On Worship

A few weeks ago, the man who was conducting our Sunday church service welcomed the visitors (normal) and then said he hoped they enjoyed worshipping with us (not as normal).

My brain immediately sprung into action. “Do we worship? Is what we do here in this chapel every Sunday considered worshipping? What do we do that is worshipping?” and on and on. These questions kept churning in my brain. And they stayed there for a few weeks.

See, worship is not a word we normally use in our congregation (or ward, in the LDS vernacular). We sing hymns, take the Sacrament, and listen to talks given by members of the congregation on topics assigned by the leaders of our ward, but what part of that gives way to quiet meditation and thought that I would consider worship?

Obviously, the ordinance of the sacrament is supposed to be a time for that. That is its intention, but as a mother of four boys, my time during the sacrament ordinance is primarily occupied with keeping said boys from pushing each other off the pew.

I have had a wonderful experience during the partaking of the Sacrament. Once. When I was attending another ward without my children. So, I know what to hope for.

Also, the singing of hymns can be a time of worship and reflection, but if your chorister is not really into it, or you have small children, it can be really difficult to get to the place where you are truly reflecting on the words and singing your testimony.

There are occasionally musical numbers prepared that are beautiful and truly bring a spirit of worship for a few minutes, and I can focus on those, but that is not every week.

As these thoughts and questions mulled around in my head, I finally got to the point I was being lead to.

How do I worship?

So the next Sunday, I tried to sing with more heart, to focus on the Savior during the blessing and passing of the Sacrament. Result: my husband noted how much he loves my alto voice (I was singing soprano), and I got about 60 seconds of quiet reflection before my cuties NEEDED my attention. Hmm.

The Sunday after that was Fast and Testimony meeting, and I still had this question plaguing my thoughts. “How do I worship my Savior?” I had started a fast that didn’t really have much purpose, but I had started just the same, and while I was drying my hair, I realized that one way I could worship my Savior was to bear my testimony.

Please know that I’ve never had a problem bearing my testimony. I am more than happy to share it in small, intimate groups or to people who are curious about what I believe. I’ve been told I wear my testimony on my sleeve, but this inspiration was going to take some courage to follow through on.

See, our current ward is twice the size of any ward I’ve ever been in, and even though we’ve been here for over a year, I don’t feel I have a closeness with many people, like I have in our previous wards. So getting up and baring my very personal and sacred feelings to a bunch of people I don’t really know very well is extremely intimidating to me.

It was one of those times when you want to say, “Please, don’t ask me to do that.” But how can I say that when Jesus Christ suffered for me, did ask for the cup to be removed, and then saw the task to the end anyway? Surely I can walk to the front of a very large group of people and say how much I love Him.

So, I did. I didn’t die. I didn’t trip. I didn’t pass out. And I think I even sounded coherent! Except for the crying part, but, you know, some things can’t be helped.

Are there more ways to worship? Thousands. But in this one way, on this particular day, that was how I worshipped.


Thrift Store Finds

I know just as well as anyone that thrifting is hit and miss. For me, a lot depends on the area where I live. There are some great thrift stores where I live now, but I’ve also lived in places where the thrifting was very sad. So, I’m thrilled that I can find things here!

This is the haul from a recent trip to the Goodwill.


I have been searching for a white button up for a while now, so when I saw this one, I grabbed it. There are some braided accents on the shoulders that I didn’t love, and the cheapskate in me wondered if it was worth the $6 to take it home and fix it. But in the end, the desire to end the search won out. I took the braid things off by using a seam ripper and sewed the seams back up with my sewing machine. And now I love it!

The maroon shirt (or whatever the trendy name for that color is now) was a no brainer, because #gocougs. Also, it was half off of $3.99, so even though I took it in about an inch on each side, it was totally worth for $2!

I’ve decided I need to pick up lanterns whenever I see them because I might be starting an obsession there, and the same goes for anything silver, thus the silver butter tray (although this one ended up being silver-plated).

The florally shirt is not me at all, but screamed my sister, so when she stops in next, I’ll see if she agrees with me.

The mask I thought would be a great alternative to my normal witch Halloween costume, and not pictured was a light saber that couldn’t be put down long enough to get in the photo.

Total spent: about $25. (I can’t find the receipt for the exact amount. Story of my life.)

Not too shabby, I think.



Unclogging a Kitchen Sink

There was this one day when life was going along at its crazy, normal clip. I left the husband making salsa to run to get some of the kids from something or other and came home to a backed-up kitchen sink. Fun.

Now, here’s a little explanation about the spouse. He’s amazing. He can fix a tech problem in about 4.3 seconds. He’s the fun one. He changes the oil in our cars and single-handedly planted and kept our garden growing this summer. He does all the yard work.

He’s not handy. He could be, but he doesn’t like it enough to care to try.

I, on the other hand, love power tools and projects. That’s where we stand.

And that’s why I came home to a backed-up sink.

So, I opened the cupboard doors and got to work! It’s definitely not as scary as it sounds.


Hey, there I am! In a grainy cell phone photo! And the bucket full of stuff that came out of my sink! And my son! To whom I was trying to give a little plumbing lesson! He wasn’t excited.


This is what under your sink looks like, unless your house is really old and the plumbing isn’t updated. Then you might have steel pipes and I can’t help you. But if this is what your’s looks like, then we’re in business!


See that bend right there? That’s most likely where you’re having a problem. We’re just going to take that out.

Start by putting a bucket under the bend. Don’t forget this or you’ll be cleaning up a huge water mess.


Then, loosen this joint. You’ll be glad for that bucket right now! Also, you might need some pliers.


Yeah, like those!


Now loosen this joint and prepare for a deluge of water. If the u-shaped piece isn’t free now, just keep loosening those pieces until you can remove the u.

This is where it gets gross. Be prepared. The water that was backed up in your sink will be in a bucket, you’ll have a clogged piece of  pipe in your hands, and pipes are never, ever beautiful things to behold. I think the only time they don’t have a gunk build-up is when they are new in the store.

Find the clog and get it out! It may just fall out on it’s own, or you might have to get a little creative and shove something through there. A plumbing snake would work well. Our clog ended up being garlic skins that the garbage disposal didn’t like.


This is where I was trying to teach my son who had long-ago lost interest and was probably trying not to dry-heave because he takes after his father.

You’ve successfully unclogged your drain! Give everyone around you a high-five!

Now, when you put it back together, be aware of the rubber gaskets. (At this point I’m thinking I should go and take my sink apart to show you all this, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.) The rubber gaskets are what make sure your joints are sealed. The u-bend needs to meet the gasket and then the nut tightens down around it. Make sure you use the pliers for this part. You don’t want to go back under because you’ve got a leak from not tightening the nuts enough. Get both of those joints sealed nice and tight, put an empty bucket under the pipes for good measure, and turn your faucet on. If you’ve got everything back in place correctly, do another round of high-fives! Or maybe knuckle bumps this time. Gotta keep things fresh.

If not, retrace your steps and try again.

It’s really not too tough, right? Gross, yes, but worth a try to save yourself a visit from a plumber!