5.31.2012

My Latest Question

Years ago I read about how to manage my time as a young mother.  The author stated that to be sure we didn't feel like all we did was housework we could set a time for ourselves to be done.  So, my time became 11:00 a.m.  I would get all my housework (cleaning) done by 11:00 and use the rest of the day for other stuff (usually lots of reading!).

This was very helpful for me with three small children when it felt like all I did was clean up messes!  However, lately things have shifted.  I think that 11:00 time has been more limiting and debilitating than helpful.  For instance, if I'm running around with activities in the morning and get home after that time...well, so much for cleaning that day, "My time is up.  No cleaning today."  With a house full of people, that just doesn't seem to work!  Or if I have a couple of hours open in the afternoon I don't use it to make appointments or clean because "this is MY time now."  Thus, procrastination takes a hold of me.  :-)

So, lately, whenever I start to get a bit annoyed with the seemingly endless tasks around the home I've been asking myself, "What else would I be doing right now?"  Yes, I have a stack of books I'd love to be reading.  There are movies on my list that need to be watched.  Blogging is always a temptation.  Browsing the internet,  Facebook,  Pinterest, searching for more books to add to my stack online;  these things are always going to be there.  But, by asking this question I'm reminding myself that this is what I've chosen to be doing right now.  This is my time to shine in the home, to be with my children and to create an atmosphere of love, warmth and the spirit. 

Believe me, I still make time for the other stuff!  It's just done a little differently and more sparingly...just enough to give me a boost to get back to the real purpose of the life I'm living right now. 

5.30.2012

Book of the Week



This book is FABULOUS! 
If you want to learn how to become successful in doing the things you're meant to do in this life, read it!  I read it, marked it and took lots of notes.  Now it's time to take it slower and implement one thing at a time. 

I really do believe the Lord has a mission for each of us.  Small or large there is something only YOU can do.  And that is why you are who you are and why you are where you are!  Inspiring your children, writing a book, learning and implementing healthy eating habits & then teaching others, creating artwork, serving in your church....the list goes on.   The trick is discovering what it is you were meant to do and who you are meant to be!  Have fun with the discoveries!

5.29.2012

Make History Come to Life

With all the birthday celebrations, we did sqeeze in some Memorial Day fun in there as well. 

While driving around town we noticed there were these plaques on certain street corners.  I was reminded of a recent conversation where an old-timer here told me that the streets of Richland are named after war generals, or important figures in our American wars.  So, as we drove we stopped at a few.  Little did we know that we lived on a street named after Horatio Wright, a general in the Civil War!  A piece of history right at home.

Awhile back I went to a homeschool conference where one presenter talked about how to make history come to life.  Her main point was: Start where you live.  Find a plaque or a monument or something in your own city that tells a part of history.  Read it.  Read about it.  Research if it's actually true.  This will make history come to life for your kids as they realize they life just where famous people in history actually walked.  It's pretty cool! 

So, for today, this was our little mini history lesson...The Streets of Richland.

Happy (belated) Memorial Day
and
Thank You to All Those
Serving for Our Country!

5.28.2012

Event Coming Up This Weekend


Come one, come all!
The children of 11 families in the community have been working hard on their own creations.  Now they are opening their "booths" up to the public for sale.  Please come support these young entreprenuers!

5.25.2012

Birthday Weekend

B is turning 11 years old TODAY!  I've had a hard time with my boys getting older.  They seem to get trickier.  I hear it's the other way around, but for me the boys becoming older hasn't been my favorite. 

She's the one in purple!  Wizard of Oz play with Homelink
However, I'm starting to really love that my girls are getting older.  They're not quite at the friends stage, but I can envision it coming on.  For instance, last week I had a really tough day where I just felt like crying.  I expressed this feeling to my daughters both who proceeded to lay by me on the porch and tell me that they knew exactly how I felt.  It was so sweet and comforting. 

Then my boy came over and was like, "Hey, what's up?" 
"Nothing.  Just feel like crying."
"Oh.  K.  ...  See you later." 

I laughed. 

Anway, B has especially started to really mature and I can see her becoming a young woman.  This year it has been a lot of fun watching her perform in various plays.  She has such a great talent for the arts.  The way she takes care of her younger siblings is amazing.  She doesn't ever put them down or make them seem younger than herself.  She treats them with respect.  I like that.  She's also taken off with her learning as well.  She's more focussed and has a desire for learning lots of things.  So, those days of going to bed each night wondering what I was going to do with that child the next day are now just nastolgic memories I cherish.  :-)

MONDAY MY BABY IS ONE!!!
And he's already walking (our earliest by far).
It has been a really good year with him.  Motherhood has taken on a while new meaning for me because of him.  He's quite the happy boy and we're so excited to watch as his personality develops this next year.  They change so much from 1 to 2. 

So, Happy Birthday, my little ones. 
 Some days I wish it were your last so you could stay young and with me forever.  :-)


5.24.2012

Book of the Week

"Gotta hurry, can't be late!
Cathing something, something great!"

What's the sign of a great book?....

The kids chanting their favorite lines all over the house!

Why I love this book:

a) Love the pictures

b) I'm always showing my kids the sunsets, my favorite natural wonder

c) There's alwasy something great to be found  in the every day things of life.  We just need to be present to see them. 


5.22.2012

Out of Gas

Today I ran out of gas. 

I have never run out of gas before. My husband has lost of  running-out-of-gas stories. Not me. 

It's a weird feeling when the car just stops working.  You have no clue what is going on.  And then it dawns on you,  "Oh, yeah, I've been on empty for awhile now."  Dumb!

Can I just tell you that it was all PERFECT timing.  Some days things just work out that way.  So, I drop one son off at class and then head back home to pick up another son to take to his class (15 minutes away on the freeway).  Halfway home, the car dies.  I have time to pull to the side of the road, thankful that it didn't happen on the way to the other class.  Blessing #1.

I get out and start jogging home (in flip flops, carrying my purse...not the greatest jogging attire).  Just then a friend drives by the other direction taking her kids to school.  She immediately turns around and takes me home.  Blessing #2.

Thankfully this friend continues to help me until my own car is functioning once again.  And as we sit there putting a couple of gallons of gas in my van we feel so empowered that we're doing something like this without the help of our husbands! 

Do you ever get that way, where you rely on your husbands for things that you really could do yourself?  I do.  It might just be an excuse to procrastinate.  It might be that I think he should do it.  It might really be that I don't have enough confidence to figure it out on my own.  All of these reasons do come into play.  But today I didn't fall back on any of them....

...because my husband is out of town.  But still...I felt good. 

So, a disaster proven to be a great learning experience.  It could've been worse.

LOL

5.20.2012

20 Seconds of Courage

So, I know I've been lamenting having a 12 year old for a few months now, but this weekend I caught a glimpse of just how FUN it's really going to be to have youth in the home. 

Just think back yourselves...12 years old, there's a cute girl/guy.  You're nervous as heck to even say hello to her/him.  There are a bunch of other kids in your Sunday School class, too, that you just don't normally hang out with, but church is fun.  You don't want to be the one to organize an activity oustide of class because, heaven forbid, "What if they don't like the idea?!!"  Or, "We've never mixed boys and girls before!!"  Meanwhile, the mother in the background is thinking, "What 12 year old doesn't want an excuse to hang out?"  With the opposite gender.  Right? 

It just so happens that last week we watched an awesome movie as a family: We Bought a ZooIt's fabulous!  In that movie there are many different relationships working themselves out.  One such relationship is between a 12 year old girl and 13 year old boy.  In trying to motivate his son, the father tells a story about how all it takes is 20 seconds of courage to get your dreams realized. 

20 seconds of courage.  Our new family motto for those difficult-to-do moments in our lives.  And it came into play this weekend as we encouraged our own son to take those 20 seconds.  Palms sweaty, cheeks flushed with unsurity of what to say exactly, JW made the phones calls to arrange for his church class to bake cupcakes for their Sunday School teacher (who recently had a birthday).  Really, it was just an excuse the mom of our beloved son used to get him to take those 20 seconds  (it worked!). 

So, as the kids all made the cupcakes and played some games in between, said mom (me!) could not help but smile and remember those oh-so-fun and challenging days of youth.  It's going to be a fun ride! 

Also, in those moments I realized that this is what I want to have time for.  This is what I, as the mother, want to be available for.  Creating those moments that will build confidence, strengthen relationships, and help my youth fulfill their dreams.  

5.18.2012

Teaching Kids About Money: Books and Games


 Cash, Cars and College - Janine Bolon
Written to teens.  I found this to be the best money book out there written specifically for youth.  It was not too complicated, over my head, or overwhelming.  Great principles!

The Entitlement Trap - Richard and Linda Eyre
Great book!  If you've read their other stuff there's not a whole lot of new in this one.  But if you haven't read anything of theirs this would be a great one to start with!  They teach parents how to give their children ownership.  Excellent!


Classics that teach about work & money
Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
Summer of the Monkeys - Wilson Rawls
Farmer Boy - Laura Ingalls Wilder
Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes
Junior Discovers Work – Dave Ramsey
Money Madness – David A. Adler
Once Upon a Company – Wendy Halperin
Alexander who was Rich Last Saturday - Judith Viorst

Classics about Giving
The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
Winnie the Pooh series – A.A. Milne
A Simple Path – Mother Teresa
The Story of Clara Barton – Zachary Kent
Volunteering: 101 Ways you can Improve the World and Your Life – Douglas M. Lawson
The Family Under the Bridge – Natalie Carlson
100 Dresses – Eleanor Estes
The Gift of the Magi – O. Henry




Games to Play with your Children
MoneyWise for Kids
Monopoly (of course!)
Pay Day
Power Grid (supply and demand!)
The Game of Life
Puerto Rico



Must See Movie!












** Pictures from Amazon.com

5.17.2012

Teaching Kids About Work, Pt. 3

Principle #3:  Giving

When my kids were younger I used to think that if I didn't teach them about money when they were young they would never learn how to manage their money.  I also wanted them to get in the habit early of paying their tithing.  However, in studying for this class I have come to something else I think is vitally important. 

Going along with the first two principles I came across this scripture: 
"But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God."  - Jacob 2:18

And then I was even more struck by the next verse:
"And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them and ye will seek them for the intent to do good - - to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick adn the afflicted."  (v. 19)

I have come to a personal philosophy.  Before the age of 8 children don't need much money, if any at all.  It is during those beginning years that we teach them these principles (work, patience and giving) without money in hand.  I believe that if we teach them the "things of God" first, placing characteristics before monetary value of their work, they will then naturally "seek [money]for the intent to do good." 

Giving their money will come naturally to our children if they have learned to "seek first the kingdom of God."  They will not hoard what they receive, such as King Noah who "placed his heart upon his riches, and...spent his time in riotous living...[who] built many elegant and spacious buildings...and he also built himself a spacious palace, and a throne in the midst thereof...(Mosiah 11:8-14)."

With that said, I believe the best way to teach our children to give their money is by serving with them while they are young.  There are many ideas out there, but most importantly is involving our children in the service we normally render, such as taking meals to those in need or weeding our neighbor's yard. 

I knew early on I wanted my children to gain compassion towards those who are mentally handicapped.  Fortunately, there is a couple in our home who run a nursing home for such individuals because they themselves have a daughter who is mentally impaired.  For the past couple of years we've gone over to their home to play Bingo with the residents every so often.  This has been a great experience for all involved.

Think of a characteristic you'd like to see in your child(ren) and then find a way to meet that need through service.

Find a passion.  What is a cause you feel passionate about?  Find someplace in your community that welcomes your service.  There are so many opportunities. 

"For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, adn for all the riches whihc we have of every kind?"  Mosiah 4:19

5.16.2012

Teaching Kids About Money, Pt. 2

Principle #2:  Patience

Image from rapturebooks.co.uk

This was my husband's section...

Too many of our youth get into financial difficulty because they never learned proper principles of financial common sense at home. Teach your children while they are young. Teach them that they cannot have something merely because they want it. Teach them the principles of hard work, frugality, and saving.
If you don’t consider yourself informed well enough to teach them, all the more reason for you to begin learning. Abundant resources are available—from classes, to books, to other resources.
There are those among us who have been blessed abundantly with enough and to spare. Our Heavenly Father expects that we do more with our riches than build larger barns to hold them. Will you consider what more you can do to build the kingdom of God? Will you consider what more you can do to bless the lives of others and bring light and hope into their lives?
 - - LDS General Conference, April 2004, Saturday Afternoon,  Joseph B. Wirthlin

In the class my husband asked the women to contemplate the following questions:

  • List two poor financial habits that you observed in your parents?
  • Why do you think they had them?
  • What are two financial habits that you want to change before you pass them on to your children?
We believe that the most important way to teach this principle (and possibly the others) is by living the principle of patience ourselves.  If you wait long enough, you can buy anything for almost nothing.  Many of us feel this rushed "need to buy," rather than waiting for the opportune moment.

Likewise, around the same time, he wanted one of those squishy pillows (the ones with tiny balls of something inside??).  Anyway, he saw them on sale at Fred Meyer for about $10 or something.  Again, he walked in the store and came out without a pillow.  Within the next two or three weeks he found a pillow at a garage sale for 50 cents.  Two weeks after that he sold the pillow to his sister for a dollar or something. 

The point?  He waiting and eventually found what he was looking for. 

There have been countless times I have bought things at a store only to find it later at a yard sale or thrift store for half the price.  Patience!

5.14.2012

Teaching Children About Money: Pt. 1

So last week my hubby and I taught a class on teaching children about money.  I thought it might be useful information for others who weren't there as well!  So, this week is going to be devoted to only that.  As we studied for this class we realized there are so many mehods, philosophies, ideas and opinions about this topic that there is no possible way to cover it all!   We also believe the quote, "I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves" as was said by Joseph Smith to a member of Legislature. 

And so, with that said, we found THREE PRINCIPLES that we believe if children learn they will govern themselves well with regards to money.  Each day will be a new principle and then Friday will be a list of books and some ideas on how to implement the principles.

Principle #1:  WORK
Usually when we hear the word work we think of words like: tired, complaining, hard, busy, neverending, etc.  However, when we think about the blessings of work we would list things such as:  accomplishment, self-confidence, money, strength, knowledge, health, etc.  So, it's funny to me that our first reaction to work is one of negativity.  And, when we think about the blessings, I have to ask why we would want to deprive our children of so many great things! 


In 2 Nephi 5:17, 27 we read, "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands....And it came to pass that we lived after hte manner of happiness." 

It is important that we teach our children that work is a principle of the Lord that leads us to living "after the manner of happiness."

I love the following story:
A traveler passed a stone quarry and saw three men working. He asked each man what he was doing. Each man’s answer revealed a different attitude toward the same job. “I am cutting stone,” the first man answered. The second replied, “I am earning three gold pieces per day.” The third man smiled and said, “I am helping to build a house of God.”

In having our children help us out around the home, it's important that they not feel as though they are "unvalued, un-consulted employees or like pawns on a chessboard" (Linda & Richard Eyre, The Entitlement Trap).  By teaching them that we are building a house of God, we are teaching them to value the work that they do. 

5.12.2012

My Motherhood Journey

Happy Mother's Day!  
I hope this day finds you all relaxing and enjoying breakfast in bed.  If not, maybe at least a sticky hug or two!  :-)  

I wasn't going to write anything.  But then I felt the desire to write about my own journey of motherhood.




From the age of 10 I knew I wanted to be a mother.  I would create imaginary families, write and rewrite and rewrite lists of names (I don't think I've used any of them...yet), and be sure I was holding a baby at every church function.  The desire for motherhood has just always been a part of me. 

I used to think that everyone should be a mother, and if they weren't they were crazy!  I also used to think every woman wanted to be a mother.  Until I met Barb  (I hope you don't mind my sharing a bit of this, friend).  From her I learned that sometimes it takes drastic events to lead others not only into motherhood, but into the LOVING of motherhood. 

Again, I thought everyone was crazy to not have children.  Until one of my best friends  from high school began a road of challenges where motherhood was concerned.  And I began to witness other desirous women struggling.

Fortunately, both stories have had beautiful and happy endings (or beginnings, however you want to look at it).  And fortunately, I have matured a little bit and no longer do the judging.

Motherhood is hard.  I seemed to be right in my element with baby number one.  Even though he was 2 months early, I was in complete extacy.  Then came baby number two, also premature but not as early.  Suddenly it seemed I had no clue what I was doing!  After all, JW was in the NICU for 3 1/2 weeks, he came home "trained."  Now I was all on my own with a newborn and a toddler.  I vividly remember the day I was trying to nurse my crying baby, my 18 month old standing in front of me crying, and me crying because I was so tired!

Still, despite feeling crazy, the impression came that baby #3 needed to join our family.  Blessings came and our home was filled with more peace and joy.

After realizing job option number one was not going to work out, my husband decided to begin work on his masters degree.  Completely fine with the plan and happy with my three little ones, we decided to "wait" awhile before having another child.  Well, as plans always go...they don't.  The Lord obviously knew what we needed.  :-) 

Then came number 5 and I went a little bit crazy.  Well, a lot crazy.  Though I LOVED having my kids close and really did want to have more children, I knew that five ages 7 and under was just too much.  I was suddenly caught in the middle of diapers, sibling rivalry, messes, and a husband who needed more than I could give!  I was stuck. 

It was during the next two or three years that I had to rediscover the true joys of motherhood.  It was during that time that I realized I was truly living my dream, I chose these children, and I chose motherhood over all other tantalizing options.  It was also through those moments of mayhem that I learned there was no way to get out of the rut than relying whole-heartedly upon the Lord. 

Motherhood is still hard.  As the kids get older, the hardness gets different... at times, more painful.  There are days when I would love to go back to those early years when life was a bit more simple.  But for now, I'm going to enjoy each Mother's Day as it comes along.  Why?  Because it's who I am.  I'm okay and want to be defined simply as... A Mother.

5.11.2012

Going Through Firsts

A friend recently asked, "How many seconds are in a year?" 
I responded, "Do you mean seconds like time, or seconds like, second helpings of dessert?  (we were eating dessert at the time)."
  Answer to her question?  You tell me.

Anyway, I bring that all in to say that D. has been going through another spurt of FIRSTS!  How many FIRSTS are in a year (of a baby's life)?  Yes...He'll be one year in just 2 1/2 weeks! 

He's been walking further and further each day now.  But today he expressed his very first, very real opinion (independence starts so young these days!).  

He was in a baby swing at the park, but when JL went to take him out he hung onto that swing for dear life, tensed up and screamed!  It was the funniest thing.  I had JL try a couple of times just to laugh at my very cute boy.  Sadly, I have NOT been taking many pictures of this child (sorry, #6). 

And though there is some excitement over his firsts, I have to also say he is entering my least favorite of ALL stages!  12 to 18 Months!  He wants down and then wants up.  He wants to walk, but can't quite walk.  He eats dog food.  He thinks it's funny to throw his food on the floor instead of eat it.  At church...well, you all know how still a 12 month old can sit!! 

So, for now I just try to laugh at the funny stuff...like the expression of his opinions...and grit my teeth through the other. 

5.09.2012

6 Years?!?!?!

Okay.  So, I'm having a moment.

It's funny because a week or so ago my sister was saying how as her kids get closer to graduation it's sad to think of them leaving.  Well, being who I am I said, "I don't know that it will be as hard for me since I've had them around so much."  DUH!  My naivity scares me sometimes.  Because....

Tonight I went to Senior Honors Night for our ward at church.  Oh. My. Goodness.  None of these kids graduating are even MINE but tears kept magically appearing as I watched the slideshow, saw the parents so proud of their children, and then remembered I only have SIX MORE YEARS with my son.  SIX!  That is half as long than I've had him!  And then to think about the number of years I've had him times 2....I could be a grandma!!  (okay, maybe that's a bit of stretch, but....not too far distant!). 

It's nights like these where I think all the important questions...

"Did I teach him everything he needs to know?"

"How can I be sure my kids have such long lists of accomplishments at that age?"

"What pictures will I use?  What song will represent him?"

"Will he be making right choices six years from now?"

And then I think, "Well, I've already messed up for this long, might as well keep going!" 

So, I'm not utterly depressed, just slightly medatative about what all of this means.  A good reminder and need for an evaluation of how things are going. 

It reminds me of a conversation just this morning about what it means to nurture and how the "law of the harvest" doesn't only include planting seeds, nourishing and weeding...but also giving the "plants" time to grow.  Nurturing means focussing on the development, not the actions. 

So, in six more years my son will definitely not look like this:


But I pray his soul will be more fully developed as he turns into a young man and then into an adult.

Tone

While at the library I was reminded about TONE.  We parents sure like to talk down to our kids.  I'm not judging because I'm #1 culprit in this fault! 

I remember all too well of a time several years ago when I got off the phone with a friend and heard my son ask, "How come when you're on the phone you talk nice, but then when you get off the phone you don't talk nice."  WHAT?!!  I knew I did that (subconsciously), but kids aren't supposed to recognize those things . . . are they?! 

I first heard about creating a tone in your home from reading A Joyful Mother of Children by Linda Eyre.  In there she tells a story about when she was visiting with a friend from a different country (England I think).  Her daughter came up to ask her something and then walked away.  Her friend then asked, "Why do you let your children speak to you that way?"  It dawned on Eyre that the tone they used in their family wasn't one of love or respect.  I cringe when I hear mothers talking down or impatiently to their children...and yet, I KNOW I do the very same thing! 

Setting the Tone in our Homes
The most important way to be sure our children speak respectfully is by us setting the example!  Here are some ways we can do that:

 - Just listen for a day.  Tally the number of times you speak out of frustration or impatience.  Try to jot down why.  What were you doing at the time?  Were you tired?  Usually, if I don't want to be interrupted that's when I am interrupted and that's when I get frustrated. 

 - After listening for a day to yourself.  Take a day to listen to your children.  What are they doing?  How are they responding to one another?

 - Teach a lesson on the topic.  Many times I expect things from my children that I've never even actually taught them.  Yes, a lot is learned by example, but principles need to be taught. I remember one more experienced mother referring to the tone as "the language of love." 

 - Then, decide how you're going to change.  For me, I want to work on the principle:"Cease Speaking!" I've mentioned this verse before, but it's worth mentioning again.  In the scriptures we read of a father teaching his children and then he stopped talking.  I'm working on "biting my tongue" when I feel the urge to "lash out"!  What do you need to do to change?  Smile.  Breathe. Apologize every time.  Maybe you could involve your kids in the change and have some code word or something to help the whole family work together on the goal  (I'm really not that fun of a mom...but I think it would be great!). 

"Your example will set the tone for the direction your [children] follow."
 - - Gordon B. Hinckley - -

5.08.2012

A Very Merry Un-Birthday to Me!!


I had the happiest surprise tonight.

It's 9:00p.m.  All the kids are getting into bed.  I'm winding down.  And there's a knock at the door.

There's a friend with a plate of cookies wishing me a happy birthday! 

Note:  It's not my birthday.

Then it dawns on me...The Relief Society Bulletin!  Yup.  It was printed wrong.  Right day.  Wrong month.

We laughed.  I said thank you.  And I displayed the card!

20 minutes later.  Another knock on the door.  Sweet friend holding flowers...having remembered "late" that it's my birthday!

Okay...so what really is the right thing to do!?!  I felt so bad telling these sweet friends that it was not my "real" birthday because they'd obviously "forgotten" throughout the day and made a late-night run to make or buy me these wonderful things...and then to find out it's not my birthday!  I really could have just said, "Thank you."  But then what happens when the September bulletin comes out and there's my birthday again?  Right? 

So, I was very grateful.  I felt very loved today.  And it's interesting because both "Birthday Wishes" were a direct answer to my prayers.   It was a happy day, birthday or not.  And friendship really doesn't only matter on those special days.  Every day I'd love to take someone cookies and say, "Happy Day!  YOU are reason to celebrate." 

So...for all those NOT celebrating a birthday today...

HAPPY UN-BIRTHDAY!  Celebrate anyway.  :-) 

5.07.2012

Different

I just went to see the local high school musical production of Honk!  this weekend.  So fabulous!  I went with my girls while the boys were away on a Father/Son campout.  I even got a babysitter for the baby so that I could thoroughly enjoy the event (I never get sitters anymore, it was kind of weird!). 

Anyway, I came away asking myself the question..."Who ever said we needed to be the same?"  Sometimes I think we try so hard to "fit the mold" (whatever the mold is!).  I loved the message in Honk! that we all are needed to make the "farm" interesting.  And really for it even to function, right?  I know we talk about this topic, but I wish we all could feel it. 

There is genius in each of us!  Genius...not just talent or differences or characteristics....GENIUS!  There is really only one way for ME to be JULIA....and for YOU to be YOU.  For me this is the true meaning of individual worth. 

I have two favorite books that remind me that it's okay to be ME...two books I could read over and over and over again and of which I never tire.


Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Big_Orange_Splot.png
Thanks, Jess for this one!! It's about a guy who lives in a neighborhood where all of the houses are the same...until his is found with an orange splot.  Suddenly, after the shock is over, everyone is trying to see just how creative their homes can be!

Image from http://www.educationworld.com/a_books/books055.shtml
This one is just like it sounds...One goose just can't seem to do anything "right." And yet, he proves to be the happiest duck in the pond! 


Get them.
Read them.
Believe them! 

YOU are a GENIUS at being YOU!!

5.04.2012

Quote to Ponder this Weekend

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." 
 - - Booker T. Washington in Up From Slavery

5.03.2012

No Fear


I. Hate. Spiders. 

I am TERRIFIED of spiders.

We had an interesting discussion the other night with the family.  My husband really has no fears.  We (he) couldn't think of one thing that he's afraid of.  There are things he said he doesn't like to do...but there's really nothing that he's scared of or that is too hard for him to do. 

While hiking up the mountain with the boys last week, we talked about doing hard things.  Each of them came up with something they would do that might be hard for them.  Things such as talking to a girl or working harder on their language studies.  

I committed I would kill a spider.  But...

I can't. 

I tried the other day and completely freaked out!  I just got so tense.  And i screamed.  I couldn't do it.  JW got it all on video!  Today there was another opportunity and I didn't even try.  My 4 year old was eager to get him, though, after which he asked, "Do I get some money?"  (Yes, I pay my kids to kill spiders for me). 

I've done some really hard things lately which has given me the greater desire to conquer more challenges.  I don't know if I'll ever get this one down!!  So, that's my hard thing challenge.  Getting up the gumption to kill a spider.  What's your hard thing challenge right now? 

5.02.2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I loved the quote from General Conference where President Packer said, "One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents." 

It's so true!!!

This puts into perspective not only what I can learn from my children, but what it means to be a parent.

In preparation for my lesson on Sunday, I stumbled upon this old LDS video.   I laughed the most where the kids were singing "Reverently, Quietly" while different clips were shown of kids being kids!



What lessons are you learning from your kids today?

5.01.2012

It's Okay to be Happy!

Image from bokertov.typepad.com

 
Sometimes I forget it's okay to be happy. It's okay to not have a problem that needs fixing. Not that things are perfect (sibling rivalry is at it's peak these days at our house!), but I can say that I'm in a "blessed and happy state" (Mosiah 2:41) right now in my life. Still, this weekend I seemed to forget that that's okay and created mental stress by thinking there must be some kind of problem to fix!

 
Here are some thoughts I've had on why it's okay to be happy:

 

 

 

  1. If we all had trials at the same time, who would do the lifting? It's all in perspective. 
  2. Trials are in the eyes of the beholder. Sometimes we may be going through a "trial" but not call it that because we are "dealing with it" well. 
  3.  We need to save up those moments of happiness so that we can endure the greater trials to come! You know...the calm before the storm. 
  4. Maybe the trial is being happy.  Remember the Pride Cycle?  Don't want to get too comfy in our happiness and forget who to thank!  

    Image from Seminarymoments.blogspot.com
        5. "To much is given, much is required."   A blessed and happy state simply requires more of me...time to step out of my own comfort zones and give more sunshine to those around me. 
      Sorry if this sounds a bit too idealistic.  I really do think sometimes we forget to let ourselves be happy!  In the scriptures we read, "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."  Of this scripture Robert D. Hales has said, "Sometimes we forget that our Heavenly Father desires that each of us have this joy (To Act for Ourselves, CR April 2006)."
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