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RTW: A needle fish for my niece

needle fish 1

needle fish 2

needle fish 2My niece got a sewing machine for her birthday yesterday. Hooray! I am SEW excited for her.

I had to mend a hole today, and it required hand-stitching. I went to the drawer where I keep my needles and saw my needle fish. I can’t remember when I got this little felt needle holder. It is that old! Someone made it. Did my mom? Did I? And it is so cute. The only sewing required is sewing on a button, so making this little fish could be a perfect project for a beginner seamstress. Or an Activity Day.

I traced the fish so you could have a Needle Fish Pattern, although you can obviously make it as large or small or as plain or fancy as you’d want! Or you could make something else cute, such as a red apple (with a worm button and a green felt leaf) or a butterfly, or a hamburger, or ???

If you make one, please email me a photo. I’d love to see what you dream up!

Happy Sewing,

Liz :)

 

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3T: Gift Bags, part 2

In my previous post about fabric bags, I said that I found some photos from a long time ago of making a fabric bag. Here they are:IMG_9879I finished the edges of this one on a serger.

IMG_9888I made the casing and stuck the ribbon under the folded flap and stitched it in the fold of the rectangle before stitching the casing across the top.

IMG_9883After the ribbon was in and the casing stitched, I sew up the bottom and side of the bag,

IMG_9892…stopping before getting to the casing and ribbon.

IMG_9894I did this bag differently since I had this pretty ribbon. I made the casing out of a wider ribbon.

One thing I have learned about giving gifts: It’s not the wrapping that we remember.

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It’s what’s inside, and the feeling behind the gift, that makes all the difference.

(I love my husband’s gentle heart.)

Happy Giving,

Liz :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SOS: Words matter?

talk-bubble-heart-clipart-300x254

Words matter.

Boy, do they ever.

I wonder if nothing is as powerful as the words we think and speak.

Consider: God spake, and the world was.

As parents, we have such power to strengthen, inspire, and encourage our children, not only with the actual words we say, but also the tone and volume and manner in which we say the words we speak.

Sometimes we make mistakes as parents, and we don’t say the nicest things. I have noticed that as a child, it didn’t matter if my parent messed up as much as if they apologized for messing up. Children are smart. They, more often than not, feel when a person is being sincere, proud, kind, rude, polite, deceptive, and so forth. When we try to cover up our mistakes or refuse to acknowledge them, they respond in kind.  When we apologize, they love us. They are so quick to forgive!

As an adult, I find that I still have very tender feelings. And I’m grateful to know that God wants us to have tender feelings (see Jacob 2:7). I was reminded, when we read this chapter in Jacob as a family this morning, how parents can lose the confidence and break the hearts of their children. We can “pierce…hearts with deep wounds” if we don’t watch what we say (and do).

I remember on occasion when my children have noticed that I was struggling to be patient, that they have prayed for me to be able to get more sleep or to feel better or to be nicer. I’ve needed those prayers. It can be hard to be nice sometimes! It’s humbling to be a parent!

I also remember a time when Peter was younger and I was speaking kindly to him. He said something to me like, “Mom, when you talk like that, you sound like an angel.”

Oh, did that not pierce my heart and make me want to always speak that way! They do notice, and they want us to speak kindly!

It’s a challenge. I’m grateful to have the chance, because of the Savior, both to repent AND to forgive, which helps me out whenever either I do something hurtful or someone does something hurtful to me. Thank goodness. I don’t know what I’d do otherwise!

And I’m grateful for “the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul” which has helps me heal when someone speaks unkindly to me.

Happy Watching Our Words,

Liz :)

P.S. I still love it today when my mom or my sister or my husband calls me and says something nice to me over the phone, encouraging me or complimenting me. I still need it, even as an adult. I hope I can always speak kindly to others, especially my children, no matter how old we get!

P.S. Here’s one of my favorite talk about the nurturing and destructive power of words:

“We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive. And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it. You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty. Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are ‘enough.’” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Tongue of Angels.”)

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3T: Fabric gift bags

gift bags basket

I just read an email from a store for a coupon in celebration of Earth Day. Reduce, reuse, recycle. That’s no new idea, of course. The pioneer saying we try to teach in our home goes, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” (Our family could do that better. Our pioneer ancestors are probably turning in their graves as I quote that.) I can say that large families are some of the best examples of repurposing and recycling that I know! In order to make the budget stretch to fit our needs, large families have to! But it’s a great education in resource management that many children are not getting today. One of my children, for example, asked if she could forego a new Easter dress to have the money instead for something she’d like to do this summer. I was proud of her for recognizing that a new dress wasn’t going to change her life. (Am I there yet? Hmmm, not so sure….) Our children are accustomed to wearing used clothing and are not as prone to waste the clothing allowance money they earn on something that is overpriced or not well-made.

dinosaur gift bag

I got the idea for fabric gift bags many years ago while attending my brother-in-law’s birthday party. We had been invited to his home to celebrate with his parents and siblings. In their home, they often wrap gifts in pillowcases. Fantastic idea! What a money and time saver! But I wanted to still have the gifts look festive, so I decided to make some bags out of fun fabric and ribbon that we could simply reuse whenever a child’s birthday came around…which happens sooner than later.

Heavy heavy hangover

I then started sewing fabric bags for Christmas, too, which has been the BEST deal ever. Wrapping gifts for 8 people (not to mention gifts for extended family, neighbors, teachers, etc.) can get VERY expensive and VERY time consuming. And after a while, it’s not even fun anymore when you are stuck wrapping presents and every one else is having fun watching a movie or playing games or anything except being hidden away in a room or up all hours of the night wrapping, cutting, and taping. (I didn’t bring our Christmas bags with me when we spent Christmas in California last year, because we were already carrying so much in our suitcases. I regretted that when I spent more than a day of vacation in a little bedroom wrapping and wrapping and wrapping. I won’t do that again!)

IMG_9786While it initially takes an investment of time and money on fabric and ribbon, both costs are soon paid in the years that follow. And when you get the fabric on sale, it isn’t much more than a one-time use of paper wrapping.

Happy Reusing,

Liz :)

P.S. You can see my determination to pause blogging is nonexistent today. What can I say? (I guess I said it.)

P.S. Just in case you’re wondering, we don’t make fabric bags for give-away gifts. We use wrapping paper and gift bags! (Comics work great, too.)

P.S. In looking for some photos from our library, I came across some video of Nate’s 11th birthday when he was pulling out a belt and two new white dress shirts. Talk about boring gifts! No way was I going to post that online! And the second video was nearly just as bad, because it was an instrument: a chanter (what you begin learning on before you play bagpipes), and I was talking about practicing diligently! On his birthday! What a drag! :)  I know we gave him fun gifts, too–I just didn’t get photos of them. Of course.  (He was such a good sport about such practical gifts. I might post it someday when I’m over my embarrassment…)

P.S. If you want to sew a gift bag, simply cut out a large rectangle, twice the width of the size bag you want. (We have multiple sizes to choose from.) Fold the bag in half (lengthwise, with right sides together) and stitch around the edge of the rectangle, stopping on the second (long) side about 2.5-3″ from the top. Then fold the edges of the open part (the top opening of the bag) down and stitch around it, to make a casing. Thread the ribbon through. I stitch the ribbon in the center of the casing along the fold so that the ribbons can’t get pulled out when tying. Leave the ends of the ribbon long enough that they are grasped easily and can be tied into a bow even if you can’t completely close the bag. If you want to make the bag more polished, you can finish the edges better, such as folding in and stitching the opening to the casing before stitching the casing down. I like to use two colors of ribbon, when possible, to make it more festive.  Newsflash: In looking through some old photos, I found I had taken photos years ago of making one step-by-step.

 

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SOS: I’d like to say something

(Sorry: no photo. My box was stolen, so I couldn’t take a picture of it.)

This past semester, I’ve had the chance to teach a beginning strings class at my children’s elementary school. In the beginning of the semester, I brought with me a wooden box. It was about 2 1/2′ square and about 10″ high. It was stained with a cherry wood stain. It was a perfect mini stage, and Lane had made it years before.

Each week I invite the children to share what they had practiced that week. They would raise their hands and I’d invite them up, one at a time, to play or sing or recite something they’d worked on. I loved hearing the fruits of their labors.

About a month ago, I went into the room the we use, and my sharing box was missing. I looked everywhere. No box. I asked the teachers who teach in that room. Nope. I talked to the principal, and he asked around. Nobody knows where the box is.

Could someone have stolen a wooden box? Seriously?

Of course, we don’t have to have a box to share. It just made it a little more fun.

That little experience reminds me of something, and I’d like to interrupt my self-imposed “blogcation” to say something. :)

In my church, we have one Sunday a month in which anyone is invited to get up to speak during the first hour. It’s called “Fast and testimony meeting.” (We come to the meeting fasting, and we share our testimonies of Christ and other gospel principles with which we have had experience.) Children under the age of 8 are encouraged to share their testimonies at home, but no one is prohibited from standing up who wants to share their testimony. We even usually have a little box, like the one I just described, upon which a child can stand if they want to share their testimony.

My whole life, I have shared my testimony, both standing on boxes (yes, I am short) and not. But I don’t have to have a box or a pulpit from which to share a testimony. I talk about Christ here on my blog, I talk about him at home with my family, I talk about him with strangers I meet on the airplane and with friends as we chat in their kitchens.

And I do this without apology.

Some people get offended when a person wants to talk about Jesus Christ. That’s fine.

But I was thinking about the irony of it all.

If a child came up to me and said, “I don’t have a mother or a father,” I would compassionately believe that they were an orphan, and I would ask them about it and try to help them feel my love. But I would know that no matter how emphatically they believed it or whatever evidence they produced to suggest that they don’t have a mother or a father, that it wouldn’t change the fact that at some point, they did. The fact that they are alive is indisputable evidence that they were conceived and born. And to date, there’s still no other way to begin life on earth.

Some people believe passionately that there is no God, and that Jesus Christ, if he did exist, was no divine being. They like to say that whatever a person believes is his prerogative, and that’s true. They also like to say that how a person acts, based on that belief, is their right, and that no one else should be able to dictate what is morally right or wrong.

And that isn’t true.

A person can say whatever they want, but saying something doesn’t make it true.

No matter how many times you say it to yourself or to someone else. It has to be true in the first place.

Someday, we’re all going to die. We all were born, and we all will die. No one can disprove that without looking like a complete idiot, right?

And at that point, every single person who once was alive on earth will be able to see whether or not God exists and whether He really spoke and gave prophets and commandments, and whether or thoughts, words, and actions really do have consequences beyond this lifetime.

So obviously, it’s fine for each of us to believe what we want and proclaim that, because at some point, each of us will discover whether what we believed was true or not.

But I’m grateful not to wait that long.

There’s this fabulous story in the Book of Mormon that was one of my children’s favorites when she was little. We read it over and over and over again. It’s a conversation between a prophet named Alma and an Anti-Christ named Korihor, and it reads a little like a court brief (but shorter and more interesting). Korihor says that he does not believe there is a God and that Alma cannot prove to him that there is one. Korihor asks Alma for proof:

“43 And now Korihor said unto Alma:If thou wilt show me a asign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.

“44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of aall these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all theeplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

“45 And yet do ye go about, leading away the hearts of this people, testifying unto them there is no God? And yet will ye deny against all these awitnesses? And he said: Yea, I will deny, except ye shall show me a sign.

“46 And now it came to pass that Alma said unto him: Behold, I am grieved because of the hardness of your heart, yea, that ye will still resist the spirit of the truth, that thy soul may be destroyed.”

Korihor refuses to acknowledge God’s existence, so, as he desires, Alma gives him a sign: He says that God will strike Korihor dumb, and from the moment those words are spoken, Korihor can no longer speak.

When Korihor can no longer speak, he writes down that he always knew there was a God. Pretty ironic, wouldn’t you say?

There are times that God, in his mercy, gives us hard situations that bring us to our knees, spiritually speaking. We recognize that we are nothing. That we do not have the control over our own lives that we thought we did. And that He is actually in charge, not us.

We learn that our actions do have consequences after all or that things will happen to us that are completely out of our control.

So here is what I wanted to say today:

God lives. He is real. He has given us laws that if we choose not to follow, we’re going to hurt ourselves and others. A lot. And I’m not going to wait until that point to teach my children or share with the people I love the most about these things. Life is too short and eternity too long to leave them without that critical information.

What kind of a parent brings a child into the world only to stick them out in the desert without any water or food or shelter? Or someone to watch over them lovingly?

When we don’t teach our children the gospel or provide a way for them to receive saving ordinances, it is like we are doing that. We need to be connected to God in this life, and the sooner the better. Life can be so hard! But with God’s help, it is SO. MUCH. BETTER.

People can say that it’s not true. They will.

But I will raise my hand, or stand on a box, or write on a blog, or teach my children at the dinner table, that God really does live. That they have a Heavenly Father who knows their hearts perfectly. That He has a hand in their lives. That He cares about them and can help them with their problems. That if they pray, He will listen. And if they hurt someone, with their thoughts or their words or their actions, at some point in this life, or the next, they will pay. And it will hurt. But if they repent of those hurtful thoughts, words, or actions, they won’t have to suffer.

I’d much rather teach them from their youngest days on to repent and seek God’s help then to watch them suffer from choices that I could have prevented had I just been willing to open my mouth.

Of course, if I teach them, and they still choose to hurt others, then I will be heart broken.

But I will have the peace of knowing that I taught them to repent, so that if they choose to, they can eventually be freed from the heavy consequences that unavoidably come from hurtful behavior, including emotional, physical, mental and spiritual pain and suffering.

Just sayin’.

Happy Using Your Voice to Teach and Testify of Christ,

Liz :)

P.S. Here are three testimonies that have remained with me for years:

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3T: Sliding into home base

sliding-into-home-plateWhen looking for an image for this post, I came across a little piece of US history: a women’s baseball league. What fascinates me about this picture is that they are wearing those skirts! Seriously? Sliding into home base in a skirt?

Truth is stranger than fiction!

This end period of the school year (from March to June) feels like a very long and very packed stretch from third base to home for me. There are always so many things happening: spring sports, recitals, end-of-year homework projects and celebrations, wrapping up school volunteer responsibilities. And this year I’m also counting the days until it is all over!

One of my personal weaknesses is handling the stress of the various events and commitments that come along with my family. I’m better at it than I used to be, but some days are better than others. One of my coping methods is to write. Another is to put something less pressing away for a while–like writing–and come back to it when some of the deadlines and events have passed.

So that is what I’m doing today. I love to write so much that I think about it all the time. No joke. I’m compose posts in the night when I can’t sleep. It’s a passion for me, and I’m still learning to bridle it. I could write for hours and let all responsibilities go by the wayside! So I decided that if I’m going to help Julia find that elusive prom dress (that fits in our budget and modestly fits and looks like she hopes), get Rebecca to all of her choir performances, help Eliza get to track and dance, keep Peter and Anna practicing their instruments, wrap up the music program and my kindergarten teaching and keep teaching Primary, be present at the family wedding AND sleep at night, something’s gotta give.

And it can’t be my sanity.

So I’m going to have to do what I’ve done before: push pause.

I’ll have my little blogcation and then I’ll be back. It ain’t gonna be easy, trust me!

But then summer will be here. Ahhhhh.

Happy Sliding into Home Base,

Liz :)

P.S. I was just thinking right now: I’ll just write one more tiny post, which made me think of this hilarious cookie jar my mom bought once for my step-dad. He had diabetes AND a fondness for food. Especially sweet food. So they had a policeman cookie jar that when you lifted the cap said something like, “Step away from the cookie jar.” All of us had to lift the lid when we came over just to hear it say that. Makes me smile just remembering.

I’ll compromise: When I get back, I want to write about spring break, prom dress shopping, white dress bridal shower, Linnets and ValeriansLonging for Home, Richard Peck books, choir, open spaces in my home, planting from seed, and curry. OK. Now I can go. :)

(I know. My husband’s not holding his breath. I might just make it two weeks just to show him I can do it.)

P.S. One. Last. Thing. (I’m reminding myself of when I leave for any extended period of time and am giving 42 instructions to the children. Enough already!) Yesterday I listened to a very inspiring podcast about one amazing young woman, Natalie White, who is dealing with a major heart defect. I loved her perspective on true happiness: “True happiness is eating toast with my mom in the morning and getting to see my younger brother get baptized.” (The quote as I remember it.)

 

 

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YW baptisms at templeLook at those smiles! I LOVE these beautiful young women! I got to take them to the temple one day recently. It wasn’t an “official” activity for church. They simply went as friends. Their smiles manifest how they feel about being able to go to the temple together. What a gift for me to know them!

 

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I can’t believe I didn’t get a photo of Eliza’s amazing cake today. It looked a lot like this, minus the hearts:

chocolatefudgecake

Over spring break, Eliza, Anna and I traveled up to Salt Lake and had lunch at the Lion House Pantry. I was so proud of the girls, because I dropped them off at the Church History Museum to go to an exhibit they love while I headed up to the Capitol building for a meeting. We met at the restaurant about 90 minutes later. I was nervous about it, because Eliza’s cell phone wasn’t working, and we hadn’t done something like this before. But I knew she was capable of navigating from the museum to the restaurant, and I had given her careful instructions. I said a little prayer and hoped for the best.

Lion House Pantry

I hurried back from the Capitol to the parking and scurried up to the restaurant, turning the corner at 12:31 to see them waiting for me! I was so proud of them. We walked into the restaurant and immediately oohed and aahed at the sight of some beautiful pies and tall, frosted cakes in a bakery case. Being vacation, Eliza and I wanted to buy a toffee cake, but Anna doesn’t like toffee. So Eliza volunteered to make Sister Dewey’s Perfect Chocolate Cake for our cousin dinner on Sunday. $22 saved, we went to order lunch.

joyful moment statue

temple square tulips

temple square gardeners

After our fabulous lunch, we walked out to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and weather of that perfectly sunshiny day. We walked around and took a few pictures, chatting with some gardeners. We learned that they only replant the tulips every four years.

temple square woman gardener

I saw a gardener bending over some flowers, and it reminded me of how labor-intensive both gardening and motherhood can be, but how invigorating both activities are. Anna loved the statues of a mother and children turning in a circle. She said she wished she could jump in and join in their dance! Temple Square is one of the loveliest places on earth!

We have had several years of cousin dinners, now. Living close to the BYU and UVU campuses, our family and another family take turns hosting a dinner for both our families and any college-age cousins in town each month. It is wonderful! We have anywhere from 16 (yesterday) to 30 people. We always look forward to seeing one another. There usually isn’t time for games after, because of firesides and college-ward commitments, but we linger and love it. We have adopted a few extra “cousins” along the way, such as friends or roommates.

terrel's bakery

Serving a crowd is not too hard, thanks to crockpots. And it’s not as expensive as you might think. Staples, such as rice and rolls, are easy to share. Two of the recipes I’m including today are for Pork Cacciatore and BBQ Pork (“Pulled Pork”). They are both VERY easy. Another crowd pleaser with any cousin dinner is hot rolls. We are fortunate to have Terrel’s frozen rolls available at our grocery store, in case we don’t have time to make homemade rolls. We try to keep a bag on hand in the freezer. They are GOOD. Sometimes we make the dinner potluck, but most of the time we simply host it to give each other a break from cooking. We love this tradition!

Happy Tradition and Chocolate Cake Making,

Liz :)

 

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GQ: Adapted to the lowest capacity

Christ and lamb

A friend recommended to me yesterday a speech given by Elder Bednar on “The Character of Christ.” I have just barely begun to study it when I came across this quote: “The revelations of the Lord to his creatures are adapted to the lowest capacity, and they bring life and salvation to all who are willing to receive them” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 124).

That contains a beautiful truth!

All of God’s truths and commandments are accomplishable.

In my mothering, I have tried to find solutions to many problems. Often, I have had an idea and have applied it in a most complicated way. I didn’t realize it was too complicated at the time. And it wasn’t that the ideas per se were wrong, but that I needed to simplify my application of them.

And I didn’t recognize it until I had tried it out for a while.

Take the time card, for example. Or the job chart. Or any organizational system or plan! I learned, after time and multiple applications and revisions, that the best system or plan or lesson is the one that accomplishes the task (or teaches the principle) while being the simplest to understand and easiest to perform.

I have now taught music to kindergarteners for three years. Since I have been creating the curriculum, I have recycled the same principles and lesson plans, teaching them in various ways to different children. Each time I have learned something. What have I learned the most? It helps to simplify something so that each child can accomplish what is asked.

This doesn’t mean that God (or a parent or teacher) doesn’t know how to adapt something to a child who wants or needs more challenge. The principle itself needs to be taught plainly and simply, and then further growth can come to one who is ready and wanting.

The second concept about this quote, in my mind, is how much God desires for us to understand Him and His plan. He isn’t trying to complicate anything so that we can’t do it. He wants us to learn and accomplish. He allows us to stretch to learn, only because He knows we can do it. And He will provide whatever support along the way that we require.

Sometimes I have noticed that when something feels too hard, I have panicked internally. I have believed it was too hard and that I couldn’t do it. I have sometimes wanted to be coddled like a baby by God instead of simply encouraged and helped back up like a toddler. God wants me to grow up and learn to walk, not just be carried or pushed in a stroller my whole life, figuratively speaking.

This quote reminds me that I CAN DO IT. And if I simplify something, I can help a child learn to do what is needed for their growth, too.

What a GREAT QUOTE!

Happy Adapting,

Liz :)

P.S. This quote reminds me of a favorite scriptural passage of mine. It’s the story of Jacob when he meets his brother Esau after some 2 decades or so. They embrace in reconciliation and then Esau invites Jacob travel with him. Jacob declines, saying,

“And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die.

“Let my lord, I pray thee, pass over before his servant: and I will lead on softly, according as the cattle that goeth before me and the children be able to endure, until I come unto my lord unto Seir.”

This passage has always suggested to me that Jacob understood about working patiently with children and pregnant cattle. He knew that making them and the pregnant cattle go too fast or too far isn’t good for them, so he slowed his pace to accommodate them.

I’m so glad this story was included in Genesis so I could remember that sometimes I just need to slow down and take things a little more easily. Adapt to the pace of my family and accommodate the children, and then we’ll all be a lot happier. :)

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SOS: Seminary Graduation

easy button

 

I have been procrastinating signing my teens up for seminary, not because I don’t love seminary or recognize how important it is, but because I’m not sure why. Opposition? I just kept moving it down my to do list as a less important item. But today, I determined to do it and not procrastinate any longer.

It took me like 15 seconds to register. I just had to sign in on my lds.org user (on the registration page), check to make sure the info was up to date, and click a button.

Seriously?

The Staples’ slogan, “That was easy!” came to mind.

Happy Registering,

Liz :)

P.S. I feel so grateful for having had the chance to go to seminary as a young woman! I had the most awesome Old Testament teacher, a woman who poured heart and soul into helping us understand those stories. I think I love the Old Testament because of her. I still remember the scriptures, such as “It is better to obey than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Sam. 15:22), or “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” (Prov.3:5-6). I wish I could remember her name so I could honor her! (I do not always have a great memory for names.) But my heart remembers her and feels much gratitude.

I also love that because of seminary, I developed the habit of getting up early to study my scriptures and pray before starting my day and being at a class at 6:00 am to learn God’s word. It helped my testimony of God and my relationship with Him grow in ways it just wouldn’t have otherwise. I really loved getting to know the words of the scriptures. I even enjoyed the filmstrips. (Some teens today have no idea what that even is.) I apologize to my teachers for those mornings I feel asleep on my desk. (One teacher had such a mellow, soft voice, it was an uphill battle.) I enjoyed carpooling with neighbors, even when it was freezing and I had to wear that too-short polyester cheerleading skirt and nylons. LOL. I remember blowing my breath in the car and making fog, some mornings were cold. And this was only Northern California! I think of my son Nate driving the Suburban with the heater broken and keeping a blanket in the car to wear after he had scraped the snow off the windshield. He was not a whiner. Way to go, Nate!

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