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Archive for October, 2008

Football on the Deck!

Tis the season, that’s for sure, a time when the sound that echoes hopefully through the chilled air is “Where’s the boys? Get me the boys!” Followed up with a litany of instructions and a search for cables, hook ups, sound, cords, projector with the screen, or perhaps let’s just move the T.V. “Hey, did any one find out which channel is covering this today…is it on Dish or Direct TV?”

                Next we hear “Who’s on the deck?  Let’s get them going on their job! I want a thorough cleaning.” A wife will step up and offer the pleasantry of “Wow it’s beautiful today.” And then fatefully add, “Are we entertaining?” it’s responded to by a slight whispering sound of a wallet being whisked out of a hip pocket and a flat statement of, “Do you think you could handle getting the wings, and maybe a vegetable plate, chips so that we can munch before the food, and drinks…what do the kids like to drink? Yeah it’s gorgeous, oh! And ice! And send me one of the boys we need to get these heaters working! Sausages are good!”

                Another wife looks the scene over and is given the job of calling “The Guys” this being our married sons, sons-in-law, and other interested parties.

                Before we know it our deck is spilling over with kids and grandkids, cousins and friends, wives and daughters-in-law, oh yeah, and “The Guys”. 

                Life is good, points are made…lungs are exercised and the air is punched.  The volume plus that many people make it so  I can’t make heads or tails of the sports babble other than that great sporting term “We”, and that is being pushed around so much I’m starting to wonder if they are watching themselves on the field.

                As for me I only have one question…When is the Utah –B.Y.U. game? I think I hear a movie calling me that day.

 

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Autumn

It’s funny, but I love the autumn nights as much after dusk as I do the brilliant afternoons.

                It’s the rustle of unseen leaves, dry and moving, as the wind begins to pick up and make its way through shedding branches.

                It’s the warmth of well built houses holding snug all those inside, cocooning us as we go about our activities. You know the ones, teenagers settling into homework (kind of anyway, mixed with a side of Second Dinner spiced with a healthy vibrato of chatter), along with bedtime rituals just about started by the younger set and their mamas, sustained with the rhythm of nightly chores. Windows lanterned not just by light but by family.

                I usually linger on the porch at this time, or stop for a moment coming up our walk. It’s a comforting satisfaction that caresses my spirit buoying me up after a full day. I get to breathe in the breeze mixed with leaves and velvet—the deepest of velvet reserved just for autumn nights.  The type of velvet that holds the stars so close to earth that I know if I but stretch my hand outward my fingers could touch the shine of them. Submitted by ~a womans place~

 

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“The Plural Style”

When you’ve taken on the experience of living in “The Plural Style” odds are you’re going to be connected to a larger than usual family—be it immediate or extended, or as in my case–both.

                With these familial connections comes an array of anecdotes, musings, and insights to human relationships that enrich our days with vibrant color, providing us opportunity to examine and often laugh at ourselves.

                So we here at the Merry Wives Blog plan to present to you some of these happenings to muse your day and welcome you to a glimpse of what our lives have to offer us.

                Thanks for  visiting and we hope you enjoy. Submitted by ~ a womans place~              

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These are questions sent to us in preparation for an interview with CNN International.  We are asked these questions often, and thought it would be useful to answer them on our blog site.

 

How is a new wife added?

Is it similar to dating?

Do the other wives have a say in who is picked?

How are the days with the husband divided?

Is there such a thing as divorce?

How do you handle holidays?

What if a husband shows a preference to one wife?

Is it difficult to finance a household with so many people?

Are there times when you all just don’t get along?

 

Here are the thoughts from a few of us.  Be sure to post your thoughts to this blog as well.

 

Hello….It seems to me that there are so many people interested in the mechanics of how a plural situation works.  I wonder if there is some way to tactfully respond to those kinds of questions.  We look at those questions as very personal to us, and think we need to address them on a level that is understandable to those from different backgrounds and cultures.  What do you think?

 

Thanks, Helen

 

 I agree with Helen, so to me there are a couple of things going on here in our dilemma of providing good answers. 

Our lives take such a labor with the Lord and with our selves that it becomes sacred on many of these points.  How do we honor that sacredness and still dispel the myths and curiosities that are out there.

It’s not to say that the people in general society do not have a serious attitude when it comes to family and the decisions they make as well.  I think for the most part they weigh their lives before they make these commitments. Many look at their capacities in character and finances before they commit to families.  They just do not have the guidance and recourse that we have.

When we have the opportunity to move forward in the increase of our families, or in the instance when our son or daughter feels it is time for them to be married, our first instinct is to turn to the Lord, to get the inspiration that we need and the assurance of things being right and in order.  But even with all that said each case scenario is as different as the individuals involved.  How does anyone find and obtain a mate, or even more so a soul mate?  (And believe you me, I believe in soul mates.)  It pretty much plays out according to the personalities of those involved.

Men are not encouraged to court, nor young girls to entice and part of the reason for this is when you are so serious about God’s will being done in your life you really do not want to be the one who trips up His influence and confuse the parties involved, whether it be yourself, the young lady, or innocent family members.  You want your mind uncluttered so that you can be assured that God is involved.  Now to take this stand is taking the stand that we truly believe in God as our Father, and that He is heavily invested with us, His children, and that we are interested in this relationship with Him.

When this commitment is ready to be examined then the individual brings it to parents, parents and young person bring it to the clergy, they all labor once again with themselves and the Lord to come to inspiration and agreement.  With all parties in agreement then the situation moves forward and the commitment is made.  Here again as many scenarios as there are personalities involved making each marriage unique, individual, and joyful. It is a deeply religious experience and one that is cherished for the rest of our lives.

Now comes the other part of our dilemma, these everyday life questions.  A part of me picks up on the hint that we are just a bit of a freak show and I bristle under that sensation.  Many people we have done interviews with have commented that it is interesting to see the differences in the two lifestyles.  And so it must be to them.  But perhaps I can smooth my bristles and realize here is an opportunity for us to show the “common sense” we share with them on these little details.  How do they handle favorites with children, between spouse and ex-spouses, between grandparents and the “other grandparents”, whose in-laws are we going to put up with this time around?   You get over it. You deal, you weigh the possible outcomes and you grow.  At least those who are interested in a higher quality of life, it all depends on where you are in your life.  Nobody has the answers right up front on anything.  Just ask all the counselors, psychologists, therapists and anybody out there we are all looking for answers to deal with our own perspective of life.  The dynamics play out according to the variety of people involved.

Do we celebrate birthdays?  Yes

Do we celebrate holidays? Yes 

Do we have family vacations? Yes

Do we have bills and debts and worries?  A big YES

Does it all always work out the way we want it too?  No

But the sun still rises the next day, we still get up in the morning and realize we are a family and a community that respects each other, that pulls for each other and that are committed to each other. We are a problem solving people.  We take the task of getting along seriously; we see the benefits of it and are willing to be actualized in it, we look for win-win situations whenever possible.  We do a lot of self examining, introspective analysis, we consider the Lord deeply, we look for answers in the truth and put them to the test.

 But each life belongs to that individual and we are all at different places on the scale.  There is no one size fits all.  All we can do is work together, take responsibility for our actions, and love those that we associate with.  Take my word for it…it does give you life more abundantly.

 

Any way these are my thoughts.  I hope they can springboard some of your own. 

Thanks,

Susan

 

Susan I really appreciate how you articulated some of this. “We are a problem solving people.  We take the task of getting along seriously; we see the benefits of it and are willing to be actualized in it, we look for win-win situations whenever possible.  We do a lot of self examining, introspective analysis, we consider the Lord deeply, we look for answers in the truth and put them to the test. “

The point I got in reading your words, it’s not that we “tolerate” other women in our homes and lives; we grow, benefit, and are blessed by them!  This is a win for us, and we feel the need to make sure it is a win for each other.

-Joyce

 

 

When considering these questions, I had to recognize that this happens differently for each different group of people, and even within our own group the range is huge.  Women come into different families for a wide range of reasons.  Much like women in monogamist relationships, each has there individual reasons for why they chose the partner they did and how it came about that they were married.

 

As far as days being divided; days are divided?  In my experience, I would say that we are in this WITH each other.  If the husband is divided, so are we, and essentially all there would be is plural monogamy, which is pretty unrelated to plural marriage.

 

Is there divorce?  Basically we came into this on our own choosing, we can get out of this on our own choosing, as in any relationship.

 

Do we like the holidays?  I like the holidays, but again the specifics of the holiday rituals would vary from person to person and family to family, just as it would anywhere in society.

 

What happens when a man has a preferred wife?  I agree with Susan, does anyone have favorite children, grandparents, pets, etc.  Some may, if relationships have been soured, but in real circumstances, isn’t it the blessings each add to the relationship that make it special?  Is there really a favorite, or just possible hurt feelings?  Some people may get along better, so appear to be favorites, but that is dynamics of personal relationships, in any culture, in any society, in any environment.  I think in any relationship in any society with wives, children, extended family, etc. people generally learn to appreciate the good in each other and appreciate what each person brings to that sphere.  Can there be a favorite?  Possibly, in some small circumstances, but in general, I don’t see how a man would even want that.

 

As for the finances; each will again be different.  Structures are different, people are different, needs are different.  One thing I believe plural marriage (not plural monogamy) can add is there are more options to be able to put together a more ideal circumstance that can help to provide for that family.  And of course more children are always shown to be a burden by the general populace; they just cannot relate and look at a child as so expensive.  But, in reality, they buy clothes once and throw them or give them away when the child is done with them, in a “more children environment”; we buy clothes once and clothe 4-5 children with them.    And on a side note, in our last interview we were asked how we justify the effects we are having on our environment, i.e. more people create more waste.  Well, in essence, it looks to me that fewer people create more unused waste.  More people have the ability to completely use a product and eliminate the “wastefulness” from the waste, also making it so that a larger family is not consuming as much per person as in a smaller family.  Also, research shows that divorce, which creates a need for multiple households to house the same number of people that were previously housed in one home, has a definite footprint on the environment and resources.  My guess is that if research were done, larger families use far less resources per capita than the average.

 

Are there times when we all just don’t get along?  Does anyone always get along with everyone all the time?  The point is to learn to live with each other and help each other grow, not start out perfected and never make mistakes or have issues.  How does anyone handle their problems in their families, workplaces, etc?

 

Just my thoughts……Looking forward to the responses on our blog.

 

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In September, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings named Masada Charter

School as a 2008 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon School.

One of 320 schools honored, Masada was selected as part of a national program to

recognize successful schools.

“These Blue Ribbon Schools are an example of what teachers and students can achieve,”

Spellings said. “Now our challenge is to help other schools follow their lead by continuing to

measure progress through No Child Left Behind, and by using the knowledge we’ve gained to

replicate effective strategies and help every student improve.”

The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools award distinguishes and honors schools

for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the

achievement gap.

The program honors public and private elementary, middle and high school students that

demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.

Located in Centennial Park, Masada ranks in the top 10-percent of schools in Arizona and

has been labeled as an “excelling school” within the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act.

The school has been invited to present at the Blue Ribbon Awards Ceremony in Arlington,

Virginia on Oct. 20 and 21. The presentation will focus on the significance of their actionresearch

program. Masada has trained a highly qualified staff and links student achievement to

continuing staff development.

“We are excited and honored to receive this award and wish to share this recognition with

our community. Masada’s program is the product of a highly skilled and committed staff, a

dedicated and supportive parent community, and an active leadership team that believes in

putting resources in the classroom,” said LeAnne Timpson, the principal.

The school is located on the Utah-Arizona border and has some 461 students in grades K

through 9.

 You may check out their website at: http://www.masadaschool.org/

 

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The Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 was an especially harsh law aimed directly at Utah Territory’s polygamy. Men went to prison as bigamists and wives were forced to testify against their husbands. The Act abolished the corporate structure of the Mormon Church and revoked women’s suffrage.

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