Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our Babies Gender!

Hey all!

I just had a pretty hectic past week! First I needed to plan my young women combined activity which I posted here. AND THEN on top of that finish planning the exciting gender revealing party. AND THEN I had a beehives lesson to prepare for Sunday as well. Not to mention while I was completing all this planning I was frustrated with insurance, made a ultrasound appointment for the Friday BEFORE the gender revealing party, made prizes for the gender revealing party, and had to finish grocery shopping last minute because our freezer was packed FULL of broken foods from Dax's job that he brings home.


So, first of all the combined young women activity went pretty great I think. I think the girls had fun and learned a lot about Patriarchal blessings. You can read about it in the link above, if you wish.

Secondly, because we are having issues with getting insurance, had the party coming up, and just really wanted to see our baby through the ultrasound we had to pay cash. Where we live, in monopoly town, the price to pay for the standard "20 week" ultrasound was anywhere from 500-700 dollars! YIKES! The best thing for us to do was to drive an hour to the next city and pay $138 plus the radiologist tech fees which could be anywhere from 50-75 dollars. Including the cost of gas to get to the ultrasound appointment we still only payed about half of the lower end of Monopoly towns ultrasound cost.

Obviously we chose monopoly towns prices because we love to throw our money out the window and use it like toilet paper.

So on Friday the 22nd of August the hubby and I drove an hour away to our Ultrasound appointment that I was so thankful to be able to set at 5:15 pm so that hubby could sleep all day from his overnight job. After getting lost because all towns like to do weird things with their roads, we made it to the office at about 5:05 pm. Technically we were supposed to be there at 5 so we could sign paper and check in. Oops. Luckily they had literally no one else, so it was naturally pretty hectic to get in. With a full bladder I waddled behind the ultrasound tech into the room so she could measure my cervix and placenta before I relieved myself. Naturally I asked if I could go to the bathroom but I guess it's better to measure all that important stuff and risk peeing your pants.

After she fixed all of my information that somehow was still in the system as my maiden name, asked us if we wanted to know the gender (to which we explained the silly string I'll explain in a minute), and measured my cervix and placenta I finally was able to go to the bathroom. I almost didn't mind that my bladder was so full since I got to see the little baby while she measured.

BUT I did mind. Poking a bladder that a baby is already using as a pillow is not a good idea.

After I went to the bathroom I was eager to get back to the room to stare at the beautiful child growing inside my belly. For the next half an hour she prodded around pointing out the 4 chambers of the heart, the heart beating at 140 beats per minute, bones, the brain measurements, little fingers and toes, the placenta wall where it should be, 2 kidneys, stomach and diaphragm, and my favorite: the blood going in and out of the baby from the umbilical cord. She switched it to some infrared where we saw the red hot blood flowing into the baby and the blue cold blood flowing from the baby. Everything from what I could tell looked great, healthy, and wonderful.  

How amazing that this teeny-tiny human was growing, hiccuping, sucking, and squirming around. How magnificent that my body knew just how to take care of this little seed that was growing into a beautiful baby. My mind swam with awe.

The ultrasound tech tried to get good pictures of the face but baby liked their hands there. She said she thought the baby was sucking on his fingers. Poor thing was probably hungry...I was so excited that I hadn't eaten in a few hours. After some sucking the tech pointed out that the baby had hiccups. The only thing that was a little silly was how low I had to pull my pants down. The little goober had their head way down into my pelvic bone making it hard for the tech to see. Eventually the baby moved their arms away and we got a perfect profile picture of the baby. The baby looked just like daddy. I even swear at one point I saw a little boy part.

"The baby is so cute," I whispered
"It is pretty cute, isn't it?" The ultrasound tech replied.

If there was any evidence that made me believe more in God it was this moment. Ever since I had gotten pregnant I felt as though Heaven were everywhere, that somehow- even though I knew I was always looked out for before-I got to actually hold a piece of it no matter where I went. The feeling of Heaven was stronger. The angel baby I had been taking care of for 5 1/2 months was real. It is really happening, and soon I'll hold the little piece of heaven in my arms. I can't wait to know what that feels like just like I can't wait for every new day to feel the movements of love and growth from my sweet baby.

I was sad to have the ultrasound over but excited for the next day when hubby and I would find out what gender we would be having! When the ultrasound tech went to confirm her suspicions of what we were having she had us look away from the screen and spent only a few minutes to confirm the gender. After I cleaned all the gel off my belly we explained to her again that we were going to find out with all of our friends and family at the gender revealing party the very next day. She made sure to let us know before she started the ultrasound that she's been doing this for 30 years and is usually right but it's never a "for sure" thing, it's still a guess. At the end of the ultrasound she seemed pretty confident of what we were having and excited to be apart of our gender revealing. We told her that she needed to take off the caps of the color for the gender we were having and tie up the other two into the bag so we couldn't see.

We had four cans of silly string. The only way you know what color you are spraying is the color of the cap. It doesn't say anywhere else what color is in the can. We had two pink if we were having a girl and two blue if we were having a boy. We left the room and a few minutes later she came out of the room with a tied bag and two cap-less silly string cans. She handed us both with a look of excitement. We then went to the front desk to sign a form that we wanted a copy of the report and a c-d/dvd of the exam to be mailed to us. YIPPEE!

We left the imaging center with our babies first picture and gender in secret cans with excitement and anxiousness.

The next day after shopping, preparing food, and finishing gifts it was time for the party to begin! (I'll probably do another post about all the ideas I used and had for the party when I get more pictures uploaded and games and such collected together.) We all ate some cranberry and barbecue sauce meatballs, homemade rolls (thanks mom!), a mini salad bar, and a mixed fruit salad (thanks best friend!) Later we enjoyed ice cream sundaes or root-beer/orange soda floats. (More on how I changed the recipes linked above later). After we all ate and socialized for awhile I planned some games. I did plan on doing a games called Amoeba, Bowl Game, and Signs but it was getting dark, cold, and some people needed to leave a little earlier to get home. The only activity we ended up doing together is called Team Story Game. Essentially it's where you start at one end of the group and each person must come up with a sentence for a story, playing off of the person before them, to come up with a story. I changed the rules a little bit and had the girls team come up with a story for if we were having a girl and the boys team come up with a story for if we were having a boy. Both stories would be about our baby and would become a bedtime story for our son or daughter after I put it all together. I thought it would be fun for them and for our baby. Here is what all of our friends and family members came up with:

Grandma Lee- Once upon a time in a land far, far away
Aunt Ruby -there was a little girl who lived in a castle
Grandma Gilliland- and she loved her daddy very much and wanted to find a prince that was just like him.
Grandpa Gilliland- But then Walt Disney came along, grabbed the story and made a movie out of it.
Aunt Ronnie- But she was allergic to Winnie the Pooh. That kept her from finding someone because Winnie the Pooh was the population of the people.
Aunt Amanda- Far away in her castle she felt at home because she was surrounded by loved ones.
Tylene- So her father worked day and night to find an anecdote for her Winnie the Pooh allergy so that she could find true love just like she wanted.
Great Grandma Gunnell- So the beautiful little princess went out to look for flowers to give her mommy but Winnie the Pooh chased her and she said "Let me think of where I can find some honey so I can give it to him" and she went in search of the honey tree.
Great Grandma Jones- Being the first child she expected to inherit the kingdom but...
Great Aunt Tami (with the help from Grandma Gilliland)- her allergy kept her from ruling the kingdom. "Be brave little piglet," she told herself as she went to the store in search of some honey. " Oh...I'm not good at this." She breathed nervously.
Uncle Tanner- She awakens from this nightmare about Winston the Feces and being unable to rule the kingdom because of her allergy, based on their constitution. A constitution that had been completed by a committee composing of members including her father, her father's cousins, and the wicked step mother of the town. Luckily in the preamble there was a caveat made for allowances for people with red hair, which she had, that allowed her to run the kingdom. And so she took her place in the Kingdom as the queen supreme ruler. Luckily she had found a supreme healer who through this new aged tactic got rid of her allergy. His name was ancient lotus. And they all didn't live happily ever after but realistically content ever after

Uncle Nicholas- Once there was a young lad in a land far away.
Uncle Jacob-He was a poor farmer who only had but a donkey.
Alex- One day, sick of his life of farming he took his donkey and rode him away into the big city.
Katherine- Once in the big city he sold all of his vegetables to get rid of his farming life.
Daddy- While selling his vegetables, there was a knight traveling and he saw courage in this young man and asked him to be his squire. 
Uncle Brent (through Daddy again!)- And then over the years he grew up into a man and his only dream was to become a knight.
Aunt Jade- The young squire who wants to become a knight see's a princess from the castle.
Mike- He then used the left over money he had from selling all his vegetables and bought the princess a castle.
Reggie- But little did he know there was a dragon upon the nearby mountain who was envious of the man's princess and castle , so he took the princess and the castle for his own.
Patricia-  So because the young squire had learned courage from the knight he had courage to go fight the dragon and save the princess.
CJ- Upon entering the dragons lair,  he encountered on the floor, of the murky dark cave a ring.
Great Grandpa Gunnell- The ring, he found out, was actually a key to the treasures of the castle. So he went in, defeated the dragon, saved the princess, found the treasures and bought the entire kingdom for his bride.

In the defense of the girls team they literally had to come up with a story from off the tops of their heads. The camera was all over the place from one person to the next, they had no coordination, half of them were not even paying attention to the others to know what to say next, and they spent most of the 10 minute video. However, it was funny to watch and they did pretty good with having to come up with it all right then. The boys team got to plan a story outline while the girls team were being filmed and planned an order in which they would all go. They all watched the person before them to know when their turn was and to compensate if the story went a little "off" It flowed smoothly and ended well. The boy team maybe took 3 of the 10 minute video to put together a story.

After the team story activity we decided to just do the gender reveal. The hubby and I each got our own can and went out into the grassy field to squirt each other with colored string while everyone watched, took pictures, and filmed.  I was flooded with emotion when blue string came flying out of my can at my husband. I was so overwhelmed with emotions of joy, knowing that my hubby and I were RIGHT from what we had seen in the ultrasound, stress from the week, and exhaustion that the floodgates were broken wide open and I burst into tears! I thought I might cry but I didn't expect to bawl my eyes out all because we now know we're having a little boy!

To end the party I passed out the gifts I had worked on for weeks to those that had guessed it was a boy and then to everyone else when I realized I had a bunch of gifts and candy left over that I didn't want to come home with me. We all cleaned up and left slowly from the park.

I floated home on a cloud.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Young Women Patriarchal Blessing Activity

Hello everyone!

I have a calling as a Beehive adviser for the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and it was my turn to have a combined Young Women activity!

As a teacher of young girls from the ages of 12-13 (also known as Beehives) I wanted something that all the young women (12-18) could enjoy, learn, and benefit from with this Wednesday night activity (also known as Mutual).

Every other Wednesday we have just Beehive activity nights but this Wednesday it is for ALL the girls.

So, like all answers to questions I have about cute activities and crafts I turned to Pintrest and Google. This time I found a great activity idea here.  

It is basically an outline of the activity, which was just plain to vague for me so I created a full, explained version of the same activity below if you wish to spend 20 minutes reading every little detail.

Included in the expansion version:
-Outdoor relay games in others shoes/clothes
-Individual Worth #2 requirements to pass it off (which is the Personal Progress value experience that this activity is based around)
-"True to the Faith" definition of Patriarchal Blessings.
-Two Conference talks used as examples for how Patriarchal blessings have been used and received. One is by Mary N. Cook and focuses on the young women the other is by Randall L. Ridd who focuses on the Young Men. I couldn't find any "recent conference talks" on Patriarchal blessings like it asks for in Individual Worth #2 requirements. So I found some recent conference talks using EXAMPLES of patriarchal blessings.
-Since I couldn't find recent conference talks on Patriarchal blessings I also did this article from the "New Era" Magazine that covers the frequently asked questions about patriarchal blessings.
-A handout to remind the girls how to receive a patriarchal blessing.
-A Shopping list for all the things I didn't have already such as a treat for after the activity.

Well, that's it. I thought I would re-blog this activity because I gave it a different view and if there was anyone else out there, like me, that wanted more than a vague outline I thought "I did all the work I might as well help others out". :)
All credits are in the links above! Enjoy!


The goal for our  combined young women Wednesday activity is to talk about Patriarchal Blessings and help the girls pass off Individual Worth #2.

Individual Worth #2
Learn about the importance of patriarchal blessings by studying about them in True to the Faith and recent conference talks. Find out why they are given and who can give them. Discuss with a parent or Church leader how to prepare to receive a patriarchal blessing and how it can teach you of your worth and identity and be a guide throughout your life. If you have not received your blessing, prepare to receive it.

To Start:  
Have the young women participate in difficult games and challenges to enforce how patriarchal blessings are individual and unique to each person. Each game should only last about 10 minutes each if each of the four games below are to be played.
1.      Balloon Race - The first game is to show the difference at the end of the activity what it is like in your own shoes/clothes verses what it is like in someone else's.
All that is needed is non-helium balloons and the young women paired off.
            a. Begin by choosing partners and lining them up back to back at a starting line. Place a balloon between their backs so that they must hold it there and not let it fall to the ground. (Emphasize that there are to be no hands involved.)
            b. At the sound of a whistle or "GO", the pairs must take off in this position, shuffling their way towards the finish line. If the balloon pops or drops, they must return to the starting line for a replacement.
            c. The first pairing of young women to cross the finish line wins.

2.      Sneaker Scramble- The second game is to get the girls into somebody else's shoes for the following games.
All that is needed is a couple of laundry baskets (used for left and right shoes or shoes for each team) and a soft grassy area for shoeless running.
            a. The young women are split into two teams. They then begin to run one by one to the finish line where the laundry baskets are and either put their left shoe in one box and their right show in the other box or both shoes in their teams basket and then running back to their team.
            b. When the entire team is shoeless, the players then take turns  running to the baskets again to grab a left and a right shoe that are NOT theirs. (This will most likely be the first shoes they grab as the game is timed on which team is fastest.)
            c. After they have shoes that are not theirs they are to put them back on and run back to their team. The first team with all mismatched shoes wins!

3.      Grab Bag
All that is needed are two paper bags, slips of paper, and a pencil.
            a. Write on the slips of paper instructions that each player on the team will need to accomplish as they pass the bag along each other. Instructions could be:
            - Hop to the finish line and back
            -Do 10 jumping jacks
            - Stand on one foot until everyone else is done with their instructions
            - Trade shoes with the person who is the tallest (if you are the tallest then trade with the person who is the shortest)
            -WALK around the nearest tree 5 times.
            -Rub your belly and jump up and down 3 times
            -Put your right shoe on your left foot and your left shoe on your right foot. Then run to the finish line and back.
            - Crawl on your hands and feet backwards to the finish line and back.
            -Find the person from the opposite team with the same strip of paper as you and kick a balloon back and forth 3 times to each person.
            -Find the person from the opposite team with the same strip of paper and race them to the finish line and back. The first person back get to pick which member of the others team has to do their slip of paper twice in a row.
            b. The first player of each team pulls a slip from the bag, performs the action, tags the next player, who does the same. The first team to finish all the actions wins.

4.      Soggy Britches-Before the last game the young women will need to take off the shoes they are wearing and match them up with its pair and then line each pair of shoes nicely against the wall so that they don't get their shoes wet.
All that is needed is a soft grassy area for shoeless running, two pairs of loose-fitting sweatpants for each team, 1 large bucket of water, and a lawn chair (optional).
            a. Line up each team side by side with the bucket of water in between them and set up an object or finishing obstacle that they have to run around at the finishing line.
            b. At a signal, the first young woman in each team will dunk their teams sweatpants into the water, put them on, run down to the finish line, run around the obstacle or in a circle 3 times, and back to their team.
            c. The next young woman in the team then does the same thing after being handed the sweatpants from her team mate until all the young women have finished.
            d. The first team who all ran across the lawn with the soggy britches first wins!

The Lesson: To read about Patriarchal blessing in the True to the Faith and recent conference talks, to relate patriarchal blessings to the games just played, and to have discussion on:
            - who can give patriarchal blessings
            -why patriarchal blessings are given
            -how to prepare now to receive a patriarchal blessing and
            -how a patriarchal blessing can teach them about their self worth and guide them throughout their lives.
All that is needed is for the girls to bring a beach towel/swimming towel, a friend, and thoughtful responses for discussion of patriarchal blessings.
            1. Questions
                        a. How did it feel to play these games in shoes/pants that did not fit and weren't yours?
                        b. How do you think you would have done in the games if you didn't try to do it with someone else's shoes/pants?
            2.  Discussion/Readings
                        a. Read from the "True to the Faith" handbook about Patriarchal blessings and then discuss how each patriarchal blessing is unique to each person to help them "score" better in the "game" of life.

True to the Faith: Patriarchal Blessings
True to the Faith, (2004), 111–13

            Patriarchal blessings are given to worthy members of the Church by ordained patriarchs. Your patriarchal blessing declares your lineage in the house of Israel and contains personal counsel from the Lord to you.
            As you study your patriarchal blessing and follow the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection. To find out how to receive a patriarchal blessing, talk with your bishop or branch president.
Declaration of Lineage

            Your patriarchal blessing includes a declaration of your lineage, stating that you are of the house of Israel—a descendant of Abraham, belonging to a specific tribe of Jacob. Many Latter-day Saints are of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe given the primary responsibility to lead the latter-day work of the Lord.
            Because each of us has many bloodlines running in us, two members of the same family may be declared as being of different tribes in Israel.
            It does not matter if your lineage in the house of Israel is through bloodlines or by adoption. As a member of the Church, you are counted as a descendant of Abraham and an heir to all the promises and blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant (see “Abrahamic Covenant,” pages 5–6).
Learning from Your Patriarchal Blessing

            Once you have received your patriarchal blessing, you should read it humbly, prayerfully, and frequently. It is a personal revelation from your Heavenly Father, who knows your strengths, weaknesses, and eternal potential. Through your patriarchal blessing, He will help you learn what He expects of you. Your blessing may contain promises, admonitions, and warnings. As time goes on, you will recognize the power of the revelation in it.
            As you follow the counsel in your blessing, you will be less likely to stumble or be misled. If you do not follow the counsel, you will not be able to receive the promised blessings.
            While your patriarchal blessing contains inspired counsel and promises, you should not expect it to answer all your questions or to detail all that will happen in your life. If your blessing does not mention an important event, such as a full-time mission or marriage, you should not assume that you will not receive that opportunity.
            Similarly, you should not assume that everything mentioned in your patriarchal blessing will be fulfilled in this life. A patriarchal blessing is eternal, and its promises may extend into the eternities. Be assured that if you are worthy, all promises will be fulfilled in the Lord’s due time. Those that are not realized in this life will be fulfilled in the next.
            Your patriarchal blessing is sacred and personal. You may share it with immediate family members, but you should not read it aloud in public or permit others to read it or interpret it. Not even your patriarch or bishop or branch president should interpret it.
            Treasure in your heart the precious words in your patriarchal blessing. Ponder them, and live so that you will be worthy to receive the promised blessings in this life and in the life to come.

Official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
© 2014 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All Rights Reserved

1.                                                           Seek Learning: You Have a Work to Do
Seek learning by faith. We learn by faith as we diligently gain spiritual knowledge through prayer, scripture study, and obedience and as we seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, who testifies of all truth. If you do your part to gain knowledge, the Holy Ghost can enlighten your mind. As you strive to keep yourself worthy, the Holy Ghost will give direction and added light to your learning.
I testify from personal experience that if you will seek learning not only by study but also by faith, you will be guided in what “the Lord … will need you to do and what you will need to know.” 14
I received my patriarchal blessing as a young woman and was counseled to prepare myself with a good education and to learn early in life those virtues that go into homemaking and rearing a family. I so wanted the blessing of a family; however, that blessing wasn’t fulfilled until I was 37, when I eventually married. My husband had been widowed, so the day we were sealed in the temple, I was suddenly blessed with not only a husband but a family of four children.
Long before that, there were many days when I felt like I was skiing in flat light, asking the question, “What does the future hold for me?” I tried to follow the admonitions in my patriarchal blessing. I studied diligently to become a schoolteacher and continued my education to become an elementary school principal. I prayed to my Heavenly Father and sought the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I held fervently to the promise of prophets who assured me that if I “remain true and faithful, keep [my] covenants, serve God, and love [my] Father in Heaven and the Lord Jesus Christ, [I] will not be denied any of the eternal blessings our Heavenly Father has for His faithful children.” 15

I know that my education prepared me for a life that has been nothing like I had envisioned as a young woman. I thought I was studying education to teach school and my future children, but I did not know the Lord was also preparing me to teach English in Mongolia on a mission with my husband and to teach the young women of the Church throughout the world and to teach my grandchildren the value of knowledge—all wonderful blessings I could never have imagined.
(Read True to the Faith in red above about how Mary N. Cook treated her patriarchal blessing)
            -Based off the "True to the Faith" what did Mary N. Cook do to receive the blessings promised to her?
            As Mary N. Cook studied her patriarchal blessing it gave her the guidance, comfort, and protection that she needed. She faithfully followed it's counsels for an education and when the time was right she ended up getting married and having and family and other blessings. She took the words of her patriarchal blessing to her heart and pondered them not worrying about anything that wasn't mentioned in her patriarchal blessing and knowing that as long as she worthily followed it's guidance that she would eventually receive all of the blessings from her Father in Heaven.  

2.                                                                          The Choice Generation


I have a friend who learned this truth in a very personal way. His son was raised in the gospel, but he seemed to be wandering spiritually. He frequently declined opportunities to exercise the priesthood. His parents were disappointed when he declared that he had decided not to serve a mission. My friend prayed earnestly for his son, hoping that he would have a change of heart. Those hopes were dashed when his son announced that he was engaged to be married. The father pleaded with his son to get his patriarchal blessing. The son finally agreed but insisted on visiting the patriarch alone.
When he returned after the blessing, he was very emotional. He took his girlfriend outside, where he could talk to her privately. The father peeked out the window to see the young couple wiping away each other’s tears.
Later the son shared with his father what had happened. With great emotion he explained that during the blessing, he had a glimpse of who he was in the premortal world. He saw how valiant and influential he was in persuading others to follow Christ. Knowing who he really was, how could he not serve a mission?
Young men, remember who you really are. Remember that you hold the holy priesthood. This will inspire you to make correct choices as you use the Internet and throughout your life.
(Read true to the Faith in green above about how the son of Randal L. Ridds' friend treated his patriarchal blessing)
            -What happened once the son agreed to receive his patriarchal blessing? What "True to the Faith" guidelines for your patriarchal blessings did he follow?
After the son received his patriarchal blessing he was humble enough to see what he needed to do. He was willing to follow it's guidance because he became aware of who he was and what he needed to do to receive the blessings promised to him. Because he knew the interpretations of his blessing he shared a bit with those he cared about because he knew it would help them understand his purpose and help them in their lives as well.   
            c. Discuss with a leader the following information to receive your patriarchal blessing.

About Patriarchal Blessings

March 2004 New Era

Who may give a patriarchal blessing?

Patriarch is actually an office in the Melchizedek Priesthood, just like elder or high priest, and a patriarch is called and ordained specifically to give patriarchal blessings. You will receive your blessing from the patriarch in your stake or one nearby if your stake doesn’t have a patriarch. If you live where there are no stake patriarchs, your bishop or branch president will know how to help you make arrangements to receive a blessing. If you are a direct descendant of someone who is a patriarch (such as your grandfather), you may receive your blessing from him even if he doesn’t live in your stake.

Who may receive a patriarchal blessing?

All worthy members of the Church are entitled to and should receive a patriarchal blessing regardless of how long they have been members.

How old do I have to be for a blessing?

There is no set age. You should be old enough to appreciate the sacred nature of the blessing.

How is the blessing given?

The patriarch will place his hands on your head and give the blessing through inspiration. It will be revealed direction for you. The blessing will then be transcribed so that you can have a written copy to study throughout your life. The Church will also keep a copy of your blessing in case you ever lose yours.

How do I get a patriarchal blessing?

Make an appointment for an interview with your bishop. He will determine your readiness and worthiness and either give you a recommend or help you prepare to receive one. After receiving your recommend, you may contact the patriarch to schedule an appointment. Ask your bishop or the patriarch who may accompany you to your blessing, such as your parents. And bring your recommend to the appointment.

How do I know if I’m ready?

The desire to receive a patriarchal blessing should come from a desire to know and live God’s will for you. Curiosity or pressure from others isn’t the right reason to get a blessing. The bishop will help determine if you are ready for the blessing.

How can I prepare?

You should do everything possible to draw closer to the Lord. Prayer, fasting, scripture study, meditation, and repentance can help. Concerns about worldly things should be left behind for such a sacred occasion.

What should I wear?

You should wear Sunday clothes.

            3. A handout to help them remember what a patriarchal blessing and how to obtain one.

To receive a patriarchal blessing, you must (1) prepare for it by drawing closer to Heavenly Father through prayer, repentance, scripture study, and Church attendance; (2) meet with the bishop to determine your readiness; and (3) receive from your bishop a recommend for a patriarchal blessing. After receiving your recommend, you should (4) contact the patriarch to schedule an appointment and (5) receive your blessing. The recorded blessing will be (6) transcribed, and copies will be (7) mailed to Church headquarters (8) for safekeeping and to you (9) to help guide you throughout your life.
The refreshment: Root beer and Orange soda floats.
Shopping List:
·         Balloons
·         Cups
·         Vanilla Ice cream
·         Root beer and Orange Soda
·         Paper Bags

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

6 ways I make my Hubby Feel Special


This blog post is inspired from the fact that my husband has been working night shifts with two different jobs. First it was a medical courier job. He would pick up medical "specimens" as he would call them.

He was being gentle on the subject.

You and I would know it as the pee we put into a cup before being allowed to work a certain job. (This was so they would know we're not drug addicts.) Sometimes it would be other bodily objects. Once he took a foot of someone to the labs he would drop off these specimens! EW!

...actually I like telling people he took a foot. Maybe it's just me but I think it makes a unique job story.

ANYWAY, I got off topic a bit. This is how my journal is on a regular basis. Ha ha.

The second job he just recently got is with Schwans. He arrives at the warehouse anywhere from 8 pm to 12 am and doesn't come back until anywhere from 6 am to 10 am. On his 3rd night he worked from about 9 pm until about 2 pm the next day! If I added that up correctly the poor guy was in a -30 degree freezer off and on for 17 hours straight! It really wars on him and I really want to make his night so much nicer on him. This has been difficult.

Since he comes back when most people wake up I don't see him all day either until he comes back to life around 3 pm to 5 pm later that day. On most nights he works later so I usually can spend some time with him and we can go on dates or visit family still but I can't really pack him a lunch with cute notes inside or anything else while he is at work, working so hard.

I love him and I really appreciate what he does for me. I know it's not easy to be away from each other and not having the time with me or sleeping with me really dampens his mood. Although he tries to be positive and grateful for this job keeping us alive (and he does a fantastic job at not complaining) I know that he HATES it. He hates leaving me vulnerable and knowing I'm bored to death all day waiting for him to wake up.

I try to make the time we do have together meaningful but we don't have a bunch of money and I would also like to do things for him at work. So what did I do? I turned to Google of course!


Certainly I 'm not the only wife or husband with a significant other working grave shifts and wanting to do something for them , am I?

Well I decided that I would write my own based off of the ideas I DID find as well as what I've ended up doing for him.

1. I try and do what I can around the house while he is sleeping so that when he wakes up he can relax and we can enjoy spending time with one another. This includes laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning the apartment, dishes, cleaning the bathroom, going grocery shopping, etc. Granted I'm not perfect so I do what I can but most the time I don't feel like it and watch shows on the internet while he sleeps.

2. When he wakes up I try and make sure to make meals he REALLY likes every once in awhile.

3. I try and make sure we also DO things together that he likes. For example he enjoys playing Halo, kisses, watching movies with me, showering together, and having intimate time together. Luckily for me I don't hate any of those things so it's not much of a challenge for me.  

4. I make sure to tell him verbally how much I admire him and love the hard work he is doing. I also make it a point to tell him what he means to me and how lucky I am that he takes such good care of me. Not only does this make him feel like he is doing something important, regardless of how much he enjoys it, but the more in depth I am the more I can focus on what he is doing verses what he isn't. It really puts into perspective for me all that he really goes through so that we can have an income. This, in my opinion, is almost more important than making him feel better about the situation because when I point it out, out loud, I can really act upon my part. I can be more patient if he's having a really bad day and I can contribute a little more because I am notice how effected he is.

5. The other night I decided to try something I thought might not make much of a difference. I saw it on pintrest and remembered it and did it in less than 5 minutes. I took a small piece of paper and wrote that I loved him, missed him, and to be happy. Then I folded it and tucked it into his wallet setting an alarm for an hour into his work schedule to check his wallet. This can work with anything: movie tickets, surprise date night later, and to give him sexy thoughts throughout the day were other suggested things on this site or the "kiss card" from the Dating Divas website, here. The next day when he woke up one of the first things to come out of his mouth was "thanks sweetie. I really needed your note." IT WORKED! I need to follow through with a lot more ideas I've found on pintrest.

6. A few times when he's come home extra late and I am already awake I will make sure I rush at him, hug him, and then explode upon his face with an abundance of kisses. He LOVES when I make a big deal out of coming home. It tells him that I really missed him, I appreciate him, and I'm so happy he's home. :)

Some other things I might try are:

  • Write or stick love notes where he can see them, like the bathroom mirror. (Found here.) My hubby always comes home and uses the bathroom. I could plaster a few (or a bunch everywhere) in the bathroom where he can be happy he's come home and about to rest. My friends husband did this to their front door when she got home from work at 7ish in the morning from a grave shift. :) 
  • Get sidewalk chalk and write a love message on the driveway. (Also found here.) Since we don't have a driveway I could do it on the sidewalk in front of the door. Problem is, I don't know if he'll be looking down to see it even though the sun is out when he comes home. 
  • Blow up balloons with words you admire about him/her and fill the entry way with them. That way when he gets home he'll have a fun surprise! (Found at the same site as above.)
  • Ask my hubby out on a date that weekend with one of the ideas off of the Dating Diva's "Love Calendar" or other date ideas they have on their site (they are AWESOME!) I'm sure he'd love to see that coming home and then working extra hard to get to the weekend. 
  • Give him more back-rubs and massages to release all the tension in those tired muscles.
  • I could pray and read scriptures more with him before he goes to work to continue to uplift him throughout his schedule.  
Well that's about all I've got! I'm always willing to grow and learn new things so if you have any other notes of how to make my hubby feel special while he is working or right when he gets home leave me a comment!


Monday, August 4, 2014

A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes

Hello Everyone!

I haven't been on to post on my blog in awhile because...wellll...I just don't know what to write. I've kind of lost the identity to this blog and haven't known where to go with it.

In fact I wouldn't be writing this post if my curiosity hadn't gotten the better of me. I checked and my blog has over a thousand views. I didn't even know people were looking at my blog. Maybe if I knew that I would write more.

Just kidding.

No but seriously.

I've been thinking a lot lately about what my dreams are. I seem to have so many and none of them really went anywhere.

Do you remember all of those elementary school, first day assignments, of "getting-to-know you"? Sometimes it was having cold paint squished onto my hand and then pressed hard onto the paper to show my hand print, or just my fingers as a lesson on how we are each unique, or the last one I remember was a news paper where I had to fill out my hobbies, what I wanted to be when I grew up, who was my hero, what my favorite color was and so on. It was a personal spotlight on my life, dreams, and future.

Most of the time I had a hard time with these projects to reflect myself and personality. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was only 5! I didn't know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was just trying to pass my math class. I didn't know what career I wanted, everything I loved wouldn't make any income.

"It's okay." THEY said. "The more classes you are in a college will help determine what you want to do."

...They said.

I remember for those projects I sometimes just wrote what I understood, what I knew about, because that's all I had. I was never that child that knew all about animals and always wanted to be a veterinarian. Or I loved space, stars, and planets and always wanted to be an astronaut. The only thing I knew about was how to be a mom, a loving wife, and a chiropractor like my dad.  The very first thing I ever wrote (that I remember)-for one of those projects-for what I wanted to be when I grew up was a chiropractor. Mom's didn't make any money. Wives didn't make any money without a career. That left the only other thing I knew that DID make money and that was to be a chiropractor.

Did that last long?

No. I grew up and I learned that it was important to love what you do to have a career. A job is what you do because you need to.

The next two things I wanted to be was tied: an actress and a writer. Now I was starting to follow what I loved to a career path. In all that I had I knew I could be that one next best seller or a fantastic actress. I would practice in my room with dress up clothing and sometimes my siblings. I remember one time I got so into my fantasy world that I swore.....

...I stopped pretending for the rest of the day I felt so guilty.

My love for writing was slightly stronger than acting and began with a nightmare at the age of 9 and my dad took me aside and told me that I should write it down, that that is where some writers get there inspiration. I was captivated and excited! At the time I was also in love with Harry Potter so I asked my dad if I could become as famous as J.K. Rowling herself with my dreams. He said something that I don't remember exactly but it put fuel on a fire I didn't even knew I had. I hated writing. I typing began painfully slow but I was determined to make it work.

The third thing that I wanted to be when I grew up was a columnist or news reporter for a paper or a psychologist. This was when I became a teenager and ended up problem solving with friends and family members and being in love with the way I felt after helping someone who needed advice. That ended in my first semester of college when I was 16 and a half and taking psychology 101. After that I decided I would just be a good friend to others and a listening ear when needed.

The columnist or news reporter came from a more realistic point of view of trying to make REAL money off of something that I loved to do: writing. The same semester I took psychology 101 I also decided that was not my writing style nor what I truly enjoyed doing.

The more I continued to try and make my hobbies work for me the more I lost interest in them.

I couldn't be a chef, they don't make anything and it's pretty competitive.
I couldn't be a teacher, I don't describe things well to others.
I couldn't be an artist...they make even less than a chef and I would have to be far greater than I am.
I couldn't work for Disney as a a Disneyland princess...I wasn't tall or pretty or courageous enough to even audition.

It became more of the things I couldn't do and I became disheartened that I would go anywhere or be able to have a career. It was looking like it would be just "jobs" for me.

I still had my two other dreams along with me for this bumpy ride but was too young to really think to hard on them. I still wanted to be a loving wife and a mom. The more I grew up the more it didn't matter if I made money as either one of those, they were eternally rewarding and I knew that was what I was supposed to do.

When I was 19 I met the love of my life and married him 6 months later. I still felt that nag that I needed to do something MORE with my life. A career.

"You need a career...just in case..." THEY said. "You need to continue to educate yourself" they said.

It was when I got a job at a preschool for exceptional children in the special education program at a elementary school. I loved the teacher, I loved the kids, I loved being in a school, and or the first time I could imagine myself as a teacher. That ended when I took two beginning courses for teachers when I was 21 and a half. I decided that as much as I loved kids I didn't love the school system or the time away from what mattered the most to me more than any other hobby, career, or job: my family. I wanted more than anything to have a baby and grow a little family.

...It wasn't happening. I began to accept that it wasn't the right time and that God might have other work for me to do. My husband and I decided that was to take place in Massachusetts. That ended too when we found out I was PREGNANT  a couple of weeks after I turned 22!

This is me at 14 1/2 weeks pregnant! I am now at 20 1/2 weeks pregnant but haven't been able to get my husband to take another picture...yet. 
(No we don't know what we are having yet. SOON!)

It's taken me about 5 months to get to positive thoughts like: I can do this, I'll be a good mom, the baby will be healthy and strong and wonderful. 

We're really excited. 

So, after all of that dreaming and racing after things that I wanted, after struggling with what I COULD do because everything I love to do wouldn't make money, after sacrificing things I wanted to do for things that I had to do, I got the two most precious dreams of all that I NEEDED. 

Sure I would like to travel more, sure I would like to be a Disneyland princess, sure I would love to be an actress in at least one movie but I know that my worth and impact on the world don't rely on those things.  Does it mean I give up on painting, drawing, writing, cooking just because there is no one but my family to enjoy it? Because there is no income to aid it? No. It means that I understand that I am much more than those things and that if it is the right time and place I can accomplish those dreams too, as well as help my family to be great and experience the dreams they have. 

It is hard to sustain dreams but with that hard work we can accomplish anything. 

What dreams have you been able to accomplish? What have you learned from the ones that haven't? Is there anything on the back burners that you miss and want to get back/more into? 

Send me some comments! 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Starting Over

Have you ever wanted a clean slate?

If you are anywhere near being a human being, I bet you've made mistakes- or maybe not the BEST choices-and wish you could go back an have a re-do.

But where's the fun in that? >insert smiley face here<

Everything that has come our way has been there for a purpose. If it wasn't meant to be that way than it would have been different. I guess you could say the real challenge is figuring out WHY it happened that way.

For example: why was I not more consistent with this blog?

Perhaps because life, itself, is full of inconsistencies.

There is so much that I love that it ends up all coming out in a jumble of information, strewn across whomever chances to find it. I love food, dancing, artwork, writing, spending time with family, and children to name a few.

I should be asleep right now.

Have you ever been so unsettled, that in order to figure it all out, you must write what ever you are feeling and thinking to make sense of it all?

I think there are many moments in life where God gives you that small moment of piece and quiet to figure it all out. For some that may be sitting on the toilet contemplating what it was that you ate last and how your probably should exercise  more. Or maybe you're the one in the shower singing to a crowd at your own personal American Idol audition or getting hit on the foot with the conditioner and a great idea for a story just popped into your head. Maybe you're the one walking down the street admiring the world around you and the creator who made it and how if your could photograph that one moment and frame it for the world to see that you are happy; that you are you in that one moment. Not the crazed looking, always going, full of stress person that everyone might see you as.

If there is anything that can show you what that is, it's a loving Father in Heaven.

There is so much in the world that is telling you which way to go and what they think is right for you.

There are people that tell you how to be, dress, act....and that, THAT all matters.

That's not me.

If there was that one perfect moment to detail who I really am, it would be the one's unseen. The moments when the sun not only reaches and warms my skin but my heart. The moments when I am pouring out my soul to God and sharing all the bitter and sweet things. The moments when I cry when no one is looking because I am just having a bad day. The moments when I look upon the world and see all the good instead of focusing on the negative. Those moments when others may think I am ignorant, selfish, or stuck-up when really I am just open to listen.

I'm listening to them, to me, to anything.

I'm trying to find that next step. That next part of my journey, and unhappiness will not dwell there.

You are beautiful. You can dream. You can make it.

Even if I were not to have faith in you, he does. Because HE made you, and loves you.

I plan to follow through on promises, complete goals, and live my dreams.

What are you going to do with TODAY? Please comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here's to a clean slate.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Blessing Bags

I spend a lot of my time on Pintrest.


However there are many wonderful "blessings" that come from such devotion to this wonderful world of pins.   At KWAV's (Kids with a Vision) blog Ali B. posted her idea for "Blessing Bags".

Have you ever been at a gas station just minding your own business when a stranger walks up to you asking for some change? Have you ever lied and told them you didn't have any change because you were afraid they would spend that money that you worked hard for and then graciously give away, to buy alcohol or cigarettes? Have you ever told the truth that you didn't have change but truly wished you could help them? Have you ever just been so full of love that you wish you could help anyone you crossed paths with that seemed to need a little pick me up?

I have......

SO when I ran into her blog via pintrest I was more than thrilled to be introduced to the loving blessing bags, because everyone in this world needs just a little something to brighten their day.

I was so excited to do these, I just needed to DO IT!

When I went shopping a few weeks ago I had the full intention of buying things for others. I went to the dollar store and loaded up my cart with TONS of items, being giddy the whole time. When I was ready to check out I let others with only a few things go in front of me. One of the girls I had a nice conversation with. She asked me questions and told me stories of her own: are you doing these through an organization of some sort? That's cool. When I lived XYZ my family did something like this. I think it's really awesome that you're doing this. I told her that I wasn't doing it through and organization I was just doing it because I wanted to because I love people and want to help them out. There were a few other people behind me that seemed a little grumpy and I couldn't blame them. It was a dollar store for cryin' out loud and here was this crazy lady with a cart full of stuff while they held one or two things. It made me realize that I shouldn't judge others on the amount of things they have in their carts because it might not even be for them and I need to be more patient also. When it was my turn I told the cashier that it might be awhile and that I had separate transactions (I was also buying things to do birthday bouquets  which I will do in a latter post- for a friend and the little boy I babysit.) She was super patient and bubbly and I was SO grateful. We also began talking and I explained to her that everything I was buying wasn't for me. I told her it was for some birthdays and the majority of it was for helping with the needs of others. Taking care of the basics for a few days. I thought she was going to cry. She thought that that was the coolest thing she had ever heard and she was even more caring while checking out my items. I was so blessed to have such a wonderful cashier! I walked out of that dollar store feeling like a million bucks and little did I know that my first opportunity would arise that very same day! I continued my grocery shopping, ending the long day at Wal-Mart. Soon it was time for me to go and pick up my sweet husband after his classes and there was a older women outside on the corner of the street with a sign saying something along the lines of "Any Help Appreciated". I thought about my unorganized blessing bags and felt that I needed to give one to her. "But I don't have it put together." "She needs one." "But I'm so tired from the day of shopping." "Why did you buy these things? To help." I pulled off on the side of the road after having driven past her and through together a Blessing Bag as quickly as I could. I then drove back to her pulled aside again to not cause an accident or anything and then I ran towards her feeling like a super hero. I was so full of love for this woman I never met that I had to give her a hug. I handed her the bag and asked for her permission to hug her. She didn't really respond, she just kept saying thank-you. I hugged her and told her I hoped it would help. Then I walked back to the car and got  in. On my way to pick up my husband I sobbed the whole way. I felt so much love surrounding me and I knew in that moment that I had done what my Father in Heaven wanted me to do. Even if it meant nothing to her, it meant a great deal for me. I got home and for awhile the bags of things just sat there and I knew from the moment I wanted to make them that I was going to do a blog post on my own blessing bags, I just haven't yet, I wanted my husband to help, <enter lame excuses here>. Finally I just took an hour or so and put them together and I LOVE the way they turned out! No more awkwardness, no more obligation; just lots and lots of LOVE. After I finished the bags I still didn't write the blog post, no excuse, I just didn't. And now I AM! YAY! I have already had three people come into my apartment and see and question the blessing bags. They loved them so much that they wanted all the details! So here you are! Dedicated to my good friend Liesl, my grandma Jones, and my grandma Gunnel! May you have as much fun as I did making these!
Blessing Bags:
*Note* I loved one of the comments on Ali B's Blog that said to think of food items that are soft. A lot of these people have little, rotting, or no teeth!
-Band-aids (I did band-aids that were weather proof and some that had antibiotic already on it)
-Cough drops
-Trail Mix
-Vienna Sausages
-Apple Sauce
-Toothbrush with cap
-Travel Toothpaste
-Soft Breakfast bars
-Chap-stick with SPF in it
-Expandable Washcloth
-Dried Apricots 
-Deodorant ( I did arm-n-hammer for the guys and Secret for the ladies)
-Lotion ( I did an unscented for the guys and a coco butter for the ladies) 
-Travel Tissues
-Water Bottle
-Breath Drops (or travel sized mouth wash and/or mints)
-Plastic Spoon
-To Go Wipes
-Light Pads (For the Ladies.) 
-A Plastic Sandwich bag (For their trash or dirty pads, etc.) 
-A bag to put them all in! ( I just did grocery bags! Or you could do gallon zip up bags)

Blessing Bags all wrapped up:
Since I put them all in grocery bags and I did some for guys and others for ladies I had the thought to tie the bags with pink or blue ribbon so I'd know which are which. Each bag came out to about $10 bucks for me (maybe a little bit more for the band-aids, toothpaste, and wipes that I didn't find at the dollar store) I also wrote a note of encouragement and the local food banks and shelter in case they needed more long term help and didn't know where to look because they were stranded from some other city or state or just because they didn't know.

Note of encouragement:
"Hello! We couldn't help but notice that you could use a little "pick-me-up". Inside are all the things we thought you could need or use such as food, water, and sanitary supplies. You ARE being looked out for and you're not alone. You are a child of God and he loves you. Don't get discouraged! Do not lose hope. Remember "you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem  and smarter than you think"-Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh. Have A Wonderful Day!"
Then underneath the message is the name of the food center, their address, and their phone number in case they have change or you wish to provide enough for a call in the bags. 

Have fun blessing and being blessed!