Friday, February 1, 2019

Are you in it for the long haul?

After a substantial hiatus, I decided to go make to school and get my degree. At first I wanted to go into teaching because I love working with children. After realizing that I love my current job teaching children to read and that is what I wanted to do when I grew up. I decided to declare my major to a Bachelor of Science in Home and Family Studies. I have been blessed to take a marriage course and have been pondering some things that I have been learning and wanted to share with you.
As mentioned in my previous post, what I want my blog to be has changed. I survived a disease that was meant to kill me, and my whole focus changed. I have so many creative blog friends who put out the cutest tutorials every single day. While I will share something create once in a while because that’s who I am, this blog as its header states has become a Survivor’s blog, and I really want to share with you things I’ve learned that truly matter and will bring you Joy in your life. I’m all about bringing the joy. If you were here for the crafts and feel like it’s time to unsubscribe I completely understand, but I do wish you’d stay.
In reading a talk from Elder Bruce C. Hafen titled “CovenantMarriage” he shared the illuminating lesson that our Savior shared when he taught about contractual attitudes. Jesus taught about the hireling and the Shepherd and the difference in vigilance when wolves came to attack the flocks. While the hireling who simply signed a contract to watch over the sheep would choose their own lives over those of the sheep, opting they weren’t worth the risk. The Shepherd who had a vested interest in those sheep, dare I even say the Shepherd loved them enough to try and protect them at all costs, even at their own safety and possibly their own lives. This type of attitude can directly translate into marriage. Are we like hirelings in our marriages who simply signed a contract and when trouble comes take the opportunity to bow out, or are we like the Shepherd’s who are bound to those sheep in love and willing to do whatever it takes to save and protect that Sacred Marriage? Wow, I don’t know about you all, but that certainly made me stop and think. I know for a fact, I would do anything to protect my little flock.
At the end of his story, he shared an example of his wife, who had spent quite some time working on a science project with one of their more challenging kiddos. This was the child that they were certain God had sent to them to “make Christians out of” them. Can any of you picture any of your children that are like that? I know I can. We love them to pieces, but boy do they send us to seek Jesus real fast!
Here’s the story he shared: “One night Marie exhausted herself for hours encouraging that child to finish a school assignment to build his own diorama of a Native American village on a cookie sheet. It was a test no hireling would have endured. At first he fought her efforts, but by bedtime, I saw him lay “his” diorama proudly on a counter. He started for his bed, then turned around, raced back across the room, and hugged his mother, grinning with his fourth-grade teeth. Later I asked Marie in complete awe, “How did you do it?” She said, “I just made up my mind that I couldn’t leave him, no matter what.” Then she added, “I didn’t know I had it in me.” She discovered deep, internal wellsprings of compassion because the bonds of her covenants gave her strength to lay down her life for her sheep, even an hour at a time.”
There is so much to be learned about us if we simply look deeper. Elder Hafen gave some solid warnings about the specific wolves that are ready to attack our flocks in this day in age. I encourage you to go read his talk, it’s a good one. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. I truly wish you joy.

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Saturday, January 19, 2019

What About Ohana?

It sure has been a hot minute since I've last posted. Almost two years. A lot has changed. I've changed. While the purpose of my blog hasn't changed, what I am going to blog about has. Why? Because the world around us is changing. 
Day by day it truly feels like time is speeding up, my children are growing quickly, weeks feel like days, some hours feel like minutes and at the center of it all, I find myself wishing that time could stand still just a little longer so that I can catch my breath and be the best Mom that I can be for my children, and the best wife I can be for my husband. Even more than that though, I just want to help ensure that my family will be together forever. 
Years ago, the Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at that time named Spencer W. Kimball, once said: "Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us." 
Can you believe that he said that back in 1980? I truly think that time is quickly approaching as the importance of family is dissolving in the society around us. Yes, I know I'm going to get some flack from some of you for speaking about these things, but years ago I made you a promise, that I would help you create joy. 
The deepest joy in my life has been felt as I've committed to loving and strengthening my family. I promise you, that the deepest joy you will ever feel in your life will come from doing the same. 
For me, I am going to take a more active role in building my family by ensuring that we spend more quality time together. We have started and will continue to hold weekly family councils. This is a time where we can all plan out the following week, talk about things that make us happy and sad, and just be together. There's an awesome little "cheat sheet" that can be found here  that you could use if you would like to hold family councils. We will also hold a weekly family devotional time where we will spend time talking about the Savior and learning about His life from the New Testament. We will also have a night every week where we do an activity as a family, that's just plain old fun. Something that will get us laughing and enjoying each other's company. I encourage you to do the same. 
Family is so worth it, I know that for me this life is about preparing to spend forever with my Heavenly Father and my sweet family. Until then, I'd like to create a little bit of Heaven on Earth for them. 

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Let's Fiesta!

My one year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis was on May 27th. 
I figured I could do one of two things. I could cry about it, dwell on the "why me's" and stay bitter about all of the annoying side effects. OR I could take a different approach. 

Since it happened in May near the Cinco de Mayo, which is absolutely a worthy celebration. I decided that I had something worthy to celebrate as well. My liberation from Cancer. And so a fiesta was in order! 

 The first thing I did was look around and find some details that I loved and based my colors and decor around that. 

I found these napkins at Oriental Trading and I fell in love.

Those paired with the banner (link to similar, I couldn't find the exact one) also found there.

I was able to run with it and it was so easy! Everything basically came together after that. 

Guys, this banner was SO versatile and there was a LOT of it. I was able to use one inside. And I bought an additional one to use outside. 

I knew I wanted to decorate outside but there was so much space so I was at a loss until I saw how much came with the banner. I was such a cute touch and I admit, I may still have it up because I LOVE it. But the tape I used to hold it up isn't holding anymore so it may be time to come down. But the banner is STILL going strong. Have I mentioned how much I loved it? 

I wanted to make a cute wreath for the party but didn't want to break the bank. So a pool noodle wreath totally did the trick! All I did was simply cute felt in strips, Then fringed it. Then glued it around my noodle. 

Of course I wanted a simple favor for my guests to take away so I found some mexican candy on Amazon and had it next to the entry way. And how cute are those mini maracas? 

Those mini maracas and the mini pinatas were placed here and there throughout my home and I just loved the cute touch. 

I knew I wanted something for the kids to do so I had some blank maracas there for them to decorate.

 It was a total hit! 

Each kiddo made a couple of them. I had sharpies and stickers there for them to use. 

I also knew that I wanted a Pinata. Originally I had chosen the Butterfly because it's a symbol of new life. But that morning my sweet girlie very seriously told me that we couldn't beat up the butterfly. It was too beautiful. And she was right. So in came another pinata. The cancer pinata. 

And each of the kids had an opportunity to beat cancer. I may have taken a wack at it myself. :) And how cute is my Dad?

Last but certainly not least let's talk about food. This fiesta was SO easy to put together with ordering the bulk of my decor from Oriental Trading. And mixing together both store bought and homemade food. 

I was sure to use my own dishes that I had to make sure it all flowed and gave a nice finished look. I made sure to only try and bite off what I could handle. I homemade the dip and it was the BOMB. I received so many compliments on it so I will for sure share the recipe in my next post. See that cute pinata in the background? It's a vase. Yep, a vase. Let's zoom in shall we? 

That little darling may just have been one of my favorite parts of the party to make! I will post a quick tutorial in another post as well. I'm all about easy crafts these days. 

Guys that was it! I had such a fun time at the fiesta. It was a blast being surrounded by loved ones. I threw a friends and family one and my heart was filled with the love and support at both. I wanted to do something to show my gratitude to them. And I hope that this party and bringing some joy to their lives did a little of that. 

I hope you were able to find some inspiration here and go on to throw your own awesome fiesta and bring some joy to others! I tried to link to everything throughout my post but if I missed one you could find almost everything (and more) here

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