Archive for December, 2008

Holiday Spirit

new-imagefun-in-snow-december-2006-081Amid the falling snow my heart grows.  The quieting skies settle my fears as the blanket grows deeper.  A white cover hiding flaws, such as outdoor duties that managed to slip the radar or the weed and flower that have become undistinguishable, looking both the same.  Time stands still as home takes on a little more of a haven and family are welcomed in by the fires while nurturing gains a new strength.    It’s time to hunker down, meditate and glow. Gratitude for all around me swells, accepting the laughter spilling inside our doors this being preceded by a flurry of snowballs. 

We have a forest of snowmen interlaced with angels all over the lawns.  Mittens and boots gain heft and weight around the coat hooks.  Cookies and chocolate have the sirens’ call to no particular age.

This is my Holiday Card, my End of the Year Celebration.  Heaven’s little favor to me.  May the Holidays find you with warmth and happiness, and many snowy returns.~written by A Women’s Place~

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This time of year always brings back one particular memory from my childhood.

My cousins – who had a much bigger family than I did – decided they would put on a Christmas program for their parents. The older children were the masterminds behind the project and they did everything. They found the music, assigned parts, and taught the younger children the songs. The two songs I remember the best were “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” They had a great time rehearsing…especially since they got to do it in a part of the house they didn’t usually get to hang out in.

I remember wishing so badly that I was part of a big family and had the kind of comradeship that I saw being displayed amongst my cousins. They had an entire other dimension to their lives that most people could not even imagine. This other dimension was full of mothers providing varied experiences, many resources to draw help from, and a wonderful audience to whom they could showcase their theatrical talents!

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Annual Winter Concert

Centennial Park’s annual winter choir performance added yet another smashing success to its long running track record. The December 11th perfomance included musical numbers that place and incredible emphasis on the beauty of the human voice. Check out this winter production December 12th for its second, and last showing.

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MISCONCEPTION: The polygamist culture is filled with crime, and all people in that culture deal with abuse, violence and coercion.

FACT: As in any society we have dysfunctional members, but it is a misconceptions that abuse of any kind is accepted or condoned.  Plural marriage does not creat that dysfunction any more that monogamy would.

MISCONCEPTION: There is no one to whom to turn to for help within our culture. 

FACT: In Centennial Park there is a network of help provided for those in need.  These include:

Clergy, Nurses, Teachers, Other Members(who are involved in plural marriages and understand needs), Other professionals who are educated and trained to see the signs of abuse and how to deal with them, State agencies when a situation requires it.  We have invited those agencies to help and to provide training. 

MISCONCEPTION: Children in the polygamous culture have no exposure to the world around them and are deprived of a good education.

FACT: Education is very important to us.  The majority of our children complete their high school education and many go on to earn degrees in colleges and universities.  Women are able to do this, even after marriage, because of the support provided in plural families. 

MISCONCEPTION: Polygamists don’t pay taxes and expect to be supported by the taxes of the public at large. 

FACT: The property taxes in Centennial Park are as high as any in the state.  If we neglected to pay our taxes the government would not be any more lenient with us that with any other citizens of the state.

MISCONCEPTION: All polygamist families are on welfare. 

FACT: The service that is most used in our area is health insurance which, as in the rest of the nation, is a real concern.  In a recent panel discussion with the state agencies, we were told that we are under-using the services available to us in Arizona and Utah.

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I just had something happen that frustrates me so much I don’t know what to do.  I’m sure we all remember when the FLDS children were taken from their homes in Texas and the emotional videos of the removal.  Well, my 4 year old happened to see some of the videos the FLDS posted to their site.  I wish she wouldn’t have seen them, but she did and she simply CAN NOT forget them.

Well, we just heard a siren and she asked me, “Mom, what is that noise?” 

I said, “It’s a siren, honey.” 

“Oh, like a cop car?” 

I respond with “Yes, or an ambulance maybe” because I can see that she is getting upset. 

Then, the comment that I knew was coming came.  In a high pitched, worried voice she exclaimed “Mom, I don’t want the cops to take me!” 

I reassured her they aren’t coming for her and redirected her attention to something more pleasant, but my question is, what am I supposed to do?  I would like to teach her to trust law enforcement, but because she saw those videos she is constantly worried that they are going to take her away.  I don’t know how to fix this.

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Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday       epiphanies, thosetranscendentmoments of awe that change foreverhow we experiencelifeand theworld.—JohnMilton


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There is Hope.

Even though our efforts sometimes feel to be futile, there is hope.  It is nice to see that some of the things we have done have caused others to at least take a look.  Kelley Chandler with The Orion wrote the following “Show sheds polygamy stigma, views positives”

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The Quiet before the Storm


A quick snapshot of our table before Thanksgiving dinner. Too short lived, if only we could savor the moment a little longer………maybe next year?


-Tough and Tender


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Thanksgiving Feast

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I know I did.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love having everyone get together and help with the preparations and clean up (and feasting, of course).  Doing dishes is so much more fun with a crowd!  I wanted to get a picture of just the tables, but there were two early birds who were ready to eat and got to the table a full 90 minutes before dinner was ready.

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