Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Family Support and Treatment Center, Orem UT

Let's do our part to strengthen families by donating to Family Support and Treatment Center in Orem, Utah. Check out their website to learn more about the services they provide to the community. We can't do everything alone, but together we can make a mighty difference! 

Several years ago I volunteered in their children's center. Foster families can drop their children off for a few hours to go on a date night or get shopping done. Whatever they need. For other children this is a temporary home until they are placed with a foster family. This part of Family Support and Treatment Center is a place where kids can be kids and not worry about anything else. 

For school I have been asked to organize and carryout a service project. I thought about the needs in our community and immediately thought of this great place. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work to provide much needed help. I realize how much I have and how much I am able to give my children. Because I want other parents and children to have the same security, I have to do my little part. Join me in doing our little bit to help strengthen families.  

Below is the list of items you can donate to the Family Support and Treatment Center.
For monetary donations please donate to the fundly.com account.

If you have items I would like to pick up on Saturday, April 18.  If that day does not work for you, or you have more items after that date, just comment on this blog or message me on Facebook.

Food Items (May not be expired; must have original store seal)
** Kids’ snacks (crackers, pretzels, granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.)
** Baby food (jars, snacks)
** Pasta sauce (jars, packets, etc.)
** Box dinners (Hamburger Helper, Pasta-Roni, macaroni & cheese, Rice-A-Roni, etc.)
** Fresh/frozen meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc.)
** Hot dogs
** Frozen dough
** Canned fruit
** Canned vegetables
- Canned chicken/beef
- Cheese (any kind: block, sliced, shredded, string)
- Candy (esp. fun-size) – used for school presentations
- Bread
- Tortillas
- Butter/margarine
- Ready-to-eat nuts
** Grocery gift cards (any $ amount!) – used for   perishable groceries

Cleaning supplies
** Paper towels
** Laundry detergent
** Sanitizing spray
** Disposable latex/rubber gloves
** Pinesol
- Kleenex
- Dish soap (liquid)
- Windex
- Hand soap (liquid)
- Trash bags (kitchen or outdoor)
- Laundry dryer sheets
- Disinfecting wipes or spray (e.g. Lysol)

Office supplies
** White copy paper (8.5x11”)
** Colored copy paper (8.5x11”)
** Postage stamps, any amount
** Bic Wite-Out correction tape
** Small post-its (1.5 x 2”)
- 3-tab manila folders (new)
- Small binder clips
- Perforated writing pads (lined, 8.5x11” or 5x8”)
- Sharpies, black
** Office store gift cards (Staples, OfficeMax, etc.)

Kids’ Items
** Girls’ shoes (sizes 3-7)
** Dollhouse furniture/dolls (new/gently used)
** New toys (still in store package)
** Board games (in good condition)
- Beads (any kind)
- Soccer ball
- Sandbox toys, new/gently used
- Diapers/pull-ups, sizes 3-6
- Baby wipes
- Kids’ paint/paintbrushes (new/gently used)
- Kids’ dress-ups/costumes (new/used/homemade)
- Kids’ craft kits/supplies
- School supplies (pencils, erasers, glue sticks, scissors, markers, rulers, highlighters, calculators, etc.)

** Blankets (any style, any fabric, about 55x70” is ideal but other sizes are also accepted)
** Can opener
** Vacuum (new)
** Crazy straws
** Ice melt (for putting on sidewalks in the winter)
** Fan, any size/kind, in good working condition
** Sprinkler (with hose attachment, safe for kids to play in)
**Combination DVD/VHS player
** CD player (small is best)
** Pruning shears/garden clippers, new or gently used
** Food scale
- Refrigerator (full-size, clean and in good working condition)
- Rakes (for raking leaves), new or gently used
- Duffel bags (new or gently used)
- Small individual toys/treats for prizes
- Walkie-talkies (set of 2+, in good working condition)
**Department or toy store gift cards – we will use them to get therapy supplies or other items we still need
**Any gift cards – we will use them for agency supplies, fundraisers, and donor/volunteer appreciation

Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Memory

   I just thought of the importance of teachers and other authority figures in the lives of children. I have some bad examples from my own life and from my siblings and friends. But this memory is a good one of a good teacher that I really liked when she was my teacher. When she became sick and passed away, I was extremely sad.  I give credit to my third grade teacher for helping to bolster confidence in who I was and who I wanted to be. I appreciate her influence in my life.

   For one art assignment we were to draw trees. I drew a "tiger tree". It was clearly a tree, but it was colored orange and black like a tiger. The other kids made fun of my drawing. I was very sad and thought how lame I was for drawing such a stupid tree. My teacher took me into the hall with my drawing and proceeded to talk about my tree. Why was it bad? What was wrong with a tiger tree? She thought it was creative. Creative was good. Did I have to draw a tree like everyone else? I remember going back into the classroom feeling proud that I was creative, and proud of my tiger tree. I kept that drawing beyond high school.

   I am happy she noticed one sad little girl and took the time to talk to her.

Monday, February 25, 2013

One more chance, again and again

There are several things I have been taught for years as a member of the LDS Church, and our current ward has been a testament to the truthfulness of those teachings.

1. Have your own testimony of Christ and God; Do not rely on someone else.  If I didn't have my own testimony of Christ and what his life and death and resurrection meant to me, this ward would have driven me to atheism long ago. The beauty that I see in Christ's mission: loving the downtrodden, the outcast, the forgotten seem to be lost on this ward. Oh not individually, but too many comments I hear in church bespeak of a mean Jesus who is more concerned with his 401k and wouldn't heal the sick, saying instead, "You did it to yourself."

2. Do your personal scripture study: There have been only a handful of times in the last 2 years that I have left church feeling like I have been spiritually fed and uplifted. Most Sundays I walk home wondering why I am a member of this church. I feel as if spiritual Dementors have sucked me down to an empty, soulless husk of a human, leaving me miserable and hopeless for humanity and the church. The only thing that has helped me are conversations with Loyd and my own ponderings of the scriptures. That has given me enough hope to continue going to our ward and participating in the discussions.

3. Attend the Temple, Remember your covenants: Last May while in Japan, attending church and hearing some of the same awful comments that I heard in Orem, Utah, caused me much grief. If I am hearing the same caustic, uncaring, self-righteous nonsense across the ocean maybe it is a church-wide thing. Maybe this church is not the place I want to be. I struggled and thought about what to do. If 1 and 2 were already happening, then this church really isn't leading me to Christ, but was quite pushing me far from him. So what to do? i prayed and I cried and worried and was lost. And then it came to me to remember my covenants I made in the temple and in baptism. I didn't promise them just to God, but to all humanity. I wasn't sealed just to my husband, but to all humanity. I had to keep striving with the church, with that ward, because they deserved to be loved and cared for because I promised I would do that. They are struggling through this life as I am, trying to make sense of things, just like me, and I have to love them for what they are now, who they are now, not what I wish them to be. I have to accept them as they try, just as the Lord accepts all of us and accepts me as i try and struggle then try some more. He even accepts me when I give up and think it is all pointless and too difficult. So I have to keep attending the temple, to remember all that (and more!).

4. Serve. Serve. Serve.:  This one has been a struggle. I think because it is putting into action number 3, not only knowing it in my heart. It is living the belief. And it is a constant battle to not be what I dislike. To serve and love these people forces me to shelve my bad feelings and give each individual the opportunity to be known as a person. When I serve them I am able to see them as children of God who really want to do good in this life. Writing them off as a bunch of neo-conservative, hyper-capitalist, selfish, unloving bigots is, to date, the most energy expending challenge of my life. But those times where I have been able to stop being the same kind of ass that I despise so much, I have been able to love people and think good thoughts of them. When I have persevered enough to serve, I have been blessed with the peace and understanding that only charity, the pure love of Christ, can give. But it is hard!

I am sure there are many other things that I have been taught throughout my time as a Mormon, but these are the big ones that continually come to my mind. These 4 have given me hope. Every week I write off the ward, every other week I write off the church as a whole, but in the days in between, I remember my lessons. I remember my covenants. And I give it all just one more chance, again and again and again.

This was a post from 2012 that I never posted. I remember that day and I remember that awful cold I had for about 1 month. A few weeks after writing this Loyd and I participated in a 5k and I ended up barfing several times from hacking so hard. That was an awful cold.

Summer 2012
I attempted to get out of the house today and enjoy this amazing weather. It was a great walk, all except for my nagging cough, runny nose, and slight sinus pain. GO AWAY! I stopped 3 times on our little mile walk to hack and wheeze and blow my nose. And continuing to hack all the while pushing Marla along. She enjoyed herself immensely! She just sucked on her bottle, occasionally making a happy sigh. When we arrived home, she looked stoned! haha! She was all limp noodle in her seat, eyes glazed over, with a very contented smile on her face. hahaha! Oh indeed! It was a good walk.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Things Aren't Always What We Were Expecting

The reality of things we want are almost never what we were envisioning. No matter how much advise you listen to, you still have to go through the adjustment periods. And even though you might have what you wanted, you can still have moments of doubt. It doesn't mean you made the wrong choice. Just that when we're struggling we question our judgment. I have personally learned that in these first 3 years of being married and having a baby.

Loyd and I knew one another and dated for a few years before we married. We weathered a whole lot of storms together, and were well aquainted with each others faults. So we thought we had this marriage thing in the bag. No hard first year for us. We didn't have a hard first year, luckily. But we still had to adjust to each other. to living together, to figuring out responsibilities. I don't think he knew just how lazy i actually can be. So it took some time and we had a few pretty enormous fights...ok major blow outs! but only a few, luckily. And I did think "our marriage isn't going to make it." A good friend told me to squash those kinds of thoughts real quick like. And I'm so thankful for her support. Yeah, those adjustments can be tricky.

Loyd and I decided early on, before we were married, that we would follow who ever's career would bring more earning potential. Loyd also took a semester off school so i could finish my degree. (no. i still haven't finished. major chagrin) And then it was time for us to move to California for his school. I loved it. I worked as a tutor for a little bit. Even though we were doing what we had planned, one day I felt like I didn't have a life anymore. I felt like I was being dragged along where ever Loyd's decisions took us. Like I didn't have a say or a choice. We discussed my feelings and it got better. But the point, is that even though we were doing what we had planned, what I had wanted to do, I was caught off guard by what it would mean to pass by my own road not taken. It was hard to realize there were lots of opportunities and things I had wanted that were passing me by.

Marla was another major adjustment. After our first 6 or 8 months, Loyd and I found our groove and fights were few and far between. And when we had them we were pretty good at squashing them. (With a few exceptions lol.) Thankfully, pregnancy wasn't too hard on Loyd. I really wasn't up and down and crazy time with my hormones. But after Marla was born became difficult. First, I had to adjust to being a mommy. I didn't know how frazzeled I would be trying to take Marla to visit my friend who lived in the neighboring apartment complex. I didn't realize how tired I would be after very simple tasks. It took me 3 months before I could leave the house with Marla and not be a mental case. Those crazy adjustments.

Marla was also an adjustment for our marriage. I don't know when i realized it....maybe when we had finally adjusted, but it struck me that Loyd and I had been fighting a lot more. About silly things (of course). But they had become the big, nasty fights again. It took 4 or so months before we figured it out. This time, I never thought our marriage wouldn't work. but I did think I might kill, or seriously injure Loyd (j/k). It all takes time to adjust I suppose.

The final adjustment thus far is being a stay at home mom. I have never liked having a job. I hate working. I never thought I would be a stay at home mom though. I thought I would eventually find a career that wasn't work, but something I loved. I was working with Loyd at the publishers and I wasn't liking it. Loyd and I weren't as respectful to each other as most co-workers are forced to be. I wanted to be spending more time with Marla, not feeding her then ignoring her. Even though she was there in the office with us, I didn't feel like she was getting what she needed or that I was getting what I needed. It worked out that I didn't have to work anymore. And it was a big relief.

I still had to adjust. Wednesday I was pre-preparing dinner and was struggling to contain a mini-melt down. It was almost 3pm and Marla hadn't taken a nap. I hadn't been able to do any house work, or study for a test scheduled the next day. Those 2 to 3 hours of Marla not napping had created much more work for me! I was trying to play with her, but I was frustrated and feeling very panicky about this list of things I wanted and needed to do but wasn't doing!

When Loyd got home I was just barely holding it together. It was about 6pm that I put Marla down, and I finally got to take a shower. Marla still wasn't sleeping but at least she wasn't crying.  I went to bed early that night.

The next day, Marla AGAIN didn't want to sleep! i couldn't get any studying done again! Loyd comes home early on Tuesday and Thursday because I have class. So, i went to class completely un-prepared for my test. Lucky stars! Test was rescheduled! After 2 hours of studying in a quiet place and having class and discussion with adults I went home a completely new woman!  I wanted to play with Marla again! that to do list wasn't killing me anymore.

And then I realized that all week I really hadn't left the house. Normally I go to the gym in the morning, and if that must be skipped Marla and i can take a walk. but this week Marla and I have both been fighting colds(and poor Loyd as well). No gym. And the weather has been a bit rainy and cold. No walks. On Tuesday, I was only in class for 30 minutes then went home all sickly. So no outlet there either.

I am doing what I want. I am a stay at home mom, but I didn't want to be right then. I was thinking about updating my resume, and about finding day care for Marla. If I had to cook another meal or change one more diaper or pick up the same thing one more time I was going to lose it! When I got home from my class, I was finally able to put into perspective my feelings and realize where my angst was coming from. It is SO important to take time for myself! Even 1 hour when I'm not worrying about anything except making 3 miles under 30 minutes, or doing one more set of squats, or jumping a little higher on the next burpee. That makes all the difference in the world! When I can take care of me, I'm not frazzled or crazy... well, as crazy. :) Marla doesn't add work, she just explores and is learning. Any mess she makes isn't a big deal. When my mind is right I notice what Loyd does to help around the house  :).  So, I must remember myself, even when there doesn't seem to be time for me. If I'm not right, then everything is bad (even if it isn't).

I still think it would be nice to work outside the house- maybe part time - on the frustrating days when Marla poops all over the living room and won't take a nap and pulls out all the books for the 5th time. But then like a cleansing rain to my soul, Marla and I go for a run or I do some pilates and I remember that I'm doing exactly what I wanted.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quit it. 'Cuz it's buggin'.

please read with the patented "Breeland Sass":

We all do it. Some more than others. but we need to quit it, cuz it's buggin'. We read something, or see something, or hear something, and immediately try to get our panties in a bunch over something we want to be offended by. Case in point:  "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life."  I saw how those wheels started turning. "oh no she didn't say that! Ann Romney is a good stay at home mother. and i know how much and how hard stay at home mothers work! i'm a stay at home mom! i work like crazy all day and all night long, and i never get thanks for how hard i work! no she didn't say i'm lazy! how dare she say i'm lazy! no body can understand how hard i work! how dare THEY say i sit around and mooch off my husband's work. how dare they try to laugh me out of my life choice! i know what i do matters and is important! how dare they try to get me to change my standards! they want to control how i live and make me live like them! how dare they not respect my choice and let me have that choice!!"  blah blah blah.

well guess what? Nobody has said boo-diddly about anyone being a stay at home mother. Nobody said anything bad about anyone who chooses to do that. what did Rosen say? She made a critique on M.Romney for saying his wife is the one he asks about women's issues in the workforce. The WORKFORCE! No matter how much work we stay at home mothers do, we are not part of the economic workforce. And why is A.Romney not a good person to ask about any workforce issues? Because she has never worked (in the workforce) a day in her life. She does not understand what it means to be a working woman or mother in today's world. Has she even studied the history of women in the workforce? i don't know, but that would at least give her some credibility on the subject.

The point is, don't TRY to get your panties all wedged uncomfortably for nothing. It pollutes the conversation and makes it so we don't talk about real issues. there are lots of real things to jump on a soapbox over; no need to be creating angst where none is.