Preparing For General Conference – October 2015

Hubby and I were talking about how to prepare our family for general conference. We mainly focused on ways to keep the kids calm so we can hear what’s going on. Hubby suggested a snack for every apostle. I thought it was a great idea and came up with some fun stuff. The plan is to put different snacks in different bags with the apostles pictures on them. Then, when that person speaks it’s time to pull out that bag and eat or make that snack. For the three new ones, we’ll just have some surprise snacks. I also prepared some stories about the apostles and prophet that I found at LDS.org on their bio pages.

Thomas S Monson

Story:

As a boy President Monson was fascinated by pigeons and began to raise them at home. Eventually he would raise prize-winning birds. When he was president of the teachers quorum in his ward, his adviser asked, “How would you like me to give you a pair of purebred Birmingham Roller pigeons?” The female of the pair was special, the adviser explained; she had only one eye, the other eye having been damaged by a cat. On his adviser’s instructions, he kept them in his own pigeon loft for about 10 days, then let them fly free to see if they would return.

The male came back, but the female flew away—back to the adviser’s home. When Tom went to retrieve her, the adviser talked with him about a boy in the quorum who was not active. Tom replied, “I’ll have him at quorum meeting this week.” He took the pigeon home, but the next time he released the pair, she flew once again to the adviser’s home. When Tom retrieved the pigeon this time, the adviser talked about another boy who had not been coming to quorum meetings. Each time the pigeon was released, she returned to the adviser’s home, and each time Tom went to retrieve her, there would be a conversation about another boy.

“I was a grown man,” President Monson recalls, “before I fully realized that, indeed, Harold, my adviser, had given me a special pigeon, the only bird in his loft he knew would return every time she was released. It was his inspired way of having an ideal personal priesthood interview with the teachers quorum president every two weeks. Because of those interviews and that old one-eyed pigeon, every boy in that teachers quorum became active.”

Snack: A bird made of fruit (let the kids build the nest)

birdfruit

Henry B Eyring

Story:

As Hal was enjoying tenure at Stanford and serving as a bishop, Kathleen asked him two questions: “Are you sure you are doing the right thing with your life? Couldn’t you be doing studies for Neal Maxwell?”

Kathleen asked Hal to pray about it, and Hal listened to his wife’s counsel. Less than a week later, Neal A. Maxwell—as Commissioner of the Church Educational System—called and invited Hal to a meeting in Salt Lake City. Hal flew out the next day. The first words out of Commissioner Maxwell’s mouth were “I’d like to ask you to be the president of Ricks College.”

Hal told Commissioner Maxwell he would need to pray about it. The next morning he met with the First Presidency and upon his return to California, Hal continued to pray fervently. The answer came. “I heard a voice so faint that I hadn’t paid attention to it,” he recalled. “The voice said, ‘It’s my school.’ ” He called Commissioner Maxwell and said, “I’m coming.”

It was a considerable change to go from one of the nation’s premier universities located in a large metropolitan area to being the president of a small, private, two-year school in the rural farm town of Rexburg, Idaho. But it was a wonderful time for the Eyrings. It provided an opportunity for the family to grow closer to each other.

Snack: A teacher “apple” (Click the picture for instructions)

applepretzel

Dieter F Uchtdorf

Story:

During his teenage years, President Uchtdorf’s love for flying “took flight.” At about age 14 he started riding his bicycle to the Frankfurt Airport, where he would gaze in awe at the planes. Occasionally he would be permitted to climb up to look into the cockpit and dream of the day when he might fly into the freedom of the skies. Little did he know that he would eventually master the handling of a dozen major airplanes. Furthermore, he could not have known then that he would be perhaps the most readily recognized and honored commercial pilot to walk through the gates of the very airport he now visited as a young boy.

Snack:

Banana  Airplane Plane with whipped cream or cottage cheese cloudsfood-creative-art-11

Russel M Nelson

Story:

Russell M Nelson was a heart surgeon. This is what he says about the power to heal.

“Men can do very little of themselves to heal sick or broken bodies,” Elder Nelson said. “With an education they can do a little more; with advanced medical degrees and training, a little more yet can be done. The real power to heal, however, is a gift from God. He has deigned that some of that power may be harnessed via the authority of His priesthood to benefit and bless mankind when all man can do for himself may not be sufficient.”

Snack:

Heart apples. You could also have heart stickers or cut hearts out of watermelon.

apple hearts

Dallin H Oaks

Story:

When Brother Sonnenberg was called as president of the Chicago South Stake in 1970, he chose Dallin Oaks as his first counselor. A year later Dallin Oaks was asked to be the president of BYU. He served there for nine years, and was then appointed to the Utah Supreme Court. He preferred this post to any other office in government. “I can’t think of anything in public life I’d rather do than be an appellate judge,” he said.

Elder Oaks planned to serve in that position for 20 years, retire, and serve a mission. But, in three and a half years, those plans changed when he was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in April of 1984. He resigned from the Utah Supreme Court and dedicated himself to his duties as an Apostle.

Snack: Fruit roll up scrollscrolls done_crop

M Russell Ballard

Story:

Professionally, Elder Ballard became involved in several enterprises, including automotive, real estate, and investment businesses. He was the top-selling salesman for his father’s car dealership when he left it in the early 1950s to pursue other business interests. In 1956 he returned and took over the Ballard Motor Company from his father.

In the late 1950s, he won the right to be the Edsel car dealer for Salt Lake City. His dealership became the most successful in the country. But in the end the Edsel failed and the motor company, and dealers around the country, lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

“It was a devastating experience,” he said. “The first part of my business career it seemed like everything worked. I was a little intolerant, I think, of those who were having trouble in business. But then I had trouble, and that helped me gain an empathy and understanding for people who struggle similarly.

“To me, failure is only when you quit trying,” he said. “If you keep working at a task and try to do what’s right and honest, ultimately it works out.”

Snack: Apple Cars! My son will LOVE theseAppleCars-BentOnBetterLunches

Robert D Hales

Story:

As a high school freshman, Bob Hales was the starting pitcher for the school’s baseball team. One time when he was in a pitching slump, he caused the team to lose three games in a row, each by a score of 1–0. The headline in the school paper read, “Hard-Luck Hales Loses Again.” He took his uniform and went to tell his coach he was going to quit. When he got to the coach’s office, his coach said, “Do you know why you’re losing? Your pitching arm is tired at the end of the game because before the game when you’re supposed to be warming up, you’re out there impressing everybody with your fastball and curveball. You probably pitch [the equivalent of] two or three innings doing that. [Stop] showing off and you won’t wear out your arm.” Robert listened, and the next game he pitched a shutout.

Snack: Baseball fruit cup (just a fruit cup and a sharpie, doesn’t get any easier!)FruitCphoto

Jeffrey R Holland

Story:

Elder and Sister Holland have three children. Their son Matt recalls that spiritual training was a part of everyday family life. On an outing when Matt was 12, he had his first experience with personal revelation.

Returning from an exploring trip on backcountry roads, he and his father came to an unexpected fork and could not remember which road to take. It was late in the day, and darkness would soon be enveloping them. Seizing a teaching moment, Jeffrey Holland asked his son to pray for direction. Afterward, he asked his son what he felt, and Matt replied that he felt strongly they should go left. Replying that he had felt the same way, his father turned the truck to the left. Ten minutes later, they came to a dead end and returned to take the other route.

Matt thought for a time and then asked his father why they would get that kind of answer to a prayer. His father replied that with the sun going down, that was undoubtedly the quickest way for the Lord to give them information—in this case, which one was the wrong road. Now, though the other road might not be familiar and could be difficult in places, they could proceed confidently, knowing it was the right one.

Throughout the years the Holland children felt that their father was available when needed, and that association became even more cherished when Elder Holland was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy on April 1, 1989.

Snack: Give the kids some pretzel sticks and encourage them to build a road with them

David A Bednar

Story:

As a leader he has tried to encourage that desire in others. He remembers a time in 1987 when he was the bishop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. “I went into Primary one Sunday,” he says. “They had invited me. I decided to wear red suspenders. I thought that I would somehow use them as an object lesson. So I got in the Primary room, took off my coat, and said, ‘Now, boys and girls, the bishop has these red suspenders. How are the scriptures like my red suspenders?’ And one little boy raised his hand and said, ‘The scriptures hold up our faith in Jesus the same way your suspenders hold up your pants.’ I said, ‘That is exactly right.’”

Snack: give the kids red licorice and bread – cut the bread into the shape of pants and use the licorice to make red suspenders

Quentin L Cook

Story:

It was fire drill day at an elementary school in Logan, Utah. Fire drill captain Joe Cook, a stalwart sixth-grade student leader, was determined to post a good time. He was pleased when, at the ringing of the alarm, students rapidly evacuated the building. Then, just as a record-breaking time seemed likely, Joe heard the announcement: “Someone is still in the building. The building is not clear.”

As the clock ticked on, Joe finally saw his first-grade brother, Quentin, walk out of the building.

Fuming, Joe barked, “What on earth were you doing?”

Quentin held up a pair of large, worn boots and said, “Joe, you know that [and he mentioned a friend’s name] sometimes has to wear hand-me-down shoes that are too big for him. When the fire drill rang, he took off running and ran right out of these. He didn’t want to ruin the drill, so he left them and ran outside barefoot. I went back to get his boots for him because I didn’t want his feet to be cold in the snow.”

Snack: Give the kids a piece of bread and ask them if they can bite it into the shape of a boot. OR if you still have a lot of energy butter the bread in the shape of a boot and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the boot shape

Elder D Todd Christofferson

Story:

“[Elder Christofferson was] an exceptionally outstanding missionary whose devotion and capacities were evidence that he would have a life of unusual significance,” said Elder Scott.

Elder Scott also recalled a particular incident when he saw Elder Christofferson have a bicycle accident in which he damaged his suit and slightly injured his hands. But he was undaunted. Elder Scott says, “He brushed himself off, climbed onto the bicycle, and headed off for an appointment with his companion.”

Snack: Dip chocolate and make oreo pretzel bikes (Unfortunately I don’t have detailed instructions on this one. I wish I could give credit but the photo doesn’t link to the right place on pinterest. Still, if my efforts don’t look perfect I know my kids won’t mind. It’s not often I give them oreos!)

0b5a3bfcfa6df9d7ee8e8520fa538623

Neil L Andersen

Neil was five when his parents, Lyle and Kathryn Andersen, moved their family to a dairy farm in Pocatello, Idaho. On the farm he learned the principle of hard work. “I milked a lot of cows and moved a lot of irrigation pipe,” he said. “I can remember that on Christmas morning before we opened our presents, we had cows to milk. Looking back, I realize how valuable it was to learn that part of life is just hard work.”

Snack: It’s an easy one! Cheese sticks

So that’s all, if you have any other ideas I would love to hear them! Good luck to all the conference listeners with young kids. I know it’s hard, seriously I do, but I also know that we will be blessed by our efforts!

All the stories were taken from here if you want to read more on the modern leadership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

And I pinned all the snack ideas from other websites on THIS pinterest board.

 

 

DIY nursing top, or how to make a low tank modest

Would you believe that this is a nursing shirt?

Here's another one

Well, it is! And I made three just like it. I’m in major nesting mode and I need to prepare for the new baby. So I spent the morning making these nursing tops instead of cleaning or boxing, oh, I’m moving in a week. I really should have been boxing stuff up. Pshhh… whatev.  I got rid of a bunch of clothes and found a way to make these old shirts work. I’ve worn each of them only a handful of times because they all turned out to be too low and layering them with other tanks never seemed to work. So here’s my DIY nursing top, or if your tanks tend to creep down, a way to make them more modest.

I started out with four tops.

DIY nursing tank top tutorial

I chose to use the white one as a base for all the other tops. I cut off the straps and then cut along the seams so I had two panels, I cute those panels in half and used three of them for the three shirts.

DIY Nursing tops

snip off the straps

 

DIY nursing top

Imagine each of these two panels cut in half

 

I turned the uncut shirts inside out and laid the panels on top.

DIY nursing top

 

I added lace to the panels on a couple of them. Then I pinned the panels and sewed them onto the shirts.

DIY nursing top

I sewed four lines on each tank top. Two little ones on the straps and then two long ones along the side seams. For the pink shirt I just found the seams and sewed all along. Be careful to only sew on seams so it doesn’t show through.

DIY Nursing top

DIY nursing top

DIY nursing top

When you are done sewing just turn the top right side out and put it on. You are ready to nurse discreetly! Just pull the inner panel up and push the outside tank or shirt down. Let me show you a picture so you see what I mean.

DIY nursing top

A normal layered top? You would think so!

DIY nursing top

wa-Bam! To actually nurse pull the bottom down as well and it leaves this tiny little opening for baby to eat without anyone realizing what’s going on.

Here's another one

Here’s another one

DIY nursing top

See how it works? It’s so sneaky!

This is my least favorite one but it still worked out OK.  I wish I would have attached the undershirt a bit lower.

This is my least favorite one but it still worked out OK. I wish I would have attached the undershirt a bit lower.

It still works, and it's a loose shirt I can wear easily as soon as baby is born.

It still works, and it’s a loose shirt I can wear easily as soon as baby is born.

 

It’s a simple project, but I would suggest a stretch needle and a gathering foot to make it go smoothly. Good luck and happy sewing! P.S. I am so not a seamstress so if I explained anything the wrong way please help each other out in the comments. :)

DIY nursing shawl

A lot has happened in my life in the last little while, you probably don’t want to hear about it, but in summary, we moved back to Utah, sold our home, and we’re over halfway through pregnancy with baby number three! Surprise! In prep for new baby I made a new nursing cover, I can’t find the one I used for little jaguar so I found the old tutorial and started over.

so, the original tutorial is here: http://www.thecoterieblog.com/2012/05/dyi-modern-nursing-shawl-sew-one-line.html

and I love the idea but it’s a really confusing tutorial, no offense meant I’ve made a few of those myself, but I was shocked to find that I had the same issues making it as I did the last time I made it. After all, it’s been two years and countless sewing projects later. Last time I made it I had zero expertise on a sewing machine. Seriously, this was like my first project, so I assumed my problems were just that, my problems, this time I wasn’t so sure. After a quick internet search I found I’m not alone in my confusion and I don’t need to fret because someone much smarter than me figured out what was going on and made a clear version of the original tut. Thank you!

follow these instructions for a pain free super easy project: http://www.mintdesignblog.com/2013/07/easy-diy-nursing-cover/

DIY nursing shawl

Here I am pretending to nurse, this is silly but I got all excited just holding something the way you do when you nurse a baby. Aw… I love babies!

 

DIY nursing cover, nursing shawl, modern nursing cover, knit nursing cover, cute nursing cover

Congratulations! It’s a… pillow pet!

DIY nursing cover, nursing shawl, modern nursing cover, knit nursing cover, cute nursing cover

Bathroom Selfie!

 

Family Home Evening Idea – The Honey Bee and the Yellow Jacket – a lesson on honesty

I found a similar picture online and made my own version by hand :)

I found a similar picture online and made my own version by hand :)

Hubby and I have been talking a lot lately about how to teach our children values. One of the things we’ve been doing is tying our parenting back to a series of family rules we came up with together. So far, it’s made our parenting more consistent and it has helped us give solid answers to the constant whys coming from Little lion. This family home evening was our first in a series to tie back into our family rules. The rule? We are honest.

Opening prayer

Opening Song: Choose the right

Scripture: Philip 4:8

Attention Getter: Show two pictures, one of a honey bee and one of a yellow jacket. These can be pictures you found online or pictures you drew yourself. Then explain the basic differences between the two bugs. A honey bee is fat and fuzzy and he spends his day gathering nectar and pollinating the plants, then he goes home to build his house and make honey. He works hard for what he has and he is honest in his nature. He doesn’t like to fight but will to protect his hive. If he stings someone he is sacrificing his life.  The yellow jacket looks a lot like the bee but he is thin and smooth. He is carnivorous and will often pretend to be a bee so he can sneak into the hive and steal the bee’s honey. He will sting readily because stinging someone or something poses no risk to him.

honey bee vs yellow jacket family home evening

Make a chart. Write honey bee on one side of a paper and write yellow jacket on the other. Compare and contrast the two bugs behavior based on the value honesty. Talk about how you would rather be a honey bee than a yellow jacket.

Activity: On a beehive you either sketched or printed out make yellow thumb prints with your family. When they are dry sketch honey bees on them. You now have a nice visual reminder of your lesson.

Say your closing prayer and have a nice honey related treat. I suggest Navajo tacos, or fry bread as those outside of Utah call them, with honey on top.

Happy Home Evening and God bless

the honey bee and the yellow jacket FHE

The Savior Taught us to Love – Free printable

the savior taught us to love - Elder Neil L Andersen

Ah general conference. The time when we can assemble together (whether physically or technologically) and renew our faith. I love it! Here’s one of my favorite quotes so far. It’s from Elder Andersen’s talk: “The Savior taught us to love not only our friends but also those who disagree with us.”

I pray that I can remember this next time I find myself feeling defensive or angry. I think the more we act out of love the more we can open the doors of understanding and combat the closing doors of ignorance or hate.

God bless, and please feel free to use this printable for noncommercial use.

Christ-centered Easter traditions

10 Christ centered Easter traditionsWe love bunnies at my house. We have nothing against bunnies, eggs, candy, and brightly colored wicker baskets, but we also love Christ. We know that because he died we can live. We know that he is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Therefore, when we celebrate Easter at our house we want to make sure our kids know that while bunnies are fun, Easter is about Christ.

We try to fill the season with Christ-centered traditions and since our family is still young our traditions are still evolving. The following is a list of Christ centered Easter traditions I found while researching new traditions for my family. I hope it can help you and your family the same way it helped mine! This list is particularly good for young families, but could easily be adapted for different ages :)

1. Easter Wreath: We came up with this on our own last year and we still love it. Obtain a plain stick wreath that is about the circumference of a man’s head. Tell the story of Christ’s death and liken the wreath to the crown of thorns. Talk about how Christ died and was reborn after three days in the tomb, then hot glue spring flowers to the wreath, likening them to rebirth and resurrection. Give everyone a turn to glue a flower on and express gratitude for Christ’s life and death.

2. Resurrection Rolls: A delicious (and non-scary) way to teach about the resurrection. You take canned biscuits, wrap them around marshmallows, dip them in butter and cinnamon and then bake according to the biscuit instructions. When they come out of the oven the marshmallow has melted away into the biscuit dough. Make them with your kids explaining to them that the biscuits represent the tomb, the marshmallow represents Christ, and the butter and oil represent the embalming oils and spices that were rubbed into Christs body. Talk about how after three days Christ rose again, leaving the tomb empty just like your “empty” biscuit.

3. Kite Flying: On the Island of Bermuda it’s traditional to fly kites on Good Friday in remembrance that Christ is risen. Bermuda doesn’t have a monopoly on kites you know! Make and decorate kites and then go kite flying. We plan on doing this one for our Easter family home evening, complete with an educational discussion about the symbolism behind the activity.

4. Spring flowers are often associated with Easter. One fun Easter tradition is to give Easter flowers to grandparents or the elderly. I love the idea of using Easter as a time to serve others. I think it’s exactly what Christ wants us to do to celebrate him.

5. Resurrection Eggs: send the kids on an Easter egg hunt, but instead of candy the eggs hold symbols of the story of Christmas. Click the link for more details.

6. He took our sins upon Him carnation experiment: The week before Easter put a white carnation in water, then place 20 drops of red food coloring in the water. Over the next week watch as the carnation turns red. Compare the carnation taking the red food coloring to Christ taking our sins. This is a good visual explanation of the atonement.

7. Read the Easter story in the bible: self-explanatory :)

8. Easter Music: Take time to sing everyone’s favorite Easter songs. Follow the link for some music ideas.

9. Watch an Easter movie, this links to the ones on the you tube Mormon Channel, all wonderful, take your pick :)

10. Dip Easter eggs in glow in the dark paint and then do an Easter egg hunt in the dark. Talk about how Christ is the light of the world and think of ways to “search” for him in the darkness. Read John 8:12.

Man, I can’t wait to get started! What about you? Do you have any Christ centered Easter traditions? Please share, I can’t wait to read about them :)

 

Tiana’s “man catching” beignets recipe

man catching chocolate filled beignets recipe

It’s movie night! Going out is so overrated, especially when you can stay in with these delicious chocolate filled doughnuts. Can you guess which movie we’re watching? That’s right.  It’s Disney’s The Princess and The Frog.  Tiana’s “man-catching beignets” can catch more than just a man. Serve these for movie night with friends, kids, significant others, pretty much everyone can be caught with chocolate, right?

This recipe makes enough to feed a large crowd. If you don’t have a crowd on hand you can either freeze half of the dough, or eat twice as much as the recommended serving size, or three times as much. We’re won’t judge.

Here’s the recipe:

Time investment: 30 min prep time, 1 hour rest time, 30 minutes cook time, 2 hours total

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water – luke warm

1 T yeast

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup boiling water

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup powdered milk

2 eggs, beaten

7 1/2 cups flour

6 oz chocolate chips

1 quart vegetable oil

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions: 

1. Combine yeast, lukewarm water and salt, let it sit for 5 minutes

2. In a large bowl combine shortening, boiling water and sugar, stir well, then add yeast mixture, milk, powdered milk and eggs, slowly stir in flour. Work the dough until the flour is well incorporated . Refrigerate dough, covered, for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat oil in saucepan or electric fryer.

4. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. This will need to be done in batches, take out about a baseball sized lump of dough at a time.

5. Cut dough into rectangles of desired size – how big do you want your doughnuts? We did ours about 2″ by 1″. Place 3 or 4 chocolate chips in the center of each rectangle.

beignet recipe

6. Fold the dough over on itself and seal shut. Some techniques to help you get it sealed tight: use water on the edge, roll the edge over on itself, and seal with a fork like you would decorate a pie crust.

beignet recipe

7. Test the oil, if a small ball of dough sizzles and rises to the top of the oil quickly it is hot enough. Use a slotted spoon to gently drop beignets in the oil. They should flip themselves over as they cook. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and pull them out.

8. Dust with powdered sugar, we used a slotted spoon for this step, and serve warm

powdered beignets

Yum!

stuffed beignet recipe

They were just so pretty too! I have way too many pictures like this one on my hard drive. It’s making me hungry :)

pretty flowers and beignets

March 2014 Visiting Teaching Message printable

visiting teaching message March 2014 free printable

Free for personal noncommercial use, this is a free printable with a quote taken from the March 2014 visiting teaching message. I love this message. I have met many many beautiful “lights” in my life and I love the idea of being a light to others as well. Isn’t it neat that we have that in us? We have the ability to influence others in such a way that we can be a reflection of Christ’s light. It makes me so excited to keep working to be like Christ. I hope that everyone has great visiting teaching experiences this month :) God bless!

– Amber Mae

DIY Grandparent Gift/ Craft – grandkids photo display

DIY grandparent gift

It’s not like we live across the world from each other, we’re only a state apart, but we don’t get to see each other more than a few times a year so I often find myself missing our families. I especially miss seeing everyone with my babies. We try hard to stay connected. We call each other, Skype, and send the kid’s artwork in the mail, but every so often it feels like we need to do more. We were feeling exactly this way as we prepared for Valentine’s, after a search on Pinterest we decided to make these grand-babies photo displays to send to the grandparents. I sent them in the mail with more pictures than could reasonably fit on the display and somehow I feel less homesick when I think about everyone looking at the pictures we send. I love to imagine these displays at the grandparents homes, connecting us in spirit even though we can’t be there physically.

Here’s the tutorial on how I made them.

Supplies: 1 wooden board, stain, acrylic paint, sandpaper, two hooks, a length of yarn, hardware for hanging, pictures

Estimated Cost: Without pics less than $5 With pics: depends on the size you print could be anywhere from $10 – $20

1. First I sanded down a piece of reclaimed wood.

2. Then I stained it, waited for it to dry and painted over the stain with some watered down acrylic, after that dried I sanded again to give it a distressed vintage feel.

DIY grandparent gift

3. I messed around until I found a font I liked and painted on grand-babiesDIY grandparent gift

4. Next I screwed a hook into the bottom corners of the boards, making sure to keep them on the same plane as each other.

5. I then stretched some yarn across the hooks, tying it tight. You could use just about anything for this: yarn, string, twine, fishing line, etc.

6. I took 13 Clothespins and hung them on the line, just to try it out, then put them in an envelope for the mail.

7. I printed out some pictures and put them in an envelope to be sent with the rest of the gift. DIY grandparent gift

8. Finally, I mailed them with some push-pin wall hangers in a separate envelope so the grandparents could place them however they wanted to.

DIY grandparent gift

 

I got my “Pin”spiration: here here and here

Happy crafting!

My Expectations vs. Heavenly Father’s

best parent you can be quote from Jeffrey R Holland

This is a photo I snapped when our oldest was sick and refusing to sleep.

I had an overwhelming week… well, if I’m honest it was an overwhelming couple of weeks. I’m always really prideful and I hate to admit it when it gets hard but I’m admitting it right now. Sometimes it’s hard.

I have all of these expectations for myself as a mother. I’m supposed to keep my house perfectly clean, feed my family three nutritious meals a day plus healthy snacks, teach my children important life and educational skills, be a good wife to my husband, and never ever lose my temper because studies show that if you yell you will damage your kiddos for life, they will be hashing out your faults on some therapists couch for years to come!

On top of that I ran across some stupid crap online where a bunch of working mothers bashed stay-at-home mommies who aren’t really working you know. It was like someone was putting rocks in my pockets…. guilt… expectations… accusations… I was ready to explode. I did explode, well more like I melted. I’m one of those people who is more likely to have a crying fit than a screaming one.

It all climaxed on Valentine’s day. I was wrangling my babies, feeding them some not exciting or overly nutritious cereal, and thinking about last years Valentine’s french toast. As I recall it was heart-shaped and topped with strawberries and Nutella. Hubby came home to me crying and feeling SO inadequate. He didn’t judge. He didn’t scold. And thankfully he didn’t laugh. He just told me it was OK, told me that the things I was worrying about didn’t really matter, and that I was doing a good job. He then took the kids and entertained them so I could have a break.

Not long after this I was listening to a podcast called Keeping Your Sanity in a Home of Little Ones. I missed half of the podcast because I was simultaneously cleaning the kitchen and entertaining a toddler, but I got snippets here and there and the basic feeling that the things I’ve been stressing so much over don’t matter, as long as I’m doing my best and relying on my Heavenly Father when things get tough.

What drove it all home was this quote from Elder Jeffrey R Holland who said, “If you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do.” Wow, so are my expectations of myself really in line with my Heavenly Father’s expectations of me? It’s worth thinking about because it’s the kind of question that gives comfort but doesn’t just give you a pass, “Oh your child is running naked down the street while you text your BFF from high school? It’s OK you’re doing your best.” No, it’s more like, “Yeah, I’m feeding my kid cereal, but I’m also talking to her and playing with her and you know what, even though the kids screamed through it we still prayed on that cereal complete with the plea that those Lucky Charms give us the health and strength we need!”

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I will get overwhelmed with life, but I hope I’ll remember this quote and take solace that as long as I’m doing my best I’m not letting anyone down. In fact, as long as I’m doing my best it doesn’t matter if someone else disapproves because my Heavenly Father doesn’t. He’s proud of me and right there cheering me on Lucky Charms and all.