Monday, August 25, 2008


My favorite verse of
"Hero" By Superchick.
I love it because it is the blunt truth of our world today.
But be warned- it is definitely blunt.

No one talks to her,
She feels so alone
She's in too much pain
To survive on her own
The hurt she can't handle
Overflows to a knife
She writes on her arm,
Wants to give up her life

Each day she goes on
Is a day that she's brave
Fighting the lie
That giving up is the way
Each moment of courage,
Her own life she saves
When she throws the pills out..
A hero is made.

Heroes are made when you make a choice.

You could be a hero,
Heroes do what’s right,
You could be a hero,
You might save a life,
You could be a hero, (Our time is NOW)
You can join the fight
For what’s right..
For what's right
For what's RIGHT.


If you scroll to the bottom of the blog, the song is on my playlist. I would suggest you listen to it!
You got it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh, was that today?

Woah. What am I doing in this crazy life??
Today, I was awakened all too early for my own good, being begged to take Tim and Amelia back to their moms house, only 20 minutes away..
After only about an hour of them yanking me in every which direction, stealing my blankets & pillow, and nagging at me to get up, I got up.
But of course (and all too conveniently) the car was gone. It was at the Elementary school with my mother, of course.
So we hiked ALL THE WAY up there (okay, so it's only two blocks.. but still!) to get the car.
Anyway, We finally got the car and I took them home.
Then MY adventures began!

Their house is right by the SLCC Redwood road campus- exactly where I needed to go.
So what did I do?
I went, of course!
After only about ten minutes of driving around, looking for where I needed to go and attempting to find a place to park, I was finally able to get out of the car.
..But I didn't. I sat there, with my awesome EFY music on, and prayed.
It may sound a bit weird, I know.. But I don't care.
I was scared! 'College? ME? Oh, no. Not yet.'
But yes, it is time already. After a good 20 minutes, I finally got up the guts to go.
And off I went- to the placement Testing Center.
Sounds exhilarating, I know!
And what did I do?
I took the tests. Yes, all four! Two English, two Math.
What a way to stress a kid out (and YES, I still refer to myself as a kid. Deal with it)!! :P

So, here are the results! ..Or some of them at least.. ;)

By the way, the highest score possible is 120.

On the first English test, I got a 112!
On the second.. a 117! W00t.
If you didn't get the picture..
That means I pawnzorx. Yep, that's right.
The testing lady was even surprised at it! So yeah.. I know my English. (Who'd have guessed?!)
Umm... MATH, on the other hand..
I am going to choose not to disclose, for good reason!
I must admit, I am pretty much the worst math...doer..? EVER.
Like, as in- In all of history. Seriously.
Anyway, after that was over, and I had walked around campus for a bit, I headed off. I sign up for classes tomorrow. Or online tonight.. which I did for one class. :)
And yes, it's nutrition. Of course.
I wish they had a music therapy program there! I am too impatient to wait to go to Utah State.

.. But I digress!
I left the campus and went to Chili's and Ihop. Why?
What? Are you crazy? Do you really think it was to satisfy my inner need for MEATY substances and loaded pancakes??
Sorry to break the news, but it's not happenin'.
No, silly.. I went to apply for a job. Yes, I did!
I hear you can make quite the money waiting tables! haha
Anyway.. Right as I was leaving Ihop, my phone rang.
I rushed straight to the Elementary school and we began tryouts.
Oh, goodness.. I forgot how frustrating it can be at the beginning of the year..
If you don't work with students, let me explain:
You work with them all year, and they just keep improving! By the end of the year, They are totally PROs at it. And they are WELL BEHAVED at the end!
..well, as well behaved as third to sixth graders will ever be!
They have the routines memorized, and they can go every trick you could think of!
I even had two girls jumping rope on pogo sticks in a routine!
So.. that's what you expect at the beginning of the next year.
It doesn't work like that! While some of the kids are the same as previous years, all of my sixth graders are now.. oh, yes.. SEVENTH graders. They have moved on to Jr. High! And now I must find new recruits to fill up the team spots.
I will have 20 on my team this year. The more the merrier?
Ha. I think not!
How can I possibly give individual attention to 20 kids at a time, by myself?
Every year there seem to be more! This will be the fourth year? I think. :P

The first year, there was one little team, maybe eight to ten kids in all. The next year, we broke it into two teams (a top team and a lower team).. Though, of course, we did not let them know those were the categories. "It's totally random!"
There were about eight on each team. I had the lower team. If you don't know, te lower team is more work, for obvious reasons. ...b the end of the year though, my team had exceeded that of the top team! (Go Jiminey Crickets!)

The next year, I was assigned to the top team. How many kids were on it?
15, count 'em. They were all so amazing! And we could work so much faster, since they mostly already knew the tricks, and they were able to choreograph some of the routines with me! Lovely :) And less work for me, woot!

So this year is twenty. I have the top team again, but I'm thinking I want the lower team now.. Why? Well, there are still twenty in it, that's for sure! (yes, forty in all.) I feel bad for the kids who don't make it every year, but there just isn't enough room!
..But again, I digress!
I think I may want the lower team because I feel like I am helping them to learn and grow, I am teaching them, and I can see the spark in their eyes when they get something! It is SO amazing!
As much as I love my top team kids.. They aren't as much fun. They are more fun to watch perform, yes! But they are always like "I already know how to do everything. I'm bored. You should bring us candy since we're amazing and you love us so much. Let's not practice today, we already know it. Can we go home or play a game??"
I DO love them very much! And yes, I'm a sucker, and I take them candy all the time!
And during performances, I feel overly proud of them, and I love the reaction of the people watching! It is truly amazing!
However, nothing really compares to the feeling you get when you can help a child to learn and grow. I can see them do things that they thought they would never be able to do! Doing the lower team, I would often hear an "I can't do it, Mary Lynn!"
..Sometimes, followed by red teary eyes. I would be able to console and help them overcome their fears of not being good enough. After all, I know what it's like!

THAT is what I love most. Showing them that they CAN! If only you could see the look in their eyes when they finally are able to do what they thought they would never do. It is the most amazing thing in the world to see a childs face light up like that!
It may sound a bit stuck-up.. But I feel like I am helping change the world. After all,
Children are the future of our world.

No secrets here!

Well, I guess things don't stay secrets for long with Faith Anne!
Today she made a comment to someone, who I will not name.
"---, Why am I getting so fat? I don't like it."
...Well THAT was straight forward! At least she is honest.
I heard ------ explain to her that when little girls are growing up, sometimes that happens, and it's okay.
"That sounds like a good answer!" I thought
Oh, but there is more.
Faith: "Well how come my friends aren't fat and I am? I want to be skinny."
----: "Well, if you want to look better, you have to watch what you eat! You should cut back on sugars and fats, that will help. And there is something on the back of packages of everything that tells you how fat it will make you. It's called "Calories". The higher the number of calories, the more fat it can make you, especially if you aren't exercising enough. So if you watch those and count them up every day, you can know if you are eating so much you are going to get fat, or so little you are going to get skinny."

NOT cool to tell a nine year old! She shouldn't be worrying about that!
Does -- really want ANOTHER child in their life with an Eating Disorder?
I would think one wold be enough.. But hey, what do I know?
Of course, I took her aside myself and talked to her.
"Eat when you are hungry, and stop when your tummy says you are full. Don't eat when you are just bored. Listen to your tummy, it knows what it needs! Trust it. If your stomach tells you that you are still hungry after you eat something, it's okay to eat a little bit more!"

"Remember in october when I left and was gone for a few months? You had to visit me in the hospital, and I had a tube in my nose and down my throat?
Well, do you know WHY I was sick, and I had to have that icky tube? It's because I wasn't listening to what my body was telling me to eat. I was ignoring it! I know, how SILLY of me! You don't want to have to do that, do ya? If you trust your body, you won't have to!"

I then went on to explain that being 'skinny' doesn't mean you are healthy. This was (surprisingly to me) a very hard concept for her to grasp! I explained it to the best of my abilities, but she still seemed a bit dissatisfied with the answer. She wanted someone to give her something more to do to not get fat.
I proceeded to show her the "Nutrition by Natalie" Vlogs on youtube, as I myself have found them to be extremely helpful.

I wish she would jut be happy with who she is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Insecurities of a Nine Year Old

A nine year old girl should never have to feel insecure about herself-
And yet we see it more and more each day. It just isn't fair! A nine year old should be worrying about cooties, figuring out what their favorite color is, getting every Hannah Montana poster known to man, and showing off their scraped up knees, not their self-image!
I say this because I notice my beautiful, innocent 'baby' sister is making comments that I feel a little girl should never make, though it is widely accepted in our society today.
Upon seeing a picture of herself, Faith Anne promptly comments "Ew! Delete it. I look fat!"
Later that day, I take a few pictures of the two of us, as we often do when we are hanging out together.
I take a picture or two, and then notice Faith Anne..
She puts her hands over her tummy and pushes is in with her arms- with a worried, almost scared, look on her face.
My first thought was that she had a stomach ache- But I caught her eye, and that uncomfortable look of distress.. I know it all too well. She did not have a stomach ache. She was squirming, uncomfortable in her own skin.. Examining, poking and pinching, at her own body- and not liking it.

"Just take them of only our faces, okay?" She said, smiling, but with the most concerned look in her eyes I think I've ever seen.
I just about lost it.. but didn't let it show.
"But you're so beautiful, and you look so cute!"
She gave me her "Cut the crap, I'm not an idiot" look, which she gives when she knows we are trying to trick her into believing something she knows can't possibly be true.
"I'm serious! You look gorgeous!"
"No. i don't want to be in the pictures, then."
Needless to say, the rest of the pictures were taken almost exclusively of our faces.
How can a nine year old be so concerned about the way she looks that she doesn't even want to be seen in a picture? What has the world come to when a little girl can't stand the look of herself? It is so sad. I am at a loss of what to do. I want to tell her that it doesn't matter what he world thinks, and to love herself for who she is on the inside.
But how can I possibly do this, when I can't even believe or do it myself?
You learn by others' actions, not by others' words.

The facts:
37% of females age 11, 42% of females age 13 and 48% of females age 15 say they need to lose weight.
Health and Welfare Canada. The health of Canada's youth, views and behaviours of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds from 11 countries. (1992). Anonymous. Ottawa ON: Minister of Supply and Services..

47% of females age 11, 58% of females age 13, and 55% of females age 15 say they would change how they look if they could.
Health and Welfare Canada. The health of Canada's youth, views and behaviours of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds from 11 countries. (1992). Anonymous. Ottawa ON: Minister of Supply and Services.

Two Canadian schools were surveyed, and 50% of girls with HEALTHY WEIGHTS were dieting because they saw themselves as "overweight".

81% of 10-year-olds restrict eating (diet). At least 46% of 9-year-olds restricted eating.
Mellin, Scully and Irwin, Paper presented at American Dietetic Assoc. Annual Meeting. (Berkley study)

52% of girls begin dieting before age 14.
Johnson, et al, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 1984, 13.

71% of adolescent girls want to be thinner despite only a small proportion being over a healthy weight.
Paxton et al (1991). Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 20, 361-379.

The fear of being fat is so overwhelming that when young girls were given surveys, they stated that they are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents.

These are some SCARY statistics. Now I'm not saying, by any means, that Faith has a problem with eating or anything like that- she seems to be fine with it. Nor am I saying that all little girls are going to have a problem like this!
I just think it's so sad what has been drilled into their minds at such a young age.
Childhood should be about being a child!
Gosh, leave something for those teenage years, will ya?

...Just a thought.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

We believe IN Christ, but we often don't believe CHRIST

"We believe IN Christ, but we often don't believe CHRIST"
My amazing EFY counselor, Amber, told us this one night during devotional.
To clarify, we often find it simple to believe in Christ without doubting.. but when it comes to what Christ says, we doubt it.
It leads me to ponder what I truly believe when it comes to that.. I do not doubt that he lives. I do not doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I do not doubt the teachings of the gospel- I believe it with all of my heart.
Why, then, when my OWN worth is brought up, do I suddenly show doubt in him, in his teachings? Why is it so easy to believe him when he says we are all of infinite worth, but when it becomes personal, that I am of infinite worth, The doubt comes on almost immediately, so easily? I can easily see the great worth and potential in others- why, then, can I not see it in myself? Am I the one exception, he one he doesn't love or care about, the one with no worth? I know I am not the only one who feels this way. We all (or a good amount of us at least) feel this way sometimes- each to different extremes, more or less.
Is this considered faith? Believing when it is easy to believe, and doubting when it's not?

Christ knows us each individually- one by one. He believes in us. Each and every one of us. Is it, then, really so hard to believe in him, in his teachings?

"Look unto me in every thought- Doubt not, fear not."
If we looked unto Christ in all our doings, we would not be so insecure about ourselves. Should we not all be able to see what God sees? God sees us- His beautiful children, His beloved sons and daughters with endless potential. Yet we very seldomly see this in ourselves- Some of us, perhaps never at all.

We are doubting. We are Fearing. Does that make us bad? Does that make God love us less? No. It makes us HUMAN!- Sadly, it's is what we do best. We let our minds persuade our spirits that we are less than we are- we let OTHERS' minds, others' mouths, others' actions, convince us that we are not of worth.
But you know what? We are of INFINITE worth! Not just as a people- individually.
Each one of us, individually, is of infinite worth. YOU are of infinite worth. I, Mary Lynn Bennett, am of infinite worth!
..if only we could convince our imperfect minds of this..