Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Little Experiment

Right now it is NO TV WEEK at our house. It has been interesting and good and thought provoking (I'll share more on this when our experiment is complete). Since we've started I found this quote and boy is it good and once again thought provoking.

"Who is the most important person in your home? How do you tell who is important? Is it the person who earns the most? Is it the person who has the best room? Is it the person you love the most? Is it the one who gives you the most of his or her time? Who is the most important person in your home? You might say, “Everybody is important in our home.” I wonder if that’s really true.

Let me ask you another question. How is the TV treated in your home? Does it have its own room? What about the computer? Do you like it better than your brother? How about your mother? Do you like it better than your great-grandfather? Or your children? Does it get much rest?* Do your parents spend more time with it than they do with you? Do you spend more time with it than your children? Do they spend more money on it than they do on you?

Do you follow the TV’s opinions more than your parents’ ideas? Does it tell you what to eat for breakfast? Does it come to dinner? Often? When it does, does it get the best seat? Do you have to keep quiet when it is talking? Does it ever cause fights in your house? Do you ever get sent downstairs when it does? Who’s the boss in your family? Is it the TV? Does it tell you when to get up and when to go to school? Does it tell you what to do? How about on Saturday morning? Does it tell you what to do then? Does it tell you when to go out and play? Does it talk during prayers? Does it tell the home teachers when it’s time to go? Does it ever keep you from going to church?

How about on Super Bowl Sunday?

Is the computer your best friend? Would you be lonely without it? Would you cry if it broke? Would you miss it more than your brother? If your house were on fire and you could save one thing, would you save the TV? What if you could only save two things? Could you live without TV for a week? How about a month? Who is your favorite teacher? Is it the TV? Do you like TV better than Mutual? How about Sunday School? Does TV teach the same things as your Sunday School teacher? Does it teach different things? Does TV agree with your Sunday School teacher? Who is right?

Does TV make you want things you don’t have? Does this make you happy? Does it ever make you mad at your parents? What about when they won’t buy you something you have seen on TV? Who do you want to be like when you grow up? Does TV always tell the truth? Somebody once said TV was chewing gum for the eyes. You think about that" (F. Burton Howard, “A Question of Time,” New Era, Jul 2002, 38). Words in RED added.

So if your family is a tv watching family or if you are a tv watching parent I think these questions give a lot to think about. So maybe you'd like to join me in my experiment or a whole slew of others who take part. I just discovered that there are two official no tv watching weeks one coming up very soon , April 19-25 and the other September 19-25. And of course we can always hold a TV week whenever we so desire.

So I really can't wait to turn on the tv this weekend :). Whoo-hoo, no tv week will be over. The tv will be on at our house for a good 8 hours and I am excited to be a full on couch potato for all 8 of them. Join me in this tv watching marathon whether it is at your stake center or on your couch because General Conference is going to be good. If you are in Utah you can watch Conference on channel 5 or you can watch it online HERE.

How do you regulate TV time at your house?

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Time Has Come and I'm Excited...General Conference April 2010 Is Just Around the Corner

Last Conference was full of wonderful moments like these:

And all of these young people enjoyed the words of Prophets and Apostles:

So how can we help our children and youth to participate more in Conference this time around?

The Church has come out with a General Conference Page which includes activities for children along with many other great resources. Some of the activities would be great to do before conference and some are meant to be used during conference. Yea! I love all of the help we can find online to engage our children in General Conference.

Below are a few more links that have some great ideas and printables:

Melanie Day's General Conference Packets

Sugardoodle General Conference Page

My Past General Conference Posts (Some include links to printables/games)

How do you plan to involve your children in this wonderful spiritual weekend? Let's hear some ideas of how you do things in your home to engage both your little ones and your teens. Let us prepare this week to listen to Prophets and Apostles, to be taught, and to be guided. Yea, Conference!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Fumigated Room and a Late Night Prayer

So the day started with a visit from Grandma and a fun little Aunt. Our little man and his fun Aunt played and played. They had fun together.

Then the night came and a not so good night when it comes to sleep. First he woke up and my husband went to his room and soon after came back to sleep. Then he woke up again and I took a turn. The instance I entered his room I noticed a very strong smell. It was a smell that I did not recognize but as I tried to help our little guy get back to sleep I felt more and more nervous about it. I finally headed back downstairs and stirred my husband to ask him if he noticed the strong smell in his room. He hadn't. I was shocked that he didn't notice anything because it was so incredibly powerful to me. I really didn't want to wake our little boy up and move him out of his room but I felt anxious about keeping him there in that "smell".

So my husband went up for one more trip to his room to see if his nose could get a whiff. While he investigated I prayed that I would know what to do and that I would receive peace about the situation and be able to go back to sleep. He returned again without smelling a thing and I felt torn between a nose that smelled nothing and my nose that smelled a lot. I laid in bed a little longer still feeling anxious and finally I felt strongly that I needed to go back up to his room. And so I did.

I felt like a magnet. I opened his door and caught a huge gust of the smell up my nose and then suddenly I recalled our little guy and his little Auntie playing with some modeling clay, and then in complete darkness I made my way directly to a particular shelf and found his playdough board covered in fume releasing balls of clay. The answer to this prayer came so clearly, a thought followed by such detailed directions to the culprit. It really wasn't directions my body almost seemed to move by itself to find the problem and to bring peace to my heart. Now I don't think that my little boy was in any danger from the fumes coming from that modeling clay but I do know that I was a worried Mom who needed an answer and my prayer was not forgotten.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sister Scriptorians

"We want our sisters to be scholars of the scriptures. … You need an acquaintanceship with his eternal truths for your own well being, and for the purposes of teaching your own children and all others who come within your influence.”3

“We want our homes to be blessed with sister scriptorians—whether you are single or married, young or old, widowed or living in a family. … Become scholars of the scriptures—not to put others down, but to lift them up!”4

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985).

I loved this quote from the March visiting teaching message. There are so many men (of course there are women as well) in the church who are known as scriptorians or scholars. I love this charge for all women to jump in and join them. As mothers we really need to be well acquainted with the scriptures, our children need it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

More Excited for the Easter Bunny?

"The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most important event in all of history. Yet how many are more excited about what the Easter Bunny brings on Easter morning than about what the Savior brought on that first Easter? “On this Easter eve, may our thoughts turn to Him who atoned for our sins, who showed us the way to live, how to pray, and who demonstrated by His own actions how we might do so” (Thomas S. Monson, “Pathways to Perfection,” Ensign, May 2002). (Click on the quote for a list of ideas to help you and your family remember the Savior this Easter.)

For a week worth of Easter scripture readings click HERE. (Last year we did "candy" Easter on a different day and then on actual Easter Sunday we did an easter egg hunt with each of the pictures found in the above link in an egg. It worked out well. We were still able to enjoy some treats and fun egg hunts but we were able to center that special day around the Savior.)

Let us all strive to make the Savior the center of our Easter this year. Let is focus on Him as we listen to or watch each Conference session that weekend. Let us always remember what our Savior and Redeemer has done for each one of us. He loves us. He died for us. He lives.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Beauty and Fulfillment Amidst Warm-ups and Accidents

A few of our recent days went a little something like this:

Day 1
3:30 Accident
3:40 Accident
3:50 Accident
4:50 Accident
6:00 In the Potty
7:00 Accident

Day 2
11:50 In the Potty
1:00 Accident
3:00 Accident
4:15 In the Potty
5:40 In the Potty
7:00 Accident**

And all along this fun clean-up fest of joy our other little one would take a short nap here and another short nap there and in between, grumpiness--cranky, ornery, grumpiness. Lets just say on a normal day I would have curled up, jumped right on in, and joined her, but not this day. On this day I was taught.

After dinner with dishes still undone and a once again grumpy baby I turned the radio and started to dance with her. She began to smile and then her eyes began to roll. She was falling asleep for the fifteenth time that day but I just kept swaying and moving to the music. We ended up in the living room just the two of us. As I rocked and swayed I caught a glimpse of myself in a fuzzy reflection in our tv. Messy pony tail. Warm-ups. T-shirt. And a Baby in my arms. I felt beautiful. I felt fulfilled. Really? Looking like this? On a day of cleaning up puddle after puddle? Yes, even on this day I felt those things very strongly. I was being taught and bouyed up.

In the background I caught a glimpse of the Proclamation hanging on our wall and on top of our tv I noticed the picture of the temple. I felt blessed.

Some might say that "I am just a Mom" and that my life is "mundane" and "ordinary" and sometimes I can feel that way but on this day I found my role "spectucular" and important:

“Occasionally some individuals let the seeming ordinariness of life dampen their spirits. Though actually coping and growing, others lack the quiet, inner-soul satisfaction that can steady them, and are experiencing instead, a lingering sense that there is something more important they should be doing . . .as if what is quietly achieved in righteous individual living or in parenthood are not sufficiently spectacular"(Elder Neal A. Maxwell).

Motherhood should be sufficiently spectacular even in warm-ups, cleaning up puddles.

**Days since are getting much better. More "In the Potty" rather than "Accidents." Yea, Progress!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A World-Sized Swirly

As I was putting my little boy to bed last night I was thinking of my bout of Labyrinthitis and this post when I suddenly drew a conclusion...experiencing vertigo is like receiving several world-sized swirlies, not that I have ever experienced the typical head in the toilet kind myself. But really, it is like having your head stuck in your little world and then having that world just spin and spin around you. Honestly, I think I'd prefer to receive a good old fashion swirly in the bathroom thrown to what I have experienced with this whole inner ear problem. It has been a ride.

So two weeks ago today, I woke up at 5:00 am with the room just spinning around me. I thought it was weird but fell back to sleep when it stopped but then just 15 minutes later it started up again, but worse. I then began my vertigo ride of terror. It was horrid. I was spinning and whirling and swirling all the while having the garbage can as my only view. I was certain that something was really wrong, terribly wrong. As my husband went to the computer in search of some clarity the thought seriously crossed my mind that I had a brain tumor and then he came back with a few options. He said it could be an inner ear problem and one more option that I don't recall and then he paused and said it also mentioned brain tumor. I was scared to say the least. While I whirled and spinned and lost my cookies several times I looked at my kids and my honey and cried. I really was scared, scared that what I had would cause me to leave my little family.

As we know the story ends much better than that - Labyrinthitis a deep inner problem, not a brain tumor or anything close to that in severity. I still think of this as the most horrible sickness I have ever experienced considering I get motion sick probably easier than anyone I have ever met. I can get sick driving in my own neighborhood if I am not paying attention. But with all of that said I would take a bout of physical vertigo any day over the spiritual whirlwind we can experience when we are selectively obedient.

" In the premortal existence, ours was not a selective obedience. We did not pick and choose which parts of the eternal plan to follow. I learned that lesson on our first night flying solo in pilot training when all of us were given the instruction: “Don’t fly acrobatic patterns at night. You are beginning pilots without instrument flight training.” Some time later, an otherwise good pilot and a great friend chose to disobey that command. As he flew loops and barrel rolls through the night sky over Texas, he looked through the cockpit canopy and thought he saw stars above him, but he was really seeing the lights of oil rigs below. He was experiencing vertigo: the g-forces on his plane made it seem he was right side up, yet he was upside down. As he pulled up on the stick to climb higher into the night sky, he dove toward the earth and crashed into the twinkling lights of the oil field below.

When you are flying an airplane, if you change your position by just one degree at a time, your inner ear cannot detect the change. Brethren young and old, when we practice selective obedience, we change our position relative to the Lord—and usually by only one degree at a time. As the deceptive forces of the adversary work on us, we cannot detect them, and we experience spiritual vertigo. While it may seem like we are going in a safe direction, we are in fact headed for disaster. In the preexistence, our decision to follow the Lord was all-or-nothing. Following that pattern through our mortal probation will get each of us back to our Heavenly Father" (Robert D. Hales, “To the Aaronic Priesthood: Preparing for the Decade of Decision,” Ensign, May 2007, 48–51).

Let us keep our "spiritual inner ears" strong so that we don't begin to lose our balance, to become dizzy along the straight path, and thus lead ourselves to a deadly spiritual fall caused my spiritual vertigo. Let us remember that we cannot afford to be selectively obedient. I have seen too many lose focus, begin to wobble, and finally spin out of control. Let us stay away from the world-sized spiritual swirly that Satan offers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

There is Just No Way That God Doesn't Exist

Alma 30: 40,44 "And now what evidence have ye that there is no God, or that Christ cometh not? I say unto you that ye have none, save it be your word only....all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

A friend posted this on her blog a while back and it had an impact on me. My eyes tear up each and every time I watch it. God is real. We are His children. He loves us. And all things in and on this earth truly can lead us to know that there is a God.

Enjoy this wonderful compilation of the beauty of the earth:

P.S. I am back from my weird sickness. I still have bouts of dizziness here and there but I am pretty much up and running again. I'll be back on Words of Wisdom Wednesday to share an apostles thoughts on the matter.