Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today was a long day

(This picture is from one of our Primary Activity Days)

Shortly before church started I found out that I would be released as 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency and called to serve as 2nd counselor in the Relief Society. I regretfully left Primary and those sweet adorable children that I loved teaching and serving. There just wasn't enough time for me to give them all a hug goodbye so I asked them all to reach their arms out wide and then wrap their arms around their little bodies and told them it was a hug from me and that I would miss them all dearly and that they would have to sing really, really loud next week so I could still hear their angelic voices. After being set apart and grabbing a quick dinner we had our Great to Be Eight and Priesthood Preview Programs.

I know our bishop is inspired and I would not have accepted had the call not come from the Lord. I must have a lot more to learn. I'm very excited though to work with our new presidency; they are an amazing group of women. It's going to be hard to change how I teach though and I'll miss teaching my own children during Sharing Time.

Too bad I can't do both callings...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Goodbye Sam

E's hamster passed away in his sleep. I used to have a bunch of hamsters growing up and at one point I think we had over 100 with a family in the bathtub, another family in the shower and the rest in several large glass tanks. That's when my mom said we needed to get rid of some so we sold them to local pet shops. I never had a hamster live more than 18 months so I was really surprised when "Sam the Hamster" went past the 2 year mark. We got him full-grown and he ended up living over 2 years and 5 months! That has to be a record, don't you think?
Tonight it's cold and rainy and Sam and his cage disappeared to heaven during bedtime storytime. We'll miss you Sam!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Now onto saving the planet!

It's been over a year now since I've been "Greening my Cleaning" and I must say it's saved me a lot of money so I thought I'd share some of my favorite recipes for you all to try. The ingredients are dirt cheap and work pretty darn good especially when you add a little elbow grease. Borax is slightly toxic if ingested so keep that up high along with any essential oils you may use to scent your cleaners.
Dishwasher Detergent
1/2 borax and 1/2 baking soda. Put in sealed container. Use 2 Tablespoons per load or more if you have hard water.
Rinse Aid
1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar. The vinegar smell goes away as soon as the dishes are dry.
My Favorite Laundry Detergent
This stuff smells so good. You may need to use Clorox 2 on tough stains but this will get your clothes clean. Finely grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap (in the laundry aisle). You could use Ivory soap or a vegetable based glycerin soap if you have a Natural Foods store close by. Put 1 cup grated Fels Naptha flakes with 1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda (NOT baking soda) and 1 cup borax powder. Shake it up in a closed container. If you're using something other than Fels Naptha, just add the whole grated bar with 1 cup each of soda and borax. If you'd like a different scent add some drops of your favorite essential oil. I find I like orange and lemon the best. Tea tree oil has an anti-bacterial effect! Anyway, use just 2 Tablespoons per full load. This costs about 2 cents per load instead of 15+ for regular detergent. I just saved myself over $100 this past year!
*Instead of Downy you can add 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 water to your downy ball for the same anti-static effect. This will slowly strip off the waxy build-up from those dryer sheets.
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
My least favorite thing in the world... So add a splash of white vinegar to the bowl. Then sprinkle some baking soda on your toilet brush and scrub around. (I like to save my Parmesan grated cheese containers and reuse them by putting baking soda in it.) If it's bad feel free to let it sit while you clean the rest of the bathroom then scrub it again.
Tub and Sink Cleaner
Save that grated parmesan cheese container (clean it out first) then put in baking soda. Sprinkle on whatever surface you want clean then scrub with a wet scrub brush or rag then rinse clean with water. If you want something like that Soft Scrub brand all you need to do is sprinkle salt on the wet surface. Cool, huh?
Window Cleaner
1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water works best but I've also tried club soda and that works too. Windex is mostly water and ammonia. That stuff just gives me a headache and if you accidentally mix it with anything that has bleach in it you get toxic fumes. TOXIC people!
All-Purpose Cleaner
Mix 2 Tablespoons white vinegar and 1 teaspoon borax in a small bowl. Add 1 cup hot water and stir till dissolved. Let cool then put in 16 oz. spray bottle. Add 1/8 cup Palmolive or Ivory liquid soap then fill to the top with water. If you want an anti-bacterial spray add 15 drops tea tree essential oil.
Disinfectant Cleaner
Fill a 16 oz. (2 cups) spray bottle almost all the way with purified water. Add a few drops of Palmolive soap and 30 drops of tea tree essential oil. Did you know that Lysol spray is legally considered an insecticide? Yike! Who wants to breathe that?
Furniture Polish
1/4 cup olive oil, 4 Tablspoons white vinegar and 25 drops of lemon essential oil and no ozone-killing aerosol can! Hooray!
Other Ideas to Try
We have a carpet cleaner that comes in handy for flu season or potty training season and I've found that instead of buying the carpet cleaning solution all I have to do is put in a few Tablespoons of Clorox 2 with 1 cup hot water and I've made my own!
One more thing: We use the foaming soap dispensers for our bathrooms. If you buy the concentrated liquid soap and use 1-2 Tablespoons and fill the rest with water, and shake really well, you've made your own for a lot less money.

*Last note: Please use washable rags and NOT paper towels. I guess I'm an official tree-hugger now... we haven't had paper towels in our house for months. It took awhile to get used to but now I don't even think about it. And I don't mind NOT paying for it either. I have better ideas on how I want to spend that money, don't you? So right now I want you to print off these recipes and mix them up, your grandma would be so proud!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2008 Year in Review

Journal Jar

What a great way to start the new year and record your personal history! There are 376 questions but some may not apply depending on your age so there's enough for each day of the year. I have another version too so feel free to email me if you'd like a copy of it.

You'll need a quart canning jar with lid and ring, a small piece of cloth, some raffia and the following material. The idea is to cut the question in strips and place them in the jar. Put the material under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with the card “Recipe for: My Life History”. This would make a great visiting teaching or birthday gift.

Print these strips on beige paper. The tag that goes on the outside of the jar was printed on tag board in beige and tied with beige raffia. The card was trimmed with pinking scissors and cut in an rectangle shape with one end rounded.

The person takes out one strip a day and uses that to write a journal entry.

The card that goes on the outside of the jar says:
Recipe for My Life History
Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings and deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don't worry about your handwriting or spelling - just tell your story. This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, home-made memories that celebrate something very important - YOU!

1. Are there any family heirlooms in your possession? Tell about them and how you came to acquire them.
2. Are you involved in any clubs or extra-curricular activities? (Sports, dance, choir, etc.)
3. Are you pleased with what you look like? If you could change any part of yourself what would it be?
4. Between the ages of 5 and 10, what was your favorite activity?
5. Describe a childhood birthday.
6. Describe a childhood Christmas.
7. Describe a favorite childhood friend and some things you did with him or her.
8. Describe a favorite vacation in your married years.
9. Describe a time when you felt the spirit very strongly.
10. Describe a time when you lost myself in the service of someone else. How did it feel?
11. Describe a trip downtown as a youngster.
12. Describe a typical day during your high school years.
13. Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years.
14. Describe a typical day in elementary school.
15. Describe each member of your family.
16. Describe getting a Christmas tree as a child, when did you put it up and decorate it?
17. Describe getting a Christmas tree with your family as a child. How did you decorate it? When did you put it up?
18. Describe one of your favorite recipes and tell where it comes from.
19. Describe one of your spouses (significant other, best friend, etc.) favorite recipes and tell where it comes from.
20. Describe the downtown of your childhood at Christmas time.
21. Describe the most serious illness or accident that you have had.
22. Describe the perfect autumn day and what activities you enjoy.
23. Describe the perfect spring day and activities done on that day.
24. Describe the perfect summer day. What would you do on that day?
25. Describe the perfect winter day. Tell about an activity you would do on that day.
26. Describe walking down the main street of your hometown.
27. Describe you Sundays as a mother/father or as a child.
28. Describe your conversion to the gospel.
29. Describe your cooking skills and your favorite thing to cook.
30. Describe your cooking skills as a newlywed.
31. Describe your favorite clothes.
32. Describe your first 'crush'. What was the person like?
33. Describe your first home as a young couple.
34. Describe your mother's wedding dress - what do you know about her wedding?
35. Describe your perfect spring day. What do you like to do outside?
36. Describe your Sundays as a mother/father or as a child.
37. Describe your wedding day.
38. Describe your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, suit etc, if male.
39. Describe your yard as a child - did you help with the yardwork? What are your memories?
40. Did it snow much when you were a child - tell something about it, what did you do.?
41. Did you and your father share an interest in any special activity?
42. Did you and your mother share an interest in any special activity?
43. Did you belong to boy/girl scouts or 4-H? Tell about your experiences.
44. Did you go camping? Tell about your experiences.
45. Did you go to college or have vocational training - where and when?
46. Did you have a bicycle and what was it like?
47. Did you have a childhood hideout - tell about it.
48. Did you have a childhood hide-out? Where? Describe it.
49. Did you have a close relationship with any of your grandparents? Tell about it.
50. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy? Tell about it.
51. Did you have a favorite subject in school? One you dreaded?
52. Did you have a favorite T.V. show as a child or youth? Or radio show?
53. Did you have a favorite toy as a child? Did it have a name? What memories are connected to it?
54. Did you have roommates or companions? Tell about them and the things you learned living with others.
55. Did you or your father share any interests together? What and why?
56. Did you receive your education somewhere other than school?
57. Did you serve in the military? If so, where and when?
58. Did you wish you had more brothers or sisters? Why?
59. Do you and your father share any interests? Tell about your relationship.
60. Do you and your mother share any interests? Tell about your relationship.
61. Do you enjoy your everyday life? What's it like?
62. Do you have a bicycle? What is it like?
63. Do you have a favorite author? Who? Why? Tell about favorite books as a child, youth, adult.
64. Do you have a favorite General Authority? Who and why?
65. Do you have a favorite magazine? Describe it and the kinds of things you learn from it or enjoy about it.
66. Do you have a favorite sport, talent, etc?
67. Do you have a special school memory (high school or college)?
68. Do you have a testimony? Write down the things you do believe and know are true.
69. Do you like rainstorms? Why or why not?
70. Do you like school? Why?
71. Do you like to go to the theatre? The opera? The symphony? Which do you like best? Which production did you like best and why?
72. Do you recall any outstanding family trips or summer holidays you experienced as a child?
73. Do you remember a special birthday party you've had, given or been to?
74. Do you remember any of your four grandparents? Any greats? What were their names? Any memories that you have.
75. Do you wish you had more sisters or brothers, and why?
76. Draw a floorplan of your home and label the rooms.
77. Draw a funny picture about something that makes you laugh!
78. Draw a picture of anything that you are afraid of.
79. Draw a picture of the house you live in.
80. Draw a picture of what you play with at the park.
81. Draw a picture of what you want for Christmas or what you are giving you mom.
82. Draw a picture of what you want to be when you grow up.
83. Draw a picture of what you would buy if you had all the money in the world.
84. Draw a picture of your best friend.
85. Draw a picture of your family.
86. Draw a picture of your favorite activity to do outside.
87. Draw a picture of your favorite birthday present.
88. Draw a picture of your favorite color.
89. Draw a picture of your favorite holiday.
90. Draw a picture of your favorite outfit to wear.
91. Draw a picture of your favorite pet or animal.
92. Draw a picture of your favorite place to go.
93. Draw a picture of your favorite scripture story.
94. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do in the summertime.
95. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do with Grandma or Grandpa.
96. Draw a picture of your favorite toy.
97. Draw a picture of your room and what makes it special.
98. Draw a picture of yourself as a baby.
99. Draw a picture of yourself dressed in your Halloween costume.
100. Draw a picture of yourself.
101. Draw a picture using your favorite color.
102. Draw picture if yourself as a baby.
103. Has anything major happened since the last time you wrote in my journal?
104. Have you ever been sick? What made you feel better?
105. Have you ever had a crush on someone? Who? Do you still like him now? Describe him, and what attracts you to him.
106. Have you ever learned something from being in an argument with someone? If yes, Why?
107. Have you ever stood up for what you believe, even when it was very hard? Tell about it.
108. Have you ever written a story, poem, or song you would like to add to my journal?
109. Have you met or worked with any famous people? Where, when, etc.?
110. How did you become engaged?
111. How did you feel about school?
112. How did you first meet your in-laws?
113. How did you like being the oldest, youngest or middle child? What were the advantages or disadvantages?
114. How did your father spend his time supporting his family?
115. How did your father spend his time?
116. How did your mother spend her time?
117. How do you feel about death? Tell about your philosophy of after-life.
118. How do you feel about dentists? Why?
119. How do you feel about doctors? Why?
120. How do you feel about winning? Losing?
121. How many are in your family? Do you wish you had more brothers and sisters?
122. How old were you and your spouse when you were married? How old were your parents when they married? Describe plans, hopes, etc., at that time.
123. If I've received my patriarchal blessing, what is the most significant part to me?
124. If you could be a flower, which one would you choose and why?
125. If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be? Why?
126. If you could be an animal, which one would you choose and why?
127. If you could change any part of myself, what would it be?
128. If you could have any animal as a pet, what kind would you choose and why?
129. If you could have your favorite dinner for your birthday, what would it be?
130. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Why?
131. If you could watch a video over and over, what would it be and why? What is it about?
132. In what kinds of extracurricular activities did you participate in school?
133. List all the costumes you have worn or characters you have been for Halloween.
134. List each of your Aunts and Uncles. Tell one thing about each of them.
135. ONE WORD on how to live successfully.
136. Share a principle you have learned, or one you have taught.
137. Tell a courtship story about your parents, how they met etc... Tell the same
138. Tell a courtship story about your parents, how they met, etc. Then tell the same about you.
139. Tell about a favorite trip or vacation.
140. Tell about a favorite vacation from your childhood.
141. Tell about a fishing or hunting experience.
142. Tell about a frustrating experience that you have had with a car.
143. Tell about a frustrating experience you've had.
144. Tell about a special Birthday party you've had? Given? Or been to?
145. Tell about a special date you had with a boy/girl friend or your fiance.
146. Tell about a special date you had.
147. Tell about a trip your family took that you particularly enjoyed. Where did you go? What did you see?
148. Tell about all the places you have worked.
149. Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, and gifts.
150. Tell about any ancestors that you know about. Names, dates, etc. for historical purposes and any stories about them.
151. Tell about any conditions surrounding your birth that you are aware of. Tell any interesting stories about your beginnings, how your name was chosen, etc.
152. Tell about any General Conference talk that you can still remember.
153. Tell about any interesting or important visitors to your home.
154. Tell about any pets you had as a child.
155. Tell about dreams, expectations, and hopes you have for each of your kids.
156. Tell about each of your children's names, birthdate, where, doctors, circumstances surrounding the birth - raising them in the home - problems, joys etc.
157. Tell about exciting experiences in young women, scouting or whatever.
158. Tell about family reunions.
159. Tell about favorite games you played as a child.
160. Tell about home cures or old wives tales, hiccups, toothaches, earaches, arthritis.
161. Tell about how, when, where you learned to drive.
162. Tell about religion practiced in your home - faith promoting stories, etc.
163. Tell about retirement -- When, where, what will you do with your time?
164. Tell about schools attended, special teachers, friends, classes, activities, humorous situations, achievements, etc.
165. Tell about some of the most notable people in your hometown.
166. Tell about some of your neighbors as a child; as a youth; as an adult.
167. Tell about the birth of your first child. Then about each of the others.
168. Tell about the changes you've seen in your lifetime: society in general, technology, fashion, fads, morality, politics, etc.
169. Tell about the house(s) you lived in during your childhood. Do you remember the addresses or phone numbers?
170. Tell about the houses you lived in during your childhood.
171. Tell about the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you.
172. Tell about the places where you have worked.
173. Tell about your civic or political activities.
174. Tell about your dad's job and/or your grandpa's.
175. Tell about your early romances.
176. Tell about your family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduations, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, hunting, weddings, etc.
177. Tell about your father - personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about him, etc.
178. Tell about your favorite Aunt or Uncle.
179. Tell about your favorite friend and why they are special to you.
180. Tell about your favorite pet ... what kind of animal? When did you get him/her? Why do you like them?
181. Tell about your favorite uncle.
182. Tell about your first crush.
183. Tell about your grandchildren - how many? Names? How you feel about being a grandparent?
184. Tell about your life as the children left home - new interests what did you do with the extra time - -new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
185. Tell about your life as the children left home. New interests, what you did with the extra time, new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
186. Tell about your mother - personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about her, etc.
187. Tell about your own family traditions. Christmas, birthdays, graduation, fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Mothers or Fathers Day, weddings, funerals, hunting etc.
188. Tell about your own family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduation.
189. Tell about your parents' philosophy of raising kids, discipline, rules, etc.
190. Tell about your teen-age social life - your friends, dances, dating, outings, church functions etc.--
191. Tell all about your favorite friend and why they are special to you.
192. Tell how you feel about water - playing in it, seeing it, using it. Tell about various bodies of water you have seen and an experience or feeling.
193. Tell how, when, where you learned to drive and any memorable experiences.
194. Tell something about each of your children, their personalities, their talents and traits that make them different and special.
195. Tell something you enjoyed doing with your Grandma or Grandpa.
196. Tell the things your parents have told you that you did when you were a baby.
197. Tell the words of a song from your childhood. What memories does it bring?
198. Tell what you know about the day you were born.
199. Tell where you went to school - list teachers, subjects, friends.
200. Tell your favorite joke, or about something that makes you laugh.
201. Tell something you enjoyed doing with your Grandma or Grandpa.
202. The Lord gave everyone talents. What are some of my talents?
203. Thinking back was there a teacher who had a great influence on you?
204. Were there any events -- world, local, or personal, that changed your life?
205. Were you ever in a drama, speech, sport, pep or glee club, etc.? Tell about it.
206. Were you responsible for any household chores? What were they? Which did you most enjoy? Least enjoy?
207. What am you studying this year in Primary, Sunday School, or Seminary? Do you enjoy it? Do you feel the spirit there?
208. What are my favorite family holiday traditions?
209. What are my goals and dreams?
210. What are my goals for making it back to live with my Father in Heaven?
211. What are some events that are happening in the world right now? (Include newspaper clippings).
212. What are some of my jobs at home?
213. What are some of my talents?
214. What are some of the events that are happening in the world right now? (include newspaper clippings)
215. What are some of your favorite smells? Why?
216. What are the things you love and admire most about my father?
217. What are the things you love and admire most about my mother?
218. What are you frightened of? Why?
219. What are your favorite colors, flowers, foods, activities, hobbies?
220. What are your food preferences and how did they come about?
221. What are your most deeply and imbedded values?
222. What are your most precious and deeply imbedded values?
223. What brings you the most peace and why?
224. What can frighten you the most and why?
225. What can you remember about the day you were baptized?
226. What childhood experiences do you remember, (funny stories, accidents, memories playing etc.)?
227. What church callings have you had and which did you enjoy the most?
228. What color was your house; your bedroom; your living room as a child?
229. What convinced you most in your choice of a spouse?
230. What did you do as a child that got you into the most trouble with your parents? How did they handle it?
231. What did you want to be when you grew up?
232. What did your father do for a living? How did he get to work, what time did he go, and get home? Did he take a lunch? Who did he work with?
233. What did your grandfathers do for a living? Did your grandmothers work too?
234. What do think about television?
235. What do you fantasize about being or doing?
236. What do you feel has been the most significant world event that has taken place during your lifetime and why?
237. What do you know about my Savior? What are my feelings about Him?
238. What do you look like?
239. What do you remember about shopping with your mother? Any particular stores? What was your favorite store?
240. What do you remember about yourself as a teenager? What was important to you? Your dreams? Goals?
241. What do you think about movies? What is your favorite movie and why?
242. What do you think brings good or bad luck?
243. What do you think of myself?
244. What do you want to be when you grow up? What will you be doing?
245. What do you want to do after you get out of school?
246. What does my bedroom look like? Do you share a room? Are you comfortable in my room? What do you like best about my room?
247. What does the mail mean to you? Are you a good letter writer? Who do you or have you corresponded with?
248. What games did you play in your house or neighborhood?
249. What has been a General Conference talk that has had an impact on me?
250. What instrument do you play or wish you could play?
251. What is a favorite board game or computer game and why do you like it?
252. What is a favorite family place to go with your spouse and kids?
253. What is my favorite area in nature?
254. What is my favorite Christmas memory?
255. What is my favorite food? When you cook for my family, what do you enjoy making most?
256. What is my favorite scripture and what are my thoughts or feelings about it?
257. What is my favorite sport of activity to do at recess?
258. What is my favorite thing to do at home?
259. What is my full name and who am you named after? It you could change it, what would call myself?
260. What is my full name and who am I named after? It I could change it, what would I call myself?
261. What is my home life like? Write down ways you would want to change or strengthen it.
262. What is my most favorite thing to do a home?
263. What is my primary class like? Who's in it? Who's my teacher? What's my favorite thing about my teacher?
264. What is my seminary class like? Who's in it? Who's my teacher? What's my favorite thing about my teacher? What am you studying this year? Do you enjoy it? Does the spirit thrive there?
265. What is my YW class like? Who's in it? Who's my teacher? What's my favorite thing about my teacher?
266. What is the best Christmas present you received? What is the best one you gave?
267. What is the biggest lesson in life you found to be true?
268. What is the most adventuresome thing you have ever done?
269. What is the most exciting place you have ever been to? What makes it exciting?
270. What is the most important lesson, message, or advice you've learned that you'd like to pass on for others to profit from?
271. What is the most trying experience that ever happened to you?
272. What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
273. What is the one invention you could not live without and why?
274. What is the valuable principle I've learned through my experiences with others?
275. What is the weirdest dream I've ever had?
276. What is you best and worst subject in school? What do you like and dislike about them?
277. What is you favorite holiday? How do you celebrate it?
278. What is you favorite Saturday activity?
279. What is you favorite thing to play at the park?
280. What is your advice to those younger than you.
281. What is your best and worst subject in school? What do and don't you like about them?
282. What is your child-rearing philosophy?
283. What is your father's best trait? Worst? What traits do you share?
284. What is your favorite animal? Tell why.
285. What is your favorite book? What do books mean to you?
286. What is your favorite color and why?
287. What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate it?
288. What is your favorite Saturday activity?
289. What is your favorite scripture and why?
290. What is your favorite thing to play at the park?
291. What is your greatest joy, your greatest sorrow?
292. What is your mother's best trait? Worst? What traits do you share?
293. What is your personal secret of happiness?
294. What is your principle occupation and what circumstances led to it?
295. What is your room like? Do you share it with someone? What makes it special to you?
296. What is your secret for good health?
297. What is your secret of happiness?
298. What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate in at school?
299. What kind of music do you like? What is your favorite song and why?
300. What kinds of extra curricular activities did you participate in at school?
301. What kinds of foods do you consider to be "picnic food"? Where do you like to go to eat it?
302. What kinds of sports did you play; did you watch; did you like? How about now?
303. What lessons did you take as a child? Did you carry any over into adulthood?
304. What makes each of your brothers and sisters special? Be specific.
305. What makes you feel good (occasion, food, person, etc.)?
306. What personality trait do you admire most and why?
307. What pets have you had? Which one was my favorite?
308. What political party comes closest to representing your own point of view?
309. What special things did you do with your father?
310. What special things did you do with your mother?
311. What things do you enjoy doing today that you also enjoyed as a child? Describe them now and differences, similarities, etc.
312. What was a favorite place to go with your family when you were young?
313. What was the first piece of furniture you bought?
314. What was your favorite Saturday activity as a child?
315. What was your most embarrassing moment?
316. What was your worst, really embarrassing moment?
317. What were the favorite places to go with your family when you were young?
318. What were your father's best traits? His worst? The traits you share?
319. What were your fears, expectations, and anticipations about getting married?
320. What were your mother's best traits? Her worst? The traits you share?
321. What would you give yourself if you had all the money in the world? What would you give your family?
322. What would you like to be remembered for?
323. What's my best subject in school?
324. What's my favorite Christmas memory?
325. What's my favorite Christmas present you remember getting?
326. What's my least favorite subject in school?
327. What's my most favorite movie, book, poem or song?
328. What's the best thing I've ever done with my life?
329. What's you favorite movie? Why do you like it? What's it about?
330. What's your favorite thing to do in the summertime? Why?
331. What's my favorite Christmas memory?
332. What's my home life like? Write down ways you would want to change or strengthen it.
333. When was you most proud of myself?
334. When was you the most proud of myself? When were my parents most proud of me?
335. When were my parents most proud of me?
336. Where did you live as a child - town, country, suburb, etc.?
337. Where did your grandparents live? What was their home like? Did it have a certain 'smell' or 'look' or 'feel'?
338. Where did your parents live when they were first married? Tell about other places they lived as well.
339. Where do you go to school, what grade are you in, who is your teacher?
340. Where do you like to go to eat out? What do you order?
341. Where do your grandparents live? What are their homes like? Do they have a certain smell or look or feel?
342. Where is my most favorite place to go, what is it like?
343. Where is the most exciting place you have been and why?
344. Where were you and what were you doing the day the first man landed on the moon?
345. Where were you and what where you doing the day of the Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion?
346. Where were you and what where you doing the day of the coup in the USSR?
347. Where were you and what where you doing the day President Kennedy was assassinated?
348. Where were you and what where you doing the day the wall came down in Germany?
349. Where would you like to live most of all and why?
350. Where would you like to vacation most of all and why?
351. Were you responsible for household chores? What were they? Which did you enjoy most/ least?
352. Who am you closest to in my immediate family? How did our relationship grow?
353. Who are my church leaders?
354. Who are my young women teachers right now? How have they taught me the values?
355. Who are some of my "school friends" and what do we do together?
356. Who are some of my favorite people? Why?
357. Who is my best friend? What is she/he like?
358. Who is my favorite General Authority speaker? Why?
359. Who is the prophet of the church right now? What are you learning from him?
360. Who is your favorite teacher? Why? Can you remember and tell about a special teacher?
361. Would you choose differently if you could choose your occupation again? Why? How? Any advice?
362. Write a description of your husband or wife.
363. Write a want ad that best describes you if you were for sale.
364. Write a want ad that describes your father.
365. Write a want ad that describes your mother.
366. Write a want ad that describes your significant other.
367. Write about feeling loved and by whom.
368. Write about how a prayer was answered.
369. Write about some of the places you went with your father.
370. Write about some of the places you went with your mother.
371. Write about something you are grateful for. Make a list and count your blessings.
372. Write about the most interesting thing that happened since the last time you wrote in you journal.
373. Write a description of your husband or wife.
374. Write down your favorite scripture story.
375. Write something nice about your family that they do that makes you happy.
376. Write your testimony of life, marriage, and religious beliefs.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Primary Ideas

I should mention that we have about 120 children so we divide them by Junior and Senior Primary. Senior Primary goes to the classroom first while Junior comes into the Primary Room for Sharing and Singing Time. Then we switch.
We also rotate WEEKLY who does Sharing Time and an assigned class takes the last Sunday. This way we only have Sharing Time about once a month and the kids don’t get tired of us and we don’t get burned out.
Presidency Meetings
First of all let me say that I love our presidency. Our President is a kind, professional and caring Primary President and I instantly knew that when she was called that she would be a perfect person to show love to our primary children. I love working with her. She is organized in our meetings and we always include an opening and closing prayer and usually a spiritual thought to start us off on the right track. We find the more meetings we have, the better prepared we feel and more connected we are to our children and teachers needs.
Conducting Sheets
I used to be one of the secretaries (we have 2 since we have over 120 children) and I loved this format. It was double-sided and kept in our conducting book. (I’m now the Second Counselor) I liked that it was double sided because you could open the conducting book and see in one view exactly what was going on that day. (I hope that makes sense…)

(YOUR Ward Name) Primary
Junior Primary
(10:20 – 11:10)
Date:___________________ Conducting:______________
Welcome & Hello Song if there’s anyone visiting (recognize substitutes)
Prayer Song: Your Primary Chorister’s name
Prayer: _________________________________
Scripture: _______________________________
Talk: ___________________________________
Primary Presidency’s Message: (by person conducting)
Fast Sunday: Member of Bishopric introduces the new month’s theme
2nd Sunday: Article of Faith - discuss meaning & let kids pass off
3rd Sunday: read First Presidency Message from The Friend
4th Sunday: Apostle Spotlight (in back of conducting book)
Sharing Time:____________________________
Singing Time: Your Primary Chorister’s name
Primary Panda:_________________________________________
Reverence Child for Junior Primary:_______________________

**(Page 2)**
Senior Primary
(11:10 – 12:00)
Welcome & Hello Song if there’s anyone visiting (recognize substitutes)
<——Announcements: (SEE LEFT *)
Opening Song: Your Primary Chorister's name Scripture:_______________________________ Talk:___________________________________
Article of Faith:___________________________
Primary Presidency’s Message: (by person conducting)
Fast Sunday: Member of Bishopric introduces the new month’s theme
2nd Sunday: Article of Faith - discuss meaning & let kids pass off
3rd Sunday: read First Presidency Message from The Friend
4th Sunday: Apostle Spotlight (in back of conducting book)
Sharing Time:____________________
Singing Time: Your Primary Chorister’s name
Reverent Prayer:_________________________________
Reverence Child for Senior Primary:_______________________

*So... Reverence Child is someone who was being reverent that day. The following Sunday they get to go early and stand on the stand and the Bishopric Member conducting recognizes and thanks them for reminding us all to be reverent. They get a wristband reminder and a phone call the Sunday before. It helps to keep a record of who has done it so you don’t have Johnny B. Good up there every week.
Birthdays? The Sunday before their birthday we have them come up to the front and sing a Primary birthday song to them. They then receive a Golden Ticket birthday coupon that says:
"This Golden Ticket is good for a piece of candy and a handshake from the Bishop"
We printed it on goldenrod colored paper and had cute clip art on it. We were able to fit 5 on one sheet of paper. The kids LOVE this and it’s a way for them to know and be comfortable meeting with our sweet Bishop.
Teacher Appreciation
Our teachers used to get a piece of REISEN candy on a small paper that said “You are the REISIN we are celebrating today, happy birthday!” This we would give to them along with a scripture bookmark from Distribution Center.
For 2009 we decided to do something different. We went and got “What I Learned from Kindergarten” 5x7 papers found at Deseret Book that we got discounted because we bought over 50. I made it framed with red cardstock and added a strong magnet on the back. You could even add a ribbon on the top front if you like.
We also do Teacher Appreciation Parties at least once a year to let the teachers mingle and enjoy good food. Sometimes we’ll do training and reminders as well. They normally have the regular lesson and then during Sharing Time they go into the overflow area for their Teacher Party. We also like to invite our “Friends of Primary”—those who have substituted and helped make our Primary work.
We find that when we keep roll, the teachers have more time to teach their lesson. During Sharing Time our secretary records who is in attendance. We save money on folders and time because we don’t have to distribute or collect rolls.
Primary Panda
This was continued on from the previous presidency—great idea gals! At Build-A-Bear they got a black and white panda bear and had him dressed up in a missionary outfit. We put him in a Sterlite container with a handle. We also include a notebook binder with this letter pasted on cardstock inside along with a notebook and pencil. (This is only for Junior Primary children.) We have a jar that has every child’s name on it and each week we read the letter then the child who HAD Primary Panda gets to pick a new name and hand it off to the next child.

Your child has been given the opportunity of taking home Primary Panda for one week. Please make sure that Primary Panda makes it back to Primary next week so that another child will be able to take it home.
The 2009 Primary theme is “My Eternal Family.” We hope that Primary Panda will remind your child to follow God’s plan by making right choices. Please help him/her do this, and record your experiences on a page of this notebook.
We will share this information in Primary to help the children understand how they are blessed by doing what’s right and
making good choices.
With Love,
The Primary Presidency

(Example Letter)
January 1st, 2009
I loved having Primary Panda at my house this week. He helped me to remember to share my toys with my friends and to be nice to my sister. I hope I will always make good choices.
Johnny B. Good

Reverence Ideas
Our amazing secretary puts together new binders each year and includes along with the manual and pictures the following:
Ward Phone List, Primary Substitute List, Lesson Schedule, Sharing Time Schedule and Monthly Themes for the year, and in the back some Reverence Ideas and Coloring pages… just in case. She also includes “Teach as Jesus Taught” from the Teaching Guidebook, 4, and also Time-filler Ideas.
Quarterly Activity Ideas
*Meet Your Teacher Breakfast with spotlight papers
In January we have all the kids come one Saturday morning and we have the Bishopric make and serve pancakes (you’ll love it!) and we have juice, milk and fruit as well. The kids sit at their new teacher’s table and learn about their teacher and then start to fill out their spotlight papers:

Spotlight Trivia Sheet

Child’s Name ___________________
Parents _______________________
Phone # ______________________
Birthday ______________________ place photo
Birthplace _____________________ here
Food allergies ___________________
Favorite food ___________________
Favorite candy __________________
Favorite vacation _________________________________
Where has he/she lived? ____________________________
Favorite sport/hobby _______________________________
# of brothers__________ # of sisters __________
Pets? ___________________________________________
Favorite thing to do _______________________________
Hobbies/Lessons/Instruments ________________________
Interesting trivia about your child ____________________
Anything else? ___________________________________
Please return to (name of your Primary secretary)

*Water Day—this was a fun summer activity that we held at our neighborhood park. We had 4 different stations with different relays or games. We had popsicles, lots of ice cold lemonade and extra sunscreen on hand. Quite a few extra neighbor kids showed up!

*Service Idea—Each year we do a month-long food drive for the Food Bank. Jiffy Lube then matches that donation pound for pound! This is a great way to remind children how blessed they are. November is a great month for this. 2009 we’d like to do Soles for Souls where the kids donate their old shoes to this great cause.

*Talent Show—We host a Ward Talent Show every year and have everyone come and share their talents/crafts/accomplishments for that year. It’s way fun! We record it on video and then after our Primary Program is over we show the video for Sharing Time and have them sit on blankets and have little goody bags with popcorn, goldfish, pretzels and Swedish fish.

Baptism Ideas
Since being called as Second Counselor, I’ve searched a bit and found that I really like these ideas below. I also highly recommend attending Scout Training and Roundtable Meetings.
Great to be Eight is planned in January every year and this is a great time for the kids to come and learn what will happen when they are baptized and learn about Cub Scouts and Activity Days. We go ahead and do Priesthood Preview as well, just 1/2 hour after G2B8 finishes up. Great way to get 2 things done in 1 night.
We used to give white towels to the children for after they came out of the font. We learned we were not supposed to give gifts from the Primary. I personally like to give gifts so I go ahead and do it but mention to the child that the gift is from me to them and that I am so proud of their decision to take upon themselves our Savior’s holy name. For 2008 I would go and visit with them and give them their papers and remind them to pray, read their scriptures and come to church, remind them what they are promising to do and what the Savior promises them when they are baptized. I would then remind them that Heavenly Father is our king and that makes them a princess (or prince) and would hand them a ring pop. (Every kids likes candy, right?) I then remind the parents that now is a great time to have their FHE lessons centered around this important upcoming event.

*Here are some of my favorite LINKS to websites when I’m trying to find more ideas. Of course we always try to use church-approved resources first found on but when we have a little leeway, we like to see what’s on or or

Some of my favorite money saving ideas:

1. Make a budget and stick to it!
2. Do you really NEED to upgrade to a new car? Do you really need a second car? Learn how to do your own car maintenance to save labor costs. Bike or walk when you can. You’ll save gas $ and enjoy the free endorphins that come with exercising regularly.
3. Buy generic items and save the difference. So many people don’t even look to see how much they are paying for their food items. Also, take advantage of food sale items but also know when it really is a true sale.
4. When shopping, ask yourself, “Do I really need this or just want this? How many shoes does one person need? Think of the starving children in Africa who if they’re lucky have one complete outfit and one pair of shoes.
5. Have a “Change Jar” where you store extra change from the week to save up for big items or donate it to a charity at the end of the year.
6. Learn to cut your children’s hair, do you own nails, and have you spouse give you those priceless massages instead of paying $xx (and tip!) at the salon.
7. Forego the expensive vacation this year and visit local area attractions instead (no flight, rental car, or hotel fees). Go to your Visitor’s Center because sometimes they have coupons or locals-only deals.
8. Don’t buy books or rent videos; go borrow them for free at the library. Our library lets us reserve items online so I just walk in, pick up my items in the hold area and I’m out in a minute. Sure, sometimes I have to wait a few weeks for a new book but patience pays.
9. Bake your own bread and eat healthy foods from the cannery and fresh fruits and veggies from your local farmers market instead of junk food and sodas. I wonder if some great-grandmas in heaven are shocked most women don’t even know how to bake bread today.
10. Eat out less. Bag your lunch. Drinking water is free and good for you too. I only buy soda maybe once a year and the kids know that it's a special treat not a staple in our diet.
11. Coupons! Use only if you plan on buying that item anyway. Usually it’s still cheaper to try the generic brand.
12. Breastfeed your babies. You’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars, bond with your baby on a regular basis, never have to wash and prepare bottles - those diapers won’t smell so bad and the spit up stains will wash out easier.
13. Generic diapers, again I could’ve save a few hundred dollars with my first kid if I had only tried them out. My favorite is the Walmart brand Parent’s Choice. If you can, cloth diaper you’re children. It took me several times and different diapers but we love g diapers and use washable inserts and wipes with them. I wish I had started with my first child and not my fourth.
14. Get your clothes on sale or buy consignment. Most of the fun comes from finding that great bargain! Even better- you can swap clothes around with your extended family. It’s fun seeing the new babies wear my toddler’s old clothes.

Thanks to a hard-working husband and these ideas, I have been able to be able to stay at home and watch my children grow up. That’s worth more to me than all the money in the world.

Emergency Preparedness

I really loved my previous calling in church as an Emergency Preparedness Specialist. Yes, I store food like a pack-rat (under beds and in closets) and actually drink powdered milk and use my whole wheat *gasp* :)

The most important thing is to rotate and EAT what you store. My grandmother and mother spend a lot of money getting their year supply but hardly ever used it and we ended up throwing it all away this past year. Nobody wants to eat anything 30+ years old.

Always start with a 72 hour food and water kit, then make an emergency kit for your car/work. Next you'll want to store water in your home. 55 gallon barrels are great if you have room to safely store them. Recycled soda bottles work great too. You'll need 1 gallon per person per day. After that you can get non-perishable food items that you already eat like canned soup, vegetables and fruit, PB&J, cereal, etc. Then add basics like wheat, flour, oats, rice, pasta, sugar, and powdered milk stored in #10 sealed cans. The people at the LDS Cannery are so helpful. Visit to find one near you. Work yourself up to a year supply. An easy way to figure out what you eat is to write down what you eat for one month then multiply it by 12. Every time you go to the store just buy a few extra cans. Another important thing to store is TP, soap, shampoo and other basic necessities. Some people who have lost their jobs are so thankful they followed the counsel to "get their houses in order." My biggest problem is we're always using our food storage so I have to keep track of what we eat so I know what to buy to replenish.

Items in your 72 hour food kit that will last 1 year if stored in cool, dry place:
(Just remember to eat it every October General Conference. We do this but the kids tend to go thru it in 2 days but I could make it 3 days if we HAD to in an emergency)
Tip: Wrap your gum in aluminum foil to prevent smell from spreading to other foods!

72 Hour Kit Meal Planner (Put this in with the food so you can make it last 3 days)
BREAKFAST 1 breakfast bar (Kelloggs brand is yummy) & 1 hot cocoa packet
LUNCH 2 granola bars, 1 beef jerky, 1 apple cider packet
DINNER 1 protein bar or can of soup (with pull-tab lid), 1 small can of peaches or fruit leather
SNACK 4 pieces of candy, 1 stick of gum
Don't forget your water bottles! All these items you could eat without heating if you had to.
If you want to round it out more you could always add a large can of V8 :)
*When shopping: Multiply all these items by 9 to get 3 meals for 3 days.

My Comprehensive 72 hour kit

¨ BIG backpack or duffel bag to hold everything
¨ mini set of scriptures
¨ compass and map of local area
¨ change of clothing in Ziploc bag and pair of sturdy shoes
¨ 72-Hour Food and Water Supply (at least 2 liters of water per person per day)
(It's best to use non-perishable food that doesn't require cooking)
¨ water sanitation tablets
¨ solar/handcrank radio with flashlight & extra batteries (test it every 6 months and replace batteries as needed)
¨ whistle
¨ 100-hour emergency candle
¨ 12-hour lightstick or flashlight with extra batteries (need 2 sources of light)
¨ multifunction pliers/pocket knife w/ can opener for food
¨ mess kit: plate, utensils, and cup
¨ wool blend blanket
¨ emergency sleeping bag
¨ (3) 20-hour hand and body warmers
¨ poncho with hood
¨ tube tent
¨ waterproof matches
¨ firestarters (need 2 sources of fire)
¨ tri-fold shovel
¨ nylon utility cord
¨ leather gloves
¨ duct tape
¨ memo pad and marking pens
¨ mini-sewing kit
¨ chapstick with sunscreen
¨ toilet paper
¨ soap
¨ 2 washcloths (one for personal use, one for dishes)
¨ toothpaste and toothbrush
¨ baby wipes (no showers unless it rains)
¨ feminine items and/or baby items (diapers, formula)
¨ prescription/medications
¨ first-aid kit
¨ basic first-aid & CPR booklet
¨ antibacterial gel
¨ sunscreen w/ insect repellant
¨ flat-fold stove & sterno can fuel
¨ several large trash bags for various uses
¨ important papers in Ziploc bag: financial documents, photos of family members, driver’s license, etc.

*Have child’s kit contain at least food, water bottle, emergency blanket, flashlight, change of clothes and ID card.

I highly recommend First Aid, CPR, and CERT training as well. When I went to do it they were offering CERT training for free and once you completed the program, you got to go and have First Aid and CPR certification for FREE! Call around to your local Fire Stations to find out.

Things to Do in Mormonland

If you ever have a chance to visit, here are some things you won’t want to miss:

Thanksgiving Point has amazing themed gardens and a Children's Garden "next door." Close by is the largest Dinosaur Musuem in the world. In the summer you can see the farm animals or do shopping in their little village. The Harvest is an excellent restaurant for a date-night and there's a small movie theatre close by.

Liberty Park—if only I had known about this sooner… Tracy Aviary, a famous bird park, is great. They have a bald eagle and every other bird you can imagine there. Also at the park, a huge all-abilities playground and a carnival area open during the warmer months and what’s really fun is the water area, it’s made to look like the Salt Lake Valley. The knee-deep water allows the kids to float balls down from the different canyons and into the Great Salt Lake with downtown blocks and State street running all the way thru. Pretty cool! They also have a wide running path all the way around, only 1 mile, but the park feels much larger. 900 South and 600 East is the north entrance.
Temple Square—There’s always something going on downtown. We usually take TRAX, the electric train, and the gardens are always outstanding and the mirror pool in front of the temple is beautiful. You have to go during Christmas just to see the lights. Family History Library, Church Art History Museum, Conference Center (awesome tour info), Joseph Smith Memorial Building (great views and two delicious restaurants) and the Lion House restaurant (to die-for rolls) are all right there as well.
The Gateway—Just to play in the Olympic Plaza and see the water shoot up to the music. Great for summertime play.
Discovery Gateway is a children’s museum that I could spend all day in. The kids absolutely love it and it’s even interesting for adults.
Hogle Zoo—this will give you a little workout if you’re pushing a stroller. It’s a big zoo with awesome bird shows, has a newly remodeled playground area and a mini train you can ride on for a nominal fee. On the far east side of Salt Lake City near the mouth of Emigration Canyon across from This is the Place Heritage Park.
Can you tell I love it here? After 7 years, we finally went to Lagoon and I took the big boys skiing for the first time at Beaver Mountain. :) It's a 2.5 hour drive to Bear Lake but we love it there. Visit for vacation rentals for your next family vacation. Elk Ridge is our favorite! :)
Early December we go to Festival of Trees. It benefits Primary Children’s Hospital and there are fun crafts for the kids, amazing decorated trees and gingerbread houses and other crafts you can buy and yummy food of course.
My newest thing is finding when the local museums offer free days! Search it out in your area!
And oh my, what beautiful mountains we have here. I bought a backpack carrier for N so we could go hiking. There’s a great book we borrowed at the library that’s called “Best Hikes for Kids in Utah” or something along that line and has all the distances, routes, what to look for, etc. in it. The kids loved hiking up to Cecret Lake and finding a mountain of snow in the middle of summer!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! The night before we played "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and they got new Christmas PJs. (N's ears don't normally stick out like that, I just thought he would look cute as an elf.) We made a new recipe of whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (thanks for the recipe Sarah R.!) but Santa only got 3 by the time I could stop the kids from eating them all. I was so good Christmas morning and only took a few pictures. I've had to force myself to cut down on my picture taking since it takes forever for me to filter thru 100+ pictures for a 2 page scrapbook layout for one event... Anyway, I digress...

This year, for the first time, we ALL stayed up till midnight to celebrate the New Year. It helped that we had Panda Express to enjoy along with the following movies: Space Chimps, Wall-E and Iron Man. By the time we finished the movies, it was midnight and we watched the ball drop on TV. J was disappointed - "They don't break the ball?" Guess he thought they would THROW the 5 million dollar ball to the ground. That would be more exciting... The kids had fun watching the fireworks from the window since it was a chilly 18 degrees outside.

First Piano Recital

The kids had their first piano recital a few weeks ago and they did fabulous! My oldest was first to play and said he was nervous but he played his piece perfect. A few kids after that had a hard time so that made my other 2 pianists realize it was OK to not be perfect. J of course showed off and played his piece as fast as he could. They have a wonderful teacher!


I enjoy reading blogs but have never had the desire to create one since I already had a website. After spending a couple of hours updating it, my husband informed me that it wouldn't publish to the web for some reason and that I would need to find a better (modernized) way to post to the web. So here I am! I'll try to put a lot of my old website stuff on here to make everyone happy.

Please excuse my inexperience at blogging techniques as I'm new at this and don't have a lot of free time to learn. I'd rather spend my time with my children or I'm too busy cooking, cleaning or scrapbooking.