Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giving Our Daily Work Some Credit

Sometimes I think it is easy to discount the routine, daily work we do as mothers as secondary in our efforts to help build the kingdom of God. Afterall, we have visiting teaching to do, callings to fill (and magnify!), meetings to attend, etc.... But here is a quote from Dallin H. Oaks that I found very grounding (emphasis added):

"'Seek first to build up the kingdom of God' means to assign first priority to God and His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father's children. Everything else is lower in priority" ("Focus and Priorities," Ensign, May 2001, 83-84).

Obviously, our work as mothers can coexist with other things that might be asked of us to help build the kingdom (and nurturing/teaching all of God's children is certainly included), but it's comforting to know that the time and effort spent with our little ones- no matter how mundane- is the best thing we can be doing above all else.

So go out and wipe those snoozy noses with pride!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Design Friday: Womb Chair

In honor of my current state, I chose to highlight the Womb Chair for today's Design Friday (yes, an actual Design Friday!).

picture from knoll.com

The womb chair was designed in 1948 by Finnish designer Eero Saarinen (I highlighted the incredible Eero before in this post). Saarinen was challenged by Florence Knoll to create a chair she could "curl up in", and this chair was his response. The chair was designed to encourage a relaxed sitting position providing emotional support and a sense of security- hence the "womb" name. This chair exemplifies Saarinen's ability to challenge rules and set new standards for modern design. It is considered to be iconic representaion of mid-century Scandinavian organic modernism.

(Funny, my womb looks just like this chair in the ultrasounds!).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Freezer Jam

A month or so ago, Better Homes and Gardens listed tips on how to clean the air in your home. My favorite tip was the advice they gave to remove dust mites from your child's room. For stuffed animals that can not be laundered, they suggest merely freezing the animals once a week for a few hours. In that case, I think I need to buy a deep freeze.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Penny Saved

Over the last few days, I've had conversations with friends about correcting cashiers for being overcharged a few dolllars. In all of these conversations, they have expressed bashfulness about bothering someone about a measley $2. If you are inclined to feel that way, I will tell you why you shouldn't be apologetic. One word: Target.

The other day I needed to make an exchange at Target, as I had received a gift that happened to have a defect in it. Because I did not have a gift receipt, the customer service girl explained to me that since the product had been on sale at some point in the last 90 days, but was now selling at full price, I would need to pay the $2 difference. An even exchange was not an option. I went round and round with her. I made it clear that I did not want money in return, I wanted to trade my item for the exact same product, only without the defect. It did not matter. Her computer would not allow her to make an even exchange without a receipt. I should have talked to a manager, but I relented. I ended up paying $2 to make an exchange. My bitter feelings toward Target and their lame-o return/exchange policies that have laid dormant since my wedding have been renewed.

As I walked through the store I realized that there is no reason for us as customers to be apologetic for bothering cashiers about a $2 overcharge mistake. Sure, it's only a couple of bucks, but $2 is important to stores and they certainly do not apologize for taking it. Why should we? A penny saved is a penny earned.

Monday, September 20, 2010

B.Y.Blue

My son and husband were able to attend this past weekend's BYU v. FSU football game. While I had planned and hoped to go, reality told me that tailgating plus standing in the sun for 4 hours would probably not be a good idea with a due date just around the corner. Sadly, BYU was tromped 10 to 34. But, my son had a great time at his first football game and has shared cute insights into his day. The following is one of my favorites:

My Son: "I got to have a pom-pom at the game!"
Me: "Really? That's cool! Did you shake it?"
My Son: "Yep. I shook it everytime BYU scored. I didn't get to shake it very much."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Choose Ye this Day to Serve the Lord"

My mom recently made me aware of a talk given by Julie B. Beck at BYU's Women's Conference back in April. It is very powerful and inspiring. I could not find a text copy of the talk, so I have put a link to the video on my sidebar under "Inspiring Articles". Here are the quotes and teachings I found inspiring:

"Taking care of our posterity takes precedence over all other things."

"The vision of our family is the vision of our purpose before the Lord"

"All priesthood power has order, boundaries, and limits to its use. But in our personal lives we are only limited by our faithfulness and desires to acheive that ability to receive that spirit to function in our lives."

"The ability to seek, receive, and act on personal revelation is the most important skill we can acquire in this life. When we have that spirit we can walk with God. We can know and discern and make proper choices... Education is wonderful, but being able to feel the Lord's power and spirit upon us is the ultimate education we can acheive. With that we have power and influence. Without it we will not be able to navigate in this life. The adversary will pick us off one by one."

How do we choose to walk with the Lord and how do we do this?
Know our responsibilities and how to fulfill them:
  • Increased faith and personal righteousness
  • Stronger homes and families ("Women are like a lioness at the gate, the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her.")
  • Women support each other

Prioritze ("When our priorities are out of order we lose power.") Sister Beck's system for priortizing:

1. Essential- ("If I don't take care of these things, the blessings of eternal life will not be mine nor the blessings of my family.")

  • Revelation- Knowing the mind/will of God. (Increased through reading scriptures, personal prayer, time to ponder, sincere fasting).
  • Making & Keeping Covenants. (sacrament/weekly repentance, temple attendance, sharing the Gospel, service).

2. Necessary- (What is necessary to create an environment where the Spirit of the Lord is present? Making a home.)

  • Making a house of order (cleaning/homemaking/family meals)
  • Smiling/being happy
  • FHE/family time to teach children to walk uprightly
  • D/C 25:5- Support husband, vs. 10- value things important for family. Not wordly things.
  • Self reliance (temporal self reliance leads to greater spiritual self reliance)
  • Loving one another

3. Nice to Do- (Crafts/hobbies/recreational reading/movies/lunches with friends/travel)

  • "When our priorites are on that list, and our time is devoted to those things, then our priorties are out of order and we lose power."
A mother works many shifts (morning, afternoon, night). Ask self, "Where do I need to be at the top of my game?". Safegauard the "afternoon shift" when everyone comes home tired, hungry, needy, and less loveable (including ourselves). They are also more teachable and more grateful. Don't expend energy on other two shifts.

Using a paperback Book of Mormon, write three questions on first blank page:
  1. Who am I?
  2. Whare are my responsibilities in the House of Israel?
  3. How do I fulfill my resonsibilities?

As you read, write the answers in the blank pages at the back of the book.

Monday, September 13, 2010

An Unexpected Gift

One morning in August, I opened the shades to the back door and was surprised to see a monarch caterpillar crawling along the top of the door (a surprise, because my butterfly garden was a joke this year, lingering somewhere between life and death most summer long).

My son and I admired it, and then I got crazy and suggested we catch it and keep it in a jar. We found a suitable jar and then filled it with grass and a stick (a must for every bug jar). We named it "Antennae", and the jar spent the rest of the afternoon on the floor where my son was playing- so the little caterpillar wouldn't be lonely. Get this. I even I printed out a coloring page of the Butterfly Life Cycle and had my son color it (Whoa, girl!). I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Antennae. I figured he would go the way of every other bug that gets put in a jar. But then something miraculous happened. That evening, Antennae spun a platform and hung from the top of our jar.

The next day he became a cocoon (I learned their cocoon is actually their exoskeleton) and there he hung for the next 10 days. My son and I regularly checked up on him and talked about how exciting it would be to see him turn into a butterfly. That day came quicker then we expected. One afternoon, I checked on the little guy only to find that he had emerged from his coccon a full grown butterfly. We moved him into a bigger jar, and waited for Daddy to come home to release him.

My son was a little sad to see his "pet" take flight, but we were grateful for the time he shared with us. I felt like Mother of the Year for providing such a hands on learning opportunity for my son, esecially because it was such a spontaneous event. We just caught a bug. You have to be grateful for gifts like that.

Friday, September 3, 2010

That Little Boy of Mine

Two eyes that shine so bright,
Two lips that kiss goodnite,
Two arms that hold me tight,
That little boy of mine.

No one could ever know
how much your coming has meant.
To me you're everything.
You're something heaven has sent.

You're all the world to me.
You climb upon my knee.
To me you'll always be
That little boy of mine.

- Forster Music Publisher, Inc.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why Can't My House Clean Itself?

Right now, my biggest priority is to get my house in order before the baby comes. I am now being forced to deal with things I have ignored/accumulated since we moved. As storage space is at a premium in our home, this involves making decisions about throwing things away... not my strength.

Sitting and staring at the clutter hasn't seemed to get the job done. My next strategy is to wait for some magic fairies to appear and do the work for me.


Wish me luck!!