Teach Now

Once a month we have a seminary teachers’ inservice meeting. Sister Morgan usually assigns us an article or two to read before going to the meeting. This week’s article was a Conference talk given by President (then Elder) Eyring titled “The Power of Teaching Doctrine.”

There are a couple of things in the article that really stood out to me. The first was this:

The need to open eyes and hearts tells us how we must teach doctrine. Doctrine gains its power as the Holy Ghost confirms that it is true. We prepare those we teach, as best we can, to receive the quiet promptings of the still, small voice. That takes at least some faith in Jesus Christ. It takes at least some humility, some willingness to surrender to the Savior’s will for us. The person you would help may have little of either, but you can urge that they desire to believe. More than that, you can take confidence from another of the powers of doctrine. Truth can prepare its own way. Simply hearing the words of doctrine can plant the seed of faith in the heart. And even a tiny seed of faith in Jesus Christ invites the Spirit.

To me this means that we try our hardest just to plant seeds and help lead those we help towards a small seed of faith. Once that small seed of faith has been planted, the Spirit can enter and teach the truthfulness of all things.

The second, and probably my favorite part of the talk was this part:

We have the greatest opportunity with the young. The best time to teach is early, while children are still immune to the temptations of their mortal enemy, and long before the words of truth may be harder for them to hear in the noise of their personal struggles.

A wise parent would never miss a chance to gather children together to learn of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Such moments are so rare in comparison with the efforts of the enemy. For every hour the power of doctrine is introduced into a child’s life, there may be hundreds of hours of message and images denying or ignoring the saving truths.

The question should not be whether we are too tired to prepare to teach doctrine or whether it wouldn’t be better to draw a child closer by just having fun or whether the child isn’t beginning to think that we preach too much. The question must be, “With so little time and so few opportunities, what words of doctrine from me will fortify them against the attacks on their faith which are sure to come?” The words you speak today may be the ones they remember. And today will soon be gone.

I love President Eyring and I’m so grateful for these words of wisdom. He also talks about how little children are ready to hear the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Reading this complete talk helped to remind me that my kids are ready for the doctrines. They don’t need games and gimmicks – just truth. They need the doctrine. The Spirit will provide more for them than a game ever could.

Will I Win?

I’ve been waiting for a reason to update my blog and I found it this morning. Sara posted this on her blog and I thought it was a great idea!

The first 5 people to respond to this post will receive something made by me. What I make will be my choice, but it will be made just for you. Since I only really have 5 readers, that means that you’ll all probably get something 🙂

This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2. What I create will be an original and it will be made just for you.
3. It’ll be done this year (might be December 31st, but you WILL get something) and I will post all of my original creations as they are completed.
4. You will get no clues what it’s going to be. Heck, I don’t even know what it will be. I might paint or draw something. I might compose a jingle or short song. I might even write a short play just for you. Who knows? Whatever it is, it will be a surprise!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange 🙂

The catch? The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.

Happy commenting (AND posting!)

One More for December

The night before my surprise party was Cory Dan’s birthday sleepover. I should have been waiting for something like this, but for some reason the thought never crossed my mind. The next morning, I was up a little early, as was Jon. He was standing in the dining room and I was in the kitchen getting some cereal. All of a sudden he starts laughing and says that we’d been toilet-papered. I didn’t believe him at first, but then I remembered that Cory’s party was the night before.

I do have to say… I’m a little disappointed in these kids’ parents. Check out the half used rolls of TP laying in the yard and on the cars. They could have done so much more damage! 🙂

Lani also posted some in-progress pictures here.

Regardless, we were honored to be chosen for the festivities! Thanks Cory and friends!

December, Part 2, Crafts!

Every year, we draw names, twice. We trade names among “the kids” for a ‘big’ gift and then we include Mom and Dad and trade stockings. This year, both of my sisters’ husbands lost their jobs so money was tight, to say the least. We decided that for the big gift we would only be allowed to give a service to the recipient. The stockings were to be white elephant gifts.

I drew Rachael’s name for the big gift and EmaLee for the stocking.

I don’t get to see Rachael very often so for my service to her, I made her a bag. Of all the bags I’ve ever made, this one was my FAVORITE! I made a messenger bag with two pockets on the inside, big enough she could probably put my brother in it and carry him with her. I didn’t realize the finished product was going to be so big.

I found the fabric at Walmart and knew that Rachael would love it. I wanted to personalize the bag some so I decided that I would sew a R on the flap. I found a nice pink embrodery thread that I already had, found a font on the computer that I liked, printed a R, cut it out, traced it on the flap (after cutting it out and before sewing anything), and then hand embroidered the R.

The finished product was awesome! I still haven’t mastered the closure process, so this bag doesn’t have anything on it to keep it closed, but the flap is big enough that it’s not completely necessary. Rachael loved it 🙂

I stretched the white elephant just a tad and used beads I already had, thread I already had, clasps I already had and made bracelets. I made one for each “major” holiday. It was a ton of fun and she really liked them all.

I made one more that she can use for any day of the year, including New Years, if she wants 🙂 It looks a lot like the black and white one I made with the red accents, but it’s different. A little bit. This one also came with earings.

I had so much fun with my gifts this year, I’m contemplating Valentine’s Day already!

December, Part 1

December flew by in a flurry of balloons, streamers, trees, lights and parties! It’s hard to believe that it’s over already!

I turned *cough, cough* THIRTY *gasp, gag, gurgle* on the 4th and Jon threw a surprise party for me the following Saturday. It was the best birthday party EVER! I opened the door and the first person I saw was Michele Randall and it all started to make sense. It was like having my life flash before my eyes – or at least the two weeks leading up to the party. All of the strange things began to make sense. Things like…

EmaLee and Elizabeth wanting to take me to a movie. Liz doesn’t like to go to the movies because of her Restless Legs.

The fact that the movie had to be early and we were all going to get together for “games” afterwards.

My dad telling me that “somebody will do something, I’m sure” on my birthday when I was home all by myself.

Nobody saying ANYTHING about my birthday ON my birthday, no phone calls, no Facebook messages, NOTHING. Except Sara. She was brave enough 🙂 Thanks Sara – you rock!

Jon doing a serious deep cleaning of the house. Including dusting, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, and mopping. He even created a checklist to make sure that he got everything done that he wanted to.

The hush-hush encounter of Em and Jon when Em came to pick me up for the movie.

I don’t have digital pictures from the party. Kristi did take some pictures and sent me copies, but I’m too lazy to scan them so I can post ’em at the moment. Mike took some good videos too.

I’m so grateful for all my good friends! We counted 50 people, not including the kids upstairs and the teenagers in the dining room. That’s a LOT of people and I feel so loved. I’m so thankful that everyone came and that we all had a great time. Good friends and good food – what more could a girl want for her birthday?

Thanks all!!!

A Thankful Thanksgiving

We had such a great weekend that it has been difficult to get back into the swing of things this week. It started on Wednesday night when EmaLee and I made pies and ice cream. She made two apple pies (which were delicious!) and I made two different kinds of ice cream – cinnamon and vanilla.

Jon, Ellie and I spent the night at Em and Brian’s Wednesday night and got up Thursday and got started with dinner (after having a great breakfast – it’s all about the food, right?). Our traditional dinner includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, black olives, what we call orange salad, rolls and cranberry sauce (for dad). This year we were blessed enough to be able to have all of that.

After dinner, it was nap time (of course). Erek snuggled up to grandpa and was the only one of us that was able to get some z’s. Dad might have snoozed a little too – he could fall asleep anywhere. Must be where I get it from.

After nap time it was time for dessert. Brian’s brother and sister both came with their families. Lani brought some yummy homemade chocolate filled croissants and a pumpkin crumble (which I never did get to taste. I heard it was yummy though). We cut into Em’s delicious apple pies, and dished them up with some cinnamon and vanilla ice cream. I made a banana cream pie earlier in the day from a Pampered Chef cookbook that I got at a garage sale and we cut into that too. Everything was a big hit!

After dessert was game time. We played a game called Pictureka! and had a blast! Steve likes to stretch the rules when he plays games so if you’re ever on his team you’ll always win but if you’re playing against him be prepared to fight for the rules. Mike is a sore loser so if he’s not on Steve’s team find something to keep him distracted.

After game time we watched Wall-E and then everyone went home except for Jon and I – we decided to stay one more night. Friday morning we got up and came home, cleaned up the house, and then went back for leftover-dinner. Saturday I spent a lot of the day shopping with Lani and Sunday was back to normal. Church and some visiting teaching.

I’m so grateful for my family and my friends and all of the other things I’m so blessed to have! It has been a great year.


I went with Jon and my bookclub to see Twilight on Friday night. It’s now Sunday morning and I still can’t decide if I would rate it a 4 or a 6 out of 10 and here’s why: (there are spoilers – beware)

* I always think it’s great when an author/writer makes a cameo appearance in the movie based on their book (or movie they wrote – whatever the case may be). I think it’s a show of ownership and a stamp of approval, and with Stefanie being as protective of her books as she is, I was glad to know that she made an appearance. The problem that I have with her appearance is that it didn’t flow with the movie. Like Vanessa mentioned, Jasper was hardly even there. Emmett had one or two lines (no I didn’t count them exactly, but that’s sure what it seemed like). Even Alice was pushed into a corner (I really wanted to see her closet!). But then there’s a scene where the waitress (what waitress right?) has a full line giving some woman sitting at the bar (of the cafe that Charlie and Bella happen to be in) her breakfast. It seemed like a full 30 seconds that should have been used on something more useful, like a line from Jasper. Why couldn’t she have just been in the restaurant when Edward and Bella were eating? In the background?

* I didn’t like the wide-eyed look that Jasper always had. Come on – he can control peoples moods for crying out loud. Give the guy a smile. He was one of my favorites in the books because I always pictured him making the world a better place with a warm, inviting look on his face. Instead he looks like a scared little kid that is convinced the monster in his closet is going to kill him for sure. And, I agree with Vanessa again – very Edward Scissorhands. I will say though that my first thought was Ronald McDonald.

* If you’re thinking what I was thinking about Edward – that he was debonair, sophisticated, graceful, eloquent, beautiful – be prepared for disappointment. Sure, he was good looking, but beautiful? No. As for debonair, sophisticated, graceful and eloquent… well, there was a lot to be desired. You can tell me as many times as you want that he was only 17 so there should have been teenaged awkwardness, but come on people – he’s been 17 “for a while” AND he’s a vampire. I saw no grace in his step. At one point I looked at his shirt to find the collar all jacked up and the shirt completely wrinkled. That’s definitely NOT the way that I pictured Edward to look. As far as eloquent – it seemed as if English was his second (or fourth) language, and he was still learning it.

* Carlisle’s entrance, or maybe it was the focus on the entrance, was certainly intended to make me swoon. Instead I felt myself wondering who it was that showed up with the rubber mask to take a look at Bella’s near death wounds.

* Speaking of Bella’s near death wounds – that scene was done very well. It was, word for word, the way that part of the movie-in-my-mind played out while I was reading the book.

* I was also a fan of the baseball scene. The timing was great – not too long, not too short. Plus it showed how they all had fun together.

* I also liked the entrance of James, Victoria and Laurant during the baseball scene. I could have done without the previous entrance and think that time could have been better used with the Cullens. A newspaper headline would have been sufficient.

* The scenery was beautiful.

* Charlie was AWESOME! I hope he’s sticking around for the rest of the films because he was SO perfect for that part and played it like no one else could.

* I missed the wittiness of the banter between Edward and Bella.

* I know she said that she wasn’t afraid in the woods, but she certainly seemed afraid. You know how, in the book, Bella had a certain curious attraction? In the movie it came off as a determined rebellion instead. She always seemed angry, even when she wasn’t. She didn’t seem as innocent as Bella should have. It should have been innocently curious and falling in love fast rather than “you’re hot and I want to know why RIGHT NOW!”

* Jacob… huh. Ok. Uh… Really? I hope he grows ’cause otherwise we’re going to have a bit of a special effects need.

* Ug, speaking of special effects… Glittering sandpaper. That’s what Edward looks like in the completely botched meadow scene. I get that he was supposed to be made like granite, but smooth granite, as in counter tops. Not as in building exterior.

* And tree climbing? Where, in all that as good, did “monkeys” come from?? Emmett is NOT a monkey. And the tree climbing? Looked more like Spiderman meets King Kong. Seriously? Again – time that could have been better spent.

I LOVED the book so I refuse to hate the movie. I won’t go lower than a four but I want to give it a 9 or a 10. I just can’t. Will I go to the second one? Of course! Probably with the same group of people (Nicole – you HAVE to be there too!) and probably on opening night or the night right after that. I’ll just be hoping that they do a better job the second time.

Vanessa, Anna and DeEtte all say that it’s better the second time and Vanessa offered to go with me so I’ll probably go see it again sometime this week. I hope so. I was hugely disappointed the first time and I don’t think it could be worse.

Title Of Liberty

There’s no difference in these pictures – they’re standing for the same things…

The young man in second picture is in my seminary class. He’s going to be a leader in God’s army – I just know it.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a few days but I’m so “Prop 8’d out” that I haven’t gotten to it until today.

I was so DONE with it all the night of the election. I had had enough corner standing, arm waving and sign holding. I knew however, and still know, that I was doing what the Lord wanted. I kept looking at my watch and saying to myself things like “3 more hours and then I can say that I did all I could do.” “1 more hour and I can say I did my best.” It was physically and emotionally draining to be out there every single day.

The very next morning, during our scripture reading, Jon and I read these verses from 3 Nephi 27:

“And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father…

“Write the things which ye have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden.

“Write the works of this people, which shall be, even as hath been written, of that which hath been written, of that which hath been.

“For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them shall their works be known unto men.

“And behold, all things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.

Here’s the clincher:

“And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.”

I know that He’s talking specifically about the people He was actually with at the time, but I truly feel that Heavenly Father rejoiced in us.

The First Four Years

Four years ago today Jon and I were married and sealed in the San Diego temple. I’m so grateful for the last four years!

I’m posting some of the pictures from our wedding and reception because I think it’s fun to look back and remember all the crazy things that went on that weekend.

This is us right out of the temple. The sun was bright and warm that day and right in the eyes!

Welcome to the reception! This was outside the door to help direct traffic coming in. Clare did such an awesome job with the decorations!

Lots of family was able to come. This is a picture of my side of the family that was able to make it. Jon’s two sisters, his brother-in-law, niece and his mom were all able to come too. It was so awesome to have everyone there!

Here are the pics of the buffet table and the dessert table. Again – the work of Clare. So beautiful!

This is a good pic of my brother and my cousin from the reception…

Last, but not least, a picture of us after the cake. Speaking of the cake… I am still so thankful for Paula for making the cake AND the bridesmaid’s dresses. I still love the flowers that Erica and Mary Jo did. And I will NEVER get over the decorations that Clare put together. I told her I wanted autumn – lots of leaves, pumpkins and terracotta pots and she made it all so beautiful!! You all ROCK!!

Grattitude Attitude

Last night we had our monthly scripture study class and talked about gratitude. I decided to start a page of things I’m grateful for – feel free to add things to the list; comments are accepted.

Today’s entry is my husband. He’s so good to me; so patient and kind. I love him more than anything.