General Conference Book Club Week 7: Sister Lifferth

01_03_liffeWe must . . . cultivate in our homes and classrooms respect for each other and reverence for God.

This week’s General Conference Book Club selection is a talk from the Saturday morning session, and our first female speaker for the the GCBC.  Sister Margaret Lifferth is the first counselor in the General Primary Presidency, and she talked about important things that our children must know and be, so it’s a great thing for us, as a group of sisters, to study and implement in the way we teach our children.

If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it. You’re welcome to join us at any point along the way.

>>Click here to read the talk “Respect and Reverence,” by Sister Margaret S. Lifferth<<

Here is a video I saw recently with a story from President Hinckley in a message called “Lessons I learned as a boy.”  I was very moved by this story, and it is a great example of the lesson that Sister Lifferth is encouraging us to teach our children.  I pray that my boys can be as compassionate as the sweet boy in this video.

Have a great week!


“I love meatloaf.”

droppedImageThese are the words that warmed my heart after the kind of day that made leftover meatloaf a luxury. My day was no different than the kind millions of moms better than me pull off everyday: cousin sleepover, pancake breakfast, zoo with 4 kids, meet your kindergarten teacher open house, and the Mt. Everest of motherhood: taking your children with you to IKEA. (Okay, I’m being overdramatic, but it really is in one of my least favorite outings with kids.) So, when we staggered into the house at the time I would really like to be getting them ready for bed, my weary mind thought through all of my pathetic, one-day-left-until-payday-and-no-groceries-in-the-house options for dinner. Finally I remembered some leftover meatloaf from a more ambitious day earlier in the week. (Yes, for some of us moms, meatloaf is an ambitious meal.) So, knowing it would not be well-received, but at least it’s better than nothing, I microwaved my way to dinnertime. I called up the kids who squealed “hooray!” on their way to the table until they saw what was actually served.

Grant asked “Is this meatloaf, mom?,” and Clark piped up and said “I love meatloaf.” I wanted to hug him for being forgiving on a long, exhausting day. It made me think that this is why Heavenly Father wants us to be like a little child, “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father [or mother or a bad dinner].” Maybe I should try to be some of those things next time we go to IKEA.

(This entry was originally posted on August 28, 2009.  I’m still rebuilding my lost archives.)

This is me not writing a post.

This is photographic reenactment of all the things I did tonight instead of writing a blog post.

This is me blocking my face from 95 tons of flying dirt and other debris at Grant’s baseball game during a wind storm:

Photo 50This is me eating a hot dog and french fries at Dairy Queen after the baseball game.  Don’t judge.  I didn’t eat any ice cream.:Photo 49This is me patiently reminding my children for the 700th time to stop acting like zoo animals and GET. INTO. BED.:Photo 52This is me plopped down onto my couch after said bedtime and brainlessly watching the American Idol finale on my DVR:Photo 47This is me cheering when Kris Allen won:Photo 48This is me sitting at my computer at 11:00 p.m. trying to be inspired to write something meaningful:Photo 51This is me looking at myself very closely and realizing that I am so tired I have bags under my eyes, and I’m covered in dirt from baseball, so I should just take a shower and go to bed.  Maybe I can do or say something meaningful tomorrow.Photo 58

Good night.

Financial security and other mini-vacation lessons

We took a mini-vacation this past weekend because Matt has about two weeks off of school in between semesters.  I found a great hotel deal online, which simply required us to participate in a 90-minute time-share sales pitch,* and came with free food vouchers and everything.  So we packed up the kids, a few bags of clothes, and a variety of road trip entertainment items (read: DVD player, Leapster, junk food, and a pile of library books).  Before we left to come home this morning, I made the mistake of looking at some Webkins at a store.  This, to Grant and Clark, was a bona-fide contractual offer that a Webkinz purchase was in our near future.  Grant could not understand why the purchase was not made, and spent most of the trip home speculating about when we would go to a local store and pick up the Webkinz that I had cruelly and carelessly forgotten to purchase this morning.  I told him we’d take a look at the bank account when we got home and see about the possibility.

He immediately corralled me to the office upon arriving home.  I had transferred a vacation budget into my checking account right before we left town.  I didn’t do a great job of keeping track of spending, so I cringed a little when I looked it up.

“Uh oh, Grant, we have a problem.”


“Well, it says here that my bank account has -$18.73.”

“Is that enough for a Webkinz?”

“Um, no.  It means I have $18.00 below zero.
(Long pause.)
“Don’t worry, mom.  I know where we have thousands and thousands of dollars.”
He ran across the room and came back with this:
DSCF2027Wow.  If only I had known, we could have vacationed in New Zealand.  Just leave it to a six-year-old to solve all your problems.  Verdict: Chores for Webkinz.  Hopefully, he won’t get done until the next payday.

On Sunday, we met up with my good friend Molly and her family.  I’m stealing pictures of Grant, Clark, and Natalie from her blog because she’s one of those moms who actually thinks to bring along a camera when her family has a little outing.  It was great to see her.  She’s on my top-ten cool list.
p.s.  Indoor water parks are really fun, but they have way too many stairs for out-of-shape people, especially the adult variety that are forced to carry all their children’s inner-tubes over and over and over again.
p.p.s.  Even if you look over your things 7 million times, you will always leave something behind in your vacation locale, like a portable DVD player power cord that is still plugged into the wall behind the dresser, and the library book that is still in a booth at the local Pizza Pub.

*Those people who do time-share pitches are tricky, tricky, tricky.  If Matt had his way, we would now be the proud owners of 40-years-worth of tropical vacations and an Alaskan helicopter skiing package.  Since I am only slightly more disciplined, and withstood their amazing deals and plummeting prices, for four– yes, FOUR– hours, we are instead only the proud owners of a pre-purchased vacation to Disney World that we had already planned on making when Matt graduates in the spring.  Call me a sucker if you will.

p.p.p.s.  If you are a careless packer, you might have to use your husband’s deodorant, and it’s a weird, unpleasant kind of feeling when you find yourself smelling manly.
p.p.p.p.s.  That Excedrin Tension Headache really works.
The end.
(I have just a few more Women’s Conference classes to review over the next several days, so watch for those, and then we’re back to our regularly scheduled . . . um, stuff.)


DSCF1442I’m a rule nazi.  It’s a good thing my kids aren’t teenagers yet because they still don’t fight back when I frequently say, “Ok, I’m making a new rule!”  I mean, who knew you needed rules like don’t wipe your boogers on my bedroom wall or in the carpet, or no sticking your whole fist in your beverage glass, or even do not run up and down the stairs and throughout the house with a poopy bum when you need to be wiped; please stay in the bathroom and call me?!?  Sigh.  There must be rules.

My “main” rules are taped on the fridge [see photo above] and I make the kids look at them often.  “Grant, go look at the rules!”  “Clark, stop throwing your books and go look at the rules!”  And they do it.  They stand there and oogle at them and run through each one, often out loud, and then usually say, “Oops. I forgot that one.  Sorry mom.”  I usually make them look at them after time-outs, too, so they can pick out the rule that got them into trouble in the first place.  Even Natalie walks past the rules and reports proudly, “Mommy, no push.”  I know, I need counseling.

You know, God gives us rules, too — commandments, and then the Holy Ghost “makes new rules” all the time like pick up the toys with them instead of yelling at them to do it.  I wish I were as disciplined about returning to the rules as I make my children be.  I think I’d make less mistakes if I constantly turned back to the scriptures to help me correct and monitor my behavior.  Maybe I need more time-outs myself…. oh, good idea; wouldn’t that be nice?

(This entry was originally posted on August 27, 2008.  I’m still rebuilding my lost archives.)