Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday School

little mr. j gets to give a talk tomorrow in Primary.
(Primary is the children's organization at my church.)
Yes, they get public speaking experience at a very young age.
Thankfully, he's got the courage to do it.
I had one little boy who liked to hide his face in my side
when I used to stand up there and give his talk for him.
I think he's gotten over that.
Although I secretly loved it when he did that, it might be really embarrassing for him (and me) to have me up with him when he gives his first 'youth' speaking assignment.
(When they turn twelve, they are asked to speak sometimes in Sacrament Meeting - our main meeting with the whole congregation.)

So to prove to you that I am writing.
That I haven't disappeared.
I give you his talk.
It's probably not written well for its intended audience (3 to 7 year olds),
but it's done.
Happy Sunday School.
Happy Primary.
Happy reading:

My talk today is about how prayer is reverent communication between God and me.

First I want to tell you what prayer is.
Prayer is personal communication to Heavenly Father.
It’s how we tell God our thoughts, feelings and ideas.
When we are reverent, we are showing our respect to Heavenly Father.
We do that to show that we know that He is in charge and to show our love for him.

The neat thing is that we can pray to Heavenly Father anytime we need to.
It doesn’t just have to be before we eat or in the morning or at bedtime or at church.
I can pray if I am scared or hurt.
I can pray if I am learning something new and need help.
I can pray if I am doing something hard or in a difficult situation.

The other night, I had a very bad dream and I could not go back to sleep.
I went and told my mom.
She asked me if I would like to say a prayer.
We were sitting on the couch. We didn’t kneel down, but we did close our eyes, fold our arms, and talk in a respectful, quiet way.
I said my prayer out loud, but sometimes I might have to just think a prayer in my mind.
We usually do that when it wouldn’t be appropriate to say it out loud – like maybe when we are taking a test at school.
Just as long as we are talking nice and not being silly or goofy (that’s not showing respect), we can pray anywhere about anything at anytime.

Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to communicate with Him.
He hears and answers my prayers. I am thankful for that and I always remember to tell Him in my prayers.
I hope you can remember to pray always and be reverent when you do.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday School

So I've been gone for a while. Well not really gone, because I have been here.
Just not here on the computer.

Today we had a lesson that I needed and I am going to share it with you.
Because if I needed it, chances are someone else needs it to.
And yes, it was a lesson geared to young women.
But what is a forty something year old woman if not a young woman in an older woman's body and brain?

Lesson 39: Recognizing our Individual Worth

Yes, I know I have worth.
Yes, I know you have worth.
But, sometimes the world can be a bit harsh and it's good to have a reminder.

And the lesson might not have meant so much if I had not read an article yesterday about young women in India whose parents had given them a name that meant 'unwanted' having a huge renaming ceremony and choosing what their new names would be.

And the lesson might not have meant so much had I not read this, ""Why don't more of us reach our true potential? When we are young and innocent, anything and everything seems possible. We dream of being great athletes, or great singers, or a successful businessperson, or raising great children with patience and kindness. Do dreams become a reality, or are they just thoughts and images that exist only in the movies?"
(Craig Manning, The Fearless Mind, CFI, 2009, p24)

It was the 'raising great children' phrase that caught me. I'm in that dream. I've had to work at it, but I think I am there. So if I am there, what else can I do?

Our cute teacher started the lesson off by taping a bunch of descriptive words like musical, thoughtful, fun serious, intelligent, happy, athletic, etc, etc.  on the board. She picked one, put it on her shirt like a badge and told us she was going to 'own' that trait of hers and that she wasn't going to apologize for 'owning' that trait because God gave it to her. She went on to say that it's ok to 'own' who you are. To not feel like you are being prideful or arrogant or to be embarrassed or ashamed. (You know, now that I think of it-I am not sure if that is really what she said, but that is the message that I heard and something clicked in me.)

Then she had each young woman pick a badge off the board and wear it (including me).
I loved watching what my girls picked.
I loved the little insight I got into who they think they are.
I picked a badge that I have not previously claimed.
I am claiming it.
And I look forward to see what they and I will do.

Post Edit (10-26-2011)
(see the comments below)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saturday is a Special Day

It's the day I will try not to go CRAZY.

We have one church program practice,
one football game,
two soccer games,
one trip to the lego store
for one birthday boy
who's kind grandparents are in town,
a picnic lunch somewhere in there
because we won't have time for stopping,
two church meetings,
a sweet friend in town from Texas visiting her dad
whom we'd love to see
but I fear our day may not allow (boo hoo hoo),
one youth dinner and dance
that I don't have to watch over
because of the kindness of other youth leaders
that my miss s will be attending
after she speaks at that second meeting
mentioned above.

It's a little overwhelming.
But - it's also mapped out on a purple piece of paper.
So we're going to be fine.
I'm a little nervous.
Tonight, ten minutes before tomorrow, I had the thought that maybe if I don't go to sleep, maybe tomorrow won't come. I know it's faulty thinking and we got ourselves into this whole over scheduled mess, but really for a moment I had that thought.

Sometimes, wouldn't it be nice to just hit a life pause?
Because really- Saturday is a special day.
And I need to remember to get ready for Sunday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marriage Advice & a Recipe

You know you're getting old when.....
A friend from high school writes and asks for something for her daughter - who is getting married!
This is where I am.
And this is what I said:

Dear C,

I know you don’t know me. I am one of your mom’s friends from high school. Your mom sent an email asking for a favorite family recipe and marriage advice.

While I don’t claim to be a marriage expert in any way, my husband and I are well into our 21st year and going strong. We’ve had some wonderful years together along with some very rocky and unpleasant ones. The wonderful ones are much more enjoyable. I hope you have many of those.

Here are a couple of the most important things I’ve learned along the way:

Let your spouse grow & change. Allow yourself to do the same. We got married pretty young. I would say that we are both probably on the third or fourth incarnation of ‘who’ we are. I’ve found time and experience changes people. If you don’t fight it, treat each other with respect and compassion, you will look back together and be amazed at how far you’ve both come as both individuals and a couple.

I hope you are marrying your best friend. Keep him number one in your heart & life. After you make that marriage promise, no other man belongs there (with exception, of course your own father and God –who isn’t really a man). We all have acquaintances and associations with other men, but for me, defining and keeping healthy personal, professional and social relationship boundaries has kept my most important relationship strong.

And last, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. It’s like one of those totally dark roller coasters. You think you know what will come, but really life together brings lots of surprises. Hang on and enjoy the ride. Enjoy the nice times and don’t let the really bad parts scare you away from each other. (Hopefully you two won’t ever have any bad parts.)

Wishing you the very best!
the mrs.

A very vague Stew recipe
(from the the mrs.- originally from her dad)

about a pound of stew meat
2 medium potatoes (about 2 cups worth)
carrots (about 3 or 4 cups worth when they are cut up)
one can tomato soup
½ a can of water (sometimes-makes it more soupy)
salt & pepper

Cut the veggies up about the same size as the meat.
Put it all in a roasting pan.

Here’s the weird part:
Pour in some pickle juice (we use dill). I think I end up pouring in about a cup or less.

Then, if you have it and you want to, add a 2 or 3 beef bullion cubes.
Cook it in the oven at 275 degrees for about 3 hours.

**I like to add different vegetables. You can really just add whatever & it will taste pretty good. The veggies below usually don’t need to get put in until about an hour before it’s done-but if it’s in the oven while we are at church, I just add the zucchini & squash at the beginning with everything else. Then I’ll just microwave the corn & peas and stir them in before we eat.

summer squash
sometimes I throw in a can of tomatoes (makes it less thick, more soupy)

Make this a couple of times & you’ll see what works for you—sorry it’s so vague, it’s really just something I learned from my dad.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday School mixed with a little politics of the day

Mormons = a nickname for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We are Christian. Look at our name. Look at our people.
If you don't believe it after that, do some investigating.
Don't just believe the people around you, find out for yourself.
Go to the source.
(You can start here.)
Learn our history.
Learn what we believe.
Then pray about it.
And listen for your answer.

(ps-so not a cult.)

Deliver Me From Donut Day

Again, I haven't written in a while, but I don't want to forget this one. It's a doozy. I work in an elementary school. I teach ...