Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spiritually Fed

This morning I went with some women from my ward to a regional women's conference in Rexburg. We left fairly early, and waited for an hour before it started.
The guest speaker was Sister Julie B. Beck, the general Relief Society president. This is a HUGE deal. The only other time we really hear from the general Relief Society president is during conference or the general women's broadcast which precedes General Conference.
She started by talking about what a great time she's had and how she was a little nervous. Then she said that she would take questions from the audience and answer them. The Spirit was SO strong. She asked that the questions be able to help others and not be too terribly specific. The first question was great: How do we gain our own personal testimony of the Relief Society?
Her answer was to know who we are, that we're not below the priesthood, but that the Relief Society works hand in hand in Heavenly Father's plan. Women, along with men, are equal halves of a divine pair. Women have our roles, and men have theirs. We can't delegate to the other, we must do our own work.
Then she told us the mission of Relief Society: Increase our faith and righteousness, strengthen our homes and families, and seek others to help.
She said that the most revelation we'll receive will be when we get on our knees and ask.
Questions ranged from wayward children, to wayward friends, how we can strengthen our own spirits and endure, what we can do to prepare to serve a mission, how we can find balance in all aspects of our lives, how often to attend the temple, how to accept others and not use spite, how to better teach, how to guard against pornography, and how to prepare this world for Christ. It was one where we heard stories, searched the scriptures and encouraged one another.
A few of my favorite sayings that she said mostly had to do with parenting and being a good friend and sister.
"Don't ever assume that the person you are talking to doesn't need something too." (In other words, everyone is struggling with something, why not try to help out where we can.)
"Be a light, melt the spite."
"We want our Spiritual children to be kind and obedient. This is not what we were given. Our children are the Lord's toughest and strongest Spirits and they NEED strong teachers and leaders."
"We all have excuses about Visiting Teaching, but we need to get over them. The Lord doesn't care, he wants us to get to work."
Over all, a great GREAT meeting. I love it when my spiritual reservoirs are filled.

Monday, February 21, 2011


My boys have been at one another all day long. Why do we HAVE to celebrate dead presidents anyway??
I've been slowly going a bit crazy. I walked past their hole of a bedroom and about lost it, then I thought, "Let's make this a game...."
I came into the living room and said, "Okay guys, I need you to do something for FAST as you can....go upstairs and throw ALL the toys into the toy box...on your mark, get set.....GO!" Both boys were off. Within a few minutes they came back wanting more....
Work doesn't have to be can be fun too. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spoiled Much??

Our tax refund this year has been a HUGE blessing. We've spent probably more than we should have, but BOY are we having fun!
We upgraded our computer. The last one had Vista on it, and Vista was sucking up most of the memory. Our dedicated computer man told us to not put any more money into that machine. He told us he'd build us a decent machine that would knock the socks off our current model, so we planned to buy a new computer from him with our refund.
The day the refund came, Steve was SO ready to go and get that new machine. I told him it wasn't MY priority, but he wanted to go anyway. The guys set us up with a new machine that had so many gizmos and do-dads that we were excited to get it. They even installed a card reader (how did I EVER live without one before now?) and an extra Ethernet hook-up. (Do you like my computer jargon? Yeah, I'm so knowledgeable....*guffaw*)
We had a few problems with it, but those fantastic computer dudes fixed us up VERY quickly and without too many complaints. (The last trip in, I asked if they were tired of seeing us...)
Part of the reason we got the new Ethernet extension was so we could finally hook up our Wii to the Internet. Steve got so frustrated trying to make it work. He finally gave up and contacted our Internet provider and got a wireless router. (I had no idea he'd done this until it showed up today....)
We are now playing old-school games on our Wii, watching a free trial of Netflix (no longer old-school with movies) and having a good old time.
The boys are in heaven, but I have to remind them that these things aren't required in life, they're extras.... that I've blogged, I'm off to play more Bomberman!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Love Is In the Air

We had a very nice Valentine's Day this year.
I've tried to continue the tradition that my mom had of giving to my children as well as my sweetheart. She always gave us something small and I loved it. This year we gave our boys a small heart filled with chocolate and bubbles and bouncy balls. When Cam saw it he said, "That's it?" Gee, have I not taught my child to be grateful?? So I told him that he needed to be grateful for anything he gets and that if he didn't like that, then he could have nothing. He stopped complaining after that.
Steve sent me a beautiful bouquet of lilies and carnations that he designed himself. I think they're gorgeous. Then my visiting teacher came by with a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's. So Jake and I ate pizza for lunch, it was great.
I sent Steve a huge balloon bouquet, and Jake thought they were for him. It was quite cute.
And after we had finished, I got a message that I'd won a cool Valentine's gift basket from a friend. How cool is THAT!?
Over all it was a wonderful day, filled with lots of love and happiness. I need days like that EVERY week.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Not Funny.....It's Not Funny....It's Not Funny...It's NOT Funny....

Lately, I've been a VERY lazy mama. I have been completely exhausted in the mornings, and tend to sleep the morning away while Jake has free-reign on the house. Usually he's pretty good about sticking to the living room (where I'm asleep on the couch) or playing in his room. It's been a good set-up.
Today, Steve had the day off, and I went upstairs to sleep with him in the bed. We invited Jake to join us and even turned on his cartoons. This didn't sit well with my 2-year old.
After an hour of sleeping-bliss, Jake came to me and handed me my cinnamon jar, almost empty. I awoke pretty quickly and began wondering what awaited me downstairs.
Standing at the top of the stairs I saw some of the carnage....cinnamon spilled all over the bottom 5 stairs and the stair-wall. I began to laugh and asked Jake what happened.....
Then as I got further down the stairs I heard Jake whining that his eye hurt. He was playing on the couch like he normally does, and noticed that this wasn't just cinnamon....he'd found the pepper shaker and poured it ALL over the house, the couches and chairs were covered, it was IN my DVDs, on the Wii board, EVERYWHERE. And now, apparently, Jake was rubbing it into his eyes.
This is the cinnamon, it's on a tile picture and a black sock.
I wanted to cry...If Steve hadn't been there, I'm sure I would have cried. He laughed and took pictures. (I told him if he took a picture of me I'd REALLY hurt him, good boy that he is, he didn't get any of me....) I didn't want Jake to get any more pepper in his eyes, so I told Steve to take him upstairs and clean him up. Jake thought he was in a bunch of trouble and began reacting the way Cameron would have. He cried and said, "No no no no no no....." Steve said that I should have been nicer to him, but I just wanted him to stop playing in the pepper....I wasn't worried about his feelings right then.
It was a mess. I discovered that he'd started in the kitchen and worked his way upstairs. I guess his bed is filled with pepper and cinnamon as well.
The empty pepper bottle sits in the kitchen sink (I had refilled this bottle last week). The quarter-filled cinnamon jar is on the table.....and the little boy is blissfully unaware that his mom was THIS close to a nervous break-down.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Fun Family Home Evening Ideas

Tonight we had a fantastic Relief Society meeting with ideas for Family Home Evenings. It was so fun and FULL of wonderful ideas. I want to remember, so I'm going to share a few.
  • Repentance: Have the family sit in a circle around a big bowl. Make sure they're sitting on a hard, easy to clean floor. Tell them the rules of this game are that they can pick what they want out of the bowl, if they want, but they cannot look up or they're out. Slowly drop pieces of candy into the bowl above the family. Start throwing more and more until it's a frenzy, then drop an uncooked egg. Once everyone is covered with egg, talk about how we can think we're doing something that's innocent, but can turn bad. Then wash the egg off and talk about how we can be clean again after we repent.
  • Write family histories...especially good to have OUR parents write theirs. Include pictures.
  • Use the Gospel Art Picture Book or Kit and tell stories from the pictures. Kids can do this really well.
  • Make Family Home Evening fun and not a time for lectures. One of my favorite stories of the night, the mom was frustrated with the family leaving food, garbage, clothes all over the house, so she hid chocolate balls in one daughter's sock drawer, popcorn in another daughter's closet. That night she exaggerated making a mess finding the candy and popcorn....throwing the socks in a comical manner, then in the 3rd daughter's room, she said how warm she was and took her sweatshirt, socks and boots off, throwing them all over the room. After the rooms were sufficiently messed up. The mom asked, "When you're at school, do you drop stuff on the floor and expect your teacher to pick it up?" "Do you leave your garbage all over the lunchroom table?" "Why do you treat our house this way?" It was a good respect lesson, and not a lecture.
  • Memorize the Proclamation to the World.
  • Write your own Family Proclamation with goals you have as a family.
  • Involve children in sharing and teaching the lesson. (This is where I struggle, personally...) It doesn't matter what they teach, as long as they feel excitement for the lesson and a sense of responsibility.
There was SO much more, but this was the few things that I truly appreciated.