Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tiger Moriancumer

Having a cat in the house really changes things. I think it's definitely made the three of us (me, my sister/roommate Betsy, and Kyle) a lot more responsible. Who knew that owning a cat for four days would change someone so much. But I love being a mommy! So far, anyway...

So Tiger was a perfect angel the first night Kyle brought him home. We found out that he's house-trained (perk!) and that he is very cuddly. He was the best cat anyone could ask for!

Four days later, Tiger has shown us that he does scratch furniture afterall. We've been very lucky to catch him at it early--we sit in the living room a lot, so we stop him before he even starts sometimes. Kyle read somewhere (he's been reading up on cats a lot lately, now that we have one) that cats hate the smell of citrus spray, so he bought some citrus room spray from Wal-Mart the other day and sprayed down the furniture with it--it's done a little in helping Tiger to stay away! The point of this (instead of just hitting him or throwing him off) is for him to think that it's not fun at all to scratch furniture as opposed to it's not fun to scratch furniture when people are around. By deterring him from coming near the couch altogether (instead of just when we're there), I think it'll take care of his scratching when we're out.

We also discovered that cats hate the feel of aluminum foil on their feet, so we put aluminum foil down along the floor around the corners of the couch. It helped--Tiger wouldn't step on it! But he'd stretch over it to reach the couch, which is why we needed the spray.

Tiger also eats more than the average cat, I think. He eats like it's his job! He goes through a whole bowl of food a day (lots more than my parents' cat does) and when he's out of food, he begs at the table. Especially for Arby's food. And when he doesn't get it, he thinks it's okay to jump on the table to see what we have! He's not jumped on surfaces very often (I think his last master didn't like that too much, either), but I've had to keep him off the kitchen counters once. Cats do not belong on tables, counters, or other surfaces! If you let your cat up on any of these things....gross!

Kyle and I worked together to give Tiger a bath on Monday...that was interesting. He was actually very well behaved, and I emerged with no scratches or bites (I did the primary lathering and rinsing) but my shirt was SOAKED. When they say cats hate water, they hate water! I've never been cruel enough to shove a cat in a bathtub when I was a kid, and I'm awfully glad I didn't!

Kyle continues to be amazed by Tiger's cleverness and agility--he's never owned a cat, you see, so he's always surprised by how high he can jump, how far he can stretch, and how stealthy he is. This, of course, is old news to me. I don't underestimate Tiger. He's an interesting little kitty. He might be cute and cuddly (he's taken to crawling on my chest and licking my cheeks when I'm busy reading), but he also likes to playfully bite at your feet--which is something Kyle discovered during a nap!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Worthiness Interviews, Recommends, etc.

So on my wedding website (, if you're interested) I've recently noted the preparation that Kyle and I have made to be able to go to the temple to be married for time and all eternity. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and even though I try not to talk too much about the wedding on this blog (that's what the wedding blog is for!), I want to make an exception! Worthiness has been on my mind a lot over the past few months--and it should be, seeing as if we want to be worthy to be sealed, time is running out to sufficiently repent if there is something amiss!

When Latter-day Saints go to the temple, they must hold a temple recommend, obtained by an interview with the bishop and stake president (our local church leaders). Kyle and I have scheduled a meeting with our bishop for our temple recommend interview this Sunday and have now finished the pre-endowment section of the temple prep classes (the final class happens after the wedding). I'm actually very, very, very happy to be going to see the bishop and have a worthiness interview--it's such a good thing to be worthy to go to the temple. In the past, I've had interviews with the bishop for a temple recommend that is good for a year--these recommends are for doing baptisms in the temple ONLY. Since we will be getting endowed and married, the temple recommend will expire every two years, but the process of obtaining this one is a little bit different...we have to go not only to our bishop (the leader of our local church unit) but also to the Stake President (the leader of our stake, which is a cluster of local units). We must have a worthiness interview with both of them in order to obtain a temple recommend that would gain us entrance for the endowment and sealing (marriage) ordinances. For those who are unfamiliar with what's all involved in a worthiness interview, here are a few basic facts about worthiness, recommends, etc.:

1) You must have a temple recommend to be able to go to the temple, which means that contrary to what everyone thinks, not every Latter-day Saint is automatically able to go there. We believe that when the Lord gives much, much is expected in turn, meaning that if you have a testimony of the truths of the gospel, the Lord holds you in higher accountability to follow those truths than those who do not have a testimony of the gospel. Would you punish a four-year-old child and a fourteen-year-old child in the same way if they committed the same offense? Any typical parent or guardian would not. Neither would the Lord hold those responsible for a lack of knowledge. Latter-day Saints have knowledge of the restored gospel, and it is their duty to adhere to the commandments given by God. This is why it's not enough to just be a member of the church to be able to enter the temple--the Lord's house is about more than just "belonging" to a certain religion.

2) In order to determine whether or not a Latter-day Saint is worthy to enter into the House of the Lord, he or she is "
asked searching questions about his or her personal conduct, worthiness, and loyalty to the Church and its officers. The person must certify that he or she is morally clean and is keeping the Word of Wisdom (no drugs, alcohol, coffee, tobacco), paying a full tithing (10% of annual income), living in harmony with the teachings of the Church (Law of Chastity is a big one), and not maintaining any affiliation or sympathy with apostate groups. The bishop is instructed that confidentiality in handling these matters with each interviewee is of the utmost importance" (Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple--my comments added in parentheses).

3) I've been asked how the bishop (or stake president) would really
know if I'm being truthful about my responses to obtain a temple recommend. Couldn't I just lie if I wanted? I could. But what good would that do? I might be able to deceive the bishop, a person who is human and imperfect, like me. The Lord, however, knows all things and will not be mocked. If I obtained a temple recommend and used it without being worthy, I will not receive any blessings from the covenants I've made until I am worthy. Covenants must be kept to receive blessings from the Lord--if we disregard our promises, the Lord is not bound to uphold His. At baptism, we covenant to follow the principles of the gospel, and if we do not, then we receive considerably less blessings from the Lord.

4) You don't just get one shot at the interview! If something is amiss in the patterns of your life, the bishop will help you resolve it. This is what he has been called to do! After you have sufficiently repented and prayed, you may return for another interview. Just because you might be kept from a recommend once does not mean you can't get one a little later. This also works in reverse--just because you have a temple recommend does not mean that it cannot be taken away if your actions are not in accordance with gospel standards. Recommends must be renewed every two years, so regardless of whether you have had reason to not use your recommend, it can expire, and you must submit to an interview again.

Kyle and I pray for strength everyday to make righteous choices so that we'll be able to enter the temple confident that we are worthy to make covenants therein. It's not always easy--when you become engaged, it's easy to be tempted in more ways than one! It's very important to us to be worthy in every way before entering the temple, or else we know the blessings promised to married couples will not come to us. As for worthiness interviews, they aren't scary (if everything is as it should be!)...when I'm following the commandments and obeying the Lord, worthiness interviews are a blessing because I receive encouragement and confirmation that I am doing the right thing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's a Boy!

So, again with the excuses. Yeah, yeah, I get it, I suck at keeping blogs. But, to my defense, I've been busy! Working, class, church stuff, date nights (necessary!), wedding planning (the other blog has suffered, too!), the list goes on and on. But yay! Things have not calmed down, but I've found a minute to write! I've been meaning to for awhile.

Okay, first things first. Thank you Kristie and Kim for helping me to change my blog around to make it cuter! I definitely found some nifty borders and little signs for my blog that make it way better than it was before. Awesome.

Second things second. Life is great right now. Kyle and I are preparing to be married, so things are obviously good! We're getting all the wedding planning wrapped up (or are just getting in the middle of it...I don't know). But it's fun! There's a huge list of things to do, though.

Work is great! School is great! The house is great! Kyle's great! And I think we're going to adopt!

So, while Kyle was pushing carts at the Menards parking lot, he found this cat. It's a full-grown, orange-striped male and it was roaming around the parking lot letting kids pet him. Kyle's seen other cats in the parking lot, but he was never able to approach them because they'd just run away. This one followed him around. He said he tried to feed it scraps of food that he found in the parking lot, but the cat wouldn't eat them. He went into the store and got some dry catfood, and then the cat absolutely loved him. Of course, Kyle was too soft to just leave the kitty in the parking lot, so he got him a box and put him in his car until his shift was over.

Imagine my surprise when Kyle came home! I had just gotten home from work myself and was making dinner (healthy macaroni-and-cheese and curly fries) when Kyle came in the back door. I asked him if he got the Christmas tree we'd agreed to get, and he told me, "Yeah, but come out and look in my car." I went to the back door, looked through the window to his car, and saw this cat looking at me from the passenger seat with his ears all perked up.

"Oh my'd a cat get in your car? What's he doing here?!"

I'd tried to talk Kyle into adopting a cat or a dog a few weeks ago, but I knew it wouldn't happen because we're just not home enough to train it. We could never have an outdoor pet--not living where we'll live. But this little guy was a house cat. There were several clues: he followed us around instead of running away, he lets everyone pet him, he knows how to act on the furniture, he's very fat so was obviously well-fed. He's very mild-mannered and polite. He's also a cuddler! We got him some food and water (he loved that), and Kyle went out for some kitty litter and a container (which he definitely knew how to use). We're debating whether or not to keep him, but I think we both really want to.

He's really cute and funny, too. He snores and farts a little in his sleep (Kyle: "Yeah but I do that and you keep me!") and he likes to roll over and over while he's sleeping, too....actually, he fell rolled right off the couch a few minutes ago! He grabbed at the couch and landed on his feet, then got up and sat on his butt for a while all alert-like and watched us until we stopped laughing and went back to what we were doing. Next time, when he got back on the couch to sleep, he didn't lay so close to the edge. Tomorrow we're going to give him a bath and make the basement a little nicer for him to have his litter box. I think Kyle's afraid that he'll be afraid down there, so he really wants to keep him up here. His poop smells sooo bad though, so that wasn't an option!

We've decided to name him Tiger Moriancumer. Tiger is for obvious reasons--he's orange-striped. I really wanted to give him an LDS name, too, and I'm beginning the book of Ether, so I really thought Moriancumer was fitting, seeing as it's the second half of the brother of Jared's name. Whatever. The name is good. Go big or go home!

So he stays for now. We'll watch for any problems, but I don't know that there'll be much, if any.