Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine Memory --my favorite one


It was my senior year of high school. Valentines was rapidly approaching. And I was not looking forward to it! All of the girls with boyfriends would be carrying around stuff. You know. Chocolate, flowers, balloons, teddy bears, etc. All pink and red.

And while I had tons of friends and went on several dates, I was not dating anyone. I was preparing myself for valentines to be lonely. I knew my parents would give me some lovey gift and candy. I was tempted to hide some of their valentines in my back pack before school and then take them out once I got to school.

That way I could carry stuff around with me too.

It was tempting. But I resisted.

And I'm grateful I didn't! (Besides... Who would I claim they were from?! A secret admirer?)

I remember arriving at school and heading to my locker, just like it was an ordinary day. I got my books and took off my coat. And tried super hard to focus on anything other than my empty hands.

I went to meet my friends in our hallway spot before school started. And to my complete surprise, I was given a box of chocolates. Heart shaped and all. My heart melted. I felt so special and important. I could have easily put it away in my back pack. Oh no! I treasured that chocolate box and carried it with me the whole day and kept it on my desk during class. (Keep in mind that I was in high school... Of course I kept it out because I was no longer one of the empty handed girls.)

And the best part is it was from a boy! And it was totally his doing--I still remember staring in disbelief and total shock. It didn't mean I had a boyfriend. It didn't mean that this boy and I were going steady. It just meant he cared about me. He wanted me to feel valued.

I knew right then that someday I wanted to marry someone just like this boy. Someone who cares about me and shows it. Not because it was expected or because he should but because he just wanted me to he happy.

What I did not know then was that about three and a half years later this boy would become my eternal valentine. My forever best friend!

And still to this day, that heart shaped, small box of chocolates made that Valentines Day my very favorite!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Measuring Success


 I love making a to-do list in the morning and then checking things off as I finish them. I feel like I accomplished something. I feel success for the day.

But how do you truly measure success as a mother?

Devin is still alive--never mind the fact that he has breakfast still smeared in his hair at dinner time and I just barely got him out of his pjs right before Daddy came home. Some days this counts as success.

Or we did absolutely nothing today. The house is a disaster. But I watched Devin learn how to walk and celebrate his accomplishment. I built him block towers and watched him knock them over. I let him get out every single toy and book with in his reach and didn't bother cleaning up as we went because he was having fun. This definitely has to be a successful day.

And then there are some days where I literally have a million things to do. My check list is miles long. So I sat Devin beside me and got to work on cleaning and laundry and dinner and projects and dishes and etc. I am exhausted by the end of the day. I checked of my to-do list. So that means I was successful, right?!

But are these examples truly measuring success? How do I know if I am successful as a mommy? How do I know if my efforts are good enough?

I found a list in Preach My Gospel (page 10-11) that defines success for a missionary. With a few tweaks, I finally have my list to know if I am a successful mother!

I am a successful as a mom when I...
  • feel the spirit testify to my children through me
  • love my children and desire their salvation
  • obey with exactness
  • live so that I can receive and know how to follow the Spirit; the Spirit will show me where to go, what to do, and what to say
  • develop Christlike attributes
  • work effectively everyday, do my very best to bring my son to Christ, and earnestly seek to learn & improve
  • help build the Church wherever I am
  • warn Devin about the consequences of sin and invite him to make commitments
  • teach & serve other mothers
  • go about doing good

Success is not something that can be measured or checked off. In short, success is being obedient, living righteously, and doing my best. It is a inner commitment. It is who I am--not my unfinished to-do list or getting out of our pajamas. 

And... my absolute favorite quote from PMG about success.
"Avoid comparing yourself  to other moms
and measuring the outward results of 
your efforts against theirs."

(And with that being said... here is to starting on my LONG to-do list today!)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine's FHE Lesson


So this lesson looks like it has a lot of preparation. I promise, it really is not that bad! I just used things that other people have already created instead of designing everything myself. So this just takes you to the links you need to find everything I used.

Preparation: Assemble the home, (click on that link and then click on cubby house template), cut out all of the hearts and attach paperclips, (I liked some of the ideas on Little LDS Ideas for this FHE. She already made hearts with different "love" scenarios and I just used hers. Scroll to the bottom of the blog post and print off "page 1" and "page 2") make a magnetic fishing pole (I hot glued a magnet to a piece of yarn and then tied the yarn to a pencil, cut apart the puzzle home (I wrote our last name on the roof and then cut apart the house so it became a puzzle), have ingredients for oreos at home

Opening Song: 294 Love at Home

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: John 13:34-35

Lesson:

  • Read the first paragraph of “Temple” in the Bible Dictionary.
    • Emphasize the last sentence—“Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.”
    • What are some ideas for how we can make our home compare to the temple?
  • Read “My Home.”
    • We are going to practice filling our home with love tonight. (Show the home.)
    • Since we only want love to be in our home, we are going to read each heart and if it is something that will help our home be more like the temple, we are going to put it in our home. (Remove the roof and place one in.) If however, it is not something that will help our home be more Christlike, we are going to leave it outside the home and make a pile. (Show place for the pile)
    • (Then turn over all of the hearts so the words are down. Use the fishing pole with a magnet on the end to go fishing for a heart—each heart needs a paper clip attached to it. Take turns fishing for one heart at a time.)
  • Puzzle House
    • As we put the puzzle house together, we are going to discuss each characteristic and how it will help us make our home be more like the Temple.
Closing Song: 308 Love One Another

Closing Prayer:

Activity: Make Valentines. Either make valentines for each other or have them write out all of the valentines for their classmates. --And/Or--  Make an envelope/ box/ container for all of their valentines

Treat: Homemade Oreos
--Add red food coloring and cherry or almond extract to the frosting to make Cherry Chocolate Oreos--

Friday, February 8, 2013

...a guide to motherhood...

So I'm a teensy bit jealous of 19 year old LDS young women who are preparing to leave on missions. Ok. Truthfully, I'm super duper jealous. I absolutely hated 19-- seriously the most trying and difficult year of my life. And I wish so badly that I could have gone on a mission instead of facing my living nightmare. But since I can't live life wishing of what could have been, I have made a plan to go forward.

The plan is called Mission Mommyhood. (Sidenote: if you have not read my call to "Mission Mommyhood" make sure you click the previous link. That is seriously one of my favorite posts!) And Devin is my dear little investigator. I have a responsibility to teach him. To prepare him. To help him become a worthy full time missionary in 17 years and 4 months.

I keep thinking of a quote by Sis. Julie B. Beck. "Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre-missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation." 

I have no idea what goes on in the MTC. I never served a mission. How am I supposed to make my home a pre-MTC if I don't know what they teach there? (See... another reason to be jealous of the 19 year old girls. When they come home from their missions and someday become mothers, think of the influence they will have on their own families!)

But really, it can't be that complicated. The MTC is a place to prepare people to teach the gospel. Well, I have a testimony. Surely I can build on that to help prepare my little investigator. And then I realized that missionaries have a secret weapon. It is call Preach My Gospel. (Ok... I guess it is really not so secret. But it is to me because I haven't studied it.)

*Light bulb turns on* That is my game plan. I can learn about what goes on in the MTC by studying the manual they use there. Brilliant.

As I am studying this, I will replace the word "missionary" with "mommy" and "mission" with "motherhood." If you look at the actual cover of Preach My Gospel, the caption above says "a guide to missionary service." But really, that caption should read, "a guide to mommyhood motherhood."

I made a study journal. I have never quite figured out how to keep a study journal before. So the journal in and of itself will be a learning experience. I am going to use a binder so I can move pages as needed. And the only way for this to be functional is to keep it organized. I printed a blank table of contents page that I can fill in as I go. I am going to make a dividing page for each chapter and then start over at numbering pages for each chapter (for example-- Chapter 1, Page 1 or 1-1, Chapter 1, Page 2 or 1-2)

This is the cover for my study journal.
Not perfect because it is hand drawn.
But most (if not all) of my journal will be hand written
so it will fit in perfectly.
And... the quote at the bottom is the one above by Sis. Beck.


I'm excited to prepare myself so I can later prepare Baby Bunny. And I hope you will join me in studying Preach My Gospel from a mother's perspective. Then my district meetings blogging will make more sense. :)