Monday, September 29, 2008

General Conference Packet for Children

I was excited to get a reply to my request for a General Conference packet for children. I was sent one from someone in April for Conference and I loved it! My sister-in-law sent me one but I can't seem to get it on here to share. That may be best as I have no clue who to give credit to for creating it. The link above will lead to another great one that I found online. What I love about it is that there is one for older kids and one for younger kids.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why won't she leave me alone?

This will sound so whiny. Just a warning!

We have lived in our current ward for six months now. We were active for part and inactive for an equal part. The Relief Society President is just driving me crazy. She calls quite often and I know that she means well. She keeps asking if she can visit. She keeps offering help and food for our move despite the fact that I begged her to use the help available for someone who truly needs it. After ignoring her calls for the most part, why does she not get it?

I know that she is a sweet lady and just doing what she thinks is right but I am about to get really blunt about the fact that I want to be left alone and I am not sure how you can say something like that without someone feeling hurt. It really isn't personal, I'm just not interested right now in visits, meals from strangers and men throwing my fragile items into a truck with lightning speed but little care. Not to say that the people aren't wonderful. Boy I'm just digging a hole!

I need a fresh start in a new ward and I know that it sounds like a cop out but I just want to go and have everyone not know that we ever didn't go for two or three months in a row. I don't want to be fussed over. I cannot wait to get out and make a new start for myself. How selfish is that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Looking for ideas?

Last conference someone sent me the neatest printable pack for children to have during conference that helped them watch for things and make it exciting and age appropriate. Has anyone seen anything floating around that they are willing to share that is like that for this conference? My kids are still adjusting to a new prophet. I need to hype it up all I can and help them let go of the past but keep fond memories.

Please reply if you have any ideas. Thanks!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another week of no church.

Seriously, I am stressed about this. I know that those of you who are on a spiritual high or any higher ground than I will think that I should just buck up and do what is right. It's like the heart is somewhat willing (not) and the flesh is really weak. Pathetic.

I don't remember how many weeks of church we have missed and I am so disappointed in myself. I know what is right and wrong and I know what an astoundingly good mother would do in my shoes. Somehow I can't make myself go. What really worries me is that the more weeks we miss, the easier it is to miss the next one.

The week after General Conference I am making it my goal to get to our new ward and make a fresh start. I know better than to think that something will change on a weekend when we have the stress of moving. So, I am trying to set a realistic goal. I also know that I need the encouragement of General Conference to get going. Don't you just get that feeling that all the speakers somehow are speaking right at you and you situation at the moment. I get that during nearly every talk. Here's hoping it takes this time around. We need a change.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A great recipe for functions.

As with most religions we have a lot of get togethers and pot luck occasions. I am always in need of a recipe that serves plenty of people without completely breaking the bank. I did find one quite a while back on the Internet. I have no clue where I got it so please forgive me.

Breakfast Casserole

6 baking potatoes
1 pound hot sausage
2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp. seasoning salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
12 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a med. baking dish. Prick potatoes with a fork and place on med. baking sheet and bake 30 min. or until tender but firm. Remove from heat, cool, peel, and cube.

Cook and stir sausage in a med. saucepan over med. heat until evenly browned; drain.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over med. heat. Stir potatoes and onion into saucepan, and cook until potatoes are browned and onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkler with seasoning salt. Place potato mixture in the prepared baking dish. Cover with sausage. Sprinkle with cheese, top with eggs, and season with salt and pepper.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until eggs are fully cooked.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Family Home Evening Ideas

These are general but they work for us so I thought I would share.

Gospel Art Kit - I love this kit. The cost is nominal and the payoffs are huge! In a pinch I grab one picture and we look up the scriptures and read the story on the back of the picture. I also try to come up with a relevant Primary song.

Faith in God - My boys are both working on this award and one is due to receive it at the end of the year. You can do so much of this during family home evening. Some of the requirements even have the boy do the actual lesson.

Scouting - There are a lot of scouting requirements (especially for Cubs) that can be done during your family home evenings. Even the connection subjects are just great topics to get started with.

Game night - I'm sure everyone has heard this one but can we ever sit together as a family and have fun too much?

Food from around the world - It's fun to take a night once a month where you learn about another countries customs and top it off with a dessert or other food item from that region. It's great to let the kids help in the kitchen, this helps them want to try something because they have ownership in it.

These are very limited but thought they were worth jotting down. Hope they help someone!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Church History Field Trips & More Ideas!

I was just doing an article on field trips for Homeschool Playground and got to thinking about church history. I live in Utah so there are a lot of places with church history to visit. The greatest thing about all of these is that they are free.

I had a few other ideas that I thought would be great fun for kids and families. Your community or somewhere close will most likely have a Bishop's Storehouse. If you ask your Bishop or Branch President, they may be able to help you arrange a tour or at least give you information on who to contact.

Another idea is to take your children to a stake center that is equipped with a family history center. These are very common now and family history is a popular thing to do for all. It would be fun for your children to go with a goal in mind. The missionaries and other people called to take care of these centers love to share it with people.

Any visitor's center. We have a temple in our town and we love to go to the Visitor's Center. It is great to hear a beautiful message. Great for the children to see missionaries at work and to learn more of the gospel. This is a great family home evening idea.

For a stay at home idea, you can ask your ward or stake library if you can borrow a church video. All stakes (in my experience) have different policies regarding this. I have found that stake center libraries are much better equipped.

Anyway, I hope that some of these ideas are useful to someone.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Almost time for General Conference.

Every time conference comes around I am excited. Anyone that knows me, knows that sometimes I go to church and get really active and other times I am hanging on by a thread. It seems that no matter which cycle I am in I get excited that it is conference time.

I will say that about two years ago I found General Conference totally overwhelming. We were really active. I was the Young Women's president for my second year and it seemed that we were falling into routine with all the responsibilities that came with that calling. As I look back, I think I was on the point of burnout and just didn't see it at the time. What I do know is that General Conference about pushed me over an edge emotionally. It was so odd. I know it had everything to do with my attitude but still today I am perplexed at what happened.

Since then I have been relieved that the same feeling has not returned. I hope that this time I can do what it takes to feel like my cup has been filled and to keep things in perspective.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just a warning that came to mind

A while ago my husband had a business associate that was quite wealthy and had a nice wife and great children. They also homeschooled. The wife was a bit overboard in her need to have a structured school day for her children. It got to where the homeschooling bit became all she was. Take this with a grain of salt because you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

What happened over time was that the husband felt very neglected and had an affair. They ended up divorced. I have no idea if she still has the ability to homeschool her children or what has become of her.

What I do know is that he made a bad decision and is 100% accountable. What I also know is that maybe she could have found some balance. I feel for her because I know how hard it is to juggle all the responsibilities that we have as mothers and educators. After a full day of teaching and nurturing it is hard to drum up more for a man who comes home at the hardest time of day (dinner time).

I don't know how to prevent cheating spouses, I just know that as an LDS mother I hope that we have tools and inspiration that will help us keep our marriages together. The greatest gift we can all give our children is not homeschooling but a stable home life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Teaching abstinence vs. teaching safe sex.

Whether you are a parent, teacher or both, this is a big topic. Personally I want to be the first voice in my child's head about sex and as a homeschool mom, I may be the first. I know that chances are, kids talk amongst themselves before parents get a chance but that doesn't mean we should be talking. As homes break down I see the need for society to do something for itself and that may be sex education in the schools. There is no right way to do this because you can't please everyone. The problem is that parents are not (for the most part) doing the talking and so someone needs to.

Frankly, I was taught abstinence. I was told sex was bad, not why I shouldn't have sex before marriage. I could go on for days about how this has had a negative impact on me and my perception of sex, even as a married woman. I have had serious issues that are still not all dealt with because for the first decade of my marriage sex made me feel guilty. Gee, I wonder if it was because I was always told nothing more than not to "do it", it is "bad".

Then I have this brother who's IQ is through the roof and yet he and his girlfriend with an equally high IQ got pregnant before marriage. They got married, had the baby and seven years later through that girl's life into a horrible episode by having a divorce. My brother was taught abstinence, not safe sex. I wouldn't wish my niece away for anything, she is a blessing to all of us but it's too bad she couldn't come to parents who chose each other for the reasons that make marriage work.

I understand that abstinence is best but we are all human and more of us than not know that we have either had sex before marriage or came dang close. I do know that there are some of us who have made it to marriage as virgins and congrats on that. Still, if my children do make a poor choice by having sex before marriage I would like them to then make one right choice and do it safely. Partly because they won't be ready to be parents and partly because diseases are real. Two wrongs will not make a right when we are talking about sex.

I'm not saying pass out the condoms but I'm not against it either. I don't believe that just because you hand a kid a condom he or she will want to use it more than ever. I remember being in junior high and getting my hands on condoms. We blew them up and laughed all night long. Maybe the bottom line is that we can teach and preach and get on our high horses but then just as Sarah Palin's daughter did, our daughters may end up pregnant at a tender age.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Moving to yet another ward. YIKES!

Here is yet another day to be glad that we home school. Our landlord is not renewing our lease because she is mental (no kidding, I really think she needs professional help). Once again this puts us out to house hunting and finding a good neighborhood for our children. We are fortunate to live in a place that has so many fine neighborhoods.

Anyway, even though we have to switch wards I am grateful that the church is basically always the same and runs the same wherever you go. This helps my children and it helps me. It's nice to know what to expect and to know your place in it all.

I am glad that we home school so that this doesn't mean yet another change of schools for my children. Although we have this in favor my heart still aches to have a permanent home where we would never have to move. Not to boo hoo but we have paid so dearly for some of our past mistakes. They are like consequences that just keep giving. Isn't that how life goes?

Good thing I love a new beginning and a fresh start!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I am so ashamed.

There is definitely something wrong with my wiring. I have a huge hang up about being somewhere when someone tells me where to be and when. I'm a born rebel. This could be why church is so hard for me.

This past Sunday for the first time in my life I was a "no show". I have a calling as the Relief Society pianist and I didn't call anyone to back me up or forewarn them. As I have never done this before I feel as guilty as all get out.

On the flip side, it was the nicest Sunday we have had in a long time because we just decided to let everything else take a back seat, except for our marriage. We spent all day cuddling and being together which is a prized occasion anymore.

While I know that this is no excuse for not calling someone I will say that I have not been at church a lot and I was quite embarrassed to call, yet again, to ask someone to do my job.

Why is it that I can't just get with it? Why isn't it enough for me to just set the example for my children? These are questions that I almost fear the answer to.