Friday, May 31, 2013

shane's 40th birthday

last friday, my brother shane celebrated his 40th birthday.  some of the family got together to celebrate at his favorite, in-n-out burger.

shane and eric

left to right: roni, bruce, nathan, me, eric, lisa, mary and shane

shane and i

shane and my parents

shane and roni

don't tell me you don't go to in-n-out with balloons and take dozens of pictures....  it was a good time visiting and celebrating a really great brother's birthday!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

amelia's first grade class presents...

tacky the penguin!

last week in amelia's first grade class, they put on a play for the parents.  amelia played the role of "perfect" penguin!

here's my little penguin taking a bow.

before the play began, each child was able to be a tour guide and show off their artwork that was displayed around the classroom.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

youth pioneer trek flour sacks & pioneer name tags

if you recall, a week or so ago, i showed you the flour sacks that we put together for trek.  i told you that i wasn't finished with them.  well they are now done.

here's the finished product!

so we started out with this:

the first thing i did was to print a pioneer name tag (see below) for each person attending trek.  i had all of the names in an excel document, so it was really easy just to create a merge document to print them.

the top name is the person's name who is going on trek.
the bolded name, is the name for whom the person is walking on trek... the actual handcart pioneer.
the bottom line is the company that the pioneer was travelling with.

if you'd like a copy of this for your personal use, you can download it here.

then i stamped each "name tag" with our trek stamp

then i laminated them and hole punched two holes in the top.  when that was done, i took the name tag and lined it up with the flour sacks and marked where i needed to punch holes in the flour sack with a black sharpie.

until they all looked like this:

then i started punching out the holes.  i punched about 40 before i broke two separate hole punches.

 the evidence!

 we soon discovered that it was easier to heat up a nail with a torch and burn through the flour sack.  sorry, i didn't take any pictures, but the burn marks looked pretty cool on the sacks and i wished we had done them all that way.  heating up the nail until it was red hot allowed us to punch two holes in about four sacks before we needed to reheat the nail.

once all the holes were punched, i then cut para cord in each family's color, burned the ends so it wouldn't unravel, and attached to the flour sack and the name tag for our completed name tag flour sack necklaces.  this person belongs to the blue family even though the picture makes it look a little purple.

more trek posts here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

end of school dance festival 2013

the kids had their annual dance festival at the school.  they all did a great job.

amelia's dance to cotton-eyed joe!

for some reason, if the video doesn't load below, you can view it here.

isaac's dance to r.o.c.k. in the USA

if isaac's dance doesn't load, you can view it here.  my phone ran out of storage during the middle of his dance :(

jared's dance was to a medly of songs...

if his video doesn't load properly, you can view it here.  he's a little harder to see, but he has on a light yellow shirt and red shorts.

Monday, May 27, 2013

for when you are feeling like a really bad mother

go and read this post by allison kimball.  even though her post is talking specifically about mother's day.  it applies every day of the year.  as i read her post, it struck me.... like, to my core struck me.

my favorite part of her post:

This is my warning to you Satan, father of all lies, I'm taking back Mother's day.  You can try all you want, but I won't let you hurt me anymore.  You can whisper those negative thoughts, but I'm not going to listen any more.  I know I'm not perfect. I make mistakes everyday. I know I will not measure up to the woman next door or the cousin who was just named mother of the year.  I'm not supposed to. I am me.  I am my children's mother. I have within me the ability to raise and teach them to oppose you and to follow God.  Nothing else matters.  So be warned, I will not give up, ever! I am here to stay and I'm fighting back stronger and wiser.
I will rally the women that I can. We will celebrate one another's differences and strengths.  We will band together in a mighty force that will not listen to your lies anymore.  This is my war cry. Hear me roar!

i can beat myself up as a mother quite often.  i think i've only blogged about it maybe once or twice, but believe me when i say that it is something i struggle with often.

so here i am, echoing her sentiments and joining her ranks.  satan... you're going down!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

personal progress good works value experience #3

i've been working on this experience for a week or so, good works #3.

Read Mosiah 18:7–10, and in your journal list three ways you can comfort others or help them bear their burdens. Do the things on your list, and tell a family member or leader about the experience and how your attitude and understanding have changed.
i started by printing out the verses that are referenced in the instructions.  i glued them in my study journal and then read through and highlighted the areas that we are asked to help others when we are baptized into Christ's church.

the second part of the experience is to list three ways you can comfort others or help them bear their burdens.  this was the hard part for me.  i really struggled to come up with things to do.  the things that i thought about were either too hard, too simple, too much effort, not enough time, too much time, etc...  

i finally got over it and decided to do the following:

  1. go on the 3rd year hike for sis p, so she could stay home with her kids.  
  2. write a heartfelt note to someone.
  3. ?
i'm still waiting for inspiration to strike for #3.  any suggestions?

my first "service" item may seem weird.  when would i ever not want to spend time with some of the yw?  well, it just so happens that the hike was scheduled for the same saturday as the fathers and sons camp out.  so it would be necessary for me to make arrangements for someone to watch my girls while i went = time away from my family.  also, because i work full-time, saturdays are a hot commodity around my house = time away from cleaning and catching up on things.  but it was worth it for sis p to be able to stay home with her kids and i, of course, had a good time - even while learning to use a compass in a downpour!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

snow cone love

the other night at jared's baseball game, nathan bought both girls a snow cone. the boys didn't get one because isaac was off playing at the park and jared was playing his game.

i tried to be quicker, but this is the only shot i was able to get.  without even being asked by nathan and i, and without jared even asking, amelia went over to the dugout, got jared's attention and offered to share her snow cone with him.  makes a momma's heart happy!

by the way, jared is playing for the braves this year.  i need to take a "real" picture of him in his uniform, but i haven't yet.

at this game, he hit a solid line drive over second.  way to go jared!

Friday, May 24, 2013

personal progress integrity value experience #2

Conduct a self-assessment of your personal integrity. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I avoid gossip, inappropriate jokes, swearing and profanity, and being light-minded about sacred subjects? Am I completely truthful, morally clean, honest, dependable, and trustworthy in my schoolwork and other activities? Pray daily for strength and for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help you live with integrity. Write in your journal the things you can do to improve your personal integrity and at least one new habit you want to develop.
to answer all of the self -assessment questions contained in this value experience, i decided to type them up and paste the paper into my study journal and then answer the question.

i then went through and answered the questions as honestly as i could.  it would have been really easy for me to lie to myself while answering these questions, but the whole point of this value is to be honest, and that includes being honest with yourself.

some of these questions were really easy for me to answer.  some of these things are not struggles for me.  some of them are.  while there are areas that i need to make improvements, there are also areas that i am really happy with where i am.

after i answered the questions, i also thought about how i can make improvements on the areas where i struggle.

sometimes i can get down on myself when i complete activities like this, because i am not perfect!  i know shocker!!  but i'm not.  i came across this graphic the other day and it really struck me.  success is not perfection.  success is when i keep trying and keep moving forward.

so, when you do value experiences that help you see your weaknesses, don't get discouraged or down on yourself.  focus on your progress and what you can do to make your weaknesses less of a weakness.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

a late night conversation

nathan and i have been pretty busy lately with responsibilities outside our home.  our three oldest seem to be adapting okay to us being gone a little more often, but clara is struggling a little bit.  so, last night after returning from a meeting, we decided to bring clara in to sleep with us.

she had already been in bed for a while at this point, but i gently rubbed her back and loved on her until she was awake enough to interact a little bit.

once she was awake and functioning, i asked her to give me a love.  without even a moments hesitation she simply replied, "no, you stink".

what a little turkey!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

youth pioneer handcart trek 2013 - flour sacks

these are the flour sacks that we will be giving to each of the youth.  each sack contains a snack-sized ziploc bag filled with 4 oz of flour - the ration that was given per day for a grown man!

i had my mia maids help me cut the fabric for all of the sacks as many hands make light work.  then i turned them over to debbie who sewed and stamped them all.

she used the stamp that was made for us and the same ink that we used for the journals.

they are not quite a finished product yet as i will be adding to them.  i'll show you what i am up to in a future post.  future post here.

more trek posts, here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

youth pioneer handcart trek 2013 - journals

was busy this weekend putting together journals for our youth pioneer trek next month.

i ordered the journals through Deseret Book.  because i am close to a retail location, i just went in and ordered them and then picked them up to avoid paying for shipping.  if you order more than 50 of any item you get a 20% discount.  i also receive their ads in the mail so i also had a $10 off coupon for purchases of $50 or more.  so be sure to check out all of your options if you order them.

the journals either come blank or with a pre-stamped logo.  we wanted to put our own trek logo, so we purchased the blank journals.

once you get the actual journals out of the protective plastic cover, this is what you have.  we really liked that they come with a pen.  the only printing is the Zions Mercantile Co logo on the back.

here are the "almost" finished journals:

we had a stamp made of our "trek logo" and then used the stamp to put our logo on the journals.  it worked best to open the journals and lay them out flat when stamping.

**Update - The stamp was made by Outback Engraving, you can contact them by calling 801-592-9499.

we used Versa Magic ink in gingerbread.

i say that they are "almost" finished because we plan to paste a couple of things in the first few pages and then leave the rest blank for the youth to write down their thoughts and feelings.

our "additions" to the journals will include:
  • a bishop's message/testimony
  • the words to our trek song
  • a few selected quotes from general authorities

Sunday, May 19, 2013

personal progress - choice & accountability value experience #1

i recently completed my personal progress value experience #1 for choice and accountability
A daughter of God can make wise decisions and solve problems. Read 1 Nephi 15:82 Nephi 32:3Alma 34:19–27Ether 2–3; and Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–9. Follow a pattern of regular scripture study and prayer to receive help in making personal decisions such as choosing good friends, being kind to others, getting up on time, or other decisions. Discuss with a parent or leader how regular scripture study and prayer helped you make correct decisions.
first i started by reading the outlined scriptures and writing my notes in my scripture journal.

for each scripture reference, i wrote how i felt that the scripture could be applied to "how regular scripture study and prayer" help us make correct decisions.

since i am already trying to read my scriptures daily and pray daily, that part of this experience was pretty much already taken care of.

then i discussed with nathan how he thought reading scriptures and praying help us to make good decision and wrote that in my journal.

other personal progress posts, here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

personal progress faith project check-in

this is where i am currently.  i have this whole page basically memorized, but it is still a little rusty.

the middle part of this paragraph was easy because it is a scripture reference that i hear quite frequently, so I knew basically what it said.  but it was still a little bit of a challenge to get all of the words just right and in the right order.

sometimes i want to add extra an extra "the" or "and" or an "s" on the end of a word.

so i will polish it up this weekend and then start on next week's poster:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

personal progress - integrity value experience #1

i recently began working on value experience #1 for integrity.
Integrity is the willingness and desire to live by our beliefs and standards. Read Moroni 10:30–33 and think about what it means to “deny yourselves of all ungodliness.” Read the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth. Reflect on how the Lord’s standards differ from the world’s standards. Record in your journal appropriate standards for behavior, dress, and conversation, as well as literature, movies, television, Internet, music, cell phones, and other media. Also write your plan to stay morally clean and worthy to attend the temple. After keeping your standards for at least one month, record your feelings in your journal and continue to keep your commitment.
i started by printing out  the scripture in Moroni to paste into my journal. sorry it's a little blurry.

i also referred heavily to the For the Strength of Youth notes that i wrote down for the choice & accountability value experience #2.

then i wrote what i felt were the appropriate standards for behavior, dress, conversation, etc...  if i had to do it over again, i would only write the standards and not break them up by each individual scenario as many of them are the same standard.

finally, you need to write your plan to stay morally clean and be worthy to enter the temple.  then you need to live these standards for a month.

since i have already been to the temple, my plan was different than it would be for someone who is working towards the temple.  

so, now to live my standards for a month.  i don't watch very much tv anymore and the only books i read are either the Book of Mormon or church magazines to prepare for my lessons, so avoiding anything inappropriate should be pretty easy there.  there are a few shows that are temptations for me though.  they are funny but not always appropriate, so this will be good for me.

the hard one for me is going to be my conversation and behavior.  especially working on not speaking in anger....  

definitely going to need some divine help there.  anyone out there in blogland also working on personal progress?  how's it coming along for you?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

personal progress - faith value experience #3

the faith value experience #3 requirement are:
Living gospel principles requires faith. Read about faith in the Bible Dictionaryor True to the Faith. Faith in the Savior Jesus Christ leads to action. Choose a principle such as prayer, tithing, fasting, repentance, or keeping the Sabbath day holy. In your own home or another setting, plan and present a family home evening lesson about how faith helps you live that gospel principle. If possible, ask a family member to share an experience that has strengthened his or her faith. Share your own experiences as well. In your journal write down one of those experiences and describe your feelings about faith.
since fasting is always a struggle at our house, i decided to do my fhe lesson on fasting.

i utilized a great lesson plan put together by  my kids especially loved the game of building their spiritual fasting muscles.

i asked nathan to share an experience of when fasting has helped increase his faith.  he shared stories from his mission when he and his companions would fast for investigators, to find investigators, or when they needed help with certain things during their mission.

i also asked my mom, a few days later, to share an experience that strengthened her faith.  she shared an experience about a time she finished reading the Book of Mormon.  she had prayed about Moroni's promise prior to starting to read that day, knowing that she would finish the book.  as soon as she finished, she received her witness that the Book or Mormon is the word of God.  i don't want to go into too much detail about it because it was a personal experience, but her sharing this experience with me strengthened my faith as well.

Monday, May 13, 2013

an anniversary getaway

nathan and i celebrated our 13th anniversary this past saturday.  on thursday night, we decided to get away for a little bit.  we headed up ogden canyon to stay at the alaskan inn.  ogden canyon is beautiful!

we stayed here on our honeymoon 13 years ago.

this year we stayed in the old ketchikan cabin.

my favorite decoration in the room - this large carved pelican!

we went to the prairie schooner for dinner.  it was very good.  you sit at tables that are under a covered wagon canopy.  it's very private and cool.


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