Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

I agree with another blogger that Valentines Day is worth celebrating now that I can decorate with hearts galore. 

The other day I picked up some adorable paper hearts from Pebbles and sewed them together to create a super long heart garland. I had to get creative where to hang such a long garland. I don't have a fancy chandelier above my kitchen table so I created one with my hearts. 

I then did my first glitter project with 2 year old Kennedy. I have to recruit toddlers to come craft with me since Maggs is too little still. 

She chose pink and orange glitter for our heart. And I didn't evenly distribute the glue very well. So here's our blotchy glitter heart. 

And then here's my pretend mantle celebrating winter and Valentines Day. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Simply Singing- Primary Singing Time Ideas

I remember my singing leaders. Some were fascinating to just watch. They were so enthusiastic and their eyes lit up the room. Others planned these extravagant games to help us choose the songs we were going to sing. They probably spent hours and hours preparing. 

I've been the Primary Song Leader for almost 2 years now and my favorite is to simply sing. I don't plan a new game each week. We usually just sing. And it's so fun. The junior kids have fun singing Hinges and falling to the floor when we "crack."  And the senior kids love learning new songs that aren't as well known. I usually don't even create pictures or posters because we come up with actions to help us. I have started two new things this past month that I wanted to share in case anyone else will find them helpful. 

1. With the senior primary we have started learning songs together. I let someone pick any number between 1 and 285. And that's the page number we'll turn to and learn a new song. I realize this only works if the senior primary is old enough and large enough. And it also requires a pianist that can sight read the music. But it's been a lot of fun. And I've found it's really helped the kids that don't typically sing to start singing. I think it's easy to get bored singing the same handful of primary songs for so many years and it's a fun challenge for them to be part of the teaching process since we are all learning and teaching in that exact moment. 

2. I mentioned this in an earlier post but this year the children are helping me with my scripture study by singing/learning a song that relates to what I read that week. 

Week 1 we sang the first verse of Nephi's Courage (120) with the scripture 1 Nephi 3:7. 

Week 2 we sang the chorus to The Iron Rod (Hymn book 274) and I read 1 Nephi 8:30. 

Week 3 we sang The Eighth Article of Faith (127) and I read 1 Nephi 13:24-26. 

I love that this helps the primary kids connect song to scripture. Showing that when we sing we are learning gospel doctrine. And keeping the commandment of scripture study.

So happy singing. And don't ever feel like you need to do more than simply sing. 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Era

Thoughts about eras. 

When I look in the mirror I wish I lived in the an earlier century when white skin was attractive. Or when fuller women were considered more attractive. Or when clothing was not a fashion statement, but something to protect the body. 

When I see nice furniture and fancy decor I wish I lived in a time when everyone made their own furniture and it was a practical necessity. Nothing fancy. Nothing expensive. 

When I get a hair cut I wish I lived in a time before mirrors so I couldn't compare my large head and blemished face to the hairdresser behind me. 

When I paint my toenails I wish I lived before things like nail Polish existed. Because then maybe I wouldn't wish my toe nails were porportionate to my toes. And then I couldn't wish that I could afford to pamper myself like the other women I see on social media. Because back in the day spas and salons didn't exist. 

When I go to church I look at all the women, mothers, and families that are dressed to impress. Because we wear our Sunday best right? But instead of seeing the beautiful children of God, I see them as someone I am not. Someone prettier and fancier. And then I wish I lived in an era before stores. When everyone made their clothing. But then I remember I can't sew. And then I remember all the talents other people have and wish I lived in a time when everyone lived so far from neighbors they only had their family to entertain. And couldn't share pictures for everyone else to see. 

But then I remember the New Era. The era of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Restored once again. And I realize I don't need to wish I lived in an earlier era without the technologies and social media that exposes everyone to everyone else. Because living the gospel era doesn't let me compare myself to my neighbors. My friends. Who I love and admire. The gospel era doesn't let me focus on outward and worldly appearances and ideas. The gospel era focuses on my relationship to God and my Savior. The gospel era teaches me that I am a child of a loving Heavenly Father and I have value. The gospel era teaches me not judge. Not compare. Not hate. Not belittle. 

So next time I find myself wishing I didn't live in a time when I could so easily wish I looked like someone in my Instagram feed. Or cook something yummy I see on Pinterest. Or create something beautiful I see on Facebook. I will remember to live in the gospel era. Because the gospel era is what matters. It is what will bring me happiness. So I don't have to pretend to live in an isolated world. I can live in this century with all the beautiful technologies and blessings. And also remember to live in this new era. This gospel era. My era. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A House, Maggs, and Simply Singing

We are in the process if building our first home and I could not be more thrilled and anxious. Picking stuff out is exhilarating and terrifying. How am I supposed to envision rooms and floors and walls by looking at tiny swatches of paint color and carpet? Hope it all comes together and I'm glad we live so close so I can see the progress on a daily basis. 

Then there's Miss Miggs of course. Man I love my little ham. She makes Colonel Brandon and me happier than we could ever imagine. 

Sad day when the Saints lost to the Seahawks. But at least Maggie could cheer us up. 

And then there's singing time in my ward. Man I love those kidlets. They make me laugh so much and I am inspired by their spirit. This year I am trying a new scripture study approach. I'm following @bofm365 on Instagram and trying to read my scriptures daily. In conjunction with that, the kids are helping me! Each Sunday we learn a new song that has to do with what I read that week in my study. I also read a scripture and talk about how songs are like scriptures. We can learn new things we read and sing through the spirit. I've also invited the kids to participate too and we can help them in their scripture study by singing a song they choose from their scripture reading. 

The kids love it. And so do I. It's helped my personal study lots. 

Last week we sang the first verse of Nephi's Courage. This week we'll do The Iron Rod. Colonel Brandon has lovingly pointed out it will be a stretch to connect songs when I get to the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi and the war chapters in Alma. Well we'll show him :). And he'll help me do it.