My 3 Monsters: March 2011

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A Little Fish in a Big Pond

Do you ever see what's going on in the world and want to help, but don't know how?  And do you ever feel like the problems are so big and you are very, very small?  Maybe it's just me. That is how I've felt watching the news of devastation in Japan and around the world these past couple of weeks.  Helpless.  I was so happy to run across this project the other night {really at 4 a.m. because I couldn't sleep} because this is something I can do.

I can sew and I have a troop of teenage girls at church who are always eager to help.  We're going to be making these adorable t-shirts tomorrow night for our weekly activity.  I think it is especially meaningful to me and the girls because my first counselor is from Japan.  She has been planning an extended trip home and now is unable to go.  My heart breaks for her and her family.  We love Asae.  I wish we could do more, but at least we can do something.    And have a little fun doing it -- candy sushi while you sew anyone?

Click on the Chloe and Mieko picture above to get the pattern and all the details if you're interested.


Young Women Binder Covers for 2011

I've been messing around on Gimp again working on some things for church.  This is the new insert I created for the presidencies' binders based on the new 2011 youth theme.  If you would like to use them, too, you can download the plain one by clicking on the picture above.  If you want the personalized versions {labeled President, 1st Counselor, etc.. for each class} you can click this link.  Have a great day!  {It's cold and rainy here, which is divine if you live in the desert.}


I'm Happy to Report . . .

. . . it has now been nearly two weeks since I took my last drink of soda and/or played Eggz.  Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks.


The Domino Effect

Don't you hate it when you start moving things around in one area of your home and then you have to clean out another area to put the junk from the first area? Then you have to make room somewhere else for all of that junk and on, and on, and on, until you've spent your whole day working on what you intended to be a ten minute job.

But then don't you love it when everything is all neat and tidy in the end?

Me too.


Sharing the Wisdom

So, I had an in-home interview today for a product research and marketing company.  I was up at the crack of dawn scrubbing and straightening and fretting about how shabby my house is.  And I spent much of yesterday doing the same.  After the interviewers left I sat down to "read my blogs" {it's like the modern girl's version of soap operas, isn't it?}and I came across a post at The Nesting Place that struck a chord with me.  Here's my new life mantra:

"A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life."  -Mary Randolph Carter

Ahhhhhhhh. . . . . time to relax and take the kids to the pool.


Clown Night

Dylan came to me earlier today with an idea for Family Night that I just couldn't pass up.  He suggested we have a "Clown Night" which actually was more of a stand-up comedy night.  He played the host, complete with electronic drums {for post-punchline rim-shots} and called on each of us to "take the stage".  Everyone had their own particular brand of comedy to perform.  Some jokes were new, some were old stand-bys. {A man walks into a bar.  A few minutes later a lady walks into the bar.  The man says, "You didn't see it either?"  *Ba dum bum*}  Some were universal in their appeal, some were more family-specific. {Why shouldn't you throw a rock at Dylan when he's riding a bike?  Because it's probably your bike.  Har har!}  Some kids wanted more than one turn.  The jokes continued long after Family Night had officially ended.  It was just a good old fun time.  I love to laugh.


This is a message I wrote tonight on our ward's Young Women blog. I thought I'd share it here just because I haven't written anything here in a looooong time and I'm too tired to come up with anything new tonight. Enjoy . . . or don't. Whatever. I just want to push that post about Eggz down a little bit. I'm over it. I'm trying to be be over it.

integrity (in-teg-ri-tee)
1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished.
3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

For the month of March we have chosen to focus on the value of Integrity. As I sat in the temple last weekend thinking about you girls and the message that Heavenly Father would want me to share with you about integrity, I thought of a simple formula that will help us to remember what it means to live with integrity:

SAY IT (decide, commit to something) & MEAN IT (be ready to put forth a sincere effort) & DO IT (act accordingly) : INTEGRITY

When we talk about integrity in Young Women we often refer to the first definition listed above-- to adhere to moral principles, to do what is right even when seemingly no one is watching. To me, integrity also means keeping our promises -- the promises we make to others, to ourselves and to our Heavenly Father. I'd like you to think about the other definitions {above}for a minute. What does it mean to be whole and undiminished? To be sound and unimpaired? To me it means to be strong -- strong enough to resist trials and temptations that would lead us to break our promises. The source of that strength is our Heavenly Father. Sister Carol B. Thomas said, "Our HONEST EFFORT to improve our INTEGRITY allows God to increase our power to DO IT." Our Heavenly Father never leaves us to bear the burdens of mortality on our own.

On Sunday I shared with you my own recent experience with keeping a promise. It's a silly little thing, but I think it helps you to see, in a small degree, the consequences of living without integrity. I love to drink soda. I mean realllllllly love it. A couple of weeks ago on Sunday night I decided that I needed to give it up. I said it and I meant it . . . I thought. But first thing Monday morning I couldn't resist the urge to run out and buy myself a soda for breakfast {No judgements here, OK?} I was immediately ashamed of myself and didn't want my husband to see how weak I had been so I quickly drank the soda in the car as I drove home and threw the cup away before I entered the house. I did the same thing again later that day as I was out running errands. No one would ever know about those sodas. But I knew. I knew that I had broken a promise to myself and I was ashamed. I felt weak and a little bit hopeless about making the change I desired in my life. Now, do I think that drinking soda is some huge sin? Of course not. Does Heavenly Father care if we drink some soda? Probably not. The point is, when I broke that promise I made to myself, I felt weak. I felt bad about myself and I felt like there was no way I would ever be able to change. How much worse would I have felt if I had broken a bigger promise or really let someone down? Or if I had broken a covenant with my Heavenly Father? When we don't live with integrity, we weaken ourselves. We alienate ourselves from the Spirit and lose confidence in ourselves and our individual worth which makes us vulnerable to Satan's whisperings. He takes advantage of those weaknesses in our spiritual foundation to pick away at our self worth. He tells us that we really are weak and that we'll never be able to become like our Heavenly Father. He'll tell us that things really are hopeless and that our situation will never get better.

Luckily, because our Heavenly Father loves us and keeps His promises perfectly, we can repent and regain our spiritual strength and try again. We can close the door on Satan and no longer be brought down by his lies. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said:

The rewards of integrity are immeasurable. One is the indescribable inner peace and serenity that come from knowing we are doing what is right. Another is the absence of guilt and anxiety that accompany sin. Another reward of integrity is the confidence it can give us in approaching God. When we are doing what is right we will not feel timid or hesitant about seeking divine direction.

Sisters, my hope for you is that you will live lives of integrity. That you will keep your promises, even the little ones, and know the peace and confidence that comes from doing so. I love you and your Heavenly Father loves you very much. Always remember that in all that you do.

Love, Sister Gregson


The Black Hole

Wherein my time is completely wasted and I am powerless to walk away.

Walk away now. Don't say I didn't warn you.


I Must Be Raising Him Right

We are thrift store shoppers.  I'm not really ashamed of that because I think I'm a particularly good thrift store shopper.  For instance, this past Saturday we packed up the fam and went out to Goodwill for half price day.  Because I like to get discounts on my bargains.  Lo and behold we found a ton {literally -- I know because there were no carts} of Banana Republic and Ann Taylor clothes WITH THE ORIGINAL STORE TAGS STILL ON THEM!!!  None of them fit me, but I had a great time dressing Sydney's little size 6 body up like a paper doll.  Here are a few of the things we got for her:
{in red}

{in a different print--of course with a little sweater over top}

{My favorite--with cute yellow ballet flats and beads}
Love, love, LOVE a good deal!!  Then on Saturday I was contacted by a boutique owner in New York City who wants to sell my onesies in her store.  How cool is that?!  My kids were quite impressed.  In fact, Riley said, "Mom, maybe you'll get so famous that one day we'll be able to see your onesies at Goodwill!"  Ah . . .  that, my friends, is a boy who has things in the proper perspective.  There is no higher honor than to have your handiwork make it to the thrift store.  Love that kid!

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