Monday, December 21, 2009
So I told my sister a while back that all I really wanted for Christmas was socks. And you know what? She got two pair for me!!
When I put the ones on with snowmen, I felt like Dumbledore when Harry asked him what he saw in the Mirror of Erised: A nice pair of thick, wool socks. One cannot have too many, I think is the quote.
Anyway, I'm thoroughly enjoying them and I hope for more in the future!
Oh, by the way, check out Jed's and my blog on what happened for Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Now, of course I would be grateful for that; otherwise, I wouldn't have a job. But really, if you consider my history (the little there is), then you would understand.
Let's go back about 15 years. That would put me in fifth grade, my favorite year. My teacher, Mr. Warner, was the best. He made me fall in love with every subject, including science, and he just brought out the best in me. Well, in our creative writing unit, I wrote a short story called, "The Attack of the Killer Spaghetti." I know, I know, you're thinking "child prodigy" or "future Pulitzer prize winner." Well, that is how Mr. Warner made me feel. He loved this little piece of writing and encouraged me to write more. That was all I need to put my little gears a-turnin' into thinking about a future in writing.
I continued writing short pieces, mostly ideas that would pop into my head, but once I hit high school, the drive and the excitement just puttered and came to a stop. I joined the yearbook staff my sophomore year and wrote that first year and then something happened. I found a passion in photography. I became the assistant photo editor and shot up the whole school and loved it. I knew then I had found my true vocation. I loved processing the film, catching certain facial expressions, capturing the slide into home plate. I realized I was improving and my eye for photography expanded.
When applying for college, I looked at other avenues to help the financial burden I was undertaking. I saw an opportunity to get a scholarship working for the campus paper. I sent in photographs and, because they asked for it, writing samples.
Much to my surprise, I was giving a very nice scholarship to be assistant news editor, a reporting position. I was so disappointed. I complained: I'm not a writer! I felt they were all wrong in their decision. It was so hard for me to pen my thoughts. How was I going to contribute?
I worked on the Scroll my first year. And because of the money, I was there my second year. I served a mission but when I came back, I had a guaranteed editor's position. I still struggled with writing. I didn't loathe it, but it definitely wasn't my friend. Luckily, as an editor, I worked more with writers on their stories and did page layout more than I wrote, but the occasion still called for it. I realized I was pretty good with technical writing, grammar and all that, but creativity still eluded me. But I trudged through it for 4 1/2 years. However, things changed when I did an internship that was mostly reporting. I was surprised to find I enjoyed the writing aspect more than the page layout.
Four months after graduation, I did the only thing I could do: send my resume to a newspaper. What else was I going to do? After some time, I get a call from a lady who works for a weekly paper in Rigby. She offered me a freelancing job reporting a couple of times a week. I was bummed I didn't get a full-time reporting job as I hoped (I shared that with you last time). I've expressed my struggles already on that subject, but I enjoyed it, especially meeting new people.
Now, with my current full time job of reporting and page layout, I am in love. I have written four stories in two days. There was a time when that was impossible for me. I can see now that I have a sense of reporting and I know the questions to ask. I can recognize the important things and I can play on the interesting and unique. Words come much quicker to me. That does not mean that I am in any means an expert. I have a long ways to go to perfect this art. But the object of this post was gratitude. I am so thankful that I have worked to hone this ability and talent of mine. And of course this comes from God. Without Him, I am nothing. But I look at how far I was 6 years ago and where I am now, I have come a long ways.
And this is just one of the things that fills my soul with joy.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Okay I got my excuses out of the way.
I've missed the writing. Well, I've been writing for The Jefferson Star, but not posting on here and that's been depressing. I realize I don't want to post anything when I'm feeling negative so this doesn't turn into ranting. Really - who wants to hear about all the negative things that happen during the week? That would just make you, the audience, sad. So with that said, let me proceed.
All the negative first. Here's a list of things that I can complain about:
- The starter had to be replaced in our little '89 Honda.
- Our ghetto dryer decided it didn't want to work.
- My old roommate found out she was pregnant, but then miscarried shortly after finding out.
- Some good friends of ours are getting a divorce.
- The newspaper and my boss are plotting against me, determined to drive me insane as quickly as possible.
- My church responsibilities grew like 10 times.
- Some of my medication was causing me other negative health issues.
- Jed was taken off a project he's been working on for a few weeks, maybe months, because of some jerk employee that doesn't know how to work well with others.
Lest you think that I want people to feel sorry for us, think again. Jed and I have had some interesting things happen to us within a short period of time, but I wouldn't trade it. Just when I thought I couldn't stretch anymore, I became saltwater taffy (except just not as tasty). When I reached the top, the ceiling moved a few feet more. This extra growth came not from me, but from a greater source. I drew on my faith in God. It may sound trite and simple, but I had to dig inside to find that faith. I prayed with greater intensity. I studied the scriptures with more dedication. My love for Jed and others became deeper. My best was made better. How? I'm not sure and don't think I will ever know. But I'm so grateful to a loving God who saw me in a position to grow and had confidence in me to do it, knowing I would rely on Him.
So looking at that list takes on a different meaning. They weren't negative at all. Merely opportunities. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back or hope that you think I'm cool. I am analyzing the growth I've experienced and hope that I can remember this for the next time.
Now how about a list of blessings?
- We have a beautiful apartment!
This was before we officially moved in - now it has way too much stuff (more evidence of our blessings and generous friends and family)
- My husband is worthy of the priesthood to give me a blessing.
- I have wonderful, supportive family
- Jed and I both have jobs.
- We both have testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Artist: Greg Olsen. Photo courtesy siennasmommy.blogspot.com.
We are blessed in many other ways, and since I don't want to make you jealous, I'll forbear. But when things start to pile up for you, take a look at all the "negatives" and see how really blessed you are and if those negatives can't be changed into a positive.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Now that I'm comfortably settled in my green bean bag chair after eating a quick lunch, my swirling thoughts are dying to by thrown on a post and published for all to see.
I commute from Rexburg to Idaho Falls every day for my part-time job at RFinity (look them up; they're cool!) and so I have 25-30 minutes of listening time. Usually it will be music from Les Miserables or classical music, but lately, I've been listening to something different. One of Jed's cds has a bunch of devotional speeches given at BYU over the years - like waaaaay over the years. Today, I listened to one by Pres. Henry B. Eyring on gift giving. Whether it's Christmas or a birthday, I'm a terrible gift giver. I end up not giving anything to the intended receiver. It's one of my goals to change. Here's what Pres. Eyring said about it:
I've always dreamed of being a great gift giver. I picture people opening my gifts and showing with tears of joy and a smile that the giving, not just the gift, has touched their hearts. You must have that daydream, too.
I know I do. I want to know that the effort that I put into buying or making something will have lasting results. But Pres. Eyring shared a theory he has discovered within expert gift givers that involves three parts:
(1) They felt what you felt and were touched, (2) they gave freely, and (3) they counted sacrifice a bargain.
Here's where you can download the full text of his speech. It was all excellent.
What happened to me, though, by the end of his speech was a change of heart. It caused me to think of gifts that I've been given and how I've received them. I've been given a lot of gifts over the years - many came in the form of time and service to me and my family. I have not always received the gifts as I should have. I think the same thing happens with gifts from God. I don't want to treat lightly anything that comes from heaven.
Now as far as gift giving, my perspective has been modified. According to Pres. Eyring (and many other sources), gifts come in various shapes and sizes, the most meaningful aren't tangible. He mentioned a few gifts through preparations now. For example, I thought of the gifts that I will be giving my future children: a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ through my experiences learned on my mission and other times of trial and error; a testimony sure and steady borne through challenges with others and through a constant study of the scriptures; an open mind to new views through international experiences in South America; a love of learning and ready from many hours spent curled up with a good book; a love of music passed on to me from my mother and through patience of learning the piano. These gifts will come to fruition at different times and in different circumstances, but I'm confident that I am well-prepared to give those gifts. However, there are other gifts that I know I will be in short supply. I'm not sure of what those are yet, so I've got to be extra diligent in recognizing things that I'm not so great in. Math, for example. One day, my kid is going to come to me with a problem that deals with two trains leaving at the same time heading in the same direction, but at different speeds and I'm not going to know if Pi has anything to do with it, or imaginary numbers. I'll just tell him or her, "Go ask your dad."
So to you, dear readers, what gifts are you giving or what gifts do you wish you could give, based on the talk?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I've missed writing so consistently. I think I needed a break from being responsible for something. Especially since the honeymoon last week, my creative juices have taken a break as well. Although, I did have fun with the camera and used my creative eye more than I have in a while. The beautiful creations in nature have this way of calling to us mortals. This happened to me with these flowers at Lake Tahoe...
... and this goose on the shoreline...
...and our feet in the coarse sand (this is my personal favorite)...
...and even man-made things colorful enough to grab the attention like these flags in San Francisco...
...and man-made nature things like this pond in a park in Reno, NV.
But these images are just a few of millions I've filed away for memories. What a blessing to see these things through my eyes. For other pictures, go to the other blog.
As we returned back to reality, my creativity has taken a blow. Even before vacation, I struggled with my articles I was writing for the newspaper in Rigby. They lacked ... something. It wasn't the subject matter, but the content was boring! Each week as I read an article of mine that had been published, I just shook my head and thought, Blech! And I have a degree in this?
It has been disheartening, but also somewhat of a motivation for me to improve. How is the question. How can I improve my writing? How can I garner more passion for this supposed hobby, skill, profession of mine? What am I missing?
I'm going to get to the bottom of this before I quit this freelance job. That's my promise to you, dear readers, and you had all better hold me to it. I sure do need some cheerleaders in my corner.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Let me share with you some of the past, present and the future.
Past: Yesterday, I barely cut my hair into a style a little different than normal. I went for the swoop/side bang effect. Sorry, the picture won't load. I'm liking it so far. Jed isn't such a big fan, but oh well.
Present: I'm a partially working woman. I have been working for a weekly paper in Rigby, Idaho called The Jefferson Star (sorry, no web address) as a freelancer. I've had some wonderful experiences so far and I very much enjoy working on my own schedule. I just wish I knew Jefferson County (the area I cover) a little better.
Future: Tomorrow is my first day as a secretary/admin at Jed's work, RFinity. You can view their Web site here. It's quite exciting, actually, and I'm looking forward to being a part of the company. The pay isn't too bad either and the fact that it's only 20 hours a week is pretty nice too. I'm contracted until January.
Friday, July 10, 2009
On another note, I made my first new recipe. This is how it was supposed to look:
Big, beautiful, perfect.
The recipe can be found there too.
It actually turned out like this:
And here cooked:
Not quite the same, and it was a bit salty. But I still felt pretty exultant at trying something I've never done before!
This is not my exultant face, it's my "It's not quite the same" face. Sans makeup. That's what happens when you stay home all day ...
Thursday, July 9, 2009
One would think that a temple really wouldn't need cleaning due to the meticulous way people behave in the temple. Nonetheless, the temple is wiped spotless (or near spotless) every day.
Jed and I began our weekly janitorial volunteering last night and it was so neat! First off, we had no idea that we would be in charge of a ward assigned for cleaning that night. Not having cleaned the temple before and not arriving early enough for an orientation, Jed and I were given a list of things to do and three volunteers. On the 2nd level of the temple, we set to work and gave jobs to our three hardy workers who were twice our age. They vacuumed, I cleaned the bathrooms and Jed wiped the woodworking.
During my brief stay in the bathrooms spraying all sorts of good smelling cleaners, I felt so privileged to be an "invisible" help for people who come to worship in God's house. I thought if I had come to the temple and saw some dust or maybe a streaky mirror, that just might distract me enough from my feelings. I realized my important role in eliminating possible distractions for others.
I moved on after the bathrooms and started on wiping the staircase banisters. Along the stairs are some windows and I attempted to dust those ledges, but for some, my duster (and arms) were too short. I noticed a dead moth on one of them and tried in vain to remove it. I gave up after a while, making a mental note to get someone with longer arms to take care of that. Unfortunately, the time to clean had ended and I had forgotten about the moth. I cringe now with the thought that I left something undone and hope that someone else found it and has removed it. It made me think again about "moths" that we don't take care of, whether for ourself or someone else.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In the employment sector, I got a surprise call from the company that owns the Idaho Falls Post Register and a couple of area weekly papers. The lady who called me gave me a phone interview right then and there. The position is for a general assignment reporter which would work between the Shelley and Rigby weekly papers reporting on various assignments and then working once a week for the Post Register. Being unprepared, I was nervous during the interview, but gained confidence as the interview went on. I was pretty excited about the idea of working for a newspaper again. I need to keep up my skills.
Other ideas for hobbies that I've had include scrapbooking, sewing and gardening. I've got a basic start on supplies for scrapbooking, and would be most interested in that. As for sewing, I don't have a machine nor do I have a clue what I would be doing! I would need to start out pretty basic for that. Gardening would be a fun outside hobby, and thanks to my roommates, I've started with a tomato plant. Unfortunately, I've not been very diligent with trying to keep it alive. I would be surprised if it produced any tomatoes.
So now I petition all my loyal followers: anyone have any ideas for me on what I should do to fill my time? How have you handled free time in the past?
Monday, June 29, 2009
So here it comes: the post on life after the wedding. What can I say? It was just beautiful. I was so blessed to have so many friends and family there supporting Jed and me.
Friday night, I had my "bachelorette's party," which really was a get together with some pretty fun girlfriends, including my sisters, mother, mother- and sister-in-law. We played silly games and swapped stories about Jed and me.
As we neared the end of the night, Beatriz, Jed's convert who came from New Jersey for the wedding, shared with us a touching story. I asked her why she like Jed so much. She told us how Jed gave her a blessing, helping her through a rough time right before her baptism. She said she gained a testimony of the priesthood because of Jed and his humility. I loved it.
The actual wedding day was wonderful. Of course I felt the normal nervousness and worries that most brides-to-be feel, but I knew my decision was right and that it was the right place at the right time and with the right person. I was so very happy.
Now, real life begins. The engagement was such a pause on real life, and now, we have to hit the ground running. Jed and I have been through so many challenges together already. It's nice to know that we can handle challenges together and with God. Now, I feel complete. I am no longer one person, but part of a whole, and it feels wonderful. This is how God intended for it to be.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Let me explain my job a little bit. I work for Vector Marketing, which is a company that hires anyone over the age of 18 to sell kitchen knives. Note, this is a scary prospect when we try to target people who barely received their high school diploma. And another note, these knives are sharp. I would know and you can see the proof from the nicks on my hands. So when people call me, they are looking for a job.
Working at my new job as a receptionist has opened my eyes to how the "little people" are handled. I know in job searching that you treat the gatekeepers like gold. Receptionists are gatekeepers as well. Treat me like gold, will ya? It's also interesting how people will demand information, thinking that you purposefully denied them such details in the first place. And when they ask you stupid questions, an equally stupid response is justified, right? Well, I hope so. Okay, okay, I know that despite what the other person on the line without a fully functional brain is asking but I end up holding out until they ask the question they should have asked in the first place. Please people! Think things through first!!
Another interesting thought I've had is that maybe I may rush through my script as if I've read it a million times (which I have) and I mumble through some basic stuff, people either don't listen or don't hear me. Whichever it is, it's annoying. Okay, that's partly my fault, yes I admit. But when I think it's been explained and they still ask me what the company does I just want to scream into the receiver, "PEOPLE! IF ONLY YOU WOULD LISTEN TO ME IN THE FIRST PLACE INSTEAD OF PUTTING 'SELECTIVE HEARING' IN GEAR, I WOULDN'T WASTE MORE OF MY BREATH ON THIS STUPID PHONE CALL!"
Okay, yes, I'm going on in a bit of a rant. But I desperately beg people to think twice before opening their mouth on the phone about how they might sound to the poor, emotionally exhausted receptionist on the other end.
For those of you reading this, please take this post in all the humor that I could possibly put in (even though I really do mean this stuff).
This is just a small description of my new "after graduation" job. Yay for having a bachelor's degree!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
In October 2008, I was planning a group date for a friend of mine and my sister and I. The idea was to hook up our friend, Laura with someone who we thought would be good for her. Well, they agreed to go out, Emily had her date and I finally asked out the guy. Saturday rolled around and Emily and I took a trip to Idaho Falls for some grocery shopping. I thought it would be smart to call my date and let him know what we were doing (I really should have done it sooner, but I was procrastinating). I called him and told him I would pick him up around 6:30. He told me that when I asked him out initially I said something about a corn maze and he thought that would be during the day, so he made plans for the evening. I couldn't believe it! It was about 4 p.m. and I had three hours to find a replacement date. I started going through my phone thinking of people to call to ask out.
The next couple of hours were crazy. I asked every guy in Greenbrier who could be found and all of them had plans!! I looked through my phone again with more desperation. Chanae Wilson's name stood out to me and I called her. Amazingly, she knew someone who I could go with and was with him at that very minute. She talked to him with me on the phone and then told me that he was fine with going with me. I thanked her profusely and then she put Jed Roberts on the phone. We finalized the plans, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Fast forward to December. Jed had already gone home with me to meet my family (Thanksgiving). It was my turn. I purchased a plane ticket and flew to Boise, Idaho. His family lives in the suburb of Caldwell. It was so fun! As we met each other's families, we became more and more convinced that a permanent relationship was in the future for us.
At the end of the Christmas break, I prepared to leave the country. See my blog thoroughlymodernchile.blogspot.com for more information on my travels. It was a sad departure from Jed, but the plans had been made long before he came into the picture. I couldn't turn my back on them, so we would just have to endure.
And endure we did. We chatted through gmail video chat and Skype. We were very grateful for technology. The three months came to their end and we were once again reunited. I knew that I had a ring waiting to be placed on my finger so I was wondering how he was going to propose.
On a date that he suggested (hiding Easter eggs), he gave me the "prize egg" and asked me to marry him. I said yes without much hesitation. I prepared myself for that answer. I knew I wanted to be sure when he asked me. I know that he is the man that I want to be my husband. He has a strong testimony, honors his priesthood and honors me. He loves the Lord. He treats me like a queen and I couldn't ask for someone better. I have been highly favored of the Lord with him.
The date of the wedding is June 27, 2009, in Rexburg, Idaho, where we met. We're planning on a reception in Weiser, Idaho (where he grew up), on July 11. Rapid City's reception is July 25.
Finding Easter eggs! I was pretty clever hiding mine up in a tree and in other obscure places.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Yes, I know Valentine's Day has passed, but I read this article on Meridian Magazine and was impressed. The article was about choosing to love someone instead of haphazardly falling in love with someone thinking that it's out of our control. It was funny because I had talked about this previously with a friend of mine. He had proposed to his girlfriend and was telling me the story about how they met and how he felt about her. He said that when they started dating, he was going to choose to love her. I was thinking about my relationship with my boyfriend and was confused about my feelings. My friend said to me that love includes using our agency. It's something we control. I was moved by that thought.
As the article states, Hollywood likes to teach romantic notions that aren't real and makes it seem like there should be some sort of magical spark and if there isn't, then it won't work. I was watching "Sleepless in Seattle" a few months ago and wondered if Jed and I had that spark. After talking with my mom, she put away that notion. Maybe the initial spark is the mutual attraction, but the rest it up to me and my deliberate actions of choosing to love him.
I also thought about others who are around me and loving them (of course I'm not talking about just romantic love), but choosing to love them as well. I think it's difficult to make that decision. I have been lazy in the past with my relationships, especially with people who are difficult to love. I seem to think that maybe tender feelings might just come automatically and that I wouldn't have to give much of an effort. Wrong! I've seen that it's hard work. I wish that I could put more of an effort with each person I know. I have been so blessed by everyone that I know. If we can all work harder and cultivate a good relationship with everyone that we can, I think the world would be a much better place.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Random things about me:
1. I'm addicted to Dave Barry columns. Whenever I'm bored and I'm sitting at a computer, Dave always pops into my head. He is my hero, and I wish I could write like him.
2. When I was younger and my chore was to wash the dishes, I would play "house" with the silverware. I gave them names and jobs. They liked to swim a lot.
3. I hum while I eat. Just ask my family how fun that is at the dinner table. Or my roommates.
4. I love photography. In high school, I was the photo editor of the yearbook my junior year and then editor in chief, but I was still over the photos. I loved learning how to develop photos in a darkroom surrounded by the smells of the chemicals. I thought I would pursue a career in photography, but when I applied for a position on the Scroll, they gave me a writing position and I have never gone back to photography. It's kind of sad. I think I really had a talent for it, but now it's gone unless I work on it.
5. I really like the humidity and I hate dry heat. I think the only reason why I like humidity is because it makes for really great thunderstorms and even tornadoes.
6. In continuation to number 5, I learned from my mother how important the Weather Channel is. When I was growing up, it was our TV's screen saver and we loved it. Whenever there were dark clouds rolling in, we would run to the TV to see what the weather people had to say. Of course they were always showing something going on in East Coast or some big city so we would always make comments about how they liked the bigger cities better than Nebraska. I now frequently check the weather channel on the Internet whenever a storm is threatening.
7. I love smaller towns. I was raised in a town of 55,000 (not too small) in Montana and I loved the size. It was perfect. Then we moved to a town even smaller (7,000), and I liked some aspects of living there but I really enjoy Rapid City, which has a nice size of 65K. I really couldn't live in a metro area.
8. I find myself frequently wanting to express myself in Spanish. Usually it's a word or phrase, but then I lament the fact that the person I'm talking to wouldn't understand me. English sometimes just doesn't cut it.
9. Ever since I was a young girl, I have been drawn to books and movies about World War II and the Holocaust. My fascination started with Anne Frank's diary.
10. Despite being a huge fan of BYU football, I've only been to one of their games. It was against Wyoming in 2004 and we won! But I love college football in general. I really get into the game no matter who's playing.
11. I am a terrible gift giver. I think it's partly my dad's fault because he always encourages gifts of time (especially with gifts for him). But I always have good intentions, but I'll mostly end up giving a gift card.
12. My favorite meal to make is chile.
13. I've been to Europe once and I had so many adventures! I was only 8, but I fell down about 20 stone stairs on a dyke (a canal), a little boy flipped me off on my first day in the community park, I had two boys "fall in love" with me, plus all the normal adventures one has while traversing a new country.
14. One of the jobs I wanted to have when I was younger was a professional baseball player.
15. #14 changed when I saw my potential as a writer in 5th grade. I wrote a short story called "Attack of the Killer Spaghetti." My teacher raved about it, giving me sufficient confidence to want to pursue that career.
16. I've had glasses since the 8th grade and I hate the inconvenience.
17. 5th grade was my favorite year. I was the spelling bee champ, chess champ, capitals and states champ. I also loved my teacher, Mr. Warner, because he introduced me to Bill Nye, the science guy, and to squid dissection. But I also got in trouble a lot for reading books during class when the teacher was talking.
18. I enjoy aerobics, thanks to a couple of missionary companions ;)
19. I just love playing games. My favorite games of all time are Scrabble, Catch Phrase and Trivial Pursuit. I also enjoy card games such as peanuts and egyptian rat screw (or whatever you want to call it).
20. I enjoy fast pitch softball which I played all throughout high school and three semesters worth in college.
21. When I was a sophomore in college, I wanted to be a brunette so I dyed my hair super dark. That lasted for a couple of years, I think before I brought it back to my natural dirty blonde color. I like being the only blonde in my family!
22. I enjoy doing french braids in girls' hair. I felt so proud of myself when I finally learned how to do it on my Barbie!
23. I am enjoying planning my wedding from over 4,000 miles away.
24. I've been playing the piano since I was 5 years old and my favorite songs to play are Pachebel's Canon in D and I Saw Three Ships (Jon Schmidt version).
25. My sisters and I love to wrestle, thanks to our dad who would wrestle with us every Saturday morning when we were younger.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Before I went to Chile, I was in Salt Lake for a week of training for my duties in teaching the Career Workshop. On our last day, they took us on a tour of Welfare Square and the Humanitarian Aid Center. What an experience. I never realized exactly how and what the church did and still continues to do for those in need not only here in the U.S., but also in other countries, not only for members, but those not of our faith.
After our tour of everything (there's too much to tell; you'll just have to go yourself if you haven't been), I was injected with such a fuel to contribute. Not only through the tithes and offerings, but through my service in centers such as those in Salt Lake. Granted, not all of them are as big, but I can still add my little part of the work in Relief Society or whatever it is.
I found this story on CNN.com and thought it really weird. Japan is encouraging their people to have more babies because the birthrate is too low to support Japan's population. Crazy weird! I find it sad as well that the Japanese people have such a work ethic that they can't even find time to have children! Plus the cost of living is so darn high that they feel restricted in doing so. I love how people will listen to their employers more than they listen to God.