Sunday, December 26, 2010

I always knew Parley was smart.

The gift of the Holy Spirit adapts itself to all these organs or attributes. It quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates and matures all the fine toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness and charity. It develops beauty of person, form and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation and social feeling. It develops and invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens, invigorates and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.

Parley P. Pratt, p. 101-102 “Key to the Science of Theology

Random*:  PARLEY is the most popular 15323.rd name in USA. One in every 234,068 Americans is named PARLEY and popularity of name PARLEY is 4.27 people per million.

*So from this info, I gather that if you want to name your baby something uncommon, Parley might be a good name to choose.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Reason

Gets me every time. Every single time.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I am easily excitable.

4 things make me excited:

1)  Finding the candy cane scented pens at Walgreens.  They've had those since I was a kid!

2)  Checking the mail and finding my passport.  Oui Oui Paris here I come.

3)  Making cookies with Jacob and Chloe and surprising their friends.

4) Crazy Target lady commercials:  "Mountain series, level 10, backwards" for getting her thighs in shape for the day after Christmas sale.

At .33 a pop, these are a bargain and a half!
I wish my passport was as cute as this little baby's... but alas, it is NOT.
Jacob & Chloe were masters at making these cookies.
This lady is crazy funny.  She the kind of quirky like Flo, the Progressive insurance gal.
Maybe I'll be her for Halloween next year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last minute shopping? Here's some gift ideas. You're welcome.

For the man in your life.  The one who loves to wear gold chains and big rings.
For your friend who's a fast food addict.
1 gallon of Tabasco for the
spice lover.
For the person in your life who wishes the state fair was year round.
Fish N Flush.  Probably from the same creators as SNL's 'Love toilet'. 
Wee Ninja. Hi-Yah!

For the movie fan in your life.
Last but not least, for the person who already has everything. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Repeat the Sounding Joy

Sounding Joy I'd like to hear repeated:

Duck, DuuuuCuuuK ~Eva

No sing! No sing! ~Isaiah, to me in the car while I was belting out Muppets songs.

Hearing Dan say "Shhhhuuuuuushhhhh" when Jana and I were laughing hysterically while up at the cabin when he was trying to sleep.

Jana:  Goodnight James!
James:  Yeah
Marla:  Laughing hysterically

Eva eating a pear.  Sucking the life out of it.  Screaming when her Mama took it away.

Dad saying:  You're burning the deck! I think you are burning the deck!

Jeff, coming to the waiting room after Reva gave birth to Jacob with tears rolling down his face, telling us "She was such a trooper."

The song I heard in Scotland, at the cathedral in December. The airy music that swirled around the ceiling and echoed into the city.

Most importantly, I'd love to hear the annoucement of the Savior's birth.
Luke 2

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you agood tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

At this time of year, I can't help but think back to my time in Israel.  Sitting in Shepherd's Field overlooking the city and thinking about what great miracles came from the birth of one small child.  I'm so grateful. 

Have a very Merry Christmas.  Love, Marla

Monday, December 20, 2010

I don't get it.

recycling is in.  it's the thing

so, i ask you 'i am not a paper cup', why are you trying to look like one?

makes zero sense to me.  people, if you happen to have one, i will make fun of you.  i guarantee it. ~men's warehouse dude

Friday, December 17, 2010

Excerpt from Segullah

Segullah is a blog for writers.  I love to read the articles.  Maybe it's because of the things the women write about make me pause and reflect on my own life.  Or maybe it's because they are short and my attention span actually lasts until the end of the page.

Here is an excerpt from today's post by Linda.  I have bolded my favorite part. 

"I memorized 2 Corinthians 9:8 recently:

God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work.

This is an exuberant scripture. It uses the energetic word “abound” twice. It is also “all” inclusive. In this short sentence we find the word “all” 3 times, “always” once and “every” once. I love the message.

God energetically gives us every conceivable kind of grace so that everything we try or do or long for is always sufficient. From that pairing of our efforts and God’s grace, we can abound to every good work. This is motivating and inspirational to me. It’s not fraught with anxiety but quells it."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Metrodome? We don't need no stinkin' Metrodome!


Listen people who are not from Minnesota, this is why we talk about the weather ALL THE TIME.  Because this kind of crap actually happens here!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Raising Hope - Babies on TV

Cutest baby on a TV show. 
She wins the award.
I laugh out loud.  Seriously, this show is hilarity at its finest.
Just to give fair warning,
it's a little white trash and inappropriate at times
(Which may be why I laugh so hard).
My other favorite show with a cute baby is Modern Family.
It has really great writing.  Fabulous quotes.
This baby is so cute because all she does
is just sit there and stare at her dads as
they do crazy stuff.

Friday, December 10, 2010

You're killing me Etsy.
We all know I love quirky, unique stuff.  I adore it.  Etsy pulls me in and slaps me on the cheeks and faceplants me onto the internet.  People are so talented! It is so amazing to think of all the creativity in the world.  I admire that quality so much.
PS This is a locket, you can put a scent in there of some sort. I also like it because
it's the tree of life.  I love the story of Lehi's dream.  Such beautiful imagery.

I have also found this lovely pottery.  My HR guy
mentioned that his wife was on Etsy.
Really, beautiful stuff!

What have you found that is lovely,
quirky or interesting on Etsy?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

To Set Sail for the Stars

We embarked on our journey to the stars with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature.

We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still.

We have lingered long enough on the shores
of the cosmic ocean.

We are ready at last to set sail for the stars.

~Carl Sagan

Isn't it wonderful that there's more?  That we have potential to become better and progress?  That we are sons and daughters of the most powerful being in the universe? 

I stand all amazed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

MRI stands for Marla's Radiation Insanity

Ever felt trapped?  Or freaked out?  Afraid of what you might do?  Scared you might cause a scene?


Just schedule an MRI.  That'll do it.  Just like the Men's Warehouse freak, I guarantee it.

I had rescheduled my appointment five times.  Maybe six.  I finally bit the bullet and went.  I'm not claustrophobic.  I'm not scared of medical exams.  I'm not a huge chicken. But some reasons, this procedure really rattled me.

I'm just going to admit it, I am a hypochondriac.  I know it, and family knows it.

So when I'm lying in this loud machine, trying not to move my head, a couple of thoughts entered my head.

1)  What if this machine catches on fire?  (this has happened, ask Kathi! ok it was a mammogram machine but still!)
2)  What if a spider or a rat crawls into the tube and I'm not supposed to move?
3)  What if I start screaming and have a real freak out?
4)  What if I die in an MRI?  How embarrassing would that be?
5)  What if I open my eyes? 
6)  What if the dye from the IV starts burning up my veins and makes my brain explode? 
7)  What if my metal retainer starts to sizzle?  They asked about metal flecks in my eyes but not a retainer in your mouth!

So then my thought process was.... must. not. freak. out. Over and over and over again.

I tried to think of things that were more scary than being trapped in a medical device.  Like jumping out of a plane, which I already did.  That didn't help.  Then I tried to think of my mindfulness tapes and embracing the fear.  The psychologist said to "get comfortable with the pain/fear" and then you would be able to move on.  He says that most times, we fight our biggest fears instead of facing them.  So I embraced the fear but still, I wanted the he*&^ of there, and fast.

Then I thought of a scene from LOST.  :)  I counted to five, embraced the fear, then decided it wasn't that bad.

See?  LOST does have answers to everything. 

And then it was over.

I have never been so glad to leave a doctor's office in my whole life.

Parting words from the MRI tech:

"Thanks for coming in.  Stop in anytime.
Be sure to tell all your friends!  Buh-bye!"

Yeah right, you betcha!

PS There is nothing serious, just a tumor in my ear.  J/K.  No seriously, "it's not a tumah".

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Chain O' Gratefulness

Thanksgiving consisted of a very small gathering this year.  Jana & James (J squared) were playing Scrabble on their honeymoon, extended family was trapped in Rochester, Emily & fam were trapped in Utah (j/k, they live there) and then some were sick or hosting another dinner.  SO, what we ended up with was a family dinner with the Olsons, Marlene & me and my parents. 

So, for a little activity for the kids (and to stop the incessant running around the kitchen and living room) I brought some slips of paper, markers and a bright idea. 

Abundance.  We have such an abundance.  The kids and I sat at the kitchen table and a tiny miracle began to happen.  At first, it was a little slow going but as they got more ideas and thought of more things they were grateful for, their hands couldn't stop writing. 

This slip reads:  "I love Marla".  He thought of this all on his own, no coercion (his arm might be a bit twisted, but there are surely no marks).
Grandma O
They were so proud of their handy work!

Looking over the course of this year, it truly has
been a season of abundance.


overflowing fullness:
abundance of the heart.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people.

Little girls are the nicest things
that happen to people.
They are born
with a little bit of angelshine about them,
and though it wears thin
sometimes there is always enough
left to lasso your heart. . .
-- Alan Beck

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Quirky Family

My dad used to tie the laces on our shoes with 100 knots if we didn't untie our shoes before taking them off.

My mom made a sign for the dryer sheets that said USE ONLY ONE SHEET PER LOAD.

My parents use a baking dish for a bird water dish.  An expensive baking dish, like the kind you buy from Pampered chef. 

My dad collects really ugly hats.  Super ugly.

My mom likes Tiger balm.  It smells something awful but she swears it helps with sore muscles.

 My grandpa Dick always had butterscotch discs in his pocket.  But my dad always has toothpicks behind his ear. 

My grandpa Keith was a tease.  Once we were coming out of a restaurant and nearing the car when he popped open the trunk with his automatic keychain.  My Aunt Marion, who was the closest to the car, screamed and said 'you almost knocked my boob off' in the middle of the parking lot.

My mom ordered her set of china on the internet.  From ebay.  She picked out each plate and she has a lovely collection of them, and none of them match.  This might be my favorite one.

My dad wears Super Mario pants.  In public.

My dad likes to shoot squirrels in the backyard and then he tells us that they are 'sleeping'.

My sister Reva went through a flamingo stage as a child.  We still have proof of it in our storage room.

My dad thinks if you run enough water down the disposal that it won't get clogged up.  But the other day, he put all the potato peels down the drain and it clogged.  My mom laughed.

We had a hamster named Kirby.  He died in the winter.  We couldn't bury him so my mom put him in the freezer.  One day I heard noises coming from inside. 

What quirky things do you have in your family?  Can you top any of these?

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Shopper

I just can't. help. myself.

I love shopping.  I hate to sound shallow, but I know that shopping IS a shallow sport and I make zero excuses.  I like it.  And what I like even more, is a fabulous bargain. 

My sisters may snear at my shopping "anywhere" which includes the Good Will, an occasional dollar store (however I like to avoid these because of the freakiness that abounds) and the infamous Big Lots. 

However, I am also a bargain shopper online.  I research everything before I make a purchase.  I want to make certain that I have the lowest price possible.  I use  There are other sites as well like and regular old Google will pull up shopping lists with prices. 

I came across this site from Nextag:

MovieMars you say?  Never heard of it you reply.  And I say, hey, me neither but it's worth a shot.  Especially since they have my Goonies 25th anniversary DVD and board game for the lowest price.   
How can you possibly go wrong with that?  Ya can't.
I am happy.  And it's all thanks to MovieMars.  Well... only partially I guess, because I have a pretty darn good life filled with awesomeness (thank you Jack Black for that lovely phrase). 


Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a tree

Oh wait.... no, it's just Kermit.

What a lovely Thanksgiving.  I didn't
see him in person, but my friend
Emily did.  And I'm pretty sure she
waved at him for me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Inappropriate or Appropriate? You decide.

A Mountain Dew drinking baby?
Assaulting your brother because
you love him so much?
A slimfast diet for a one year old? 
Look at those sweet cheeks....
TMAT? which stands for  
Too much attention Torture. 

PS No children were harmed in the making of this post.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Conversation Between Sisters

Jana:  What do you think of the name "Cilia"?

Marla:  You do know that's a term from biology right?

Jana:  Marla, I said SYLVIA.

Marla:  That changes things.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Groom's Dinner

Chloe wouldn't eat anything.  Anything.  And let me tell you, there was zero lack of food.  
I couldn't believe how many dishes graced our table. 
It was a serious feast. 
We kept trying to get Chloe to try
something... anything.  It was to no avail...
that is, until the cake came.  We all
watched with amazement at how quickly
she consumed the chocolate cake.
Reva just looked over and said
"She ate it that fast
because she was starving!"

Emily didn't eat the cake.  She just nibbled on Chloe. 
Pregnant women do strange things, what can I say.

The lovely couple.
Such a fun evening!  Thanks family O' James !

More to come.  I have some great pictures from the rehearsal.
Mostly, it's the kids goofing off, sliding on the marble
and assaulting Father Hennepin.

PS Did you notice in the first two pictures a famous person?
George W. Bush was sitting right. next. to us. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Don’t let your worries get the best of you. 
Remember, even Moses started out
as a basket case.

PS:  Do yourself a big, fat favor and don't Google "basket case".  Who knew, who knew.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Point to Ponder

Thou wilt show me the path of life:
in thy presence is fulness of joy;
at thy right hand
there are pleasures
for evermore.
Psalm 16:11

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pretty as a Picture

Jana & James
November 13, 2010
Father Hennepin performed the ceremony. 
He was a little stiff but did a great job. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bridesmaids & Flower girls Overtake Local Salon

Do you like Reva's nails?  
So pretty...
Until you discover
they aren't hers....
New meaning to talk to the (fake) hand.
The little ones had personal dvd players and got their toes and finger nails painted.
Oh dear, I broke a nail.
Little chinese boy in the back
was super darling and excited to have
other kids to play with.
Reva (or maybe a native from Bali?)
& Em, chillaxing.
Kate, The Blushing Bride & Stacy

Thanks Jana, it was wonderful!

PS If you are wondering where to get a fabulous pedicure with the best foot massage in the cities, look no further.  Glamour Nails in St. Louis Park is pretty dang awesome.