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Dec 11, 2010

Idolatry

I am a Primary teacher at church, as such I don't get to attend the 'adult" meetings very often, but I received one of those special days and it was so rewarding to me.

I've been reading in the first 2000 years by Cleon Skousen about idolary and the worship of things other than the Lord. So when I attended Gospel Doctrine and the lesson was on Isaiah 40-49 talking about idolary and the things we put before God I was truly humbled.

My hubby leaned over to me and asked me what idols I had. I remarked that I wasn't sure since I'm not rich, famous, don't watch tv, movies, listen to the radio, or own anything worth anything. But our teacher refered us to a talk by President Kimball so I told him I would read the talk and let him know since I am SURE that there are several idols that I need to work on.

The talk is called The False God's We Worship by Spencer W Kimball dated June 1976.

In 1976 I was 3, so that might have been the only time in my life where I was not idolatrous. But as I read his words I was touched as to thoughts that have been stirring in my heart recently.

We have been dejunking our house, again, and again, and again and wondering how does all of this stuff keep coming in..stealing our time and our talents and our energy when it is not important? How do I seem to never have enough time and resources to help others? How do I become a wise steward? How do I teach my children to be wise stewards and to take care of those blessings they receive from the Lord.

President Kimball sure gave a good answer: "The Lord gave us a choice world and expects righteousness and obedience to His commandments in return. But when I review the performance of THIS people in comparison with what is expected, I am appalled and frightened. Iniquity seems to abound. The Destroyer seems to be taking full advantage of the time remaining to him in this, the great day of his power....The Brethren constantly cry out against that which is intolerable in the sight of the Lord; against pollution of mind, body and our surroundings; against vulgarity, stealing, lying, pride, and blasphemy; against fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and all other abuses of the sacred power to create; against murder and all that is like unto it; against all manner of desecration."

I don't know about you but when a prophet says words like appalled and frightened when referring to the saints in the church it makes me a little nervous...and lets be honest this was over 30 years ago, now days you cannot even speak homosexuality without receiving 150000 letters condeming you for preaching the Lord's truth.

Oh, and then he goes on...."That such a cry should be necessary among a people so blessed is amazing to me. And that such things should be found even among the Saints to some degree is scarcely believable, for these are a people who are in possession of many gifts of the Spirit, who have knowledge that puts the eternities into perspective, who have been shown the way to eternal life."

Okay, that one hurts! How can I engage in idolatry with all the blessings I have been blessed with and with all of the knowledge that I have about God's plan and exactly what he expects from me. How could the children of Israel murmur against the Lord when he guided them by a cloud during the day and a pilar of fire at night, when he blessed them with manna for 40 years, and yet they did, and so do I. I too forget my blessings, forget the many mighty miracles that touch my heart, forget the tender mercies He has shown to me and my family.

So, back to my pondering....what do I do about this problem of stuff, money, investments, things of this world? President Kimball does not mince words about this either. Here is the short list of things he specificall pointed out from the talk that we should use our blessings for: "Forgotten is the fact that our assignment is to use these many resources in our families and quorums to build up the kingdom of God—to further the missionary effort and the genealogical and temple work; to raise our children up as fruitful servants unto the Lord; to bless others in every way, that they may also be fruitful. Instead, we expend these blessings on our own desires, and as Moroni said, “Ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not.”

That too may be a little painful as we rush about doing our Christmas shopping and planning and preparations to make a "perfect day" of our own desire. When my blessings should be used to:

Build up the kingdom of God

Bless others

Missionary efforts

Bless others

Temple and Geneological work

Raising Children

I think that all of these categories are listed on my LDS tithing slip

Tithing

Fast Offerings

Ward Missionary

General Missionary

Humanitarian Aid

Temple Construction

Perpetual Education Fund

What a blessing to be able to go each Sunday and pick up a little slip of paper that reminds me of exactly what the Lord wishes me to do with my blessings. And once a month that little slip of paper is even delivered conveniently to my door. Which blessings am I giving back to Him and His work.

President Kimball says many other profound and thought provoking things about the military and service in the church and overcoming our economic weakness' but I don't want to go on and on quoting him, so I'll just share his closing thoughts and a few of my own inadequate and not so profound ones.

"the blessings begin to far outweigh the cost of leaving “the world” behind. Herein lies the only true happiness, and therefore we invite and welcome all men, everywhere, to join in this work. For those who are determined to serve the Lord at all costs, this is the way to eternal life. All else is but a means to that end. "

He says the way to overcome our idolatry is faith. It takes faith to leave the world behind. It takes faith to not worry about the "costs" we face all around us. It takes faith to give our whole hearts and souls to His work...as well as our means, time and talents. I need this kind of faith. I desire to be on the path to eternal life.

If I put something else beside the Lord first in my life it doesn't really matter what it is that I put there: money, prestige, fame, my own plan and desires, popularity, acceptance, the easy way, etc.


So, what is my idolatry? Selfishness, and lack of faith...and a few hundred other things :) What a blessing it is to see my weakness' and to know that the Lord can turn them into strengths and use them for His purposes. I will be praying this Christmas season for a new heart and a renewed faith and a greater desire to put the Lord first in all ways in my life.


Dec 10, 2010

Little Ones


It has been 7 long years since we've had a little one come and bless our family. 7 years ago I had twins. It is a lot of work to have twins. I also had a 4 year old and a 2 year old. It is a lot of work to have twins.

When my twins were 4 I started thinking about maybe having another baby. Our family was so lovely. Two boys, two girls. Everyone had a friend. But I felt that desire, that urge for another little one to come to our home.

But, we couldn't have another. We did all the tests and the doctor all but said...it's not going to happen without medication, surgery, assistance from us. I just wasn't interested in going that route. I decided that the Lord had blessed me with four glorious children and that I shouldn't be greedy in demandind that He bless me with more.

We looked into adoption, we looked into foster care, we kept trying on our own, but nothing changed. For some things it wasn't the right time, for others it was just not an option. Sometimes I would be reminded to count my many blessings and just be grateful.

Then our little visitor came. He is such a joy. He is happy and full of life. And dear hub has just grown attached to this little spirit that has brightened our home. He told me how he had forgotten what it was like to have a little one and how much he enjoyed being a Dad. And then it happened. Two weeks later I discovered the marvelous blessing. We are going to have another little life join our home.

It has been a rough five months. I know, I can't belileve I'm five months along and just now blogging about it, but I didn't want to write about all the hard things and all the sorrow and suffering, so I chose to write nothing...you know that thing your mother always told you, If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all... But I do feel a need to be grateful and to share our joy.

We are going to have a baby girl the first of May. The children are all excited. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time...it has been seven years! It has been like having a first child all over again, we gave away everything so we have been scouring the thrift stores and compiling a huge list of names that will be impossible to choose from. Dud, my 9yo, put the crib together this week and the girls washed and decorated it to perfection. It was fun to work together on a common cause. All my babies were babies together, what a blessing it is to be a family getting ready for a baby together.

Despite all the challenges and trials I am so grateful for this gift from God. He truly is good and merciful and amazes me with His blessings. I am so unworthy of all of them. It is a blessing to be able to look through the bad and the hard and see that it is all a blessing from Him who knows us best of all.

ps. we are only asking for one more small favor...maybe she could have red hair :)

Oct 19, 2010

A Day Off?


I'm sitting in my bed, playing with my blog today....You see, it's my birthday. My children have decided there are two things that they can give to me...a clean house, or a day off. My children don't want to clean the house today, so they've told me I get a day off :)


Ah! How do mothers do it all day without children! :) I have looked at every blog in the universe. Changed my own several times. Deleted over 200 emails and organized 200 more. Listened to several general conference talks, and homeschooling talks, read things I wanted to get read, and taken a nap. IT'S ONLY 11:oo AM!


I remember when I first began homeschooling and was talking with my friend who introduced me to tjed; and I asked her...what do you do when you need a break? She looked at me with a funny look on her face and I realized...SHE DOESN'T NEED A BREAK. How could that be? How could a mother not need to have a break from her children...doesn't she need time for herself, doesn't she need to fill her cup, doesn't she need a break from the work...physical and mental?


I also remember thinking I will never get there. I will never become that person. It took four years, but I remember the day that my husband said...why don't you go out, why don't you visit with your friends, why don't you take a class. And I realized I didn't need to. I don't need a break from my children. I love them. They are a part of me. They make my days full and joyfull. (I do not have perfect children, often their little tendencies drive me a little crazy, they still rough house, make messes and neglect things I think they should do....but I don't need a break from these things) When there is something I don't love about my child I realize what is happening is really that I need to do some teaching, some training, some more loving. You see, I have accepted my role as the mother of this home. It is my job to make my home what I would like it to be. If I am unhappy here it is my job to change it. Needing a break is (for me) just running away from the problems that need to be fixed.


The world teaches us as women and especially as mothers that we are entitled to a break, to do something for ourselves, to go to lunch with our friends, to talk on the phone all day, to escape from our "reality" for a minute, to have "time out for women" (pun intended). But I do not think that is what the Lord teaches us. I know it is not what Julie B Beck, our general relief society president is teaching (since I just finished listening to her talk again). She counseled us not to be "silly" women, she counseled us not to spend money on things which have no value, she counseled us to pray and to read our scriptures. We don't need our mothers, sisters, friends, confidants, neighbors to get those things done. We just need the Lord.


Well, I don't know how much more of this time off I can stand. I think I'll sneak out of my room and see if I get caught....well, maybe after one more nap :)


(disclaimer....I just wanted to point our that I do not think that enriching yourself, going to lunch, talking or the phone, or going to a seminar are evil or wrong or not what the Lord wants. What I do think is wrong is when we put those things above our families or above the Lord and what He wants us to do....in my opinon :) )

Oct 16, 2010

Classics


So, this wasn't the post I planned to write after my long sabatical from writing :) But I have been inspired as I was pondering Misfit Cygnet's blog post from earlier this week. If you don't read her blog, you should!

I left this comment on her blog earlier this week regarding the book Hunger Games. (sorry for those of you who have read it already...but I did change a few things)

I am a recovering Harry Potter addict. I read all of the books several times. I loved them. They were the thing that got me reading again. I loved listening to them. I could answer every question about "Harry Potter-ness." I will admit I was a little ( a lot) obsessed.

AND THEN, and then my eyes were opened to what God teaches about the glorification of priestcrafts and witchcraft.

Morm. 1: 19

19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samurel the Lamanite.


Morm. 2: 10

10 And it came to pass that the Nephites began to repent of their iniquity, and began to cry even as had been prophesied by Samuel the prophet; for behold no man could keep that which was his own, for the thieves, and the robbers, and the murderers, and the magic art, and the witchcraft which was in the land.

My extended family likes to give me a hard time because I used to love Harry Potter and then I quit cold turkey…threw out my books, threw out the movies (this was back when there were only two), and refused to see anymore.

I should mention here...I DO NOT desire to create a Harry Potter debate, or Hunger Game, or any other book that has magic, violence, romance, questionable language, etc. in it. I want to talk about principles. And for me the principle was obedience. God says this is wrong, that this is the power of the evil one, this is a kin to murderer's and thieves and robbers. So for me and my family we choose to believe it is wrong and do not partake.

However, this obedience has created a problem for me, now I am nervous even to read Narnia because of the “magic” and perversions. I cringe when I read the “magic” chapter in the Secret Garden or the inuendo’s in the Giver. It is so prevelant. It is everywhere. So, how do YOU judge? What criteria do you judge your books against?
My daughter received The Bridge to Terribithia for her birthday last year. She read the first chapter. It takes the Lord’s name in vain several times. She said she would not like to read it. I am proud of her for her courage and virtue. However, she now chooses not to read because she is afraid of what she will find. She is sticking with Little House on the Prarie and Anne of Green Gables and I can’t say I blame her. Almost every other book out there is steeped in magic (satan’s imitation of power), romance and/or pornography, incorrect attitudes towards parents and family or gender roles, glorification of self and achievements, etc. It is hard even to find picture books to read to small children that don’t include these over-tones. I once thought they were cute and fun and childlike. Now I understand them for what they are…calling evil good and good evil.

So, I began pondering......what makes a book good? What makes a book a classic? What makes it okay to read? What is the Lord's standard for me. What is the principle?

I have read some books that some consider classics. I will mention two here for the sake of my own personal argument (which may or may not be corect). And as I mentioned above I do not desire to start a dialogue about specific books and if they are good or not. But I thought of two books that I have enjoyed in the past and are "classics" Enders Game and Elantris. Both of these books, in my opinion, contain graphic violence and graphic language. Both also have strong messages about good and bad as well as virtues, friendships, qualities of a good leader, human nature, world views, healing etc.

When (just being honest for myself here)I reflect upon what I learned from reading them.....I did learn things. I learned things about society, I learned things about myself, I learned things about others that I love. My eyes were opened to understand things I didn't understand before. They were also both highly entertaining, quick paced, and well written. I did learn things. I did gain understanding. I did enjoy a good story. The Lord taught me some things from these books that I needed to learn.

BUT...and you'll notice it's a BIG BUT. When I read a classic like Jane Eyre I wanted to be more virtuous. I wanted to be more courageous. I wanted to be strong willed in my desires to keep the commandments...all of God's commands, not just the temptation to avoid immorality. I desire and am willing to sacrifice in order to become that type of person.

When I read The Chosen I want to be a better parent. I want to be a better friend. I want to understand the Jews, and other cultures and beliefs. I want to be vigilant in doing what I know my mission in life is to do and be. I want to read the Bible more and gain greater understanding. I want to become a better person.

EVERY TIME I read these books I am recommitted to those principles, and new ones. So, I may be wrong (as misfit says....I often am :) ) but I think truly to be a classic it must not only change us because we learn grow and have a different perspective, BUT (there's that word again) we must truly come closer to God by reading it. The book must give us courage and strength and righteous desires, and virtue, knowledge and ability to BE better. To be more like God is. It should help us see ourselves and others for who we truly are and who we truly must become. It should leave us wanting more...not because we wish the story would not have ended, but because we have been spiritually edified. Because we have received a new heart. Because we have repented of our lack of faith and understanding. Because for a few pages we were nearer to being who God means for us to be.

I have a new standard. It's a pretty high one. It's a pretty scary one. It's one that is going to take lots of prayer and faith and obedience. But I believe my time here on earth is precious. It is the time for me to prepare to meet God. I don't want to waste it when He can and I believe wants to guide me to something so much greater if I just turn it over to Him.
What books have you read lately that have drawn you closer to God, that have changed your heart, that have inspired you to BEcome?

Aug 27, 2010

The Green River


Our family went on our yearly annual run down the river a few weeks ago. We have rafted down the Green River off of the Flaming Gorge Dam for the past four years. It is a six mile raft ride and it is pretty mild. But I have this one little fault....okay I have more than one.....I do not like water. I am not a great swimmer and I don't have confidence in myself when I am doing any water sport.

So why would we have a family tradition to go down the river every year? Well, my husband LOVES water. He is one of those people who should have been a fish. He would swim every day if we had a pool. It doesn't matter if it is skiing or swimming, or rafting, or canoeing, or jet ski's, anything in the water and he loves it. So I do what any good wife does. I say yes when he wants to go and do those scary water things.

But I've learned something. Doing hard things gets easier over time. I know, you all know this...DUH! But the first time we ever went down the river I was terrified. We had a 7 yo a 6 yo and two 3 yo's. Everyone else at the river thought we were crazy too to bring so many little kids down the river. We asked one of the young men who was just home from a mission to come with us so he could help us paddle and rescue ME if needed. As we headed off down the river we were the last ones in because they didn't have enough life jackets for all our kids...really no one else had little kids. We hurried past all the other people so we wouldn't be in the water fights....that would probably cause our boat to sink! And we avoided as many rapids as possible at my request. It was so bad that our young man asked if he could get out and sneak in another boat...I'm sure we were taking all of the fun away from him. I could not wait for it to be over!

This last time we waited for the whole group to be in the water with us....we never do that, but we were confident that if we didn't want to get wet that we could get away pretty quickly...you see we've all learned how to row together now. We also bring our own life jackets...it's much easier than hopeing your kids jacket will fit. But this year we had many, many kids...even little kids. I was watching and looking at all the families that were there instead of just couples and older teens and I thought...hmmmm mabey we helped with this. Perhaps we helped others to feel like they could do it too. I'm glad about that. I'm glad that others now come as families. We also now take our time. We look for animals, we look at the scenery, we enjoy the rapids and peals of laughter come from the children, we race, we watch the other rafters and the fishermen, we are relaxed. This year at the end I wanted to do it again...lets just haul the boat back up to the dock and go down again.

Things that at one point are hard for us can become easy. We have faith, we trust the process, we know the pitfalls, we avoid the dangers, we come prepared, we enjoy the ride. I am trying to teach myself to feel this way at the point when things are hard for me. To let the stress and the worry and the concern go and just have faith, be patient, go slow, look for the good things around me. For me, this is part of what the Lord wants me to learn...secure not stressed. Things in life are always hard, or troubling, or scary. But that doesn't mean that I have to be ruled by those emotions. I can be calm and peaceful and give love to others even in the midst of the turbulent rapids. Some of this comes from being prepared, most comes from trusting in the Lord, some comes from having hope that all things work together for good in the end, some comes from knowing that I can learn and become more from any adventure we get swept away in.

One of the boats following us this year was a family of 3. A Dad and his two grown daughters. They each had these neat water guns and they had one target...US. About half way down the river we noticed them. We noticed they were sneaking up on us, we noticed that they would laugh occasionaly, we noticed that gleam in their eye. So we named them Sin....not in a mean way, but we talked about how sin is always following us. It is always right behind us. And even when you think you've paddled so far ahead that it could never catch up to you, there it is again. We would row and row and row and they always seemed to be just out of range. A few times I thought they were really going to get us. At one point after paddling so hard and turning around to find them not so far away I thought that I couldn't give much more. Don't we all feel this way in life. Sometimes I feel like I am living in a way that sin can't touch me...but it can. Sometimes I feel like I am fighting and fighting and not getting ahead. Sometimes I feel like I just want to give up and give in and be like everyone else, it would be so much easier just to get wet.

But, we didn't. We prevailed. We gave it our all and paddled hard for 20 strokes. We were near the end anyway...which doesn't feel like the time to paddle hard, but sometimes that is the most important stretch. The part when your tired, when it's been a long haul, when you think...what if we just don't make it. And then you give one more try, you put your heart back into it, you have faith, you turn to the Lord. He picks up the oar and finishes.

I was thinking about why....why do we not want to get wet so badly....well, most of us anyway. My brother has these funny sayings and one of them is, "once your wet, you stay wet." Maybe that is why. Maybe we are afraid of getting wet and staying wet. I know for me this year I was already pretty wet. I had the front of the boat this year and my loving husband in the back decided that he should steer the boat to get as many rapids head on as he could so I could get as wet as possible. A little way down I figured out his evil plan and started counteracting him, but I was still quite wet. It also rained this year. Not much you can do about hiding or paddling away from that. So why not just let Sin soak us? Why not for once in four years be a "wet" boat. Some of it is the thrill that we can outrun someone with all our little kids. Some of it is the fact that my kids tend to cry when someone drenches them...okay, just the one that is like me :). Some of it is that when we are wet many of us don't have enough body fat to produce enough heat and we get cold. But I really feel like it is a choice. We have chosen not to want to get wet (sorry dear). We like to be in control over our boat, over our "wet-ness". We want to choose. Now someday we (I) may give in and decide we want to get wet, but until we make that decision we want to try as hard as we can to stay out of situations where we know we would get wet.

This is kind of like life as well. Sometimes when we get wet it is easier just to go for it and get really wet. Sometimes when we sin it seems easier just to go on sinning. But it can get pretty cold out there in a canyon when the sun goes behind a cloud and your drenched. Sometimes we didn't know the evil plan that was being plotted in the back of the boat, and we got wet without realizing our errors. Some people even just made the choice...lets be a wet boat, and sin is just something they have chosen to be okay with. But there are always consequences. Sometimes we sink our boat. Sometimes we get hurt due to our fun. Sometimes we get lost and disoriented. Sometimes we feel like we can't keep going to the end. Sometimes we forget that there is a way to get dry again....The Son. (sun)

What a blessing it is to have the sun. When it comes out from beind the canyon wall, when you see it's beauty reflecting off the surface of the green, green water. When it's warmth touches you all the way to your bones. When you dry off and feel good and warm again. I love the sun. I also love The Son. He is all things good. He is safety and warmth to me. He is the way I can overcome when I just didn't make it. What a tremendous blessing is the Son of God.
Ah, the lesson you learn from the Green River.

Path of Happiness


A few days ago my good friend posted a post . I was so excited to try her idea. But as with all things I have to tweek them a little :0 ...make them my own.

I have been pondering lately how to do "heart" work and not just "body" work. What this means to me is that I teach my kids to work on their heart and not just on their outward actions. We all have done service, helped a stressed out mom, or made a casserole out of duty before. And I'm not saying that it is bad. But when we do heart work it FEELS different. It is doing something because I really love you and I'm sorry you've had these difficult days, and I WANT to serve you.

I want my kids to do chores because they love our family, because they want to preserve their mother for future generations :), because they want to serve each other and their parents. I want my kids to see a problem and fix it because they are leaders and they want to help. I want my kids to walk into a room and be inspired who to sit by, who needs their help, what God wants them to do in that room...This is heart work.

So, back to the ladder. I decided I was going to make the ladder, we made a cute little car like Milo's in the Phantom Toolbooth (our current reading) and put a little character of each of us in it and make a ladder from-20 to 200

Then each day as we begin a new our path to happiness we "earn" points collectively for:

getting up on time....getting up early earns us happiness because we seem to have plenty of time
in the day to do all of the things we need and want to do

getting chores done on time....getting chores done on time, or in a timely manner earns us all happiness because none of us wants to clean the kitchen all day long! It helps us be motivated to keep going and doing our best.

helping with family work....working together on a project earns us happiness. We have a clean home to live in.

choosing to learn during choices time.....it earns us happiness when we choose to learn, when we choose to spend our time wisely. (Disclaimer....I don't say, "oh, you choose to read today you choose happiness. I ask something like, What did you do during choices time that brought you happiness?...they can get one, or many points depending on what they choose. It makes me happy that they are accountable for the time the spend, as each of us are.)

sacrificing...when someone asks for an extra job, when someone helps someone else with a chore, when someone sees something that needs done and does it that brings lots of happiness...figuratively and actually :)

obedience...when someone obeys promptly we earn happiness. Obedience is the foundation for happiness. We are blessed when we obey.

I also give random bits of happiness when we are feeling happy. Good job helping Bear get dressed. Thanks for answering the phone when I couldn't make it. Thanks for remembering to pick up after yourself. All these things earn us happiness.

Unfortunatly some things take away from happiness.

Disobedience is a big one. No one is happy when we disobey.

Selfishness is another. We loose power when we choose to put ourselves first above God or above others

Bad attitudes is probably our biggest one....not that my kids throw tantrums or are unkind, but even the slightest sign of an unwilling heart can bring so much unhappiness and contention into our home.

It is nice to have a ladder for taking away happiness. I don't have to give a lecture, stand on a soap box, or doll out a punishment. Just a little reminder that we lost some happiness because of a bad attitude, or a lack of obedience.

I do give rewards for earning happiness. When we get to 200 happiness we earn a special outing, a field trip, a dinner out, a special treat.

This system is not for everyone. Hey, it probably won't even be for me in six weeks. But I love that when we choose to use a "chore" system or a "rewards" system it helps if the system has a purpose, has a "why", has a principle behind it. It helps if our system also teaches that we serve, obey, give, bless, and use our own agency to benefit others.

What do you do?




Aug 4, 2010

A New Friend


We've had a sweet little visitor come to our home this past week.

He came on Friday night via a DCFS social worker.
We don't care how he came, only that he came.

He misses his mommy and his daddy. He cries himself to sleep at night, missing them. It is hard to know how to help. I tell him that it is okay that he is sad. That it is okay to miss his mom and dad. I try not to talk too much about where they are or that he cannot see them.

At first he only wants to eat things that have sugar in them. This is a BIG problem at my house. I wonder if he might starve to death before we have him a week. Luckily the bishop's wife decided she wanted to bring us dinner for our new "baby" and she brought lots of bad for you food...pop, jello, and potato chips. All the friends were in heaven. I didn't think it was so great, but since I didn't have to cook dinner I won't complain. It was very sweet of her to be so kind. Today he finally drank a smoothie. Yipee..no one is going to waste away!

He has taken quite a liking to Moo. She is taking the place of his big sister for the time being. She totes him around and reads him stories and changes his diaper...he is 2.

He likes hub. They like to tickle and giggle together. I'm glad when hub comes home and makes him smile.

He sure likes to talk, and talk, and talk. He doesn't stop...seriously! It is fun to have a chatter in the house. We all tend to be a little quieter.

He will be here about 8 months. We found this out today. Guess it's time to bunk the kids beds. Get him on a schedule and work on potty training. I'll have to get the toddler books out again, it has been a while.

I always call my kids friends. I don't call them kids or guys or hey you. I like to refer to them as friends. They are my special friends who I sometimes get to give instructions and teaching to. We are happy to have a new friend join our family for a little while.

Aug 3, 2010

Serving with Joy and Ease


There was a great example in the book Raising Maidens of Virute about a family who takes a journey's to spend the night at another families home and how the family shows them hospitality and makes them feel so welcome.



We talked about some of the things this family did: Smells, Music, Sharing, Food, Cleaning, Extra Special Touches, Offering to serve them, etc.


The we talked about what the girls can do to be more like this in their families.


Heritage Notebook Quote



Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service and character.
William Arthur Ward



I will: (the girls each made a list or a goal of things they would like to do to improve their service to others...their hospitality to others, especially their family)




We talked about how Christ gave service and how Christ was hospitible...he feed the 5000, he washed his disciples feet, he welcomed others to join him, he took time for children. He gave all of himself to others.


Heritage Notebook Quote:
...Cheerfulness will not only carry you over the rough places in life, but will enable you to bring comfort and help to the weak-hearted and will console you in the sad hours.
William Osler



I can: (the girls each made a list or a goal of something that they would like to do to give service to others, like the Savior would)



Hospitality means generously providing care and kindness to whoever is in need
Service is a commonly used term to denote a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it.


What I learned:


I was talking with my kids about this after I read it with my daughter. Did this family just wakeup one morning and decide they were going to give hospitality to others? Did this mom just threaten her kids that they better behave when company was over---or else!? Or did this family just live this way all the time, even when it was just family?


I tend to think it was the latter. If we have good manners in our family, we will have good manners when others come for dinner. If we treat or families in a hospitible way, giving service, taking care of each others needs, putting others before ourselves, then we will naturally do the same with others. If we strive to always have a clean, nice smelling home with soft music playing and delicious smelling cookies in the oven then others will feel this welcome when they visit. It will be serving with Joy and Ease because that will be the way we live.


I do not live this way. I don't make cookies because then I would eat them, I have a hard time keeping up with all the cleaning because there are so many other more enjoyable things to do than scour that bathroom. I have a hard time working on good manners because sometimes that feels like one more thing to give a lecture about. BUT I have really learned this week that I would like to have a family like the one described in the book. I would like to go to my children's home when they are grown and feel the hospitality they give to their children and family and friends. How will they learn unless I set a good example. Luckily I still have time to try harder :)


I also shared with the girls about a time in my life when I was 20 and working as an accountant for a mortgage company. Some of my co-workers were not LDS. One day a friend and I were talking with a young man that had just began working for the company. He asked my friend if she was a "mormon". My friend said yes, and he asked a few questions about the church. Then my friend was teasing him and asked why he didn't ask me if I was "mormon." He said because she screams mormon. My first thought was to be offended....What? I never scream. But then I realized that he could not give me a better compliment. He did not need to ask my what my religion was because he already knew. He knew by the way I lived my life, by my actions and by my words.


This is the way I should live in my family. When others see my family I would like them to know that we are LDS, that we are Christians, that we believe in Jesus Christ and try to live our lives accordingly. I want my family to scream "mormon" because we do and say and show that we believe. It was a good reminder to talk to my kids about what we can do to be more that way. It was fun to have a discussion with these sweet girls about what they can do to be an example of Christ at all times, and in all things, and in all places. Those are not just words, those are beliefs and a way to live our lives each and every day. To serve God and others with Joy and Ease.


Recipe's
Homemade Noodles
2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon canola oil
Directions
Place 2 cups flour and salt on a pastry board or in a deep bowl. Make a well in a center of the flour; add eggs and water. Gradually mix with hands or a wooden spoon until well blended.
Gather into a ball and knead on a floured surface until smooth, about 10 minutes. If necessary, add remaining flour to keep dough from sticking to surface or hands. Divide the dough into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, roll each section into a paper-thin rectangle. Dust top of dough with flour to prevent sticking while rolling. Trim the edges and flour both sides of dough.
Roll dough, jelly-roll style. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4-in. slices. Unroll noodles and allow to dry on paper towels before cooking.
To cook, bring salted water to a rapid boil. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the water; drop noodles into water and cook until tender but not soft, about 7-10 minutes. Yield: 10 servings.


Homemade Sauces....Fettuchini


1/2 c real butter


1 pint (2 cups / 16 fl. oz.) heavy whipping cream


1 tsp. garlic powdersalt and pepper - to taste


1 dash cayenne pepper


2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan OR Romano cheese


-In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter; add cream, garlic powder, and salt and peppers; simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick.-Remove sauce from heat and stir in cheese. Do not heat sauce after cheese has been added.-Serve sauce over hot fettuccine noodles and sprinkle with parsley, if desired.



Marinara
3T olive oil


3 c chopped onion


1T sugar


3T minced garlic (about 6 cloves)


2 tsp salt


2 tsp dried basil


1-1/2 tsp dried oregano


1 tsp dried thyme


2T balsamic vinegar


2 c chicken broth


6-10 crushed tomatoes
Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, cook 4 minutes stirring frequently. Add sugar and next 6 ingredients (through thyme), cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar, cook 30 seconds. Add broth and tomatoes, bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat 50-60 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Yield: about 12 cups sauce





Jul 30, 2010

Bear's




Okay....are you sick of the "girly" stuff yet :)

Lest you think I am completely ignoring my boys. I recently was made a Bear Scout Leader and so I have been busily putting together a schedule for my son to get his Bear

Don't love scouts, don't love the "boy" thing...I'm much better at girls

Do love MY scout, do love spending time with my son....I'm good at academic pins and belt loops


Scout Schedule.....for the parents....till February (It's a good start)

August Faithful people night...Schneersohn's, M L King,
Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, Pres. Monson
List of things to do this week to be faithful...check off and bring back...treat
Faith in God requirements review...bring books
Play kickball outside 15a and Belt Loop and Pin
explain rules to leader
play 30 minutes
pitch, kick, run, catch, throw
explain base running
explain positions
help set up the kickball field
play 5 games of kickball***

August (treat) America is special
write a poem about what makes America special to you
**learn about two famous American's
citizenship discussion....list of three things to do this week to be a good citizen...treat
learn about two older homes in the neighborhood
Play croquet outside 15a

August Family Field Trip: Visit two old homes in your city

September (treat) State's...Pick a state, learn about it's bird, tree, flower, flag, statehood
See a back issue or almanac of the day you were born, 5, July 20, 1969
Drop off and Pick up at the City Library

September Pack Meeting flag ceremony...tell 2 people at scouts they did a good job 24

September Tall Tales Telling
play tall tales game....map where tall tales happened
which one is your favorite?
Play tetherball outside 15a

September Bird watching..binnoculars
Read a book about birds
Wildlife Jobs
Animals that are extinct
take pictures for next time
Physical Fitness Stretches at Park...curl ups, long jump, push ups 16a
Drop off and Pick up at City Park...south end next to city library

September Family Field Trip visit the zoo, nature center, aviary, refuge

October Visit from old cub scout
scrapbook page a scout scrapbook
write a newspaper article about a scout activity for the scrapbook page 18g
talk about journals....keep one for 2 weeks...treat
respect for the past and for elderly people
crab relay, gorilla relay 16c

October Pack Meeting

October (treat) Visit from Bro& Sis M first aid 11
kangaroo relay, 30 yard dash 16c

October Write a thankyou note to M and old scout
Write a story about something your family has done
Talk about honesty
make oatmeal cookies 9a
Talk about resourcefullness...ingredience 21g
dicusss junk food...list 9f

October Family Field Trip Fire Safety Month...check out local fire stations for events

November Make invitation...one for family one for friend to pack meeting 18d
Learn to play soccer 23a
Make Spaghetti 9

November Pack Meeting

November Leadership Lesson 24e
Learn to play Basketball
Make Potatoes and Veggies 9

November Compassion Lesson 24f
Learn to play Volleyball
Make a Dessert 9

November Family Field Trip to City Heritage Museum...8e

December Go Bowling

December Pack Meeting
Christmas Break

January Write down activities for two weeks (treat)
Space
pinhole planetariums(3)
model rocket
talk about satellite's...man made & natural
other planets...difference and similarities

January Pack Meeting

January (treat)Homemade Scout Band
Homemade Instruments
Play Instruments
talent Show...
Name that tune

January Gym Day
balance board
running long jump
tire walk
3 toss games
climbing rope

January Field Trip.. Planetarium

February Map's state touching borders
Find city or town
time zones
make a map to home
mark a map...somewhere you'd like to go 50 miles away

February Pack Meeting
February Indian Lore
Learn about Indians
Build a model of their homes
Play 2 Indian Games

February Magic Tricks
February Field Trip: University of Utah Museum of Natural History...Indian Artifacts.

Other Activities if have extra time: Ride Right
15c...explain how to play a new game with den
16b two person contests
17b game of charades



This personally is my own list of additional things I will be working on with my scout

July Family Travel
Make a list of things to take on a 3 day trip
Figure cost and miles to go to a place...map it, mark it
Research 5 places you'd like to go on vacation...tell your family
Keep a journal of your trip
Play a game while traveling in the car
Review the guide to safe scouting...conduct a motor vehicle check list
Look up a travel web site

August Reading and Writing
Electric Plant Field Trip...FG
identify two constellations
write letter to Brit and Jake
swimming lessons
nature crafts
weed garden, pick up liter
plan and help with north side of house
garage sale
leave no trace
get a library card
Check out books and return books on your card for this month
Write a short story read it to your family
Keep a diary for one week
Locate parts of a book
Read a book to children
Explain difference in books...biography, autobiography, fiction, non fiction
Make a bookmark
Read an article in a newspaper of magazine
write a poem and read it to your family
write a report about something your interested in
create a pretend alphabet and explain it to your family

September Nutrition
Field trip to the burn plant, recycling plant
Plant a tree
Family bike ride
model at park in sand of river, trees, canyon, etc.
Shoping, read labels on canned items, explain what you learn to family
Shop for car
Talk about how we spend money
Figure meal cost
Learn about Indians who lived here
Play 2 native America games
Make an indian shelter model
Library...list of books, why you liked, owned or borrowed, organizing
Nutrition: Poster of good foods for you...vitamins and minerals in each...show to den, what is a fruit, what is a veggie, eat one of each, make a healthy meal at home, list of diseases from not eating healthy , plan breakfast lunch and dinner for a week, make two healthy snacks, Help with garden.

October Disabilities Awareness
Weather monitor....thermometer, rain guage, weather vane
Learn about clouds, learn about barometer and relative humidity
Watch weather for 2 weeks...symbols and correctness
Field trip to tv or radio station
write a letter thanking company for the field trip
Grow in a greenhouse
Visit with someone who has disabilities, attend an event with disabled people, make a poster about disabilities, explain the way people move who have disabilities...try crutches, wheelchairs, scooters, etc. sign the cub scout promise and motto, read a book about a person with disabilities, read about a famous person with disabilities and tell your family about it, for 2 hours be disabled, volunteer to help a disabled person, take a meal to an elderly person,

November...Good Manners and Collecting
watch sport on TV
Ride in an airplane
Photography1 object in the sun, side light, back light, shade, cloudy, mount, gift...take pictures, with flash in house, without flash in house, parts of a camera, benefits of photography in modern art, take 10 pictures, Explain what photography is and how you use light, look at a photography book, good, bad and why, what is red eye, make a short video, use a picture to make an art project, take 3 pictures of same thing with different lenses, visit an art exhibit,
map stuff pg 270
Good Manners....make a poster, Introduce two people politely, meet someone new, introduce self, shake hands, use polite language, yes mom, yes dad, please thank you, your welcome, talk to den about good manners, disuss table manners, talk about and practice good phone manners, good sportsmanship rules and practice with a family game, 5 rules to being polite and respectful in a public place
Collect 10 items, display your collection
Visit a museum collection
Read a book about what you collect
Visit an online auction for items you collect
Create a method for organizing your collection
Explain what numismatics, and philately mean

December: Art
Build a model airplane and fly it
Art projects...Art projects...wire, silhouette, acrylic, watercolor, collage, mosaic, clay,...favorite outdoor location
paper mache masks, paper sack masks of animal or clown

January: Recycling
recycle paper for a month
Water conservation
Energy uses
Go shopping


Other ideas if time: (or if the King (dad) wants to get involved)
plan out your new kitchen
see a model on display?
Team sport...basketball? Individual Sport...ice skating?
radio? Dad?
Electricity? Dad?
invent something that goes? Dad?
fix appliance? Dad?
clean drain trap? Dad?
Repair job? Dad?
Video Games?
Learn about rating systems
make a schedule for when you can play video games...follow the schedule
play a new game approved by your parent
save to buy a video game
compare gaming systems
play a video game with your family
play a game that teaches you math,spelling, typing, etc


This is a list of all the academic pins and belt loops they can earn. Some count for both pins and loops as well as Webelo stuff. I told you I'm good at academic pins and belt loops


Art, artist
Astronomy, scientist
Chess, scholar
Citizenship, citizen
Collecting, Cub, Tiger
Communicating, communicator
Computers, communicator
Disabilities Awareness, Cub, Tiger
Family Travel, cub, tiger
Geography, traveler
Geology, geologist
Good Manners, cub, tiger
Heritages, family member
Language and Culture, scholar
Map and Compass, traveler
Mathematics, scholar, engineer
Music, showman
Nutrition, cub, tiger
Pet Care,
Photography, cub, tiger
Reading and Writing, Cub, Tiger
Science, scientist
Video Games, cub, tiger
Weather, scientist
Wildlife Conservation naturalist


They also have a Cub Scout Sports Program....but like I said I'm not into "boy" stuff

Doing my duty to God and my country, to help other people (the primary president), and to obey the laws of the pack (welllll...most of the time )

Jul 28, 2010

A Sunny Disposition


Sunshine Filling the Whole page....Fill it FULL of things that make you cheerful.


Some were things they gave


Some were things they got


Some were things they did


Some were things they thought




Little Black Rain Cloud on the back...What things make you un-cheerful


Disapointment in Self


Disappoinment in Others


Contention



Sunny Disposition....it's a choice
What can you do when the rain clouds come?


Story about a girl, their age, dying of cancer. Spent her last days knitting hand towels for others. You can always give, you can always be cheerful.


What is a Sunshine Keeper?


What did I learn?

There are things we DO to make us happy....Listen to a book on cd, Read, Cleaning,
There are places we GO that make us happy....Home, Church, Nature, Vacation

There are PEOPLE that make us happy....the Lord, Family, Friends, Visitors


We can GET things to make us happy....gifts, food, treats


We can GIVE things to mae us happy...service, cards, smiles


There are soooo many reasons to be cheerful. It is good to understand a little about ourselves...what makes us cheerful. Some of us need a moment by ourselves to "recharge" others light up when they are in a crowd. Some of us need to give, some need to get. But all of us can choose to be cheerful. We can chose to scatter sunshine all along our way.


Previous to Christ agony and death he told his apostles to be of good cheer. Why would he do that when he was about to suffer as no man has suffered, be betrayed, tortured and die? Because he knew they could choose, and he wanted them to choose cheer. He knew this was a BIG rain cloud coming BUT he continues..."I have overcome the world" We can have ultimate cheer and happiness through the Savior, and His Atonment that we all can, threw Him, overcome the world. We can overcome our little dark rain clouds and bask in the light of His love.


Other Resources: Finding Joy in Life Barbara W Winder, former RS President



Heritage Notebook Quote: So of cheerfulness...the more it is spent, the more it remains


Ralph Waldo Emerson


Tortilla's



10 c Wheat Flour
4 Cups of Buttermilk....1 c water can be substituted for 1 c buttermilk
½ c of Butter
Knead and Soak overnight.
Add 2 tsp of Baking soda
Add 2 tsp of salt
Knead and break into small balls. Roll out with rolling pin or flatten in tortilla press. Cook until brown.


Black Beans
Soak Beans with ¼ cup of whey and cover in 2 inches of water
Rinse beans after 12 hours and soak in whey and water again
Rinse beans after 12 hours and cook in crockpot on low. Add ¼ cup of whey, onions and spices as desired...cover in 2 inches of water.
Cook 6 hours on low in crockpot
Add to rice and corn and heat together. Mash and serve on burrito or tostada


Guacamole
2 rip avacados
juice of 1 lemon
2 T cilantro
mash and mix 1 can tomato paste

Savior of the World Act 1 Scene 2.4


This scene is Mary at Elizabeths home....it is purely fictional, much of the play is, but I always find great truths hidden, especially in the music. But in this scene it is definately in the words.

Mary is embroidering swaddling bands for the baby Jesus....( I recently learned that in Jewish custom it is considered bad luck to plan for what sex the baby might be...even though Mary knew it was a boy...it would have been considered inappropriate for her to make anything but swaddling clothes for the baby until it arrived.)

Mary is struggling with the stiches. She says, "It would be easier if I only had to worry about one side, and not about all the threads on the other." (she is talking her about the front side and the back side of the bands)

Elizabeth replies. "First in your marriage, and then in your home, nothing can be hidden. We must try to make everything beautiful front and back, inside and out."

In the scene Elizabeth is implying to Mary that she needs to be honest with Joseph, but there is great application in these simple words.

Wouldn't it be great if we only had to clean up our yards...mow the lawn, trim the grass, keep it weed free and liter free and then everyone would know that we had the perfect house. Even though the inside could be cluttered, destoryed, filthy. We could assume that since what the world "sees" is in order that what is within is in order.

How about the woman who exercises, eats very little, has plastic surgery, designer clothes, and perfectly weaved hair. Inside she could be depressed, lonely, angry, controlling, frightening. We could assume that since what she shows the world is in order that what is within her soul is in order.

How about a book. Nice cover, hardbound, enticing pictures of action and adventure, on the best seller list. Inside it is riddled with swearing, magic, anti-God theme's, anger towards families, or socialist agenda's. We could assume that since the cover shows the world that this is a great book that what is held in it's pages must be.

Okay, I think you get the point. But isn't this exactly what Elizabeth is saying to Mary. We cannot pretend that everything is great and good and perfect and neglect the inside, the hidden parts that are unseen. "We must TRY to make everything beautiful."

Since I have been studying about marriage lately I thought that this was a good reminder for a marriage. If we only worry about the front side and neglect the back side we are not doing our job. For example maybe a wife is really good about keeping the house clean and tidy and making sure all the meals are made, but she neglects her husband and children to do their own things. Maybe a wife is really good at making time for fun and games and lots of bonding time, but the house is in shambles and no one learns to be responsible for themselves. Maybe she is a great cook, but laundry never gets any attention. Maybe a wife is a concert pianist and spends hours of her time playing the piano while neglecting those who need her time and attention. Maybe a wife is a concientious mother who forget she is also a wife. I could go on and on and on....most of these are me btw :)...but I am not a concert pianist.

We must find balance. I hate it when people say that. Because today's balance looks different than tomorrow's balance. Today I may get to read a book for 5 hours. Tomorrow I may get to clean the house. The next day may be reserved for a bit of bondng and a bit of service and a bit of husband and wife time. Each day must find the right amount of balance. We must work on the back and the front; the inside and the out.

I think the most important thing that Elizabeth tells Mary is that nothing can be hidden. This is not an excuse to dump on your husband when he walks in the door so that nothing will be hidden. It just mean that the Lord sees all that we think and feel; and if what we are thinking and feeling and doing is not right before His eyes, or before our eyes then we need to turn to Him. We need to ask Him to help us make it beautiful. The Lord will magnify our weakness in stiching just as He will in temperment, in personality, in desire and in willingness. We can turn to Him to help our work become beautiful.

Elizabeth ends by saying to Mary, "You're ready (to tell Joseph) because you know you need the Lord." We are ready to be made beautiful, and to make beautiful things when we know that the Lord is the only way we can accomplish all the things we need to do in this life, and all the things we want to do.

Savior of the World Act 1 Scene 2.2

My little moo is too cute in this scene where she(Anna) and Mary discuss marriage. I think all big sisters should have these kinds of conversations with little sisters. Just like a little girl Anna is amazed by all the beautiful things surrounding a marriage...where you'll live, the big wedding party, the beautiful dress. And then Anna realizes that she will be loosing a sister, and Mary realizes this is the end of her growing up stage. A beautiful time shared with sisters.

These wonderings cause Mary to pray and then she has her beautiful conversation with Gabriel.

Mary sings a beautiful song called Look on Me This Day, where she ponders the things that have happened and the feelings in her heart. But admist all these emotions she only feels to Praise God's name from day to day, for always.

Okay, so here is my most controversial opinion so far, and it is just an opion. I have no scriptural basis to back it up, none at all.:
So I have been thinking about Mary. And from what I believe about Mary she was as pure and true and obedient and virtuous a lady that ever lived. THEN, (To the views of an outsider) She becomes pregnant while being unwed. I am sure that it brought her much comfort that she was pure and true and obedient and virtuous in the sight of God. But what persecution did she have to suffer, what looks came her direction, what gossip was spoken behind her back, what fears and sorrows did she carry in her heart because of this blessing and trial. How hard it would be to be Mary, to be judged, scolded, ridiculed by others who did not know, who did not understand. And yet...this woman who was the most pure, the most true, the most obedient, the most virtuous may have been treated just the opposite. She may have been treated as one who commited a great sin, she may have been looked down upon, she may have had to endure great social persecution. And yet I am sure she endured with all the attributes of a true daughter of God. Sometimes the Lord test our greatest strengths. Sometimes the strongest gifts from the Lord bring us the greatest trial.

I often think of those who suffer the greatest in service of the Lord also are some of the most pure and true and obedient and virtuous. I think of the pioneers. They loved the Lord, they were willing to sacrifice so much over and over and over again and yet they had their own refiners fire and it was not an easy one. So many suffered great thing. The Lord tested their greatest strengths to survive. As one man in the Willey and Martin Handcart company said, You'll never hear one of us complain. We would do it again to experience that closeness with God. (that was paraphrasing btw)

We were reading about Jacob today in the Old Testament, about when Laban came to him to ask him why he ran away, why he snuck out, why he "stole" his daughters. And Jacob's response is...I have never wronged you, why do you wrong me. Even though he was mistreated for 20 years by his father in law, he did not retaliate, he bore it with patience with all the attributes of a true son of God. We talked about how Jacob relied on the Lord to fill up his cup. He relied on the Lord to make up the difference of Laban's crafty and sneaky and deceptive ways. He did not turn against Laban, instead he turned to the Lord.

I think that sometimes I think...I'm righteous I won't have to go through THAT. Or I think that the Lord will bless me to not have to deal with THAT. Or I feel entitled to my anger and my resentment of others because obviously they were in the wrong. But even the very elect have to endure their trials ...Adam, Noah, Moses, Job, Joseph Smith, and the greatest of all; The Savior. The only perfect Son of God had the greatest trial of all to bear. He he bore it with ALL the attributes of a true Son of God. He said He would do the Lord's will. He said He would suffer. He said He would overcome the world.

It makes me consider, what trials do I have that are also blessings. When I am judged, scolded and ridiculed, when I am mistreated by those who should love and care for me what do I do. I can choose. I can choose to bare my trials with patience and with all the attribute of a daughter of God. I can choose to whom I will turn.

I am grateful to Mary for her courage and endurance of her trials. I cannot marvel enough at the woman she must have been. I cannot value highly enough her role in raising the Son of God.

Jul 27, 2010

Beautiful Girlhood...Cheerful Chapters





The outline for the rest of the summer





July/August Books/Chapters
Beautiful Girlhood Ch. 8 A Sunny Disposition
Raising Maidens of Virtue: Ch 11 The cheerful voice of hospitality
Daughters of God: Ch. 12 Women of devotion and understanding Ch 17 More Precious than Rubies and Ch. 23 Three women who loved Jesus
Book: Helen Keller




July
Sister Sharing Time: Good Books to Recommend
Discussion What is a Sunny Disposition...Beautiful Girlhood Chapter
Leader Lesson: Safety in the Kitchen
Girl Lesson: Germs
Dinner Mexican...making tortillas, beans, rice, churritos pg 54





August
Sister Sharing Time: Share your writings
Discussion: Serving with Joy and Ease....Raising Maidens of Virtue
Leader Lesson:Cooking Terminology (pg 30)
Girl Lesson: reheating leftovers
Dinner Italian....making noodles, sauces, breads




August
Sister Sharing Time What has changed YOU for the better lately
Discussion: Lesson's from Martha and Mary...Daughters of God
Leader Lesson: Freezing / Thawing Food
Leader Lesson: Marinading
Girl Lesson: bringing the meal all together tips
Dinner Freezer Meals




August
Sister Sharing Time: Talent Showing
Discussion: Helen Keller
Leader Lesson: When the power is out, Meal Planning
Girl Lesson: How to cook without electricity
Dinners Casseroles




August
Sister Sharing Time: Goals I've been working towards
Discussion: Nature Walk...beauties God has given us to help us be cheerful
Leader Lesson: Multiplying and Dividing
Girl Lesson: Sugars
Treats Homemade Ice Cream Thailand Watermellon pg 52




End of Summer Social: Cooking Demostration by Girls

Savior of the World Act 1 Scene 2.1



Mazel tov!

This is the betrothal of Mary and Joseph.
I love learning about Jewish culture. For example, in the play Joseph makes a pledge to Mary and hands her a cup. Her father explains that if she drinks then they have a covenant. If she puts the drink away then all is forgotten.

Things I love. It is done in public where everyone has gathered...Mary and her family, and even (in the play anyway) all her aunts and cousins, and Joseph's family. No "special date", no secret rendevous, nothing loud or flashy, just a girl choosing a boy.

I also love that she gets to choose. I know, I know...all girls get to choose, but I believe that this is a principle of God. She chooses because once she has chosen she gives herself to him. He chooses to love and support her and lead their family. She chooses to give herself to what he wants and desires. It is more than just a choice to take a ring and to be married. It is a choice to become a part of someone else.

After the ceremony their is no grand party there is WORK to do! I wonder how often in our culture we think of marriage as just one long party from engagement to wedding day....where is the work? where is the preparation? no wonder after the wedding day so many young people become disenchanted, all the excitement is over, no longer the center of attention, now it's all housework and jobs and schooling and work.

Right away Mary's family starts planning for the things she will need to run a house, and Joseph actually starts planning for the house. These things were required before one got married during this period of history. You were not ready until you had a home and all the things needed to run it. That takes a lot of work, but also a lot of preparation. Thinking, and planning and preparing and working to get yourself as well as a home ready for a new family. I wonder if anyone would get married if our standards were so strict....It's probably a good thing that they are not. But ideally, ideally we would prepare our children to be ready. I have a good friend who does this. Christmas time and birthday time are not about toys and gifts, they are about preparing...about preparing a girl or a boy to become a woman and a man. She gets kitchen gadgets and he gets tools, she makes a quits, he works outside building things with dad. They plan to be ready when the marriage time comes in their lives....they are only 10 and 8. How many of us waste time and resources on things of little value when we could be teaching a valuable lesson about planning and preparing.

We all sing a song about Rules and Building

"There are rules for joining of two timbers
First you find the surest, truest ground
Then you sink the footing where it always will stand,
And nothing under heav'n can bring it down

There are rules for joining of two people;
First betrothal known throughout the land
Then a year of raising high a good Hebrew house,
Then wrapping up the hands in swaddling bands..

Build a house for a prophet
Filled with law and truth
A house for a handmaid
Obedient as Ruth
Build it firm as a mountain
A house of faith and prayer
For the children
Israel's children
Ever pure and fair."

Building a marriage is like building a house. I'm not going to go into too much detail since I wrote a post a few days ago about this very thing about houses and homes. But I will say that I think this song is a beautiful description of what I should be building, Law, Truth, Obedience, Faith, Prayer. It reminds me of the scripture in D&C 88..A house of faith, a house of fasting, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order a house of God. There are some specific things that the Lord would like me to make sure and teach in my home. Am I teaching them? It is always good to be reminded of where you are going, and where you've been. I want to build little prophets and obedient handmaids in my home. That looks a little different than building little sports hero's and princesses.

I am grateful for the preparation that Mary and Joseph would have put into their home and marraige to be worthy to raise the Son of God. I am grateful for their obedience and courage and thoughts. I hope to become more like them someday.

Jul 26, 2010

Savior of the World Act 1 Scene 1.3


In this scene Joseph's uncle Micham comes to arrange the marriage between Mary and Joseph. As you can imagine it is an emotion filled scene...excitement, worry, nervousness.

I personally think arranged marriages are a great idea. Ofcourse that might be because I am a parent :). I might feel differently if I was 16.

During this scene I get to visit with Mary about her concerns to be married. I get to remind her that I was once betrothed and then I sing her a song.

"Ask God all your questions
Tell him all your fears
Thank Him for His mercy
And wait with open ears.

Listen as He answers
Hear the voice so still,
Let the Spirit's whipser
Teach how to do His will
Then go and do His will."

Beautiful words and Beautiful advice for any mother to give to her daughter, a daughter about to be married, or a daughter about to do something out of her comfort zone, or a daughter with a question.

This song reminds me of how to pray....we thank, we ask, we ponder, we wait, we tell the Lord the feelings of our heart, we ask for his help in finding the answers.

This song reminds me of how to feel and recognize the spirit....we listen, it is a still voice, a whisper. It teaches us. Then we must do what he tell us to do.

I believe I should take all of my questions to the Lord. He has all the answers, why would I take my questions anywhere else. What a treasure for a mother to teach to her daughter. That mother doesn't have the answers, that God has the answers. That sisters don't have the answers, that God has the answers. That friends don't have the answers, that God has the answers. And that when we listen, queitly-with a heart willing to hear and do, we receive His answers.

My two favorite lines that I get to perform are in this scene with Mary. I say, " I think it's good to wonder a litlle about yourself, if you will be true to the covenants you're going to make. But we need never wonder about the Lord.

It is good to wonder about ourselves....part of this is humility, part of it is the fact that none of us are perfect and will make mistakes so we should wonder it we are being and doing all that we should be becoming and doing. BUT we don't need to wonder about the Lord. And if we have received His words by asking our questions and by listening to His words then we don't need wonder. We can have His peace and His confidence.

My second favorite line is after I sing. We embrace and then Mary begins to leave and I say, "And Mary....I have never wondered about you." This makes me cry every time I say it. Because I think of my own daughter and how much a mother loves and trusts her daughter. Another beautiful thing for a mother to teach her daughter. And what a tribute to Mary. What an exceptional person Mary must have been to have her mother say...I have never wondered about you. I believe it was not just lip service. I believe that Mary must have been an exceptional woman to be chosen to be the mother of the Son of God. I believe of all women who have ever lived on earth Mary and Eve were exceptionally valiant and noble, and I believe Mary's mother did not worry about her making good decisions. I want to be that kind of a daughter of God.

Jul 25, 2010

Savior of the World Act 1 Segment 1.2

s
"Come Deliver Us
Come Deliver Us

He will come, in mightiness and power with watchmen on the tower, He will come deliver us
He will come, His sword aloft and blazing, resplendent and amazing, He will come deliver us"

These beautiful words are spoken in the second scene of Act 1. It takes place at the temple with Zacharias choosing the lot and seeing the angel Gabriel.

So....my pondering of this scene....What was the difference between Zacharias and Mary

...Angel appears...
Fear not
Thy wife shall bear a son
Thou shalt call his name John
He shall make ready a people prepared for the Lord

....Zacharias questioning....
Whereby shall I know this?
I am an old man
my wife well stricken in years

....Angel appears....
Fear not
Thou shalt conceive in the womb, a son
Thou shalt call his name Jesus
He shall reign over the house of Jaco forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end

....Mary's questioning...
How can this be?

Zacharias is struck dumb.
Mary is blessed with understanding and agrees.

I do not know Mary, I do not know Zacharias, Nor do I consider myself a scriptorian. But I have a few thoughts about why. I can be completely off base but my thoughts have helped me understand my own hearts and why questions.

As we know, the scriptures are meant to be "types" of Christ and every story in the scriptures is meant to teach us something about Him. Pretty ironic then that Gabriel says almost the exact thing to Zacharias as he does to Mary. So why the great punishment for Zacharias?....he just asked a question right?...and so did Mary.

What about this: Zacharias doubted.....not so profund I know, and yet...isn't it. The scriptures tell us that the angel condemed Zacharias not for asking a question but for doubting. How can this be? I am old and so is my wife. He does not believe the angel's words. He doubts even though he is standing, or kneeling before an angel.

So what about Mary? Can we be lead to believe that she did not doubt. Can we believe that she asked her question purely out of a desire to know how this was going to happen seeing as she was not married and was a virgin? I believe so. I believe that Mary heard the words, wondered at them and then asked a question, a question seeking for more information, not a question desiring to disbelieve. And then she closes with the beautiful words....Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy words. With understanding she now is ready to do God's will.

So lets look at the questions: whereby shall I know this?
AND how can this be?

my own rephrasing: how will I know that what you say is true?
AND how is this possible?

These two questions are entirely different questions....one is seeking for information, one is asking for a sign (poor man, he got one)

So, how does this apply to Me Myself and I. Well, for one thing I think I'll be pretty carefully how I word any questions that I might need to ask an angel :). But seriously, even in my prayers can I be more careful in the language that I use when talking to God. Can I be more faithful in tone and reverence and more obedient and thoughtful in the questions. I know I can. I truly believe that the Lord wants me to ask questions. He wants to me seek him. "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you." He wants me to look and seek and ask. Questions aren't the problem. My heart is the problem. Am I doubting or faithful. Am I looking for a sign before I jump in with both feet, or am I seeking for more information to know if it is God's will.

I love Mary's example. What a blessed woman. (I'll talk more about Mary later)

Come deliver us
Come deliver us

I love this prayerful song. It is my favorite song in the whole play...and not just because those Male vocals are amazing opposite the women, but because I have this prayer in my heart. I need the Savior to Come....to come and deliver us...In mightiness and power, with watchment on the tower, His sword aloft and blazing, resplendent and amazing. He will come deliver us. I need Him to come and deliver me every day and I truly desire Him to come again and deliver the whole world with His power.

Jul 24, 2010

Mothers and Sisters



A list of your strengths.


What do you want to be when you grow up? doctor, vet, dancer


How will those strength help you to be that?



What do the scriptures teach us that we are to be?
…...Proberbs 31:10-12
…...Timothy 5:14


What does the Lord want you to be when you grow up? wife, and mother


How will your strengths help you to be a wife and mother?


Why do we have chores?....LEARN TO BE A MOTHER
Why are you a sister?....LEARN TO BE A MOTHER
Why are you learning to cook?....LEARN TO BE A MOTHER


Mothers Roles
Chief Confidante
Shares her hope and every fear
(if you can't tell your mother about doing it, then you shouldn't be doing it)
sort out all your troubles by your mothers side
Girls should welcome mother's advice


Sisters Roles
Guide, pattern, unlimited influence
Kiss away the bumps and bruises of heads and hearts
mends broken dolls
pops corn makes pancakes
tells wonderful stories
picks up after them
companion to every one


Which of your strenghts are you using right now in your home?


What did I learn?
A good mother is:
Keepers at home
obedient to husband
loving to their children

My nieces were in my home, they didn't want to help with chores. My little one said...Why not, chores help you learn how to be a mommy. So sweet. Everything I am an teaching is to help my girls learn how to be mommies. That is what they are meant to be, Mommies and Wifes. This is truly what the Lord wants us to be.

So, why do we have a back-up plan? Why do we teach our little girls that they can be and do anything? Because they can? Is that really a good enough reason to let them miss out on the most important lesson. That they can and should be a wife and a mother.

A man who wants to be an astronaught doesn't go to auto mechanic's classes, just in case it doesn't work out to be a astronaught. If a girl wants to be a wife and mother she should devote her time and attention to those things, not to her "just in case" plan---or even worse her "I'll be and do everything" and then worry about being a wife and a mother "if" that happens.

Now, this is not to de-mean mothers getting an education or thinking they only need to learn cooking, cleaning, decorating, and child care. In fact I recently retired from working. My boss said to me after the third time of trying to get me to change my mind "but what are you going to do with your brain?"....apparently he likes my brain so I'll choose to take it as a complement. BUT do we in society really think that it doesn't take any brains to be a mother and a wife? I have to organize, re-structure, problem solve, strategize, think outside the box, plan ahead, goal set, time management AS WELL AS...be creative, flexible, patient, understanding, sympathetic, purposeful. NOT TO MENTION...teaching my kids everything they NEED to know and everything they WANT to know, inspiring, instructing , persuading , inviting. AND tobe guided, taught, inspired, instructed and have my brain shut down for a few hours at night. Actually I stopped working so I can devote ALL of my brain to my most important roles WIFE and MOTHER.

Now, I also do not want to de-mean women who have a career or who are un-married or who do not have children. They are not any less of a woman because of life circumstances or decisions and I have many friends who fall into these categories whom I love and cherish WHY? Because they teach and create and are patient, and problem solvers, and inviting and inspired and all the things that I am because they are a woman too, even if they are not a wife or a mother or if they have a career.

However, I want to teach my daughter what her true role is and help her learn how to do it. And then if she needs a back up plan I have faith that the Lord will bless her with one...but my job is to teach her to be a wife and a mother.

Heritage Notebook Quotes:


A WIFE CAN
Add sunshine to the dullest day with just a smile.
Erase a hurt with a gentle kiss.
And set things right with a the briefest touch.
Her love continually makes this world
a happier place to be



MOTHERS KNOW
A little hug goes a long way. Jelly jars make great vases
Dandelions are beautiful. There's no place like home.
Every drawing is a work of art
Little voices go a long way if you really listen
Bedtime stories stay in your heart forever
Sometimes just one cookie before dinner isn't all that bad.
Love is something you never outgrow.


Other Resources: Mothers Who Know
BYU Women's Conference...Sister Beck talk


Recipe's

Milks
Buttermilk
Stir in ¼ cup of buttermilk per quart of milk....Set out on counter for atleast 9-12 hours. Then refrigerate. Milk will be creamy




Yogurt
Stir in 2 Tbs of plain yogurt for each quart of milk. Set in cooler of hot water that covers the quart up to the lid. Let set for 12 hours. Then refirgerate. To thicken yogurt use 1 tsp arrowroot powder when mixing in yogurt. Flavor with fruit or stevia




Cream Cheese and Whey
Hang yogurt in a towel over a bowl for 12 to 24 hours. The yogurt in the cloth will become cream cheese. The yogurt in the bowl will be whey.







We also made different kinds of eggs and breakfast meats...but I figured you didn't need those recipes' :)

Savior of the World Act 1 Scene 1.1


A while ago I mentioned that I, moo and hub are all in a play.
The play is the Savior of the World.

For those who have not seen the play; it is a story of Jesus' birth and ressurection.
Hub is a shepherd, I am Mary's mother, and Moo is Anna, Mary's sister.

We started practicing back in May...yep May. The performance is in October...yep October. They asked us when we auditioned to make a commitment. A commitment that we would be at EVERY practice once a week for 2 hours May to October...okay, they said 90% commitment, but still. That is quite a commitment for a mom and dad of 4 young children.

But, I don't feel picked on. Nope. Not even a little bit. I love it....not the glamour of show biz, not the getting out of the house once a week, not performing, not singing in front of people, not impromptu acting. I LOVE all the things I have been learning about relationships and about myself and about the Lord.

For example
Act 1 Scene 1.1 This is Zacharias and Elizabeth....you know the story.....she's barren, he works at the temple, but has not been chosen to enter the holy place in the temple....then they recieve a miracle....a lot chosen, a son conceived.

My insight:
How beautiful are the Lord's plans. Two people, a husband and a wife, both struggling with feeling worthy before the Lord, with feeling loved by the Lord, with a social disgrace, with a great challenge, with a loss of a great blessing from the Lord. What a merciful Father we have to let two people suffer together. Suffer through grief, regret, loss...together. How great their sorrow must have been.
And then, AND THEN, to let them experience a miracle together. He is chosen to burn the incense and sees an angel, she is chosen to bear the child who will prepare for way for the Lord. They both receive the righteous desires of their hearts. How great their joy must have been.
It never occured to me before that this suffering and this joy must have made their relationship so much stronger. As I have been studying about marriage, and my role lately, this truly was beautiful to me. The Lord in His wisdom allowed them to learn patience and wisdom and gratitude and sacrifice and hope and then gave them the gift of having a son...not just any son, a son who would lead the people to the Messiah, a son who fullfilled prophecy, a son who would Baptize the Son of God.

They sing a beautiful song together about waiting on the Lord and their desires to trust in Him and to turn their wishes and their hearts over to Him. Everytime I hear the song it stirs those same desires within me. My favorite line is from Zacharias....I'll give God forever, but not to do my will. Give my plans and give my dreams. Give up all my lofty schemes. I'll give God forever and then give one day more. Giving Him forever means I'll wait and watch and see.....We still trust in the Lord, that He will fulfill His promises, in His due time.

How many plans and dreams and lofty schemes do I need to give up? There are a few....I'm sure I'll find many more. But when I do His will and turn my hope and love over to Him I can find hope and peace and patience and gratitude just as Zacharias and Elizabeth did. My hub and I have been trying to have more children for over 2 years now. I understand a bit of waiting and watching and seeing...only a little bit, but I also understand that it is in His hands. That He knows and He blesses and He gives according to His will which is perfect. I can trust in that.