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Public School Fail: Mother’s Day Report Card

A first grade class at Ridgecrest Elementary in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, (and scads of other schools around the country, too, if the 1,994 downloads are any indication) made a Mother’s Day “gift” to take home. Was it a sentimental card? A loving poem? Perhaps the impression of the child’s hand forever memorialized in plaster of paris? No.

Public School Fail: Mother's Day Report Card

Some teacher (or in this case it may have been Principal Teri Mattson) thought it was a grand idea to have six-year-olds rate their moms on personal behaviors. The “report card” reveals how well “the mom” lives up to expectations! Kids get to rate (with smiling, neutral, or frowning faces) their moms on these items:  [click to continue…]


Maybe I’m weird, but never in my 50 years of Mormondom have I hung my head and cried:

Oh, if only I could have wine with dinner, my entire life would be complete!

Freedom from the Oppression of the Word of Wisdom

Here are some other things I’ve never said:

My life is empty without getting sloppy drunk at least three or four times in my life!

I’ve always wondered what a screaming hangover feels like. Mormons are so deprived!

Coffee. Oh, please heavenly beings, just let me have coffee and I will do whatever you ask of me!

[click to continue…]


Baltimore Problems and Liberal Guilt Assuagement

Sit Down and Shut Up

I’m a pasty white, college educated, middle class, conservative American. Right up at the top I acknowledge those facts disqualify me from having an opinion about anything.

Baltimore Problems and Liberal Guilt AssuagementI am, however, a woman and someone who has experienced hair prejudice. In addition I am 50, taller than average, heavier than a plus-size model, and Mormon. Given those inherent injustices and inequalities, perhaps I will be allowed to use my brain on a matter in which I am not personally involved, yet still concerned.

With that said, I will cautiously proceed.

The Guilt Guidelines

The progressive guilt assuagement pattern is a variant of “symbolism over substance.” It goes something like this:

  1. I feel bad that I have more money or resources or education or comfort or food or whatever than others.
  2. I don’t like to be uncomfortable because of these feelings.
  3. I don’t want to sacrifice my own lifestyle or resources in order to solve the problems over which I feel such shame. (“Shame” being one of my top 100 favorite words of all time.)
  4. Therefore I will promote legislation that redistributes primarily someone else’s resources toward the cause I “care” so much about.
  5. In doing so I feel better.
  6. Whether or not the legislation actually solves the problem or serves a real purpose isn’t relevant—and I refuse to discuss that aspect rationally—because I have done “my part” and therefore am absolved of guilt. And my guilt it what matters.
  7. If anyone tries to rationally discuss the efficacy of my guilt-resolving legislation—perish the thought—I will use my best ad hominem to beat them to a pulp. (Long experience shows that terms that end in -ist and -phobe have the highest probability of shutting down all discussion immediately!)
  8. Party time!

As “the good democrat” said in a (public) Facebook conversation:  [click to continue…]


by Sara Burlingame

The clerk at Kohl’s just cheerfully asked me if I was pregnant. Rather than honk his impertinent nose I just said “no” very carefully and slowly. My “no” had five syllables.

So he followed up with, “Oh, did you just have a baby?”

With the patience of Clytemnestra I said, “No. And you should stop now.”

He asked if I was offended about 50 time. I smiled and said, “Of course not; women love being told they look pregnant.”

This made him break into a relieved smile and say, “Really? Oh good!”

I replied with my best pitying glare, “Of. Course. Not. Just. Stop.”

A gentle reminder: the only appropriate time to assume a woman is pregnant rather than overly fond of her own cooking is when the baby is crowning; no sooner.


It’s Not About That Bass

This isn’t the post I intended to write this weekend. But something happened that pushed it forward.

Translating Gendered DoctrineThe discussion on my recent post Mother: Where Art Thou? took an interesting, but familiar, turn. I intended the post to be mostly a personal expression of how I hoped for more knowledge about my Heavenly Mother and to support Julie de Azevedo Hanks’s music reflecting that goal. But (predictably, I suppose) it has become mostly a discussion of whether and why learning about Her matters at all.

It’s a typical pushback among Mormons. It always looks something like this, “Why are you making a fuss? If the church doesn’t already have it, the church obviously doesn’t need it. If the church needs it, it already has it and you are just too stupid to see it. If the church is lead by prophets and apostles of God, it’s just how it should be.”

Kind of like, oh, the filthy school of the prophets. That presumptive, treacherous Emma, who had to get all up in Joseph’s face about it. As if he didn’t have that whole Word of Wisdom thing already worked out in the Lord’s proper time.  [click to continue…]


Mother, Where Art Thou?

Missing in Theme

Proving again our oddity, Mormons proudly proclaim an acknowledged—but sparse—doctrine of Heavenly Mother. While the thought of a Heavenly Father without a corollary Heavenly Mother “makes reasons stare,” we spend most of our church lives behaving as if she isn’t there. And if she is there, well, she’s auxiliary.

Mother, Where Art Thou?

Even the Young Women theme—the Young Women theme!—ignores her entirely.

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him…

All true, but of all church programs, isn’t Young Women one place where we could—and should—explicitly acknowledge that we are also daughters of a Heavenly Mother, that she loves us, that she was a co-creator of our spirits, that we are created in her image?  [click to continue…]


Paid Menopause Leave – Because I Deserve It

#LeadOnLeave Is Sooooo Darn Awesome!

Recently I’ve seen flurry of sharing of a Valerie Jarrett promoted piece of foolishness. Propagandize government enforced perks and progressives clamor to get on board. Publicize perks for doing nothing—with eeeeeevilllll businesses footing the bill—and they will practically hyperventilate.

Paid Menopause Leave

According to the fallacious video “The United States is the ONLY developed nation WITHOUT paid maternity leave.” Compare that American wasteland to the lustrous and caring Germany—where new mommies get 14 weeks off with full pay— and it’s apparent that we have it bad here in the suckland of the world.


First, let’s be clear that there is tons of maternity leave (including paid leave) in the U.S. of A. It’s just not mandated by the government. You aren’t “entitled” to it (yet) just because you have the ability and wherewithal to conceive a child.

Second, in the U.S. both business owners and employees have (some measure of) freedom. If you want a job that provides 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (read that: 14 weeks that the company has to pay you for not working, just because you want something for nothing—because womb), here are your options:  [click to continue…]


As a blogger and homeschooling mom of six, managing my time is paramount. As someone who loves organizing and planning—unfortunately sometimes more than actually doing the things I’ve organized and planned—I know the value of creating a schedule that will motivate action rather than just look pretty on paper. (Full disclosure: I have Gantt charts to track my kids homeschool work from kindergarten through high school graduation. Yes, I do.)

Increased Productivity With Personalized Routines

In spite of my obsession, I’m not a stickler for very specific routines. Life ebbs and flows and urgencies arrive daily (sometimes hourly). Being able to accommodate those things is as much a part of planning as anything. But having a general framework around which to manage the various moving parts of life is very helpful for getting things done. The best routines are designed to fit your circumstances, personality, family, resources, and goals. The right routine is the one that works for you, motivates you, and takes you where you want to go in your life. Your goal is progress,  not stagnation or regression, with a personalized routine.

If you’re wondering how you can squeeze more of the best things into your days—while still accommodating the necessary and mundane—here are some resources for consideration. I’ll leave my general weekday schedule at the end of the post for your consideration.

[click to continue…]


March/April 2015 Open General Conference Thread

Yes, I know I should have opened this last week with the first session, but I neglected to. Please feel free to add your thoughts about the women’s session or any other session below.

Happy conference and happy Easter!


General Women’s Session

  • Sister Cheryl A. Esplin: “Filling our homes with light and truth”
  • Sister Carole M. Stephens: “The family is of God”
  • Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson: “Defenders of the proclamation”
  • President Henry B. Eyring: “The Comforter”

Saturday Morning Session

  • President Henry B. Eyring: “Is Not This the Fast that I Have Chosen?”
  • President Boyd K. Packer: “The Plan of Happiness”
  • Sister Linda K. Burton: “We’ll Ascend Together”
  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “The Parable of the Sower”
  • Elder L. Whitney Clayton: “Choose to Believe”
  • Elder L. Tom Perry: “Why Marriage and Family Matters”

Saturday Afternoon Session

  • Elder David A. Bednar: “Therefore they hushed their fears”
  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “Why marriage, why family”
  • Elder Wilford Andersen: “The music of the gospel”
  • Elder Dale G. Renlund: “Latter-day Saints keep on trying”
  • Elder Michael T. Ringwood: “Truly good and without guile”
  • Elder Quentin L. Cook: “The Lord is my light”

Priesthood Session

  • Elder M. Russell Ballard: “The greatest generation of young adults”
  • Elder Ulisses Soares: “Yes, we can and will win!”
  • Brother Larry M. Gibson: “Fatherhood — our eternal destiny”
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “On being genuine”
  • President Henry B. Eyring: “Priesthood and personal prayer”
  • President Thomas S. Monson: “The priesthood — a sacred gift”

Sunday Morning Session

  • President Thomas S. Monson: “Blessings of the temple”
  • Sister Rosemary M. Wixom: “Returning to faith”
  • Elder Jose A. Teixeira: “Seeking the Lord”
  • Bishop Gérald Caussé: “Is it still wonderful to you?”
  • Elder Brent H. Nielson: “Waiting for the prodigal”
  • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Where justice, love and mercy meet”
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “The gift of grace”

Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Elder Robert D. Hales: “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom”
  • Elder Kevin W. Pearson: “Stay by the Tree”
  • Elder Rafael E. Pino: “The Eternal Perspective”
  • Elder Neil L. Andersen: “Thy Kingdom Come”
  • Elder Jorge F. Zeballos: “If You Will Be Responsible”
  • Elder Joseph W. Sitati: “Be Fruitful, Multiply and Subdue the Earth”
  • Elder Russell M. Nelson: “The Sabbath is a Delight”

A social media conversation today started with this:

Is there a meme for Men Explain Mormon Doctrine? If not I propose that should be a thing—the tendency for, whenever a woman expresses concerns with some part of Mormon doctrine and culture, some dude to rush in to reassure her that it’s all okay and and then proceed to lay out his entire vision of Mormon Doctrine as though she’d somehow never heard any of it before.

Mormon Feminist MansplainingPredictably, it took just a few minutes for someone to use the word mansplaining to label this phenomenon. And then the revelrous sniggering began. Because, you know, never let a serious male mocking opportunity go to waste.

The term has popped up in hundreds of LDS discussions—mostly surrounding gender issues—the past couple of years. It’s garnered more overexposure than Hillary Clinton. For those of you who have been spared inundation with the vacuous descriptor, you may have reamined blissfully unaware of this critical conversational term. For you, here is the definition:  [click to continue…]