Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Relief Society Activity Night (Enrichment) Lesson that changed my life


A couple years ago as the RS Activity Night Coordinator I gave this lesson. It has had a lasting impact on me and the women I gave it to. It was so wonderful that my sister gave it to her ward as well.  I think you could easily adapt it for a FHE lesson too.

You'll have to excuse my photos. I was in a hurry that night and sent these pictures from my phone to my sister. I wasn't intending to blog about it, so I didn't take better quality pictures. These were just real quick "on the fly" shots.






I gave each sister a cute little white bucket that I found in the wedding section of my local Dollar Tree. 3/$1.

I bought a larger bucket for the object lesson so that all of the sisters could see it.



I also bought real old fashioned lemon drops as their "drops of awesome" to put in it.

Finally I bought honey sticks to pass out as well. I bought red paper grass to line each bucket and I found a pdf picture that I made thumbnail sized and laminated and tied to each honey stick with a ribbon.

Here is a link to the picture that I used.
http://hangaribbononthemoon.com/2012/12/10/be-anxiously-engaged-pollinate-the-world-with-the-pure-love-of-christ-handout-and-poster/Be Anxiously Engaged in Doing Good

Here is my talk:

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted share with you tonight and as I prayed for the right words the answer finally came. The answer was to spend more time on Facebook. ;)  Only kidding. I had been on FB the other day and read a post that Jessica Moyes posted. So I guess the answer wasn’t really Facebook it was given to me through another friend and that is often how our prayers are answered isn’t it. This post I’m going to share with you couldn’t have expressed my own thoughts and words in a more perfect way. 
Drops of Awesome  By Kathryn Thompson
This post has been in my heart and on my mind for over a year now. I’ve talked about it. I’ve prayed about it. I’ve taught about it. I was waiting for the right time to post about it and now feels like that time. It’s a post about a tiny little moment that completely changed the way I see myself and others. As I think about it and act on what I learned, I find that I am changed in significant ways every single day.
It was a sunny school morning and I was walking Magoo to the bus stop. I don’t often walk him to the school bus. He’s in second grade and pretty independent and I’m usually busy getting myself and his sisters ready. I’m semi-nocturnal and I sleep later than I should most mornings.
When it’s time for school, he says goodbye and heads up the hill to the bus.
As we got half way to the bus, Magoo reached out and grabbed my hand in an uninhibited way that I knew wouldn’t happen many more times. How many 12-year-old boys do you see swinging hands happily with their mommies?
I squeezed his hand, felt the rare Seattle sun on my face, and told him I loved him. I was nearly perfectly happy.
Nearly.
Just at that moment, the thought came into my mind, That’s awesome that you’re walking him to the bus stop and putting on this “mother of the year” act today. What about yesterday and the day before that? You hardly ever walk him to the bus. He’s probably holding your hand because he’s so desperate for the love and attention you haven’t been showing him.
My bubble had burst. I am a crap mom, I thought, as I looked down into his smiling face.
Then another thought came. Kathryn. What is wrong with you? You are being an awesome mom in this moment. Your child is happy. You are loving him and caring for him. He’s well fed and dressed. You’re walking to the bus stop in the early morning and you’re already wearing a bra for heck’s sake. Do not rob yourself of this moment’s joy because of what you failed to do yesterday or what you fear you might not do tomorrow.
This started me thinking of all the times I do something good while beating myself up for all the times I haven’t been perfect.
You’re worshiping in the temple? Woopty freakin do! How long has it been since you came here last? When are you likely to come again? You’re not good at this. This is a fluke.
Wow. So you cleaned the kitchen today. Want a cookie? That dirty rag has been on the counter for a week and those dishes you so righteously cleaned are from breakfast three days ago. You are embarrassing.
That was really nice of you to offer to watch your friend’s kids while she had surgery. Remember last week when you knew your neighbor was suffering from depression and you drove right by with a wave because you did not want to get sucked into the drama? You don’t really care about people. Not all the time.
How destructive are these kinds of thoughts?
As I said goodbye to Magoo and started to walk back home, my mind started to shift.
Drops of Awesome! I thought. Every time you do something good, something kind, something productive, it’s a drop in your Bucket of Awesome. You don’t lose drops for every misstep. You can only build. You can only fill.
----> Ask a sister to come up and help you fill the bucket with drops of awesome. Each time she hears you say it have her put a drop in. Be sure to tell the Sisters that we are all going to help fill this bucket and promise them it will be full by the time you’re done. 
I walked Magoo to the bus. Drop of Awesome!
I fed him fruit with breakfast. Drop of Awesome!
I told him I loved him. Drop of Awesome!
I wore a bra and brushed my teeth before schlepping it up that hill. Two Fat Drops of Awesome!
All day long I chanted these words in my head. I picked up that tootsie roll wrapper off the front porch instead of stepping over it for the eleventy hundredth time. Drop of Awesome! I unloaded one dish from the dishwasher when I walked through the kitchen on my way to the bathroom. Drop of Awesome! I texted my sad neighbor to say I was thinking about her. Drop of Awesome! I had a critical thought about one of my kids and I brushed it away and replaced it with love. Drop of Awesome!
When I started thinking about my life in terms of adding these little Drops of Awesome for every tiny act of good, I found that I was doing more and more of them because it’s a lot more fun to do good when you’re rewarded with joy, rather than being guilted about every failure in your past.
By the end of the day, I had realized something important. If I was spending time with my kids, really listening to them with attention in the moment, then I was a good listener, regardless of the 50 other times I’d brushed them off or multi-tasked while they were talking over the past week. If I was engaged in sincere prayer with my Heavenly Father, really communing with him and seeking his will, then I was a person who engages in sincere prayer, regardless of how my prayers were (or weren’t) yesterday and the day before that and the day before that.
As I added up these Drops of Awesome, I found that in those moments I actually became the person I had always wanted to be.
Have you ever said any of these things: “Well, I guess I don’t work out anymore,” because you missed one workout? Or, “I always fight with my brother. Our relationship is broken.” What about, “I’m kind of a nag to my spouse.” Or “I gossip and I always end up hurting people I love.” “I can’t stop spending money. We will never get out of debt.” “My house is always a disaster.”
These things are lies, depending on the next decision you make, the next Drop of Awesome you put in your bucket. You may have done these things or have a hard time with them but they don’t define you and you can change this very instant. You may not think you can change permanently but you can change the next choice you make. And as you change that one next tiny choice, you may think, I got this one Drop of Awesome but I may never be able to get another one again.
And that’s okay.
You made the right choice once. And in that moment you were the person you want to be and that is a triumph. For one night, you were a person who went to bed early. One morning you woke up and the first words out of your mouth were positive so you were a morning person in that moment. Bam! Drop of Awesome.
You do not need to wait three months to be who you want to be. Pick up ten things right now and say, “Drops of Awesome! I am someone who takes care of my house. That is who I am. I have proof.”
In the end, it’s really about allowing yourself to feel joy and allowing yourself to be proud of the small victories of life. This builds momentum and you want more drops in your bucket and when you don’t get as many, you pick yourself up and say, “What can I do next?”
--> Ask Sisters to share something they have done today to fill their Bucket of Awesome. Walk around and put “Lemon Drops of Awesome” in their buckets! 
Now, there are a whole lot of religious implications to this because, as a Christian, I believe that you are not the only one adding these Drops of Awesome to your bucket. Christ commanded us to be perfect, but through His atonement, He is with us every step of the way.
As an object lesson when I was teaching this to the teenage girls at church, I gave them each a small dropper and I put a 2-quart bowl on the table. I told them that throughout the lesson they would get the chance to put drops in the bucket for every Drop of Awesome they could think of that they’d done. I promised them that we would fill the bowl to overflowing by the end of the lesson.
With about 5 minutes to go, we had barely begun to fill the bowl and the girls were looking around at each other nervously. The promised overflow did not look likely. Were they not awesome enough?
At that point, I pulled out a large pitcher labeled ATONEMENT and poured water into the glass bowl until it was spilling out all over the table and the towel the bowl was resting on. The class went silent.
When we are in a relationship with Christ, striving as God’s sons and daughters to do His will, He pours more into our buckets than we can ever hope to imagine. He can fill us to overflowing with peace, with joy, with perfection, with Awesome. And then what do we do if our bucket is overflowing like that? Where does the Awesome go then?
I pulled out an identical bowl, twice the size of the original. Our capacity for joy and light increases. And we just keep working, one tiny drop at a time. And we don’t compare today’s drops to yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. And we live and we love and we repent when we do wrong and we allow ourselves to be glorious, beautiful, and dare I say perfect in Christ, children of God.
I believe in a God who loves us and roots for us and cheers for every Drop of Awesome we can manage. Our victories are His victories and He wants us to feel joy. Not later, when we no longer make mistakes, but right now.
I’m gonna close this uber long post out with a scripture from the Book of Mormon. I know many of you do not share my faith but I think you’ll find truth in these words:
“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.” (Alma 37:6)
Small and simple. Tiny drops. Go forth. Be Awesome.
Kathryn Thompson blogger of www.daringyoungmom.com


If you remember from our recent Conference Elder M. Russell Ballard talked about some other tiny drops. Drops of honey. 

Honeybees are driven to pollinate, gather nectar, and condense the nectar into honey. It is their magnificent obsession imprinted into their genetic makeup by our Creator. Over its short lifetime of just a few weeks to four months, a single honeybee’s contribution of honey to its hive is a mere one-twelfth of one teaspoon.
Though seemingly insignificant when compared to the total, each bee’s one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey is vital to the life of the hive. The bees depend on each other. Work that would be overwhelming for a few bees to do becomes lighter because all of the bees faithfully do their part.
The beehive has always been an important symbol in our Church history.  The beehive symbol is found in both the interiors and exteriors of many of our temples. This podium where I stand is made from the wood of a walnut tree grown in President Gordon B. Hinckley’s backyard and is adorned with carved beehive images.

All of this symbolism attests to one fact: great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27). Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These simple, daily acts of service may not seem like much in and of themselves, but when considered collectively they become just like the one-twelfth teaspoon of honey contributed by a single bee to the hive. There is power in our love for God and for His children, and when that love is tangibly manifest in millions of acts of Christian kindness, it will sweeten and nourish the world with the life-sustaining nectar of faith, hope, and charity.
The symbol of RS is Charity Never Faileth. Charity means “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering”. 
Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley was a great example of this. She said, 

“I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.” 

Which takes us to another type of drop. Drops of Oil. A wise Sister I know said these words. 

The time truly is far spent for us to prepare.  I'm reminded of the parable of the ten virgins.  If the oil of the wise virgins is likened to spiritual strength, there's one huge reason why they could not share with the five foolish.  The wise virgins carried with them the fruit of a full growing season . . . of pruning and fertilizing and weeding and caring for a vineyard.  In their cruses, they carried the sunlight, the rain, the warmth of nature's God and the labor of the harvest.  Bringing the vineyard and the oil press along to the wedding just wasn't an option.  Because of their preparation, they had a smooth ride when the bridegroom came.  We cannot transfer the hours spent in study, the thoughtful and fervent prayers, or the sweet moments when God reaches down and touches our minds and hearts.  We can bear testimony, witness of truth so the Spirit can touch hearts and others can be changed and influenced by the power lent to us because of our faithfulness and preparation . . . but they must pay for their own oil in the end.


Now, it's true that the foolish virgins were able to go and buy additional oil.  It was a costly, time-consuming trip . . . which ended in missing the bridegroom's arrival and wedding feast.  For some, who realize their shortage earlier and go for oil sooner, making the trip and paying the price could result in enough oil to see them through . . . just as experiencing dramatic hardship and trial can soften hearts as well as harden them.  The peril lies in the race condition that exists when preparation goes undone.
~Annalea Eastley 

Sisters, I’d like us to focus on the “Being Anxiously Engaged in Doing Good” this year. I don’t want you to focus on what isn’t being done. Instead of making a “To Do” List I want you to make a list of “What I Accomplished Today”. One of the commenters from the “Drops of Awesome” post said that she and her sisters and mother were all doing this. She said that “Some days I write down lots of things like folding laundry, making phone calls, bringing dinner to a neighbor etc. But some days and I think these are the days I need it most, the most I can manage are things like--I got out of bed. I fed my kids. I made it through another day without selling my kids to the gypsies! I give myself credit if I resist negative thoughts about myself and I keep a tally next to that for every single time I have that negative thought throughout the day. It has helped me see my role as a mother as something important when I write down, “took care of my children by feeding them.” “Made my daughter laugh.” “Took advantage of a teaching moment” or “created a little corner of cleanliness in my bedroom.” I have truly come to believe that this is the way the Lord sees us. At the end of the day, he is not thinking, “I’m really disappointed you didn’t get your dishes washed.” No. He is looking at all the things we DID do! It truly has been a life changing experiment for me because it has helped me see myself the way the Lord sees me. 

Sisters as we go throughout the rest of our year I know that if we focus on “Being Anxiously Engaged in Doing Good” that we really will pollinate the world with the pure love of Christ and it starts with you. Start by putting some more “Drops of Awesome” in your bucket each day. Then once it starts to over flow you can fill your husband’s bucket with love and so on and so on. Let’s help one another by filling our cruses with oil and being prepared so that when that day comes we are like the 5 prepared Virgins.
Let us also remember the honeybees “Though seemingly insignificant when compared to the total, each bee’s one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey is vital to the life of the hive. The bees depend on each other. Work that would be overwhelming for a few bees to do becomes lighter because all of the bees faithfully do their part.”
Simple, daily acts of service collectively considered make a huge impact! 

“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” 

Monday, June 4, 2012

May Lofts Herald Entry


We had a great little vacation and ran off to the Beach with Shalah, Mom, Lexie, Sheri and all the kiddos. It was a lot of fun and a much needed little get away! The kids all had a blast with their cousins! We played in the water (I use the term “we” very loosely here. ;) and flew the kite, got some squeaky cheese, visited a lighthouse, went letterbox hunting and to the Marine Science Center and even got in a little shopping at the Outlet Mall.  McKayla said her favorite part was the day we went home because we crammed in so much fun stuff. One of the highlights of the weekend was giving Mom her iPad.  I caught a few great pictures to share.  She was very surprised and a little teary-eyed when she read the engraving. It says, "Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you. Happy Mother's Day 2012". The other highlight was getting to meet baby Brayden. What a cutie! 
For my Mom we did our annual Mother’s Day Yard Clean up and Planting day.  We were surprised at how great the turn out was this year. Everyone came!  He got the pond, creek and bathtub fountains all up and running and then we put him on Traeger duty. We had a great day. I got to hold baby Helen and I think she is just sooo cute! It could be that she looks like my sisters and I more than any other one of our kids combined. She is so sweet too. She always smiling and cooing and happy. 
I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting on Mother’s Day. I am not quite sure why I have had to speak twice in the past 12 months and Bryce hasn’t had to speak since we moved into our house about 12 years ago. Hmmmm... I might have to look into that one a little further. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Talk- Honor Thy Mother and Father


Your Mother and Mine
Well, a mother, a real mother
Is the most wonderful person in the world
She's the angel voice that bids you goodnight
Kisses your cheek, whispers, "Sleep tight."
The helping hand that guides you along
Whether you're right, whether you're wrong
What makes mothers all that they are?
Might as well ask, "What makes a star?"
Ask your heart to tell you her worth
Your heart will say, "Heaven on Earth."
Another word for divine
Your mother and mine
~Wendy Moira Angela Darling
The love of parents for their children and children for their parents is one of the strongest influences for good in the world. Many people have been motivated to live good lives because of their love for their parents. How you live your life may bring honor or shame not only to yourself but to your parents as well. You can choose to commit to honor your parents by living righteously and expressing gratitude to them.
Since today is Mother’s Day I will mainly focus on Mothers, but you could easily insert Father instead.
Our Parents Care About Us
Our parents love us and want what is best for us. Think of how much time and effort it takes to raise a son or daughter. 
My mother taught me how to crawl, how to walk and how to talk. The alphabet and my numbers. She taught me how to use a spoon, and how to use the potty. She taught me how to use my inside voice and encouraged me when I needed to speak up a little. She taught me to look both ways before I crossed and to watch out for strangers. She taught me not to play with sticks because someone could get their eye poked out... and she was right. 
As I got older, she pointed out the girls in the Laurel class that I should look up to and the values and characteristics that I should emulate. She also taught me more practical things like how to sew a button, what I should and shouldn’t wear and how to tweeze my eyebrows (thank goodness). She taught me how to fold a fitted sheet (even if I still can’t fold them as perfectly as she does.) She taught me that even an old red barn looks better with a fresh coat of paint and that glitter has magical powers and it can make everything look sparkly and new. She taught me that choosing the right isn’t always easy, but it is best. 
I distinctly remember a time when I was a Mia Maid when the friends I had were gradually making different choices and I made the choice not to do those things and over time they weren’t my friends anymore and I was very lonely. She told me that friends will come and go but she would always be my friend no matter what. 
She taught me what to look for in a husband and how he should treat me.     She taught me that good things come to those who wait and patience is a virtue. 
Just last month she taught me by example about reaching out of our comfort zone and doing hard things. She teaches me of my ancestors and the rich heritage I am blessed to be apart of. 
When I became a mother myself it was only then that I caught a glimpse of all that she has taught me whether by her words or by her example.
Our parents have made a commitment to help us live a happy, healthy life. When our parents try to guide us, they are trying to help us be our best and be worthy of exaltation with our family.
Heavenly Father Wants Us to Honor Our Parents
Henry B. Eyring taught Now, here is my counsel to children. The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: it is found in Exodus 20:12. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” 5 It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise. You may not have parents that are living. In some cases, you may not feel that your parents are worthy of the honor and respect of their children. You may not even have ever known them. But you owe them life. And in every case, even if your life is not lengthened, its quality will be improved simply by remembering your parents with honor.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Our Perfect Example” Oct. 2009)
•How do you honor someone? By showing them respect, obeying their wishes, listening to them, asking their advice, and following their example.
Throughout my life my Dad has shown me a good example of how to Honor my Mother and my Grandmother. He would do small things like dropping her off at the door on a rainy Sunday morning. Or by opening her car door, rubbing her feet at night, filling up the gas tank in her car. Cooking her dinner. By teaching my brothers how to treat their Mother and Sisters with respect. By taking the day off of work so he could hold her hand at the Dentist office. By encouraging my Mother when she has to do hard things like speak in church. And the countless times he walks into the room and says, “Hey Beautiful”. My Father has taught me how to Honor my mother.
My Grandpa has taught me how to honor my mother and my Grandmother. My Grandpa used to take my Grandma Donna to antique shops and art galleries. He would drive her to thrift store after thrift store. But what I remember as a young child Grandpa would come with Grandma to “Grandparents Day” in Elementary School. Now, I’m sure that this probably bored Grandpa to tears, It was a monumental task because there were about twenty grandchildren at Park Place at one time, so it was an all day excursion. Grandpa went anyway because it was important to Grandma. My Grand father taught me how to Honor my mother and my Grandmother. 
Finally, my mother taught me how to show respect and honor to her.  
My mother taught me how to speak to her in a respectful manner. She didn’t allow us to treat her disrespectfully or backtalk. Even as toddlers we didn’t tell her “no” and get away with it. As a teenager I remember my Mother took my sister, Carrie and I on a rare trip to the mall. As my sister and I got out of the car we hurried in ahead of my Mom and jokingly said that it was “so that we weren’t walking next to our “Mom” because it wasn’t “cool”. She taught me a valuable lesson that day that I haven’t forgotten. She told us to “get back here” and “that we would not disrespect her like that”. We tried to tell her that we were only joking, but she cautioned us that it wasn’t even acceptable to treat her like that in jest, because it could become habit. I didn’t realize at the time that we were probably testing the waters and I’m grateful that she was smart enough to realize it and didn’t allow us to dishonor her.  I also realized that I didn’t care what other people thought, but I cared what my Mom thought and I realized that treating her like that was rude and hurtful. 
As I got older it really bothered me when I would hear my friends or cousins or girls from my ward talk to their Moms disrespectfully. I remember telling my mom I didn’t like that they were speaking to their Mom like that about how I was surprised their mom let them get away with it. She told me I should say something to them the next time I overheard them treating their Mom that way. So I did. Every time I said something, my friend knew they had been rude and they were ashamed for their behavior. I doubt it changed their behavior all the time, but at least while I was around they spoke more respectfully and in a respectful tone of voice to their mother. My Mother taught me how to honor her.  
President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“Be true to your parents and your heritage. Regrettably there are a few parents who act in a way that does serious injustice to their children. But these cases are relatively few. No one has greater interest in your welfare, in your happiness, in your future than do your mothers and fathers. … They were once the age that you are now. Your problems are not substantially different from what theirs were. If they occasionally place restrictions on you, it is because they see danger down the road. Listen to them. What they ask you to do may not be to your liking. But you will be much happier if you do it” (“Stand True and Faithful,” Ensign, May 1996, 92–93).
When I was about 13 years old I witnessed this truth for myself. I asked my brother, Brian if I could share this story with you because although it wasn’t something that happened to me personally, it affected me directly.  When Brian was 16 years old he wanted to hang out with his friends non-stop, as most teenagers do.  He wanted to go to the football games every weekend and there was a girl there that he liked. I don’t remember all of the details at the time, but I do remember that Brian and Mom were fighting a lot and that the atmosphere in the home when Brian was home was contentious because he didn’t want to be there. Now, keep in mind that Brian was still a good kid that wanted to do what was right. He just didn’t see anything wrong with going to do these things with his friends and he didn’t have any intentions of doing anything wrong. But, my mom could see the potential danger and one night they had a big argument and Brian disobeyed my parents and he went to the football game anyway. That night my parents were waiting for him when he got home and they had another argument. My mom stopped in the middle of it and asked him, “Who are you and what happened to the boy I raised? What type of man do you want to grow up to be?” The following evening there was a fireside at Bro. James Bean’s house that Brian attended that changed his life and my entire family. This is what happened in Brian’s own words.
I found myself sitting on the floor of James Beans house listening to him teach the gospel and to teach the law of obedience. That night the spirit pierced my heart. Brother bean explained how much a parent loves their child. He told us that our parents loved us more than anyone else--just like our father in heaven loves us. A parent's love for their children is boundless... they would die for us. Then he said that we could "never go wrong" if we listen and obey our parents. He admitted that we may not have as much fun as we otherwise could have, or that sometimes we might miss out on a fun time with our friends. But he promised us that we would find true joy and peace in abiding by the counsel and direction of our parents. 
I knew this was true. I knew deep in the heart... deep in my soul that my parents adored me (still do). And that if I were to trust in their wisdom and follow their counsel that I would be blessed beyond measure. I resolved at that moment to obey my parents and to follow their counsel. The first step toward obedience was honoring the grounding I got from going to the football game without permission.
I started looking for ways to help out around the house. I began to seek my parent's counsel when I needed help with things. I spent quality time with my siblings. We rented kid movies and popped popcorn while my friends went to the football games and to school parties. I worked hard on being patient with my younger brother and my sisters. I volunteered to help my father when I saw him working. Little by little I began to feel differently about myself. I developed a rich relationship with my parents and learned to trust in their judgement. I learned fist hand that a parent's love for their child exceeds all imaginings. And if a child will but follow the counsel of a wise parent they will be blessed with a rich and full life.
To this day, I still seek the counsel of my wise parents and cherish their love for me. I have been truly blessed.”
My brother, Brian truly showed me how to honor my Mother.  He confided in her and he sought her counsel and he and my Mother developed a special bond. Let me tell you, Boys, if you want to know what a girl is really thinking, ask your Mom. Brian had the best dating coach he could ever have. Brian taught me how to honor my Mother. 
My husband has shown me how to honor my mother and my mother-in-law. For Mother’s Day this year he had the idea of giving his mother an iPad so he arranged for all of the siblings to pitch in. Last weekend we went to the Beach with my MIL and gave it to her.  He showed me how to honor his mother by taking the time to teach her how to use her new iPad.  He also has honored my mother, his mother-in-law by taking the time to serve her. Yesterday, we had a big family yard work party as a gift to my Mom.  Not only did he do it, but the other son-in-law’s took the time out of their busy schedules to help out as well. I don’t know very many son-in-law’s that would do that. My brothers-in-law and my husband show me how to honor my mother and mother-in-law.  
•How can honoring your parents help you enjoy greater blessings and happiness in your life? Our parents can teach us how to succeed at our goals and how to receive the blessings they have received. Because of their experience, our parents can also help us avoid many of the mistakes they have made or seen others make.
We Can Honor Our Parents by Living Righteously
3 John 1:4.   “I have no greater ajoy than to hear that my bchildren cwalk in truth.”
We Can Honor Our Parents by Expressing Appreciation for Them
by President Spencer W. Kimball:
“No gift purchased from a store can begin to match in value to parents some simple, sincere words of appreciation. Nothing we could give them would be more prized than righteous living for each youngster” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 348
Testimony
I testify of the importance of honoring our parents and of the blessings we can receive by doing so. 
Consider the consequences of your actions and how they will affect your parents. Show appreciation to your parents and also to think, when you consider some action, “Am I doing my best to honor my parents?”
  1. PREPARING FOR EXALTATION: TEACHER’S MANUAL
  1. LESSON 42: HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER

Monday, December 19, 2011

Brody The Elf Marshmallow Fight/Dance Party

Alaynee woke me up bright and early (5:30am) to come and experience the magic of Christmas. She wanted me to see what Brody had done last night. Mom was a little slow to stumble out of bed so she came back in and this time she asked imploringly, "Mommy, will you please come and see what Brody did!" So of course I woke right up and we tiptoed into the dining room and found him and Barbie having a Dance Party. They had the Christmas music playing and marshmallows everywhere. 



He even left a trail of marshmallows from their room to the dining room table.


Miss Alaynee-ous sure does love having him here! She carries him all over the place and she put Barbie next to him on the shelf so he'd have a buddy. I cannot express how much I love this little Elf for bringing the anticipation and magic of Christmas to our home. 

Brody The Elf- Gone Fishing Day 1

Brody left a note that he was "Gone Fishing". 

The kids were ecstatic that Brody showed up last night on our doorstep. 


They found him first thing in the morning because they woke up and had to go potty. McKayla did a double take before she sat down. It was pretty funny!

Homemade Omnidroid Robot Costume -The Incredibles Robot Costume








My daughter actually came up with the idea herself that she could be The Robot. I instantly had a vision of what it could look like in my mind because I had experience with a giant paper mache ball before. 
I was Mike Wazowski when my daughter was 1. My husband was Sully and my daughter was Boo.

Unfortunately we were poor college students and had very little money so I had to use what I had on hand for leggings and longs sleeve shirt. It would have been so much cooler with green. But, as it was the impact was fantastic! 

This costume was very inexpensive and simple to make. I started off by busting out my Core Secrets Exercise ball. 
Pretend like it's all blown up and big. 


I didn't do this tutorial as I went along because I was too frantically trying to get it finished. SO you'll just  have to use your imagination. Next I Paper Mached it. If you're not familiar with Paper Mache it is really messy and fun. You rip strips of newspaper and then dip them in a flour and water mixture that is the consistency of pancake batter. As you pull it out of the mixture you slide it between the fingers of your other hand to remove some of the excess mixture. There are several recipes and different mediums to use, but I find this to be the simplest, cheapest, most sturdy method and quick too! I prefer to use Newspaper Strips because newspaper is thin too. Just Google or Youtube it if your not sure what to do. Then you just cover the entire ball. I did a layer and let it dry and repeated four times. I wanted it to hold up. This took me about a week of my time because I'm a busy gal. I let it dry overnight and then put a new layer on in the morning. Oh and I set the ball in a flat bottom bowl to keep it from rolling around all over the place.

 

Be sure not to cover your plug hole! You need to be able to let the air out when you're all finished to let your ball out. Several people thought that you would have to pop a hole in your exercise ball in order to get it out. This will be the bottom of your ball where your body will go through so it can be fairly big and open. 



Once it's completely dry it's ready for paint. Take the ball out first! It'll kind of stick to the sides so just reach your hand inside and help to peel off. 

YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST DO A PRIMER COAT! I made the mistake of going through about four cans of green spray paint when I made the Mike Wazowski costume before I decided to go back and do a primer base. The newspaper print just shows through. I usually use a brush and acrylic craft paint for the primer coat. I find it to be a good solid coat and I don't have to use so much spray paint. I chose to use white as the base because I wanted the silver metallic to really pop and be very true to color. When I did Mike Wazowski I used a pale yellow base. I painted in stages. I painted the ball before I put on the arms and then again after I put on the arms.


 I found two things at Home Depot that I couldn't live without! Silver Metallic Spray paint by 
Rust-Oleum. It claimed to be 2x the coverage. I found it to be pretty accurate. I used almost two cans. I also found Chrome duct tape by Duck brand. This stuff was a lifesaver! 


Once you've got it all painted you're ready to cut out the holes. I started by cutting the head hole first using a razor blade or an exacto knife. I started with the head because I wanted the rest of the structure to be as sturdy as possible when I cut it out to give me the most strength.
I measured my daughter's head and took a rough guess. On my ball there are circles which actually came in very handy! I just cut along the circle that I thought was the size of her head.  
I used my handy dandy chrome duct tape and wrapped the edges so it was finished. Then I taped in a headband.




The other detail I think added a lot to her costume was the headlamp. It actually was very helpful for Halloween night too!



This is the top where her head came through. You can see I had to add strips of duct tape because the head hole was a little too large for the costume to stay on. I slipped it over her head and figured out where her shoulders could come out. This is just a guess and trial and error thing. I cut X's and then went back and made them circles. Be sure they are kind of a tight fit for your dryer ducting to fit into. Better to be too small than too big. Here is the inside view.



I used the chrome duct tape to secure it to the exterior and interior.

My dryer ducting was originally white, but you could have saved time and a step of painting by using silver. I got this for free so I used what I had. I think there was about 25 ft. but I didn't use that much.

Then it was time to put on the claw parts. This was a joint effort by my husband and I. 
I cut out the cardboard X shape by just free hand drawing. Then I bent it a little to give it the effect of being a pincher.
It was Daddy's job to figure out how the heck to attach them to the dryer ducting. Thank goodness he is a man and thought of zip ties. I think I need to utilize this amazing tool much more often! They need to go into my crafting supplies box so I remember them.





Once secure it was time to paint all the arms. We only chose to put pinchers on 4 of the six and shortened the two side arms so that she could stick her arms in and actually hold her candy bucket. 

Then VOILA! You're a The Robot! Oh and the silvery pants she wore were hijacked off a Disco Barbie Costume from about 10 years ago. I'm sure you could find some or sew some or spray paint some. 

THAT LOOKS TOTALLY WICKED!