It is Working

When I was younger, I wondered what life held in store for me. Each day was an adventure. Discoveries and new realizations were frequent occurrences. Do you remember that? New vocabulary, original experiences, and life’s schooling was intense. But the young are resilient, and my decisions taught me lessons that needed to be learned. Childhood was carefree and fun for the most part. Dark, sinister diversions were expelled to the outskirts of town in places we never used to go. Occasionally, we were exposed to the vices of life, but at that point in my upbringing, I didn’t recognize them or know them as such. Let me explain with a true example from my own life.

How Can I Fill My Cup?

Some of you followed my articles in 2014 on marriage and/or my articles in 2015 based on quotations that we called “Daily Dose.” After taking a break for a few months to work on other projects, I will now be exploring the topic of strengthening our faith. I want to make sure that I have time to put some thought into this, so instead of weekly articles, look for me every two weeks on Tuesdays. In order to write about strengthening our faith, I need to make sure that my own cup is full. How can I fill my cup?

Family Movie Night: Ben-Hur

This week for Family Movie Night I really debated about my choice. Could you really get kids today to watch a 4 hour Ben-Hur? I remember watching it when I was little usually around Easter time but it seemed like too much to ask these days? However, with the remake coming out I felt I needed to revisit the old epic and I figured if it was good enough for me, it is good enough for kids today as well!  So I am going to share with you my thoughts on the movie but it got me thinking. How do you introduce kids to these classics? How do we get them excited about the great films of the past?

Leave Your Mark On the World

This last week, we flew my son’s best friend Maria out for a visit. Since she was only in town a few days, we packed them full of activities!

It’s Festival Time

The worst of the summer heat is finally behind us here in Pennsylvania, and now as the humidity levels begin to ease back, and the night time temperatures dip into the 60s again, it is peak harvest time for many of our favorite vegetables and fruits.

Decluttering Our Lives

I have always appreciated and worked towards a clean house and everything in its place. Spring cleaning time came along and I would keep up with the cleaning and restore our home to a clean comfortable place. As time would have it since my husband passed away ten years ago, I haven’t cared so much.  With nine children to homeschool in a five bedroom house, we accumulated a lot of stuff.  Just stuff. Now I am moving across country and I have to put my house up for sale. What an eye opening experience. An awakening of sorts:  I have too much stuff.

The Visiting Teacher I Never Wanted

We had just received our new Visiting Teaching assignments in Relief Society, and I was excited to make new friends. My companion and I clicked at once- we just had so much in common. Then we met the girls we were to teach. They both seemed nice enough, however one of them, “Jessica”, was not my favorite person in the ward.

Reunited

Choice memories of my dad go back to my earliest recollections. He has always been my best friend, my advocate, my hero.

Redefining What it Means to Rescue the Lost

I recently had a series of events that have come together to show me that our definition of what it means to rescue the lost is not broad enough. Let’s take a look at how the idea has been taught in church since the dawn of time (I am exaggerating) then let’s look at a different definition for the word rescue.

Family Movie Night: Kubo

There are some times when I wish I could force everyone to see certain movies. For reasons that don’t make any sense great films often get skipped when weak films like Smurfs make millions. As a film fan it can be very frustrating. Well, one film I would force you to see if I could is the new masterpiece from Laika Animation Studios, Kubo and the Two Strings.

Don’t Quit

School started for us this week.  My sweet second grader hates going to school.  Every day, EVERY DAY has been a huge struggle to get him to school.  He starts the day before laying the ground work for his dramatic attempt to stay home from school.  His most recent reason for staying home?  He had eaten too many boogers and was licking the bottom of his feet, so he was feeling sick.  Truly he’s hilarious!  But unfortunately, in his seven year old mind, these are fully logical reasons to stay home.  And I still have to get him to school.  The stress is enough to drive me into hiding!  Quite literally.

How the Olympics Inspires My Unathletic Soul

I love watching the Olympics even though I’m not an athlete.  I’m not even an amateur athlete—my sports intake is every couple of years during the Olympics.  So I don’t worry about anything as cumbersome as rules. I deduce the sport’s expectation and just watch the athletes performing their craft.

Herbs from the Garden

I have always been fascinated by the old fashion kitchen gardens that I would read about in some of the books from my youth. A quaint little garden close to the house where you could step out while preparing a meal and simply snip off a leaf or two of whatever herb you needed for the foods you were preparing.

In His Own Voice

For two-and-a-half years I have written about the life of my Down syndrome son.  I’ve carved descriptions out of words.  I’ve shared photos of his days.  The one thing I haven’t done is let him speak for himself.  I thought this month I’d let the experience of being Joey come through in his own voice.

A Place for All of Us

Do you ever feel alone, isolated or lost? I think we can all honestly identify with those feelings at some time or another. But to our good fortune, we are promised a place in the kingdom of God if we will try to follow Jesus Christ. He has promised us victory and overcome every barrier so that we may return to our Heavenly Father and enjoy the rapture of eternal life in his presence as families, if we follow the Savior and try to keep his commandments.

Charity Heals Our Weaknesses

Before I begin sharing about the incredible lesson I learned from living as the Good Samaritan this week, I need to share something about myself: If I receive criticism, directly or implied, I will usually hurt for days as I process through the pain of not being ‘good enough’. Each of us needs course corrections and guidance. I struggle with receiving such corrections, no matter how kindly given.

Family Movie Night: Rio

I hope you are all enjoying the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as much as I am. I’ve been a huge Olympics junkie all of my life and so whether summer or winter I love watching any event I can get my hands on. In tribute to the games in Rio I thought it would pick a film set in Rio, in fact named Rio, for my family movie night pick. Rio is also appropriate because we recently had the release of Ice Age: Collision Course by studio Blue Sky and I think Rio is far superior to that film. Rio may be a bit forgettable but it’s still an engaging, fun little animated film.

Managing Stress in Our lives

During the summer months when natural food is plentiful the feeders in my backyard stand virtually unused, and during the hot sultry months of summer when the air barely moves, the adjoining wind chimes hang silent, waiting for an occasional thunderstorm to awaken discordant melodies during that brief time when the storm passes.

You Don’t Have to Tell Me What You Think, I Already Know

This morning, as I walked down the sidewalk, I realized I would intersect with a mom and two boys getting out of the car to go to school.  The mom had her back to me, grabbing things out of the car while the youngest boy talked. As I approached them, I smiled at the kids, and the younger boy looked at me, stopped talking, and covered his eyes with his hands.

Strengthening our Timber

Here is a thought for your Friday.  We often look at the weekend as a time for relaxing, a release from the pressure of the work week.  But sometimes the weekend is more stressful than the week is.  When we have families with special challenges, or callings at church that make us want to hide under the pews, our weekend can be far from relaxing.  At times like this I need to be reminded that the challenges I face are all for a purpose.  They are shaping and stretching my soul.

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