Monday, November 23, 2009

A Christmas of Service and Love

Since Santa's feeling the downturn in the economy like everybody else, our family (and by our family, I mean me) has decided to limit the number of gifts we are getting this year. Instead, we are going to have "A Christmas of Service and Love" and focus more on the true meaning of the season.
Every day, during the month of December, we are going to try to have a fun, family service project or activity. Some of the things I'm thinking of are: to go to the Temple Visitors Center, to go caroling, to put together kits for the Humanitarian Center, and to visit the Tuacahn Nativity...but 25 days is a lot to I'd love to hear some great ideas from all my friends.
What are some of the fun family focused traditions that bring your family closer to each other and to the Lord? Will you please share them with us? I'm really hoping to make this Christmas season a memorable and fun one for my family!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Fun!

I had to show off my cute t-shirt that I wore to our New Moon group date tonight.

A few other girls wore shirts that said, "My heart belongs to (husband's name), but my neck belongs to Edward."  They were cute too!

I had a blast tonight! Half the fun is hanging out with all the girls and their hubbies. We also had some very young, cute girls sitting in front of us who were definitely on Team Jacob. Their sighs and oohs and aahs made the movie that much more fun.

It was a fun night out!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New World Order

Well, in my own little world anyway! I have been inspired by all the recent counsel that I have heard to try to establish a "house of order" in our home. I want to be able to teach my children correct principles, and let them govern themselves...I know it's a stretch, but we're going to try.
 So, tonight's family night was a working meeting where we established rules, consequences and rewards...along with a new plan for FHE agendas.  From now on, we will have a chore chart where the girls will be able to earn an allowance, and at FHE they will have to report on how well they did, what they could do better, and what they will work on the following week! We are going to have daily, weekly, and family chores to help us learn housekeeping skills and how to work better as a family. Hopefully the rules and motivators are something the girls will buy into since they helped us set it up.
I wanted to do a Tech-free week as well, but it was overwhelming enough to implement this new plan.  I think we'll get this going and then attempt a TF-week next week.  I was totally amazed at the number of times we were warned against the dangers of technology. I don't want that counsel to fall on deaf (ipod filled) I want to see if we can really do it.  Scott actually suggested that we do this about two weeks ago, and it was I who dragged my feet about it. It will be hard but I think we have to try.
So, wish us luck! This will definitely be a weakness turned to a strength...if it works. I have struggled with what to do for a while, so I'm glad for the good advice I was given this weekend and I'm anxious for a change.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sweet Assurance

The theme of Time Out for Women this year was Sweet Assurance: the certainty that comes when you know life's truths. I was so glad that I got another opportunity to attend this year. The focus of each of the talks and the music was to bear testimony of the truths that govern our lives and that have been taught to us by the Savior, through his life and example. Over 3,000 women attended!!

All of the presenters were inspiring! I loved Kenneth Cope's music and Hillary Weeks will always be one of my all-time favorites...she is so funny and talented.  But I think my favorite presentation this year was by Emily Freeman.  Her talk was so moving and the principles she was teaching really resonated with me. She talked about abundance and how sometimes the simplest acts can bring an abundance of blessings.  She told sweet stories that illustrated the true principles of service and love, and she really motivated me to find ways in my own life that I can try to find a greater abundance of God's love.

The funny ladies of the seminar were Mary Ellen Edmunds and Emily Watts. I totally related to Emily's advice on parenting. She reaffirmed my belief that being a parent is one of the hardest things I'll ever do, but that it is worth waiting for our little "fruits" to ripen.  Oh, and I should probably include Chieko Okazaki in this group too. She reminded us at the beginning of her remarks that she is almost 83 years old. What an amazing lady!

I'm planning to make this event an annual tradition. I love taking this time to reaffirm my faith, to hear people with more wit and wisdom than I have inspire me to action, and to share the experience with other women of faith. The plan, according to the show director, is to alternate the venues from Vegas to St. George each year. That will be great! If it's always that close to home, I'll be there!

Before the show ended, we were challenged to share one thing we know to be true today. My truth is this: I know we are meant to be happy; that happiness is all God wants for us and everything He asks us to do is designed to bring us joy. Sometimes it's hard to accept that it might be that easy and we find ways to make it more complicated than it has to be, but I know that if we do His will we will be blessed with more joy than we can handle. Knowing this brings me peace and assurance even in the worst of times!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Power of Music

Lately I have been listening to 91.3, a classical music station here in St. George. Often they play movie music, such as the Star Wars theme, which I usually enjoy.  Tonight I was driving to the pizza place to pick up dinner for my fam and I was listening to the radio. A commercial for the Five Browns had just finished and I was paying more attention to traffic than anything else, when suddenly I heard this terrifying sound. I didn't process it at first... I was thinking it was screeching brakes, or no...maybe a siren...I was certain it was something horrible and I started to panic, slowing down and looking for whatever was making the ominous noise.  Suddenly, I realized what I was hearing...the theme to JAWS!!  The strings sounding those opening chords (da-dum, da-dum) truly struck panic into my heart...before I even realized what it was.  I had to laugh out loud at myself.  It was scary, hilarious, and humiliating all at once.  I'm just glad I was in my car and not in the ocean...there would have been an accident, and I'm not talking about the traffic.  :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Love My Quirky Kid

I have to post something funny that Shaylie said to me the other day. She has the most unique sense of humor and I have always loved it. She cracks me up.

A couple days before Halloween, she said to me that she wouldn't like to run into a Vampire. I said, "Why? Because they vant to suck your blood?" And she said, "Yeah, and because they shoot rubber bands at you."

I can't help it. I laughed my head off...and I'm still laughing. Love you Shaylie-bug!