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Friday, January 29, 2010

Burst of Energy

 For some reason I had a burst of energy last night. This is odd because usually on Thursday (huge working day), I am tired and kind of die and sit in front of the TV the whole night. Maybe the January blahs are behind me now and I've been able to get my energy back after the holiday push. It's been a busy week, but a very productive one.

Saturday and Sunday: Baptism Preview Preparations and Fireside... plus Primary lesson.

Monday: Big day, 2 houses and one business I clean. Home around 9 pm

Tuesday: Piano lessons and Brady wanted me to sit and watch a movie with him. When he asks this, I know he needs my attention. I always stop going and going and sit with him to watch a movie. We watched Ghost Town... I always laugh so hard during this movie. Love it!

Wednesday: Young Men's program. They had a special night for the Boys and their parents. The focus was to work and complete the Duty to God program. Then we divided into Deacons, Teachers and Priest with parents and worked on completing 2 activities in the book.

Thursday... Clean my biggest 2 customers (always a hard long day).

I had committed to Kelli to let her borrow my fake fire that we use for Primary Pioneer sharing time (July 24th). She needed it for Pack Meeting Thursday night. It's just 4 round pieces of fire wood stuck together with red and yellow crape paper stuck around it like a fire. Then I put flash lights inside to make it glow. It's been sitting in my garage for a couple of years and needed to be refreshed. She needed it for Pack meeting that night. I got home from work and revived it and took it to her.

Then I ran to Deseret Book and picked out a birthday present for Lauren, my first Primary student to turn 8 this year. Then I ran it over to her house. Happy Birthday Lauren!!

Usually I make a pot of soup over the weekend, bread and cookies or goodies to last through the week. I was terribly busy and didn't make anything for left overs during the week. I needed some soup. I decided to get busy and do some cooking.

I made chocolate chip cookies. Believe it or not - this is the first batch of cookies I have made since Christmas. It's the first time I was able to use my new Cookie Scoop that Jason and Sharon gave me for Christmas. I LOVE IT!! It really makes it easy to put the cookie dough on the cookie sheet. Yeah!!
I've also had some very sad bananas on my counter that needed to be made into Banana bread. I finally got that done too and made two loaves. One is in the freezer and one out to eat. Yum! (And now those sad little bananas are gone and not in the trash!)
I made my favorite soup, Chicken and Wild rice. The recipe is from Kimmie and it is my absolute favorite. It tastes like summer garden to me... Delicious! 
Then I remembered that we needed to run over to Norma's house and take out her garbage. She is one of my elderly customers and can't do it herself. I take Brady over there to do it for her. I almost forgot to do it and it was dark outside when I remembered. I called her and told her that we were on our way.

When we arrived at the gated community, I went to look for the code to get through the gate. To my dismay, I left it on the counter when I called her. I didn't want to run home and get it, so Brady crawled under the gate and ran over to her house. There are cameras around the gate. Who knows a police may show up at our house any moment. Hopefully not.... At least her garbage is out.
My Direct TV box to my big screen TV died last night. I have a repairman coming on Saturday. I haven't watched the Vampire Diaries yet. Thank goodness it is DVRed in my bedroom. I'll have to watch it tonight.

I also received a telephone call from someone who was referred to me for my cleaning services. I was in a quandary of what to do. Finally the holidays are over and I can have some extra time again to scrapbook and do fun things. Did I want to take on a new customer and give up the little free time I have? Hmmmmm - what to do? I decided to tell him I was full and would put him on my waiting list. The reason I decided to clean houses was to have time to myself and Brady. I want time to live. Just like my blog description says " Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life."

It was a great day! I love when I have bursts of energy on a week night -- and now I have yummy food in my kitchen. Can you say cook free night tonight and NO to ordering pizza.. We have yummy soup in the fridge!  Yeah!  Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Baptism Preview Fireside Part 2


I thought I would give you an idea of what we talk about during the Baptism Preview. The first talk is on the Faith in God program. When I prepare for this talk I usually review the Ensign article introducing the program by the Primary General Board. Here is a link to the article called: “Fostering Faith in God,” Ensign, Jul 2003.
We also read the first 2 pages of the book. The first page says:
I AM A CHILD OF GOD
I know Heavenly Father loves me, and I love Him.
I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere
I am trying to remember and follow Jesus Christ.

We have the children memorize this and during each Activity Day or Cub Scout meeting the children say this together (like the Y/W theme). It's just a way that our ward keeps the Faith in God program the front and center theme/thought of the meeting.

I always like to read the letter from The First Presidency and inserting each child's name "Dear ------". I feel it is a great way to let them know how much Heavenly knows and loves them. I also hope it encourages them to do the best they can to develop their "Faith in God".

Next..... on to the talk on Baptism/Holy Ghost. As I've said before we start out the year with the 2 lessons from the book on Baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. I really don't want to have these lessons all over again, so my main focus is on the baptism day and the sacred covenant that they make.

This is my guideline for the talk. I don't read it - I just talk about these points. When I was Primary President, I also used this format to do the Baptism interview in their home prior to their own baptism.

I tell the children that they are now old enough to know right from wrong. Heavenly Father has told us that at age 8 you can now become a member of the church. I also had a copy of our Primary class binder and told the parents about how we teach the class. And how important it is that they come with their binders and scriptures to the class each week. I wanted to give a sense that things are changing, that they are no longer little children - that they are here to learn more about the gospel and become member of the church. I want them to feel like they are grown up now.

I have them say the 4th Article of Faith with me:
We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second, Repentance.  (these are the first principles)
third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (first ordinances)

I explain that these are the first 2 ordinances for our pathway back to live with Heavenly Father. I emphasize that there are TWO ordinances. Sometimes I think they only focus on the ordinance of baptism. But the laying on of hands is very important too and a separate ordinance.

Then I go over these questions with them.

What do I wear to the baptism service? Sunday clothes and then they will give you your white jumpsuit.

What do I need to have with me? A towel, a comb, dry underwear ( I also remind them that they need white underwear to wear during the baptism), white baptism clothes (sometimes they have a white dress the girls use for the 3 white dresses), your recommend/certificate from the Bishop (Our bishopric member brings this with them)

Who may come to see me be baptized? Mom and Dad, Brothers and Sisters, Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Friends, Teachers, Anyone!

Can I hold my nose when I go under the Water? Yes. The person baptizing you will show you how. Then I ask a father and child to come up and show by example how you hold your hands etc. (I ask before the meeting if they will show the example).

What happens if some of my hair or one of my toes doesn't go all the way under the water? You will be immersed (put under the water) a second time. I explain that they need two Priesthood holders to act as witnesses to make sure you are completely under the water.

What promise or covenant do I make with Heavenly Father when I am baptized? I show them this page out of the memory book. I ask them if they know what a covenant is. It is a two way promise that you make with Heavenly Father. You promise something and Heavenly Father promises something.

You promise that from now on you will choose the right and obey all of his commandments. You will take upon yourself the name of Christ (that is, to become one of his followers), and always remember to do what he has taught us to do.

Heavenly Father Promises me that He will forgive my sins if I repent. His spirit, the Holy Ghost will always be with you. This will help you do what is right so that you can always be happy. If you do this, you can return and live with him again.
I go over some commandments we promise to keep. I find pictures from the gospel art kit and lesson kits to find visual aids (I am a very visual person and like to use pictures). The commandments I tell them are:
Praying daily
Study the Scriptures
Follow the teaching of the living Prophet
Remember the Savior
Pay tithing
Teat Others Kindly
Obey parents

Then I talk about What does it mean to be baptized by "immersion"? This means that your whole body is put completely under the water and then brought back up out of the water. Being under the water is a likeness of Jesus' death and burial. Being brought up out of the water is a likeness of Jesus' resurrection and to a new life, and a likeness of your being born to a new, clean life of righteousness.

Why must I be baptized and confirmed only by a man who holds the priesthood? A man who holds the priesthood has some of the same powers on earth that Heavenly Father and his son Jesus have. Jesus says that if a man is a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood, or holds the Melchizedek Priesthood, he has the right or authority to baptize people in Jesus' name. A man who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood has the right to confirm people members of the Church of Jesus Christ. If a man doesn't hold the priesthood, he doesn't have the right to do these special things for Heavenly Father and Jesus.

How shall I remember the promises I make at baptism? By reverently partaking of the sacrament each Sunday, and by listening to the prayers offered over the bread and water. If you listen to the prayers our baptismal covenant is in the prayers. This helps you remember and renew your baptismal covenant each time you take the sacrament - so you will never forget - even when you are as old as Sister Murray.

Then I ask if they have any questions about being baptized. I also challenge them to pray to Heavenly Father before they are baptized and ask if this is the right thing to do and if the church is true. Then I bear my testimony.

Then the Bishopric member (usually the counselor over Primary) goes over their interview with the bishop to get their recommend to be baptized. He goes over the questions. Then we open the baptismal font, show them where they get their jumpsuit. Then we let the children walk down into the font and back out the other side. Our building has a font in it (it's not our stake center but built as a new stake center). If we didn't have the font in our building I would have held the preview at the stake center. I think it's important to show them the font. This is their favorite part.

I hope this gives you a little bit more of what we do during our Baptism Preview Fireside. If you have any questions please let me know.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baptism Preview Fireside

Sunday night we had our Baptism Preview Fireside. This year I was able to help out our new Primary Presidency by putting together this special evening for my Primary Class (and train the new Presidency). I want this year to be special for these 7 year olds who turn 8 and get to be baptised. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that at 8 years old a child can choose right from wrong and are ready to make a sacred covenant with Heavenly Father and be baptised.

At the beginning of the year we hold a special evening with the 7 year old children and their parents to tell them about their baptism day.

This is the invitation that was sent out to each 7 year old in my class. You can find the PDF at The Idea Door here. Then I added the information with date and time. There are a couple of things I make sure to mention. First this is an invitation for the 7 year old child and her parents. I ask that they leave brothers and sisters home. We've found that it is more reverent without small children. Plus, it is a special night for that one child. I also request that they dress in Sunday clothing. It is our goal to have a reverent special night where the Holy Ghost can be there as these children embark on this special journey to become member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This is our program which you can click on any picture to see it more clearly. I add the words of the opening and closing songs.

Zoey Michelle (my niece) mentioned to me that they had children who were baptised from the previous year  come and tell about their baptism. You were right this was wonderful. The children really did listen to their peers. That could have been the whole program. The Holy Ghost was so strong. I loved it and would recommend this too. I had a boy (Kai) and Girl (Jensyn) come and tell about their special day. It was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop during their quick 2 minute talk. They both did a wonderful job. Thanks Zoey Michelle!
During the preview we explain the Cub Scout Program for the Boys and Activity Days for the Girls. We decided to split them up into different rooms. The reason we do this is because the Cub Scout program is pretty exciting and they do all sorts of "boy" things. The girls program is more reverent and "girlie", but when you explain the program for the girls it doesn't seem as exciting as the boys, even though in reality it is - they just do different things. In the past the girls seem a little sad that they are not in Cub Scouts because of the "boy" energy. In short, it's better (in my opinion) to just have them split and that way you only take up 10 minutes / verses 20 minutes to do them separate during the full program. (I hope I explained that well enough).

Here is the boys room. Kelli did an excellent job in putting it together. The sad thing was that our 4 boys didn't show up to the preview (we only had girls). Thanks Kelli for coming, preparing and setting up everything for us. It would have really made those boys excited to turn 8.

The Activity Days room was equally beautiful. Terresa made it so fun for the girls.
She even gave them candy bars (purple on the table). Remember to click on the picture to see it better. Sorry my camera isn't the greatest.
When the children turn 8 they receive their Faith In God booklets. This is a program to draw nearer to Jesus Christ and prepare the children to be teenagers with a strong testimony. There are 4 different sections that they work on different activities for the next 3 years.
The basic requirements in the Faith in God books are:
Pray daily to Heavenly Father
Read the scriptures regularly
Keep the commandments and live "My Gospel Standards"
Honor your parents and be kind to your family.
Pay your tithing and attend tithing settlement
Attend sacrament meetings and Primary regularly.

Then the 4 sections are:
Learning and Living the Gospel
Serving Others
Developing Talents
Boys book is: Preparing for the Priesthood
Girls book is: Preparing for Young Women's

In Activity Days and Cub Scouts they try to complete 2 requirements per year in the first 3 sections. The last section they work on when they are 11 years old to prepare to move on to the "teenage" program Young Men's and Young Women's.
At the end of the Baptism Preview we hand the children a bag filled with lots of fun things.
There is a CTR ring and white towel with a poem (listed below). A picture of Jesus Christ being baptised by John the Baptist and a pack of gum with a poem (also below). There are three booklets and we also put a Faith in God booklet (not shown in picture but in there). At the end of the night each child is presented with a bag to take home and is theirs.
Baptism Poem also from The Idea Door. I rolled up a white towel and tied it with a white ribbon and attached this poem to the towel.
There is a CTR ring in the bag (and in the poem). CTR means "Choose the Right".
This is the "It's Great to Be Eight" Poem. One of our counselors wanted to include this. I've never read it or used it before but loved it. I found the frames at the dollar store and added a small picture of Jesus getting baptized. Along with a package of gum that I wrapped with a wrapper that says "We are so proud of you for "chewzing" to make and keep Sacred Covenants".
I happen to have this wonderful machine that binds books. I own it - so if you live in Meridian and want to borrow it - feel free anytime.
This is the Baptism Memory / scrap booking book we put in the bag. PDF for each of the three booklets are found at The Idea Door here:

I'll have to end here because I have to get to work. I'll do another post about the program. We followed up with cupcakes and ice cream. It was a great evening.
I made these silly little toppers by hot gluing them to a tooth pick. I made it up in word and cut them out with that handy dandy scrapbook paper cutter. I thought it was fun.
I hope this give you an couple of ideas how to make your Baptism Preview Fireside an memorable experience.

You can find more from Baptism Preview Fireside part 2 here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Motivational Monday - "A Friend from A to Z


A Friend from A to Z
Accepts you as you are
Believes in you
Calls you just to say "HI"
Doesn't give up on you
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
Forgives your mistakes
Gives unconditionally
Helps you
Invites you over
Just to "be" with you
Keeps you close at heart
Loves you for who you are
Makes a difference in your life
Never judges you
Offers support
Picks you up
Quiets your fears
Raises your spirits
Says nice things about you
Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
Understands you
Values you
Walks beside you
X-plains things you don't understand
Yells when you won't listen
and
Zaps you back to reality



Friday, January 22, 2010

Brady Cooking Dinner

This has been a lucky week for me. Jason cooked dinner on Sunday and Brady cooked dinner on Wednesday. AND it wasn't just a regular meal - it was deluxe meal both times. I am such a lucky Mom!!

 I told Brady that he needed to take 2 days a week and start cooking dinners for us. I think it is great missionary/college student/husband training.

Brady's Foods and Nutrition class "final" was to make a meal for your family. He had to search for a recipe he wanted to try that was nutritious and modify it to make it more nutritious. He chose a recipe for "Shrimp on Skewers". He made up the shopping list and I took him to the store with me and he pick everything out. He doesn't like to go to the store - but it was HIS assignment and he needed to do the shopping.

Recipe:
20 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, about 1 1/4 lbs.
2 sm zucchini, about 1/2 lb (he changed this to lemon squares)
1 tsp minced garlic (only used 1/2 tsp)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
3 tbsp. oil
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp. lime juice (used 2 tbsp lime & 1 tbsp lemon - because we ran out of lime juice)
1/2 tsp thyme

1. Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch rounds.
2. Combine all ingredients and marinate for several hours.
3. Alternate shrimp and zucchini rounds (lemon) on skewers. Skew the shrimp so that they will lie flat, i.c., inserting skewers through the tail end and the head of each shrimp.
4. Lay skewers flat on grill for about 4 minutes. Then turn over skewers baste, and grill another 3 to 4 minutes. Serves 4.

Brady is making the marinate. He is crushing the garlic. I told him that 1/2 Tbsp was probably enough. That was a lot of garlic and it was yummy with half of that. Here is our handy dandy garlic press - which I love. See the garlic coming out?

Squishing the lime for the lime juice. We only bought 1 lime and should have had two. We used a lemon for the last tablespoon.

We purchased a bag of frozen shrimp. We unthawed it under running cold water while he took off the shell and made sure it was deveined.

Twenty beautiful shrimp.

Then he put them in the marinate for a couple of hours.

In the mean time he chopped up all the vegetables for the stir fry. I had him separate the vegetables into two bowls. The hard veggies that need to cook first and the soft veggies that you add later.

1st bowl had carrots, celery, green onion, green pepper. 2nd bowl had zucchini, crookneck squash and broccoli.

He also made brown rice in the pot next to the stir fry. He added some olive oil to the fry pan and put the first bowl of veggies in the pan.

Then the second bowl... doesn't that look yummy!

Brady put the shrimp and lemons on the skewers. Next time I will have zucchini on the skewers.

They look wonderful. He did such a great job with this deluxe meal.

It was a windy day and every time he had the grill lid open the flames would blow out. Here he is brushing marinate on the shrimp as they cook.

His presentation! Brown rice, stir fry and shrimp skewer.

Ooooh it was heaven. I felt like I was in a restaurant. I loved the flavor - aaaaaah! Everything tasted great. I always order grilled shrimp from Sizzler or Red Lobster - it is my favorite. This was a great recipe and one that we will be making again and again. I've never made shrimp taste this wonderful - I didn't know how to get that flavor in it.. Now I know.....Marinate. Yum!

Today he has to give a presentation in class. Here is his presentation board. The assignment was to create your own company, frozen meal for the diet conscience. He had to design the way the food would be in the box, the box artwork, the nutrition data for the meal and the price.

Because we are kind of "over the top" weird people - he spend hours and hours on his assignment. He stressed out last night making sure he had all the information ready for his presentation. I am sure it will be wonderful! That was quite the assignment. It probably took him 10 or 11 hours for the assignment. Two evenings. One shopping and making the dinner. The next night he put it together. The biggest thing was making the nutrition information that you find on a product you buy in the store. Then he had to write down what he was going to say. He did a beautiful job on his poster display and I could hear him in his room last night saying out loud his presentation. He's such a great kid!

Thanks for a yummy dinner. Because you are such a great cook - your new assignment is dinner 2 times a week. Love ya!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Avatar "I See You"


Check out this blog about Avatar. This particular topic is on what "I See You" means in the movie. I loved her explanation and the spiritual meaning behind it. I wanted to share this beautiful message (because I loved it). Enjoy!

Thoughts of the Day

Tuesday Brady had is monthly Seminary Devotional. It's nice to see what we did January 2009, because we did the same thing this year. Here is a link to the devotional 2009.
Basically this is the wrapper for the candy bar and the book mark.
This is what Brady said:
During the moth of January, we celebrate a new year, and most of us, if not all, make resolutions to help better ourselves for the rest of the upcoming year. Following Jesus' example as he was growing up can help us improve our resolutions.

In the New Testament, it says in Luke 2:52 "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" In other words, the savior increased intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually.

Following Jesus' example in developing intellectually, we can make goals to read good books, and try harder to get a good education. We could refrain from watching movies and television shows that have questionable content. In D&C 88:118 "Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom"

Following Jesus' example in developing physically, we can follow the Words of Wisdom by eating healthy, and refraining from drugs and alcohol, or addictive stimulants. Its also good to get plenty of sleep and exercise.

To increase socially this year, we can choose friends with high standards, and be more attentive listeners, and allow other people to feel more associated in the conversation.

Lastly, resolving to grow spiritually this year. This year, make it your goal to read the Book of Mormon faithfully, and pour out your heart to Heavenly Father during your prayers.

I know that if we can do these things, we will become happier, and more Christ like every day.

Our ward sustained a new Primary Presidency on Jaunary 10th. I'm excited for these wonderful women. As a side note, I was Primary President 2005 - 2008 August. Karen Deitchler was August 2008 to January 2010. Now Christine Browne, Stephanie Lange, Terresa Henrie and Lucy Bennion have been called and sustained as the new Primary Presidency. I love each of these women and know they will do a fantastic job.

Since they are new and Sister Browne is in the middle of wedding preparations for her daughter, they asked me if I would put the Baptism Preview Fireside together. Of course I would love to do it. This is my class and my favorite part of Primary - Baptism.

It is scheduled for this Sunday because Lauren turns 8 on the 28th.  I was able to get the invitations out - here is a great site for all you need to know and do for the Baptism Preview. The Idea Door Baptism bookmark. I will blog about the preview next week. I'm excited, but it will be a busy week getting everything prepared.

Have a great Thursday!

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