Saturday, September 5, 2009


September's theme is Purpose, from the general purpose of life to our own individual purpose of life. Of course, the reason we are here and exist is our general purpose in life. We are here on earth to be tested and to prove that we will choose to follow God. We are also here to receive our physical bodies.

Our own individual purpose is much more personal. Only we can decide what that is (with God's help). I touched on this a little in my last post about writing a mission statement. I suppose writing a mission statement would fit better with this month's theme. I will be writing about how to figure out what our purpose is in a later post. So for now, let thoughts of purpose tickle the back corners of your brain.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back to My Binder

Here's my take on how organizing relates to light. The more organized (maybe not necessarily organized, but efficient?) we are, the more we are able to serve others, develop Christlike attributes, serve the Savior, learn things and develop our talents. As we serve others, we are following the Savior. This allows us to follow the "light". Also, we have more time to give to learning the gospel, etc. which allows our light to increase. And learning and gaining knowledge allows our minds to be "enlightened". Also, as I've tried to become more organized, I've been given ideas of how to make things work better for me and led to other people who have good ideas that are along the lines of how I think.

I posted awhile ago about the cover I made for my binder. The next thing I have in there is my mission statement. I've been reading a book by the "Slob Sisters" called Get Your Act Together. One of the steps they give for getting organized is to find a reason. Under this topic they talk about mission statements. Stephen Covey says in his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, to make a statement in writing that defines our calling. (Highly effective people know what their calling is.) The "Slob Sisters" say that a person's calling or mission in life will not be clear unless they are organized. I wrote my mission statement before I got organized. I'm still not organized or highly effective, but I feel like my "mission" or "calling" is clear to me and I remember the moment when this calling was made known to me. So, I guess I went about things backwards. Anyway, I feel like a mission statement gave me something to aim for. It was my "reason" for wanting to be organized and my motivation for getting things in order. I actually wrote my mission statement after reading Sidetracked Home Executive by the "Slob Sisters".

I would like to give anyone who reads this a challenge to write a mission statement, or if your mission isn't clear to you then just think of a reason to get organized. It doesn't have to be a lofty reason, it could be to shove it in the face of a know-it-all, condescending relative or neighbor (according to the "Slob Sisters").

I started by writing down things I value. I looked at the Stephen Covey or Franklin Covey website and they had a mission statement builder. So that helped too. I already knew what I wanted to achieve and accomplish so I just needed to put it in writing. Also, to help write a mission statement, Stephen Covey or the mission statement builder, said to determine what you value. The things I value are: God, family, self-improvement, developing talents, learning and truth, church, and keeping the commandments.

Anyway, so here's part of my mission statement.

I want to be organized at home and in my time so I can concentrate on what is most important. I want to be able to "free myself to be able to do the things I was created to do" (Sidetracked Home Executives, p. 57).

I was going to post my mission statement but it opens myself up and I didn't feel like doing that on the world wide web for the whole world to see. My mission statement basically says how I want to make my home a sanctuary for my family and grow as a person and take care of and teach my family.

So anyway. Have fun coming up with reasons to get organized!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Family Home Evening

I wanted to introduce the topic of light so we mainly talked about physical light and why we need it/why it is important.

Song: On A Golden Springtime (Children's Songbook)

Attention Activity: (from FHE Manual, lesson 12)

Turn off all lights and/or use a blindfold. Have a member of the family

perform a difficult task such as writing a sentence or getting something.

Then turn on the lights or take off the blindfold and show how easily the

same task is done in the light.

Lesson: We are going to talk about light and why it is important.

*Show a picture of the sun.

*Ask ~ Who made the sun?

*Show a picture of the moon and stars.

*Ask ~ Who made the moon and the stars?

These things give us light.

Read Doctrine & Covenants 88:7-13.

So light is in all things and comes from God. Light gives life to things and helps us understand truth and enlightens our minds.

Light is important because we cannot see without light. Plants need light to grow and animals and humans depend on plants. Humans also depend on animals. (We then talked about what would happen to the earth if the sun didn't rise. It would be cold, no light, plants die, etc.)

We need light to have energy and to have food and warmth. We also need light to understand things and to learn and see.

We are more comfortable in the light and we seek light. Plants also seek light. They will grow in the direction of the light. (We talked about the flowers on the porch that are growing towards the light. We also talked about how sunflowers follow the sun across the sky, wherever the sun is, they turn toward it. That is why sunflowers are called sunflowers.)


This was geared more to a three-year-old. We talked fast ;). We don't follow a strict lesson outline, but this is basically what we did.

Visiting Teaching Gift Idea

There is a cute Visiting Teaching gift kit being sold on Etsy. It has the message, a recipe, and a little composition book that will fit in a purse or scriptures for writing things down. It is in a little decorated lunchbag. The store is Sassy Girl Shop and here's the link:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Storage and Emergency Tips

I have collected a few home storage and 72-hour kit packets over the years. I have a couple that show things to focus on storing each week of the year and I have a couple that give suggestions for each month. I'm going to share what they say for August.

One of the monthly packets is called "The Noah's Ark Project". The storage goals for August are:

~ 100 quarts fruit and/or vegetables per person
~ 24 pints of jam or jelly per person
~ feminine needs
~ school supplies
~ pet supplies

There are also suggestions for provident living and being spiritually prepared. These suggestions are:
~ have family home evening every Monday night
~ fathers can give a Father's Blessing to their children before school
~ learn to preserve food in a way you haven't tried before

For 72-hr kits:
~ the focus is getting enough food for everyone in the family (remember to
rotate every 6 months)
~ also, getting disposable plates, cups, bowls, and silverware
~ pet supplies - dishes, leash, extra water

Thursday, July 30, 2009

August's Theme

Well, I guess I am skipping July since it is now over and we'll start with August!

For August, the theme is light. (Most schools resume in August, so gaining knowledge is gaining light ;).

Light is an interesting topic as far as spiritual things go. I think it is interesting how the Doctrine and Covenants talks about how light is the law by which all things are governed and how that
light gives life to all things. This light is the light of Christ and is the power of God. This "subtopic" of light is something I definitely want to know more about.

In the mean time, this is from the LDS Church website under the topic of the Light of Christ:

The Light of Christ "proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space." It is "the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed" (D&C 88:12–13; see also D&C 88:6–11). This power is an influence for good in the lives of all people (see John 1:9; D&C 93:2). In the scriptures, the Light of Christ is sometimes called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Life.
The Light of Christ should not be confused with the Holy Ghost. It is not a personage, as the Holy Ghost is. Its influence leads people to find the true gospel, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see John 12:46; Alma 26:14–15).
Conscience is a manifestation of the Light of Christ, enabling us to judge good from evil. The prophet Mormon taught: "The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. . . . And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged" (Moroni 7:16, 18).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July's Theme

The theme for July is Heritage (now that the month is half over). We focused on freedom the first week and this week the focus is our own family heritage. Next week will be our Pioneer heritage. Then the week after that we will focus on our own family heritage again.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Homemaking and Talents

I think that homemaking and homekeeping offer lots of opportunities for developing talents. It wasn't until I quit working (outside my home) that I discovered things that I like to do and may be good at. As a side note, I taught school previously and I had such a hard time pulling the curriculum together. I really struggled with writing workshop and how to teach First Graders how to write. Then I had my little boy and I was looking on the internet for activities for him to do and I found a website explaining how to do writer's workshop and other literacy activities and it clicked in my brain. I understood what I could do to teach writing and also the other reading activities. It finally made sense. I also discovered that lesson planning came more naturally. Ironic because I'm not currently teaching school.


I also became interested in scrapbooking. But I haven't really scrapbooked pictures - I have used the scrapbooking stuff for other things.

For example, I put together a binder to keep all of my schedules, etc. (Fly Lady calls it a control journal). Fly Lady also said it didn't need to be fancy or to let our perfection get in the way of making it. But the reason I took the extra time to make it pretty is because it motivates me. I mean sometimes I just don't look forward to cleaning and laundry and dishes. When I see my binder cover I am reminded that I can do more than just be a maid. I have other skills and talents and gifts. I see it and am reminded that I can also be creative and create things. Also, it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

So here's my cover.
It's kind of hard to see the details. The picture is by Greg Olson and it's called "Heavenly Hands". I chose this picture because it reminds me of my role in my home.
I put a quote on there too to remind me of my purpose and role as wife, mother, woman.
It is by Spencer W. Kimball. It says:
"To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman's strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help, to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home--which is society's basic and most noble institution. Other institutions in society may falter and even fail, but the righteous woman can help to save the home, which may be the last and only sanctuary some mortals know in the midst of storm and strife."


On the Martha Stewart website there is a list of places to buy vegetable seeds. Here is that list: (heirloom seeds) (organic seeds)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sunday Activities

My little peanut is three so, I decided we need to start doing more Sabbath appropriate activities. Before, he would just play and have a nap. (Those were the days.) One thing we do is write in a journal. I have him tell me what he did during the week or what he learned at church and I write it down. He sits by me so he can see me write it. Then he always has to have a turn "writing" and recently I've had to trace his hands and head and nose and whatever other body part he can put on the page. It will be fun to read this when he is older.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Talents & Gifts

May's theme is Talents and Gifts.

This is an area I don't know very much about. I haven't worked very hard on figuring out what talents or gifts I have (at least not consciously). I've had experiences with spiritual gifts, but I don't think I've ever been conscious of a spiritual gift that I have.

The things I spend my time doing are things I like so maybe those things could qualify as my talents. I remember doing crafts for Mutual in Young Women's and it seemed like they always involved tole painting in some form or another and that is something I cannot do. So I never considered myself crafty or talented in that way. Then the scrapbooking revolution hit. (But I don't really scrapbook.) I learned of all the cute things that could be done with paper and scrapbooking embellishments and I like to do paper crafting and who would have ever thought that the computer would be used as a crafty tool! So with all these new "inventions" I might consider myself crafty.

That was kind of a tangent. But for May, I want to focus on how talents and spiritual gifts can help us along our journey through life and how we can develop talents and spiritual gifts.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Order and Homemaking, Part 2

I thought this would be easier to read if I broke it up.

A few projects I am working on now to become "organized" are:

~ Going through each room and finding a home for every little thing.

~ Getting boxes or totes to store all of my projects so I can pick up after myself and still have
easy access to my projects.

~ Making a chart of daily routines for my DS.

~ Making daily to-do cards for myself.

~ Making a Family Info Binder, plus a personal Binder for me.

I am torn between getting the house decluttered and making our charts and schedules. I don't know which one to concentrate on first, so I do a little bit of both.

I'll post more about what I've finished with pictures later.

One last thought ~ I do believe there is a connection between clutter and behavior and how we view ourselves. The more uncluttered our homes are, the more able we are to focus on teaching and training our children in the gospel and building lasting relationships with our families and focusing on what's really important and (one more and) making sure our personal lives are in harmony with the gospel teachings. Also, we feel better about ourselves and are happier which spreads to our family. Also, I don't know about this yet, but I'm hoping there's a correlation ~ our children will be better behaved. (I'm thinking that children (my child) get overwhelmed and easily distacted with all the clutter.)

Order and Homemaking

Like I said before, when I think of order, I think of an organized home with everything in its place. This I struggle with. That's probably why I think of neat & organized when I hear the word order. So, these are reasons why I struggle:
~ I am truly a perfectionist and I put things
off until I can deal with them perfectly, which
leaves a lot of unfinished projects and things
without a home and sacks of paper.

~ I don't pick up after myself when I'm working on a
project. I tell myself that I'll come back to it and it
is usually a few days later when I get back to it.

~ Life happens. I wish sometimes (all the time) that I
could stop time and just do what I needed to do
and then continue on with life.

~ I honestly think I have ADD or something. I was
reading somewhere that said how girls usually don't
get diagnosed with ADD, but it manifests itself when
girls get older and gain more responsibility. That fits

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Family Home Evening

For FHE last night, we talked about Order. I used a lesson called A House of Order. I got it from a website, I believe LDS Share, but the lesson is from the Church's FHE ideas too. (If any of that made sense.)

I liked how it explained order: "An orderly home is a home where parents preside, direct, and teach; where all have responsibilities and are considerate and thoughtful of each other; and where family members are knit together with love."

"The word order means, among other things, the way in which things are placed or a condition in which everything is in its right place. ... Order comes to a home when everyone understands and carries out his responsibilities. The opposite of order is confusion. Confusion comes when people do not know what is expected of them."

We just read the lesson. We made soft serve ice cream earlier in the day so I guess that was our treat because we did our lesson at 9:30 at night :).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yard Work & Gardening

This is a good time of year to dream about gardens and flowers. Instead of doing that today, I took down my Christmas decorations. I know it's late, but I like Christmas so I don't mind having Christmas decorations up for awhile.

Anyway, here's my garden & yard wish list:

Lilac Bushes
Fruit Trees
Peony Bush

I have some bulbs that will be pink flowers (I don't know what kind of flowers they are) that I want to put next to my garage door. I need to find some planters. I planted bulbs last year but they didn't grow. I also planted some daisies and they didn't grow. That is something I need to learn more about ~ growing flowers. I don't want to plant the bulbs I have until I know what I'm doing so they will grow.

Also, we put raspberry bushes in planters last year and some died. We transplanted the ones that were still alive, so hopefully they will continue to grow and spread and take over the whole garden. Also, I planted sunflowers and they grew. They were leaning over the neighbors fence and I thought they were just flowers so I chopped them down. When they were on the ground, I saw they had seeds. The seeds weren't ready and I tried to save the plants, but they died anyway. Oops. I would like to plant sunflowers again, just not so they grow over the neighbors fence.

We planted peas, tomatoes, squash, strawberries, corn, carrots, pumpkins, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and watermelon. The peas, watermelon, carrots, and cucumbers didn't grow. They must not like the dirt. I think we planted the peas too late because we had a good crop of peas the year before. We had squash coming out of our ears. Last year it was green beans. Oh my, green beans are not my favorite. We had a few tomatoes. I love garden fresh tomatoes. Our corn grows weird too. It grows, but there aren't very many kernals on the cobs. Some pieces are really good, but most of them only have a few kernals.

Now I'm just rambling. Gardening is something I definitely need to learn more about. We did decide we put our garden spot on the wrong side of the house. The other side gets more sun for longer during the day. I do enjoy gardening though ~ there is something about working in the dirt and producing something, or taking part in producing something.

If anyone has any tips or ideas about gardening, let me know.

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Theme

Sorry this is so long, if anyone even reads it. I'll be commenting more on specific things throughout the month in hopefully shorter blogs.

I came across a handout from a BYU Education Week class that had monthly topics to focus on for Family Home Evening and for teaching children. This handout is where I'm getting the Monthly Theme. Angelle Anderson (2005) is the author. So, for January the topic is ORDER. :)

When I think of order, I think of organizing and time management. I found two articles about "setting our houses in order": Marion G. Romney, “Let Us Set in Order Our Own Houses,” Ensign, Jan 1985, 3 and Russell M. Nelson, “‘Set in Order Thy House’,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 69.
They were very good, with a lot of good information. But, there was nothing about becoming more organized in our homes or with our time. These articles were about parents teaching their children and setting a good example for their children.

Elder Nelson talks about how parents need to cling to the Savior and "by so doing, [we] become examples of righteousness to whom others will want to cling. He explains how we have been commanded to set our houses in order and then give ideas on how we can do that.

He says, "To set our house in an order pleasing to the Lord, we need to do it His way. We are to employ His attributes of “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] meekness.” 6 Each father should remember that “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.” 7

"Parents are to be living examples of “kindness, and pure knowledge, which … greatly enlarge the soul.” 8 Each mother and father should lay aside selfish interests and avoid any thought of hypocrisy, physical force, or evil speaking. 9 Parents soon learn that each child has an inborn yearning to be free. Each individual wants to make his or her own way. No one wants to be restrained, even by a well-intentioned parent. But all of us can cling to the Lord."

(The part that stuck out to me, because I have a very strong-willed 3-year-old, is how "no one wants to be restrained , even by a well-intentioned parent". I need to change my tactics.)

Elder Nelson goes on to say how as parents, not only do we need to cling to the Savior, but we need to teach our children to cling to the Savior as well. We also need to teach our children faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. "Parents are to teach the plan of salvation 22 and the importance of living in complete accord with the commandments of God. 23 Otherwise, their children will surely suffer in ignorance of God’s redeeming and liberating law. 24 Parents should also teach by example how to consecrate their lives—using their time, talents, tithing, and substance 25 to establish the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth. 26 Living in that manner will literally bless their posterity."

Elder Nelson also quoted a letter from the First Presidency that I really liked:

“We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.” 20

Elder Romney also says parents need to "guide their children and encourage them to forsake those things that discourage the presence of the Spirit in their lives."

I also like this next quote from Elder Romney. "As we bear this great responsibility, we must not be so busy with feeding, clothing, housing, and otherwise looking after the temporal needs of our children that we neglect the important things, the things calculated to fortify them against the evils of the world and prepare them for eternal life. We must not, as someone has said, become so intent upon climbing the mountain that in our exhaustion we fail to see the view from the top. Some of us are so caught up in the things of this world that, I fear, we have lost sight of the gospel view."

It is so easy to only focus on the temporal needs of our families, focusing on the spiritual things always seems to take a back burner. Laundry and dishes or whatever always seems so much more important and there are so many other things to distract us. (So I guess there was a little blip about housework stuff.)

Elder Romney also quotes Doctrine & Covenants 121:41–44, and then says "By the exercise of patience, long-suffering, and love, the goodwill and confidence of our children will be won. If time and understanding are devoted to teaching and training them to voluntarily comply with the revealed truths of the gospel, little by little they will, responsive to your guidance, come to realize and appreciate that “men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25.)"

Another idea from the scriptures Elder Romney gives is from King Banjamin's address in Mosiah 4:11–15. "I assure you, my brothers and sisters, that training our children will be easier if we can get into their hearts and feelings the attitude and spirit of this great sermon of King Benjamin. Let us seek to imbue our children with the spirit of the gospel and then our children will not have a mind to injure one another and others, but to live peaceably and to render to everyone that which is his due. Teach them, as Benjamin said, “to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; … teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15.) "

Elder Romney says that as we keep the commandments as parents and teach our children to follow them, we will be able to live in the state the Nephites were living in just after Christ visited them - living after the manner of happiness (when we put things in order).

"Ours or any society will be put in order only when, by precept and example, parents teach and inspire in their children a willing resolution to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. For when one receives a witness of their divinity and glimpses the joy of their promise, he will pray fervently, work diligently, and strictly obey the commandments of God, which of course include the laws of the land." (Elder Romney)