husband's family are the only people I know who truly celebrate Ground Hog Day (which for all of you international readers is a bizarre holiday we "celebrate" in the US on February 2nd) . They have Ground Hog Day traditions, which as much as I dearly love them, I thought was completely bizarre when I first joined the family. The first tradition isn't that strange, they eat "ground hog" (sausage) and pancakes for dinner. I can understand this one. But the second tradition is the strange one. After eating dinner they take all the leftover pancakes and throw them on top of the fridge.

Yes, really.

The rules are that you have to make a wish, then stand about 10 feet away from the fridge with your back turned, throw your pancake over your shoulder, and try to get it to land on top of the fridge. If your throw is successful then your wish will come true, if not you keep trying till you succeed.

No one really knows how this tradition got started but Jon's aunt told me that she thinks that it started with her family. She said,
"When we moved to Louisiana, we visited a Cajun museum in Lafayette, Louisiana, and in the museum I read an interpretive panel about holidays that talked about a special tradition on Feb. 2 where Cajuns would eat pancakes and throw one on the armoire for good luck. I thought this sounded fun and later I tried to find more information about it in the local public library. I couldn't find anything and the librarians couldn't either, so I telephoned the museum. I described the tradition to the curator, and she said, "I've never heard of that." She didn't believe me when I told her I'd read it in her museum, so she took my phone number and called me back about an hour later to tell me that she had, indeed, found the interpretive panel I had described but that she had no idea where the information had come from and that she had never heard of the tradition before. So we figure it's a Cajun tradition that Cajuns never do."
No matter where it came from it is a fun tradition and usually ends up in lots of giggles and flying pancakes. Asher and Rose had a blast with it this year. I would LOVE to know if anyone else has ever heard of something similar to this before, or if my husband's family is the only one in the entire country flinging pancakes over their shoulders on February 2nd-- which I kind of suspect they might be.


In January Sister Julie Beck's gave a speech at BYU entitled "Why We Are Organized into Quorums and Relief Societies". And being the Sister Beck fan that I am I just had to make sure that you all get to read it. One of the things that I love about Sister Beck is how much she emphasizes that the Relief Society is not an afterthought in God's Kingdom but is a parallel organization to the Priesthood and that women need to take their responsibilities in it as seriously as men do their Priesthood responsibilities. This was one of my favorite quotes from her talk,
"When we are organized into Relief Societies and quorums, our personal discipleship is extended and we become engaged with others in the saving work that was modeled by the Savior. It is never modest or inconsequential. It forces us to a higher path of discipleship and a greater spiritual maturity. It is often a long-suffering and patient work and can seem thankless because there is usually a noticeable absence of public recognition for the good we do. Elder Widtsoe taught that “to save souls opens the whole field of human activity and development.
And I loved this part too,
"...What the Lord envisioned regarding quorums and Relief Societies has not yet been fully utilized. Many quorums and Relief Societies are at present much like sleeping giants waiting for you to breathe new life into them."
Isn't that a great image! Read the rest.


Remember last week I told you I thought Abe was about to go through a cognitive "leap" because he has been extra fussy and cranky lately? Well, I was right! This week he has amazed me by rolling over, on purpose, nearly every time I put him on his tummy. He isn't even three-months-old yet. I think I might have a genius baby on my hands! Or just one really determined little boy.

The other thing he has discovered this week is that if he flails his arms around in the right direction he can make the toys on his play mat move. He loves it. Whenever I set him down on his play mat he gets a big grin on his face and makes a happy grunting noise. Then he spends a good 20 minutes trying to get his hands to hit the toys hanging above his head. I was watching him do this the other night and I saw a big smile go across his face when he realized that it was him making the toys move. It dawned on me that I was witnessing a really significant moment in his life. It was the moment when he first realized that he has the ability to change the world; that he isn't just something to be acted upon but that he has the ability to act upon other things in this world and influence them. I guess we all had to learn that at one point in our lives... it is too bad that we so often forget it.


I was really impressed by the new scripture journals that Shannon at the Red Headed Hostess has created. She has put a lot of time into creating two types of journals to help you with your personal scripture study.

First she has created a "Topics" journal that is set up to help you study your scriptures by different topics. Each page is broken into sections where you can record what words you looked up, insights you have, questions you thought of, people you read about and connections and patterns you discovered. She also has a "Chapters" journal that is designed to help you study your scripture chapter by chapter. You can go here to see how they are laid out.

They look really great and would be such a help for those who have never done scripture journaling before, and wonderfully convenient for those who have already been doing it for awhile. She is selling them on her site for &11.95 each!


I am going to be speaking at the LDS Holistic Living Conference this spring! I am really excited about this opportunity, and a little bit terrified at the same time. The organizers of the conference asked if I would teach three classes and so I am going to be teaching a classes on:
If you follow the links you can read a description of each class and what I will be talking about in each of them. I attended this conference last year and it was really wonderful. I am excited to be presenting at it this year, but am a bit disappointed because it means that I might miss out on some of the wonderful classes--which you can get a sneak peak at here.

The conference is on June 23rd and I'd love to meet some of you there!

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  1. Yay, go Abe! That's awesome! :) What a cutie.

    I should check out the Red Headed Hostess' scripture journals. Now that I finished the Book of Mormon I think I am ready to get back to some more diversified scripture studies.

  2. I was at that conference last year, and have been trying to decide if I want to go this year. You just made me want to go! It'd be fun to meet you. Also, its funny that Sis. Beck talked about the organization of the church, because I have been thinking about that so much lately. A lot of Christian talk about personal ministry and believe in service, but I think that the LDS church is unique because it is a huge, organized, force for good. That is no small thing. We have a huge number of people who are willing to do what they are asked to do for years at a time, and because it is organized, it really happens and is kept track of. I can't explain it much better, I hope you know what I mean. I just think it is and could be such a marvelous force for good and change in this world. I loved that quote about the sleeping giant. I think of it more like an army, except half, or more, of the people in the army are in a daze and aren't sure what they are fighting for. We are fighting for nothing less than the welfare of the souls of the people we knew and loved so well and dearly in the pre-existence. If only we could remember it!

    and i just received my scripture journals yesterday. so funny, we seem to be on the same wavelength here! I'm excited, I have always read the scriptures, but I cannot seem to really get anywhere or get much out of it. I can't seem to make the leap to STUDYING the scriptures. I'm hoping these journals will help.

    Sorry for the novella!

  3. Go ahead and delete this comment:

    I know you used it innocently, and you might already know what it means, but I thought I ought to let you know anyway...

    a 'groupie' is "a young woman, often under age, who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys."

    I LOVE your blog. Thank you for all the wonderful insights! :D

  4. @Debra - certainly, the term "groupie" originated as a suggestive term, but the usage that Heather used is acceptable (and in the context, actually pretty widely used) (see the Merriam-Webster definition for "groupie")

    I believe the meaning has become a lot less suggestive since the 60s/70s. Language changes that way (Me<-- married to a linguist... fortunately, or unfortunately, I haven't decided yet ;) I think to much about language now...)

    In context it is used properly here without any suggestive overtones. It would be completely different if there was no non-suggestive, widely accepted use of the word, and she had used it :)

  5. Debra and Becca thanks for the insight into this word. I did not know that it had another definition. I always just thought it meant a dedicated fan. I have changed the word in my blog post just so that one of my international readers gets confused!

  6. Ok, your Groundhog day traditions are hilarious! Love it!