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Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Christmas gift to you

I have my very favorite saying all made up in a cute book mark. (not pictured) I made them up for the Park City Boutique to give to those of you who dropped by my booth. It is over now, and so close to Christmas but I would like to share the bookmark with you now.

This message is deeper than what meets the eye. Yes, I have Santa on the bookmark, mostly because I love vintage Santa's and wanted that to be the style, but the message is much more than Santa. The message on the bookmark reads...

"The secret of Christmas not the things you do at Christmas time,
but the Christmas things you do, all year through."



This brief verse was taken from a cute old fashioned Christmas song, that I first heard sung by Bing Crosby, but since then many other famous singers have sung and recorded this song as well. This message stuck with me because it is so true. A marvelous secret about Christmas is giving of ourselves and our means to others. It is sharing, and kindness. However just because it is Christmas doesn't make what we do at Christmas time anymore important than what we do throughout the year.

I love to look to Jesus Christ as an example for everything in life. The wise men recognized the signs in the heavens and those for told of the birth of the Savior of the world. The first gifts of Christmas traveled with them, of Gold, Frankincense and Muir. Christ himself is and was the greatest gift of all. Throughout His entire life, Jesus Christ was continually giving gifts to those in need. His gifts were on a higher scale than we give at Christmas time, but the giving freely of his love and healing power, his greater knowledge were given everyday. What an example to us.


We are told to be like Him and the verse to this song reminds us that we should be more like Christ the whole year through by showing kindness, giving acts of service, looking after each others needs, feeding the poor and hungry, helping to make others burdens light and so on. Now do you see why I like this verse to this song so much?

Go to the link to my other blog and you can print off the cute bookmark that I made up to share. Let this little bookmark be my gift to you and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas! http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ or this is the direct link....

http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/12/secret-of-christmas-bookmark.html



Love, Katie G.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Here is the link to one of the Christmas posts I made last year as requested by a follower of this blog. Click on this link http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/12/heres-repeat-of-last-years-pictures-of.html and it will take you to the cute song... "The Friendly Beasts" complete with the pictures that go with the words for you to print and use for your own personal use in your own family. Enjoy. You can find all the free printables for last december by going to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com and going to the archives.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We can learn lessons in life, even when we think we are old enough to have learned all of them. This past weekend, my niece flew in town, for about 2 hours of business and then spent time with her family who lives in this area. She is a fireball and loves to go and do, and experience things. Things I take for granted for having lived here in Utah, she thrives on and does as much as she has time for when she comes in town.

She is so thoughtful. She really thinks and goes beyond simple thoughts and really gets to the core of needs and nurturing. Because this months Visiting Teaching lesson is on Nurturing others, I thought I would share some of the things I learned by listening and watching my niece in action.

Her first thoughtful deed was to pick up her Grandmother and take her up to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert in SLC. My mother can barely get around so she was paitent and listened to the fears my mother had drove alittle slower to make Grandma feel more comfortable. My niece found out that her grandmother had never been to a Motab concert in all the 77 years she had lived in Utah. What a wonderful surprise and t thoughtful gift for Grandma.

This niece just lost her grandmother on her fathers side a couple weeks ago. She expressed to me thoughts and ideas of what she can do to help those family members to overcome the sadness they feel for the loss.

Her father slipped and fell on the ice a couple days ago and she thought about her mother having to shovel the snow because her dad couldn't. She decided to take action and made a few phone calls and is hiring someone to keep her parents walks and driveways cleared from snow. I would have never even though about this kind of deed as my sister lives so far away in a distant state, but her daughter knew just what to do and did it.

I have thought about all the meals, and treats I have taken in to people when they were sick, wanting to do something, but I think that though meals do help, there are other deeds of kindness that can be done. We need to think alittle deeper and I have no doubt that we can come up with acts of service to help, just like my niece did for her parents.

Well, I need to stop now, but I will add to these thoughts. Maybe you could to. Do you have ideas to help others that may need help during this Christmas season? Shut ins, Old folk, young folk with husband who travel and are not home to help with all the needs of maintaining a house, or whatever else you can think of. Wouldn't it be great to just bless the lives of others in different ways. It doesn't have to be monitary, but just acts of kindness, and nurturing the needs of others. Feel free to make comments and share.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 2009 Visiting Teaching Message


The topic for this month is "You can nuture through compassionate service."

You can findthe message at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=true&locale=0&sourceId=9e7b26a816c25210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

Wow, before even reading the message, and only reading the topic, I am feeling like I am on the right wavelength because I have had a thought in my mind about Christmas and the things you do at Christmas time. I even designed and printed some bookmarks with this very thought in mind, last month, in preparation for the Craft Fair and boutique I am participating in. I have even printed and laminated these bookmarks to have at the fair, just in case any of the women who read my blogs happen to drop by and want one. I won't be offering this bookmark on this blog so you'll just have to come to the fair and you can see it.

The first two quotes in the message are these:


  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Disciples of Christ throughout all ages of the world have been distinguished by their compassion. … In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers” (“Happiness, Your Heritage,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119, 120).

  • Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: “We need to rescue ‘all that is finest down deep inside of [us]’ so that as daughters of God we can do our part to build the kingdom of God. We will have help to do this. As Joseph declared, ‘If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.’
    “Let us bear one another’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and thus keep the covenants we have made [see Mosiah 18:8–10]” (“Now Let Us Rejoice,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2008, 116).
The last scripture reads.... "Let us bear one another's burdens, mourn with those who mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort...." This morning, I checked my email and I received an email from my sister telling me her mother in law had just passed away this morning. She told me how her sweet husband was grieving as well as the rest of his family. This family has suffered many significant losses over the past few years. First my sisters Father in law passed away and shortly after that, a sister in law also passed away. Then about a year ago, the husband of another sister in law died suddenly at a ward outing, sitting in his car, from a heart attach leaving his wife and several children. Now, the Mother and Grandmother of this family just passed away this morning.

You can imagine the loss that the children and grandchildren who are left, must be feeling. So many heartaches in such a short time. Yes, we do have the eternal perspective that helps us to understand where our loved ones are and the state that they are in, but there is still a huge loss and a hole in their hearts that can't be filled.

How do we comfort those who stand in need of comfort. What can we do and what can we say? I don't know if you are like me, but when these times come around, I find myself at a lack of words to express myself. What do you say to comfort someone who has experienced so many losses in such a short while? To top it off, there have been so many other difficulties that this entire family has faced over the past few years. My sisters husband has been ill and in pain for so many years, I have lost track, but he has never lost his faith and he continues to endure.

I am going to leave my thoughts with that question and maybe you sisters can help me write the answers. Help me to come up with ideas that we as sisters can provide comfort, and compassionate service when we need to. And a side note, how do we give the support, love and service to family and friends that live far away, and in different states?
I would love to hear your comments, and experiences. Thank-you, Katie G.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!



I found this darling little Vintage Thanksgiving Card online and want to share the link where I found it as there are a lot of wonderful vintage pictures there to enjoy.
http://hubpages.com/hub/Thanksgiving-vintage-postcards

I wish to thank all of you for visiting my blogs and enjoying the things I create to help you in your efforts with Visiting Teaching, friendship or just for fun. I count my many blessings daily and want to publicly acknowledge my gratitude to my loving Heavenly Father for blessing me with some talents that I not only enjoy but can share and help in serving others. This time of year when we do count our blessings, I also count mine for improving health, for a loving and wonderful husband, for my children, and grandchildren and extended family. I live in Thanksgiving Daily ( Literally) and I have an attitude of Gratitude for all my blessings. I acknowledge the Lords hand in my life and know that my path is directed by Him.

May the Lord bless you and yours this Thankful time of year and may the choicest of the Lords blessings be upon you and your family. May your needs be met, and your hearts be full. Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Katie G.


Another little Thanksgiving gift for you!

I have a new little printable gift idea for you for Thanksgiving that you might want to take a look at in my storage vault blog.... Visiting Teaching Surprise. Click on this link http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-gift-or-table-favor.html
and it will take you there in a flash! Enjoy! Katie G.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 2009 Visiting Teaching

(As all of you know, the message for this month is to be taken from the October 2009 Conference talks found in this months Ensign or online at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&vgnextoid=a6246a008952b010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD I love it when twice a year we get to select from one of the talks and share that message with the women that we Visit Teach. I was especially happy about the talk that I selected for my message that I will give today and this coming Friday to my sisters. Both sisters that I visit have some heavy burdens that have been imposed on them through the actions and choices of their children. These actions cause them heartache and grief, as well all know who have had teenagers and children who have strayed. The talk that I remembered while listening to Conference was given on the Saturday morning session by Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, entitled "That Your Burdens May Be Light". I remember thinking about where I have been in my own experiences and where I am now as a result of them. I thought about what I learned at the time and how I can help others from my experience. My husband and I are serving as part time service missionaries in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. We serve weekly and have for the past 2 and a half years, being the group leaders in the Addiction Recovery meetings. We have served both the English and Spanish Speaking communities and have loved every minute of it. We believe that our experiences of the past have prepared us to be teaching in this program. The Lord prepared us and we have accepted and what a great blessing this is of serving Heavenly Fathers children who have strayed in one way or another, and are trying to come back. It is a spiritual feast, ever week and we feel so very grateful to be in His service.
Back to the lesson... The lesson begins by this..."Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection. The message begins with a visual by Elder Clayton of seeing an indigenous man high up in the Andes mountains loaded up with firewood upon his back. This load must have weighed as much as the man and he was bent down and leaned forward taking deliberate steps forward to keep balanced and moving toward the marketplace that he would eventually sell the wood. He made 2 - 3 trips loaded down like that daily. Elder Clayton then says... "People struggle everyday under burdens that tax their souls. They can be emotionally or physically ponderous. They can be worrisome, oppressive and exhausting and they continue for years".

He clarified burdens that come from three sources..

1. The natural product of the conditions of the world such as Illness, physical disability, hurricanes and earthquakes come from no fault of our own.
2. Other burdens are imposed upon us by the misconduct of others such as abuse and addictions, sin, incorrect traditions, repression and crime scatter burdened victims. Even misdeeds such as gossip, and unkindness can cause genuine suffering.
3. Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of our problems and can place heavy burdens on our own shoulders, and the worst one is sin. We all know the remorse and pain that inevitably follow our failure to keep the commandments.

"Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heavens' s prospective, for "but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high." (D&C 121:7-8)We must do everything we can do to bear our burdens "well" for however long our "small moment" carrying them lasts". "Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection.... Thus burdens become blessings, though often such blessings are well disguised and may require time, effort and faith to accept and understand."

Elder Clayton goes on to say that Further, bearing up under our own burdens can help us develop a reservoir of empathy for the problems others face. The Apostle Paul taught "Accordingly, our baptismal covenants require that we should be willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." (Mosiah 18:8-9) Those who offer such assistance to others stand on holy ground. In explaining this, the Savior taught: "When saw we thee and hungered, and fed the? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? "When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? "Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and and came unto thee? "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt 25: 35 - 40)
Through it all , the Savior offers us sustaining strength and support and in His own time and way he offers deliverance. Then it goes on to talk about the Story of Alma and his followers when they had escaped from King Noach and established a community called Helam. They tilled the ground, built buildings and were prospering until the Lamanites brought them into bondage and they knew that they would not be delivered unless it came from the Lord. Their deliverance didn't come right away. The Lamanites put tasks on them and threatened them that if they prayed that they would be put to death. The Lord did deliver them though stages beginning with easing the burdens that they had "that you cannot feel them upon your backs even while you are in bondage and this I will do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." (Mosiah 24: 14 - 16)
This story doesn't end here, it goes on to tell that the burdens of Alma and his brethren were mad light and that they were strengthened so that they could bear their burdens with ease. Because of the faith and patience of these people in bearing their burdens so well, the Lord came to them again and said, "Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage." Well we know what happened on the morrow. The Lamanites were all caused to be in a deep sleep and the people of Alma simply walked out of their bondage and the city while the Lamanites slept.

I love the next part of this story. After they were far enough away, they pitched their tents and prayed and praised the Lord. They expressed their gratitude and thanksgiving for their deliverance. How many of us who are delivered from Bondage from the Lord remember who made it possible for us? How much praise and Thanksgiving do we offer, or as time goes on, and passes, do we forget? I submit, during this season of Thanksgiving, that we bring back to remembrance, all the great and wonderful blessings that the Lord has given to us. In prayer, in our words and deeds, we can give back to Him who has blessed us so greatly.
Mercifully, the Son of God offers us deliverance from the bondage of our sins, which are amoung the heaviest of all the burdens we bear. During His Atonement He suffered "according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according the power of his deliverance." (Alma 7:13) Christ "suffered those these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent." (D & C 19:15) When we repent and keep the commandments, forgiveness and relief from our burdened conscience comes with the help that only the Savior offers, for "surely whosoever repenteth shall find mercy." (D & C 19:16)
The last paragraph of the talk says, I remember that man in Peru, hunched over and struggling to carry that enormous sack of firewood on his back. For me he is the image of all of us as we struggle with the burdens of life. I know that as we keep the commandments of God, and our covenants, He helps us with our burdens. He strengthens us. When we repent, he Forgives us and blesses us with peace of conscience and joy.

You can find the handout that I prepared to go with this lesson for the ladies that I Visit teach at this link http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/11/november-2009-visiting-teaching-handout.html

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kidmarks


I thought I made up a new word, but I looked it up on the Internet and someone else defined my word. The word is Kidmarks and they defined it as "marks left on walls and window's by kids". I guess that just about sums it up. Everyone has them, or at least those who have kids around. Parents have kidmarks and so do grandparents, and I want to say that I have them and consider them as a badge of honor. Kidmarks to me mean that I have had my little grandchildren around and have enjoyed them and ignored the messes they've made or the kidmarks they have placed in my house. Instead, I have some wonderful memories each and every time of time spent enjoying their presence in my life. These memories and time we share together are irreplacable, but the kidmarks can be wiped off any old time.

What brought up this subject? Well .... two days a week, my husband has a part time employee come to our home and do some work for him. Her office is in the basement, but she enters through our front door, passing by my husbands office, before getting to the stairway to the basement. Every morning that I know she is coming over, I think about the kidmarks left on the glass panels by the door, and that I need to shine my windows so that the kidmarks don't show. My husband has double glass french doors that enter his office, and they are usually loaded with kidmarks, so I would need to go shine them as well before our employee enters our home. In fact, I am going to take a moment to stop this post, to go shine the kidmarks before she comes. I'll be right back.....!

Ok, now the kidmarks are gone... but not the memories of the children who left them. This past weekend, I went down to southern Utah to a Boutique and fair that I chose to participate in. I invited my mother to go with me. The trip was a long one and I knew that it would not be fun with my Mom as she tends to really irritate me with her backseat driving, so I made a plan. Since I am on my wards Family History committee, and I know that I need to get my own family history done, I thought I would take the opportunity to interview my Mom about memories that she has of grandparents that I never knew. My mother is 76 now and who knows how long she will be with us, and her memories will go with her. I also knew that if I got her talking about other things, she wouldn't be able to backseat drive as bad as she does, and I could be much less irritated.

I asked Mother about her grandparents on her Robinson side. I never knew them however I have seen pictures. Not much as ever been said about them, and I wanted to know some of my Mothers memories of her Grandparents. She began to tell me that when she thinks of this grandmother, she sees a woman who hardly ever smiles, wearing an apron and always carrying a wash cloth around in her hand. This grandmother was an absolute perfectionist and nothing was ever out of place or had any kid marks whatsoever. Mother told me that her wood floors always shined like they were freshly waxed and that everyone had to remove their shoes before even thinking about entering her house. The lawn, trees, shrubs and gardens were always meticulously manicured but there was never a toy or swing set or anything that might detract from the beauty of their land. When my mother went to this grandmothers house, she was a tin soldier, trying not to make a move for fear she would get in trouble.

My mother mentioned that her grandmother's daughter who lived at home until she was married in her 30's also wore crisply ironed aprons, and constantly carried a wash cloth around in her hand. She remembers seeing her grandmother and Aunt, wiping behind them when they touched the banister, or a wall, or even the chairs. Towels were spread where the grandchildren sat on the couch or chairs, just in case the grand kids made any kind of a mess.

My mother told me she has NO memories of playing in that house with her grandmother, sitting down and drawing or even catching a ball together. When she went to her grandmothers house, she never had a happy feeling, and always felt that her presence there was an imposition or a possibility for grandma to have more cleaning to do. My mother remember one day when her younger brother who had to be only 3 or so at the time of this memory, went up to the front door and pressed his little hands and face against the window panel by the door. When Grandma saw this, she went into a complete tizzy, getting angry with little Gary and telling him that he can never touch the windows.

My mother told me of how she hated to go over to this grandmothers home for dinner because she always felt like she was going to get in trouble if she spilled. When she would arrive, t here were towels spread all over the children's chairs that they would sit on, and underneath the chairs and even under the dishes and utensils so that if one spill happened, it would be caught. My mother lived in fear of spilling even one crumb on Grandma's shiny floor, or her embroidered lace tablecloth. No fond memories were made at this grandmothers house. No happy times were shared. To this day the childhood memories of my mother about her grandmother are cold and unfriendly. How very sad that is!

In contrast to this story, my own mother had a grandmother on their mothers side, who was the exact opposite. Grandmother Cunningham was left a widow shortly after the birth of her 13th child. Her husband was a brick mason and fell off a platform while working on a multi story building in Provo, Utah. It was presumed he had a heat stroke as he was working in the hot sun. Anyway, having many children must be the reason that she was so kid friendly in her home. There were kidmarks found everywhere as they lived in a 3 room home for many years. Kids were everywhere, yet she provided an environment where each child knew they were loved and wanted.

Grandma Cunningham had a huge, ball and claw dining table, where ever night mom and kids would gather for prayers. Grandma had always prepared the chairs, so that the seats faced outward instead of under the table, so that the kids could kneel and rest their arms on the chair seats. My own Grandmother Robinson, or my mothers mother, remembered how hard those wood floors would feel on their knees, as they prayed every night. She remembered when Grandma Cunningham would pray, it was the worst, because her prayers were long as she expressed gratitude for everything she had from the cow, that gave them milk and cream, to the apples and peaches on the trees, and for the home and shelter, and on and on, that by the time that she was done, each child felt like they were the richest of humans, because of all the things that Grandma thanked God for. They never realized just how poor and humble they were, because Grandma Cunningham's gratitude made them feel rich.

My Mother shared memories on that long trip of her Grandmother Cunningham's wonderful way of making her feel loved. She remembered that there was always a quilt up in the living room, and all the grandchildren played house and dolls under those quilts. Grandmother would get out her buttons and let the grand kids play with them and my mother remembers sorting them for hours at a time with her cousins, and vying to get the best buttons. She remembers how dusting grandmothers figurines were something to be sought after and the person that Grandmother chose to do that chore was so honored to do so. Nobody ever touched Grandma's figurines and curios, except for those who were chosen to dust them. My mother said that those figurines were nothing spectacular, costly or even valuable, but Grandmother Cunningham was grateful for all she had and treated everything with love, respect and care. This attitude for gratitude was passed on to all her children.

The stories that my mother shared with me on this trip made the trip wonderful. Though there was still alittle back seat driving, these stories created a diversion from the focus on that to something that was meaningful and wonderful to share. I will never forget the memories that have been created with my mother, by this drive to a fair, and neither will she.

Back to kidmarks... When my little granddaughter and grandson from Park City come to my house, I know that they are here when I hear a tap, tap, tapping on my side panel windows at my front door. There like two little monkeys one on the others shoulders figuratively speaking, are the faces and hands of these little ones, stuck to the window panel. When I get closer to the door, I see the smiles on their faces, and noses scrunched up pressing on the window. I see their little hands waving wildly with anticipation of seeing me walking toward them. I open up the door and both of them grab hold of my legs and hug me tightly. I bend down, and each of them give me a 'Tight Squeeze" as they call it around my neck. I lift them up and plaster them with kisses on their cheeks and tell them how happy I am to see them. Their little voices are all a flutter with wanting to be the first to tell me their stories of what happened lately in their lives.
As all of this transpires, I notice the kidmarks on the windows. How blessed I am for those kidmarks and I hope that they will always be there for me to enjoy. No washcloth in hand to wipe off kidmarks of windows an doors, for me, because there is no room for a washcloth as I am holding the hands of my precious little ones.

To close this epistle I just want to say... Enjoy every single moment in the lives of your children and grandchildren. Take the time to love and laugh and talk and giggle. Take the time for tea parties and cookie baking days. Take the time to make the memories that will last with your children and grandchildren. Those kidmarks will always be there, and they can be wiped up when the kids go home, and you will remember long after the kids are gone who made them, that they were there, and you were happy to have them in your life even for but a moment. Make the moments last forever in the lives of your children, and engrave in your own memory!

Hand prints
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my hand print
On furniture and wall

But everyday I'm growing
(I'll be all grown someday)
And all those tiny hand prints
Will surely fade away.

So here's a final hand print
Just so you can recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When they were very small.
--T. Lambert, Jr.

I found this cute poem and the blue hand prints at karenspoetryspot.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November 2009 Visiting Teaching Message


Since the November Ensign contains the General Conference messages from October 2009, you should select a message to share from those talks. Good luck choosing just one as they once again, as in all Conferences, were fabulous. You can find them online here.... http://www.lds.org/conference/sessions/display/0,5239,23-1-1117,00.html Enjoy reading or listening!!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 2009 Visiting Teaching Message

A reader of this blog wrote in to me about this months Visiting Teaching message and said, "I'm having trouble thinking of anything meaningful for this topic for Grandma's, something that would help them grow in understanding or whatever."

My first response was to give her sage advice, and share my own examples with her of what I would do or have done in the past. I took a day or so to really think about her question and decided that personal inspiration was what she should seek so that she herself could answer her own questions and ponderings and make it personal to her. This is the way it is with Heavenly Father, He doesn't usually provide us with the immediate answers to our questions, but expects us to do our part to seek guidance and inspiration through prayer and pondering. He wants us to experience this life for ourself, thereby giving us the agency to choose and learn from our choices. Thus.... I will stick with the answer that I gave, instead of sharing my own advice.

I would like to share a very recent experience that I was given, yesterday in fact, on my birthday. I have written about my grand daughter in the past, but she keeps providing so many learning experiences as I have the opportunity to spend time with her. She keeps me on my toes, as she is a sponge for learning.My husband invited all our children and grandchildren, and my mother to meet at the Olive Garden restaurant to share lunch for my birthday. It was wonderful to be surrounded by those that I love the very

most in this world. I have two other wonderful children and their family who live many miles away and were not able to come for lunch. Anyway, as my 5 year old granddaughter arrived with her family, I saw that she was grinning from ear to ear. In her hand she had a gift bag that she had decorated with ribbon and pipe cleaners. In her other hand, she held a card that I could see she made herself. She ran up to the table where I was already seated and her words just burst from her mouth with excitement...

"Grandma, Happy Birthday, and I have made something for you

that you are really going to love." She went on to say that it was very special and we would need to find a very special place to keep in in my house." She was too excited to let me open the gift myself, so she reached down into the sack and pulled out this colorful object that she had made. I asked her what exactly it was, and she said, it was just a beautiful colorful shape and she really didn't know what it was. I told her how much I

loved it and could see that allot of time was spent creating such a masterpiece. Then she handed me the gift bag and she said, "Grandma, I even made this beautiful ribbon to decorate this bag." As I looked into her face, she was still grinning with pride and joy and such excitement to give me these beautiful gifts she created. She then said, "Here Grandma, I made you a card." As I took the card, I could see that she had spent what I presumed to be hours, placing tiny little stickers of all kinds, all

over the face of this card. There had to be hundreds, and I can only guess how long it took. She was making the most lovely card she could think of because she loves her Grandmother so much. She drew on the inside and the outsides of the card, and put her name and age on the card. She phonetically spelled out a message to me that read...."HaBerthgama", which translates into "happy Birthday Grandma" and inside she spelled "Fum Brin",
which I am sure you can see spelled out to be "From Brin". Under

her signature was 16 hand drawn and colored hearts with a rainbow design next to them. On the back of the card she had put her name "Brinle's" with more colorful hand drawn hearts all around. She said to me that it meant that she loves me allot.

Of all the lovely and thoughtful gifts that I was given this day on my birthday, the one that meant the most was the one of time and love given to me by my little granddaughter. I talked after the lunch with my daughter and said, " I can only imagine how much time this must have taken Brinley to make this gift, card and decorate the bag." My daughter said that she sat at the kitchen table at home for more than 4 hours and talking excitedly about how much Grandma was going to love her gift. Of all the gifts I have ever wanted, those who have given me the gift of time and love have always meant the most. Don't get me wrong, I love all the other gifts that have been given but my Grandmothers heart seems to be drawn to those gifts that are simple and given with lots of love and time. This story reminds me of a poem that I have kept in my heart since I was a child. It goes something like this....

"Which Loved Best" by Joy Allison

“I love you, Mother,” said little John;
Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on,
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his mother the wood to bring.

“I love you, Mother,” said little Nell;
“I love you better than tongue can tell!”
Then she teased and pouted half the day,
Till Mother rejoiced when she went to play.

“I love you, Mother,” said little Fran;
“Today I’ll help you all I can.”
To the cradle then she did softly creep,
And rocked the baby till it fell asleep.

Then stepping softly, she took the broom
And swept the floor and dusted the room;
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and cheerful as she could be.“

I love you, Mother,” again they said,
Three little children going to bed.
How do you think that Mother guessed
Which of them really loved her best'

Going back to the gift that my granddaughter gave to me, I wanted to finish the story. When we all arrived back home to my house after lunch, my granddaughter once again, removed the gift that she had made from the bag, and said, "This is such a special gift, that it needs to be put in a special place. It needs to be where there is lots of light, where the colors can be seen and people can see how beautiful it is. She looked around the room for just the right place to put it and at first she thought it should be displayed on the kitchen bar. I then said, "Nope, I have the perfect place for it". Together Brinley and I went over to one of my large windows in the dining area and set it right on the window sill. "I said, this is the perfect place because the light will shine on it and will make it even more beautiful." Brinley agreed. (The cute little object that she made for me is at the bottom of the picture with the gift bag and sticker card. Click on the picture and it will blow it up so that you can see that cute little creation.)

How do you think that I could guess... home much my Granddaughter loved me? Once again, I am not going to answer it, because actions spoke louder than words.

In this months Visiting Teaching Message...Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Reserved by the Lord for this time, [the rising generation] must now be preserved . . . and prepared for their special moment in human history! They have been held back to come forth at this time, but now they need to be pushed forward to meet their rendezvous. . . .
"Youth are not unlike prospective converts. There are those critical moments when their souls begin to tilt—toward the Lord or away from Him. These moments of decision cannot always be created, but when they occur, they must not be wasted. More often than not, these moments will occur in quiet and reverent conversation with parents, grandparents, a bishop, an adult leader, or a righteous peer" ("Unto the Rising Generation," Ensign, Apr. 1985, 8, 10).

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy: "Our rising generation is worthy of our best efforts to support and strengthen them in their journey to adulthood. . . . In every action we take, in every place we go, with every Latter-day Saint young person we meet, we need to have an increased awareness of the need for strengthening, nurturing, and being an influence for good in their lives" ("Our Rising Generation," Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 47).

How Can I Nurture the Rising Generation?

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008): "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried" ("Words of the Living Prophet," Liahona, May 1998, 26–27; "Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley," Ensign, July 1997, 73).

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president: "To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. . . . Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women" ("Mothers Who Know," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 76, 77).

Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency: "As Relief Society sisters we can help one another to strengthen families. We are given opportunities to serve in many capacities. We constantly come in contact with children and youth who may need just what we can offer. You older sisters have much good advice and experience to share with younger mothers. Sometimes a Young Women leader or a Primary teacher says or does just the thing that is needed to reinforce what a parent is trying to teach. And obviously we don't need any particular calling to reach out to a friend or neighbor" ("I Will Strengthen Thee; I Will Help Thee," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 117).

As a Grandma, I don't feel that the nurturing of the rising generation is just left up to their parents. Grandparents can have a significant effect in the lives of their grandchildren. A grandparents love and nurturing is something that in a child's life, that is extra special. It is the icing on the cake, or should I say the cherry on the top of the whipped cream. Parents have their children all day long, but Grandparents get to have their grandchildren from time to time and we need to make those moments really count. The memories our grandchildren will make with us will live on with them after we die. What kind of memories are we making with our grandchildren.

I love to see the love that goes into the Primary music that my 76 year old mother prepares each week for her Ward Primary. She spends hours thinking, planning and preparing the music using visual aids, and word strips and rhythm instruments and all manner of ways to teach and influence the Primary children. My mother can barely walk, and limps in pain with each step she takes, yet she takes them one step at a time, with a huge smile on her beautiful face. She is a silvery gray haired woman, completely lovely in every way. She is also one who has already given plenty of her years in Primary and music in particular, yet she still does it with a smile on her face and gives so much to those little primary children. How old is too old to be in the Primary? Just ask my Mom or should I say, go watch her in action, and you will see someone who lives by "enduring to the end" and cheerfully.

I hope I have shared with you some thoughts that might encourage and motivate you to think about the message of this month, about the contribution you can make to the rising generation, no matter how young or old you are. Enjoy! Love, Katie G

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Baaaaack!

It has been a while since I have posted or added some fun thing for you but there has been a reason. I became a grandma again, with my 10th Grandchild, and second grand daughter. This little dolly came a month early, and I excitedly did my Grand mothering and spent a week at the home of my son to help with the twins as well as the new baby. Whew, I realized why it is important to have your children when you are young. It certainly brought back memories, when I would pick up the toys and tidy the room, and leave for a few minutes, and upon returning, the room was basically looking the way it was before I cleaned it. Children.... you just gotta love them, and I did, and in fact loved them so much that my husband and I returned this past week to be there for the baby's blessing. We just returned home today.

When I returned from my first trip, I found out that my 78 year old mother was in need and had actually gone down and applied for a sewing job at Beehive sewing. She thought that she could sit and sew all day long and earn some extra money to get by. When she interviewed, she was told that there were some changes and instead of sitting and sewing, they stand all day at these round tables doing a production line. My Mom was disheartened because she cannot stand for long periods of time. ANYWAY.... I decided to help my Mom by creating a little business and together we are participating in a Craft fair, held up in Park City, Utah on the first weekend (Saturday) in December. Here is the information:

Little Dickens Craft Fair & Boutique
DATE: Dec. 5, 2009,
Time: 10 am - 4pm.
Location: Park City Community Church
4501 N HWY 224
Park City, UT 84098.

I have designed some darling aprons for Women, Men, and children. My dear sweet mother will be sewing these aprons until the cows come home, or at least until the fair. She will also be selling some yummy Lehi Mill Mixes, and if you have ever had those, you know how wonderful they are but even better for Gift Giving. I have been working feverishly on some cute craft items that you can give to your Visiting Teaching sisters, neighbor gifts, and other cute ideas that I have had. This is why there isn't any postings for October and November as far as new Ideas, because I have been working so hard to get these things ready for the Little Dickens Fair.

I would like to invite you to come to the Little Dickens Fair and Boutiques, and if you do, come... please find my booth and meet me and my mother. I have had lots of blog visitors want to meet me, and so here is a good chance as well as to have some fun at the fair. I am not sure what our booth will be called, but probably something like...."In the Kitchen" or "Cuteness in the kitchen" or something to do with he Kitchen.

I am leaving it up to my mother, and if she wants to continue to sew aprons, to earn some extra money, but if she does, then I will open an online store to sell them. We hope to sell out but who knows, how that will go? Oh and if you would like to see samples of my aprons, post a comment and I will add a picture to this post.

Go to my archives to see ideas that I have posted in the past if you have come searching for some new ideas. After the Fairs I will get back to taking care of this blog.

It is good to be back!!! Love, Katie G.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday General Conference

Wow, just when you thought that the prior conference could not be beat as far as the wonderful talks and messages that were given, another conference simply blew me away. What a marvelous conference this was again! As I sat in my family room listening to the talks, I kept having "Warm Fuzzies" sort of like those in the jar that a Primary sent to President Monson.No.... really my warm fuzzies came from the Spirit continually testifying to me of the truth of what was being said. If I could pick just one talk that was my favorite, and there were many, but I would have to say that the Talk given by Jeffery R. Hollandwas one that touched me the very most. His entire talk was a fervant testimony of the Book of Mormon and what a powerful experience. I don't know about you, but I could barely contain myself as tears flowed down my face and my heart felt like it was in my throat. The spirit testified to me the truth of what he was saying.,After Conference I was pondering the words of Elder Hollands talk and I remembered the testimonies of so many other leaders of our church. I began to mentally make a list of where I had read or seen these testimonies. I think when I get some time, I will make a link list of where these testimonies can be found so that others can be reminded of how powerful the testimony of our Prophets and church leaders are.

When music and testimony are combined, they become a powerful expression and I guess because I have such a love for music, two songs of Testimony come to mind right away.The first one that came to mind immediately was the testimony written in song by Bruce R. McConkie..."I believe in Christ" You can find it at http://www.lds.org/churchmusic/detailmusicPlayer/index.html?searchlanguage=1&searchcollection=1&searchseqstart=134&searchsubseqstart=%20&searchseqend=134&searchsubseqend=ZZZ I can't get through this song without crying. You can also hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing this powerful song at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGjMT9xlyMw

Another powerful yet simple song of testimony is that of President Gordon B. Hinckley's testimony, put to music by G. Homer Durham called "My Redeemer lives". It can be found at http://www.lds.org/churchmusic/detailmusicPlayer/index.html?searchlanguage=1&searchcollection=1&searchseqstart=135&searchsubseqstart=%20&searchseqend=135&searchsubseqend=ZZZ I wrote an Easter Program some years back that included the story of how this song came about. It goes like this... “When President Gordon B. Hinckley was first counselor in the first presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he wrote his testimony in a poem, which appeared in the New Era magazine in April 1983. Composers were asked to submit
musical settings to be chosen to accompany this hymn, which would be put in the hymnbook in 1985. President Hinckley wanted the music simple, or as he phrased it “something that he could easily sing to the cows while milking them.” Elder G. Homer Durham was one of many who submitted a tune, and when President Hinckley was making his selection, he was pleased to find out the identity of Elder Durham’s
submission, as the two men had been lifelong friends, from grade school through college, mission days and beyond.”
By the way, this easter program can be found here: www.defordmusic.com/eastermessagesfromourprophets.doc
The words of the song can be found here in the April 1983 New Era.. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=a3e6ad74be99b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=024644f8f206c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRDOnce again, what a wonderful Conference and I can't wait until the talks are available to read online and when the Conference issue of the Ensign comes out. I think they will get me throught until the next Conference. Katie G.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Conference Weekend

I so look forward to General Conference Weekends! I am so glad that it is here again. I loved the talks that were given today and in fact there are two of them that I have already pinpointed and will use for one of my blogs and for my Missionary work. I was looking up on LDS.org to find out when the talks will be available. I was hoping that they would be up today for today's talks, but I guess I will have to wait a while.When I was on LDS.org, I came upon some things that I had forgotten about and maybe you have too, so I thought I would share. There is a page on LDS.org located at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=cdd1f9bd8b7d4110VgnVCM100000176f620aRCRD&locale=0 that you can subscribe to some really great things. I use to subscribe to LDS gems, but my computer died and I forgot to resubscribe on my new computer. There are videos, podcasts, firesides, LDS church news, the Friend magazine and much, much more. My favorite has been the Gems, that use to really make my day. I would seem to be sent gospel topic quotes and messages via email that would speak to me or be just for me. I loved starting my day with an LDS Gem.

Anyway...just a tip from me... go to the link above and sign up for some of their subscriptions. It is well worth your time and will enrich your life.

ENJOY CONFERENCE!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

October 2009 Visiting Teaching Message

Yes, I know that I am a bit early in posting the new message for October, but I am out of town right now and didn't want to miss anyone who might want to read it online before I get home to finnish my post. Here is the location of the message....
http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,2044-1-4973-1,00.html
Remember you will have to copy and past the link into your address bar.

I am having a wonderful time enjoying my son's and daughter in law's new baby. She is absolutely beautiful and such a calm, sweet little disposition. My two grandsons (twins) are getting use to having her around their home now, and the entire home is making wonderful and blessed adjustments.

The message for October is on Nurturing the rising generation. I love president Hinkley's quote, in fact I feel like I am living it right now along side of my son and his family.President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008): "Never forget that these little ones are the sons and daughters of God and that yours is a custodial relationship to them, that He was a parent before you were parents and that He has not relinquished His parental rights or interest in these His little ones. . . . Rear your children in love, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Take care of your little ones. Welcome them into your homes, and nurture and love them with all of your hearts. They may do, in the years that come, some things you would not want them to do, but be patient, be patient. You have not failed as long as you have tried" ("Words of the Living Prophet," Liahona, May 1998, 26–27; "Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley," Ensign, July 1997, 73).

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm finding you Free Printables, Templates & downloadables

When I find something, I really like to share. I want to list the links here on this post, but they won't be active for you to be able to just click on them and be taken to the site, so I wanted to just get you here. NOW.... on the right hand column of this blog, I will list and update, as I find other great sites, links to printables, downloadables, and templates that I can see being used for fun little gifts for Visiting Teaching, and for other occasions. Just find " Free Printables, Templates & downloadables" and start clicking to find the treasures on each site. Enjoy! Katie

Here's a heads up.....


Many who find this blog aren't aware that I keep a storage unit blog full of cute handouts, printables, ideas, bookmarks, recipes and on and on. That is like the other half of this blog. If you are like me, you like to take your Visiting teachers a cute little thoughtful something when you visit them. It doesn't have to cost much, just as long as it is thoughtful and could even go with the lesson for the month. Anyway if you have missed this blog make sure you got to this link to find all the great stuff. Copy and paste this link into your address bar, and you are on your way. http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ Also just under my blog header or banner is an active link to that blog if you just want to click on it, it will magically take you there. Don't forget to search through the archives, found at the bottom of the right hand column for soooooo many more cute ideas. All I ask is from time to time, drop me a little note to let me know what you think or how you used what I have created. Thanks, Katie G

I LOVED THIS CUTE PHOTO OF THE WOMAN ON THE PHONE.... that I decided to duplicate it and use it as a reminder that you only have a week and a half to get your visiting teaching done for this month. Go ahead and pick up the phone, and make the call to arrange for your visit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I JUST HAVE TO SHARE - Meet Blyss


I'm a grandma once again today. I think I am just as excited for this new little Grand baby girl as I was for the first, second and so on. Being a Grandma is like the icing on a cake, and the cherry on the sundae! I am so proud of my son and the wonderful woman he married. Their other little ones, the twins, are adorable and I just wish that they lived closer so that Grammy could spend more time with them. Congratulations Chris & Jenna! Love, Momma

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 2009Visiting Teaching Message

My goodness, where has my little blog gone?"....because I have been so wrapped up in creating a new blog I forgot to even list the link that you can go find the September Visiting Teaching Message. Here you have it and sorry I am late: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,2044-1-4880-1,00.html Remember that you have to copy and past the link into your address bar.

I have actually read through the message already and just forgot to list it for your reference. This Quote from the message from Elder Wirthlin, painted such a beautiful picture, I think my handout will come from this. Look for it as I have it only created in my mind. I will hurry and try to get it on the "Visiting Teaching Surprise" site right away.http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ Keep checking back. For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, I am adding Elder Wirthlin's message here:

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: "Faithful members of the Church should be like oak trees and should extend deep roots into the fertile soil of the fundamental principles of the gospel. We should understand and live by the simple, basic truths and not complicate them. Our foundations should be solid and deep-rooted so we can withstand the winds of temptation, false doctrine, adversity, and the onslaught of the adversary without being swayed or uprooted. . . .

"Spiritual nourishment is just as important as a balanced diet to keep us strong and healthy. We nourish ourselves spiritually by partaking of the sacrament weekly, reading the scriptures daily, praying daily in personal and family prayer, and performing temple work regularly. Our spiritual strengths are like batteries; they need to be charged and frequently recharged" ("Deep Roots," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 75).

I think that like Elder Wirthlin says, if faithful members of the church extended our roots deeply in the fertil soil of the gospel principles, then we ourselves can withstand temptations that are thrown at us by the adversary, or "Old Scratch" as my dad use to call him. There needs to be such a balance in our lives. Obviously we need food to nourish our body, but we need to feed our Spirits constantly as well. Just as our body becomes weak from lack of food or water, our Spirits can suffer deeply if we don't provide the proper nourishment. That nourishment is what is said in Elder Wirthlins quote... partaking of the Sacrament weekly, reading the scriptures daily, praying daily in personal and family prayer and going to the temple and doing temple work. Of course there are other things to strengthen our Spirits such as Attend all our meetings, have Family Home Evening, and others as well.

I have been serving as a missionary in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program along with my partner, my husband. We have served now for about 24 months. We have loved this experience working with individuals who are suffering from their own addiction or the addiction of someone they love and care about. Something that we notice when individuals come for the first time and that they generally express in their sharing, is that they feel that they are in a cloud of darkness and can't see the light. Satan is the maker of that cloud of darkness and his tools are addictions of all kinds, drugs, alcohol, illegal acts and behaviors, cheating, stealing, lying and all maner of deception. Most individuals are at their lowest point, which has given them the humility it takes to reach out for help.

It is always a testimony to me of the Lord's love for his children because one of the first tendermercies He gives is the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. This Holy Spirit enters the meetings and fills the hearts of those in attendance and especially those who are there for the first time, with light, and warmth. One gentleman who was not a member of the church came to his first meeting. He began sobbing from the moment he entered and sat down as the meeting began. When it became time for sharing, he was still crying and began to appologize to the others in the room that he didn't know why he was crying. He then said something that is the key.... He said, "I feel something that I have never felt before, and I don't know what it is, but it feels good." Of course I now what he was feeling, and that was the Spirit and it was a tender mercy sent from the Lord to one and all of his children whom he loves, who are suffering from addiction.

Alot of Addicts are members of the church who have strayed from their roots, enough to lead them on a path that doesn't lead to happiness. But those roots are still there, maybe alittle more shallow that they were at first, but they know who they need to call upon and give their will up to Him. Only by doing so, can they begin on their road to recovery.

I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for providing me and you the tools to keep ourselves nourished in the Gospel. This nourishment keeps our roots holding firm strong when the strong winds and tumolts blow into our lives. I pray that all of us will do our parts to keep steadfast like the Oak tree, and hold fast to what we have been taught keeping firmly rooted in the gospel, so that we will not stray. If we have strayed, I pray that we can remember the warmth of the Spirit, and come back. I also pray for strength in the generations that follow us, because they are going to need to have their roots so firmly planted in the gospsel soil to withstand the nasty, ugly perversions that there are in the world today. Satan has unleashed his most vile and noxious temptations. May our children and grandchildren hold fast to their roots and remember what they have been taught.

You are all loved! Sincerely, Katie G.

P.S. If you are interesed in the new blog that I have created, feel free to go to http://thanksgivingvillageward.blogspot.com/ and take a look around. Make sure to comment and let me know what you think, so that I know you have dropped by.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Free downloadable and printable gift ideas

Go to this link for some cute printable gift ideas to share with those you Visit Teach. http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/09/sometimes-i-find-darlingest-if-that-is.html Enjoy! Katie G.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More ideas link

For some cute IDEAS using Canning Jars, and Seeds go to http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/09/cute-and-simple-gift-ideas-to-take-with.html

Monday, August 31, 2009

Go ahead, pick up the phone and make that call!

Today is the last day of the month that you can get your August Visiting teaching done. I know things are busy with school starting and such, but see if you can squeeze in a visit and vow to not let your next months visit take you to the last day of the month. Hey.... your sisters would like to hear from you. Just go ahead, pick up the phone and see if you can make it a visit!

By the way here is the link that will take you to the September Visiting teaching message..... http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,2044-1-4880-1,00.html The topic is "Understand and Live the gospel of Christ"

Check back to see what I have come up with to go along with this great message from our church leaders. Love, Katie G

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A new Visiting Teaching Surprise for you!

A new surprise for you can be found at my Visiting teaching surprise blog which is located at : http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/08/yummy-new-freezer-jam-recipe.html You will have to copy and paste this link because when I post things on blogger, links don't activate.

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To find the tips for keeping cool in the hot months of August, please go to this link
http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/08/keeping-cool-in-hot-month-of-august.html You will need to copy and past it in.

FREE ONLINE CLASSES

I mentioned in my August Visiting Teaching message post that is found below, "Did you know that you can take FREE online classes?" I should have not left you hanging right there but offered some of the places that you can go to take some of these. So.....ta daaaaa, here some of the are:

FREE BYU Online Study: http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/courses/select.cfm?type=pe Digging alittle deaper in this site I found a link to Free open courseware all over the world and even in different languages. Here is that link http://www.ocwconsortium.org/use/use-dynamic.html

Now that I have posted only this one.... I just remembered that months ago in this very blog, on the column to the right, I posted a stationary post that is titled "The Glory of God is intelligence...." Listed under that post are some of the very Free cources, or classes that I was going to post here.

These do not give you college credit, but will keep you learning and growing and expanding your mind. If you find any more classes that I have not listed, I would appreciate it if you would comment or email me so that I can list more FREEB classes for you to consider. You see when we use the word "FREE" we don't leave a out anyone unless they don't have a computer at home. Still, if you don't have a computer at home, you can still go use one at your local library, so there you have it.... the opportunity for Education and growth is available to all.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Rare find!

Mothers who teach their children correct principles are such a blessing, especially now days when there is so much vile, hurt and pain, grief, sadness and darkness in this world in which we all live. Of course we cannot forget the wonderful and the light and the happiness and values and such that we also see. I just got off the telephone with my daughter who shared with me a wonderful story that made me cry tears of joy. This little girl, who the story is about created the joy by the wonderful little person she has developed into. I cannot discount in any way the proper teaching by both he parents that helped her to do such a wonderful thing, all by herself. She is indeed a rare find. Let me tell you about this story.

This past week, a family traveled to Idaho to spend some time with extended family. While there many of them went to a particular lake and did some boating. They were also joined by friends of this couple and their families. One of the friends families has several children, but one child was born with cerebral palsy. She had a traumatic birth, which left her disabled in many ways.

As a side note, I personally gave birth to a handicapped child, and I understand the love that a parent has for their children and what a special bond and love there is between parents and their handicapped child.

The little girl who this story is actually about is 5 years old and is bright and beautiful. She is talented and exceptionally smart, and loves everyone. I have noticed in particular times when someone has been sad, this little girl makes her way to the sad one and eventually makes her happy. This 5 year old named Brinlely, has a gift to love no matter how abled or disabled they will be. I have to credit once again the teachings of her mother and father, as they too were brought up to love others and be compassionate to all. This compassionate and loving nature has rubbed off on their daughter and so now I will tell the rest of the story.

Brinley noticed this little girl who was handicapped and proceeded to ask questions about her to her parents. Receiving all the right answers, Brinley proceeded to go over to the little handicapped girl and ask her daddy "Can she hear me?" Her daddy replied, "Yes". She asked him what she liked to do and her mother told Brinley that she liked to be sung to, and the kind of songs that she loved to hear. At that, Brinley burst out in son, with her beautiful 5 year old vibrato voice, and sung her little heart out. You would have to know Brinley to understand that she is very animated and loves to dance and be dramatic. Brinley brought so much joy to this little girl that the little girl was smiling and happy by the attention and song. Brinley talked to her and made friends with her and spent time with her, though she could have ignored her like so many other children do.

All those who were there watching this secne unfold, were fascinated by the sweet disposition of charity and love and innocence that was being extended to this little handicapped girl. This is the way that all parents dream that their children, handicapped or not, will be treated. Childlike love, behaving like Jesus, showing genuine kindness and interest in the life of another is what Jesus taught. Looking past the handicap to see the child inside, and becoming a friend. This is what Brinley did and this is what parents should teach their children to do and how to behave when they meet or come upon someone who has differences about them.

You know that darling Primary song that goes something like this....
"I'm trying to be like Jesus,
I'm following in His ways.
I'm trying to love as He did,
In all that I do and say....

Love one another as Jesus loves you
Try to show kindness in all that you do,
Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought
For these are the things Jesus taught."

Little Miss 5 year old Brinley, If I could see you right now, I would want to hug all the stuffin out of you, as my Grandmother use to say. I am so proud to have you as my little grandaughter, and deeds like this are just what Jesus taught and I know that Jesus is smiling.

For years and years, I have to say that there were many kindness' extended to my own daughter who is handicapped. She has been somewhat befriended and for a great deal of the time, and mostly treated with kindness. I do have to say that there were many times I have been ashamed of people and their children for the unkind manner in which they treated my daughter. This created in me one of my greatest faults, as it hurt me so much to see my little girl treated so cruelly by others, whose parents simply didn't teach them correctly. Each time someone pointed or stared at my daughter, each time they laughed and said, "Look at her" or each time they made fun of her or called her a monster, I wanted to lash out with all the anger I could muster, and tell those people a thing or two. When my little girl would see that I was ready to do just that, she would sweetly say, "Mom, don't let that stuff bother you, they don't know me, and if they did, they wouldn't be acting like that." "Ignore it Mom, they just don't matter."I guess the reason that I am writing this blog, ends up being that Mothers who teach their children to love and be compassionate with everyone, and not just those who have differences, are raising children of the Lord. Children need to be taught how to be genuine and kind to everyone around them. They need to be Brinley and be genuinely interested, compassionate, and loving towards everyone. There needs to be less selfish children raised, less bullies, and many more Brinleys!

Once again I want to say "Hooray for Brinley" you certainly did the right thing, even though it was not even preconcieved before it happened. It was an spontaneous expression of kindess, and I am so proud to have you as my Grand daughter!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oooh, I was shocked!


I checked this blog this morning and was surprised and shocked to find some very offensive ads that had been placed on my blog. I must apologize for this, though I know not where they came from. The ads came from some unknown source but I was able to remove them, so hopefully your viewing of this blog won't be disturbed by the 'ugly and fowl". This is just like the world is today. A person tries to create something clean, fun, uplifting and enjoyable, and when the world steps it's ugly head in, it ruins it. Luckily I found it before it could be noticed by too many of you. Once again, I am sorry and I hope it will never happen again. Thanks, Katie G.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 2009 Visiting Teaching message

http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,2044-1-4851-1,00.html is the link to the August Visiting teaching message. You will find the link to the handout in this post.

For my message to you, I would like to refer to the quote from our Prophet President Thomas S. Monson: "Beyond our study of spiritual matters, secular learning is also essential. . . . I urge you to pursue your education—if you are not already doing so or have not done so—that you might be prepared to provide if circumstances necessitate such.

"Your talents will expand as you study and learn. You will be able to better assist your families in their learning, and you will have peace of mind in knowing that you have prepared yourself for the eventualities that you may encounter in life"
("Three Goals to Guide You," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2007, 119).

Many years ago my daughter and her dad had a long standing "BET". My husband bet our daughter that she wouldn't graduate from college before she was married. You would have to know my daughter to understand her willpower and determination. She told her Dad that the bet was on and they even posted a dollar amount of $100. Little did my daughter know or realize at the time, that this was her dad's way of encouraging her to complete her college education. My husband was the first of all his brothers and sisters to graduate from college and he had realized the value of education for both his sons and dauthers.

Throughout my daughers education, her dad would tease her and joke and say, "I know I am going to win this bet" with every cute boy that she brought home to meet her parents. My daugher would always reply, "Nope Dad, you are going to lose this bet." Still she dated and we wondered if she would get married to any of the wonderful young men that she was dating. I think our daughter knew more, and even though $100 wasn't worth waiting on marriage if she found the man she was to marry, she simply had an insite that we didn't.

Finally after 2 years of college, our daugher met a man who was working in the city we lived in, and where she was attending college. He had graduated from BYU in Engineering and accepted an engineering position in our area. He first saw her at a single Adults activity. Some months later, she was asked out on double date by a great young man her age, and his sister had asked out the one that our daughter would eventually marry. Well as you can imagine, they liked each other and he asked our daughter out and their courtship began.

Our daughter desired to transfer to BYU, so she did and guess who followed her? You guessed it. To make an even longer story shorter, they dated for 2 years before they were married, and you probably guessed it again.... she graduated from BYU before she was married and she won the bet. Bet you can't guess who was pleased as punch to pay off the bet????

This wonderful daughter also went on to get her masters, while she was married and graduated with a masters degree in Social Work.

Now why do I tell this story? It is because when the economy started to bottom out, and many people were laid off or let go from their jobs, our daughters wonderful and skilled husband was also let go. Even with all his education (MBA & Engineering degree) the company he was working for, collapsed, like so many other companies did. He was out of a job. Funny thing when tragedies hit, there is one vocation that never drops and that is the need for social workers.

Throughout her marriage, our daughter has maintained a small clientelle and has worked only a day and a half a week, so that she could still be a stay at home Mom and raise her children. Gratefully for that vocation that she worked so hard to achieve, she has been able to step in and help pay bills, and such while her husband searched for another opportunity. Without her education and choice of field, her family would be like most other families in this same situation, and lose their homes, and have some difficult times in their lives. I also have to credit my daughter for choosing a vocation that would thrive in hard times. She probalby didn't realize it at the time, but with lifes downward spirals and hard times, her vocation will always thrive out of need.

Sisters, we never know when we may need to fall back on our education to sustain ourselves and families in hard times. Education is fundimental and necessary, and like the scripture says at the first of the Visiting Teaching lesson, D&C 93:36–37: "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one."

Trials happen in everyones lives, and we must be prepared to rise to the challenges that face us. Sadly, today women are faced with all manner of trials that they have to deal with such as the death of a husband, loss of job and family income, divorce, needing to take care of parents, sibblings or other important people in your lives for one reason or another, or so many other trials that come upon us. How can we be prepared to financially handle these needs if we do not have an education to fall back on.

Education doesn't just mean financial support either, it means that we are able to help our children with their homework, encourage good study habbits, and motivate them to take their own education seriously. Eductaion is well rounded and we can use the things that we have learned to be a terriffic Den Mother or other Cub scout leader, teach in Relief Society Enrichments, and Sunday lessons as well. We can be actively involved in our communities and be examples and show leadership wherever we are.

Education doesn't just stop with college either. There is so much to be learned from becoming a Mother and raising children. Many women do not have the opportunity to become mothers, but they can play a vital role as Aunties, and sisters. My daugther that I have shared her story, has a cousin who is (lucky for us!)unmarried at this time, who has practically adopted her children and loves them like a mother. She is a blessing in their lives and loves to spend time when she can with them. Her influence and love stretch beyond the miles that she has to travel to see them.
We have another daughter who is also the Auntie of all Aunties, and spends many hours loving her little niece and nephews. They love Auntie Jenny and squeel with joy each and every time Jenny is with them.

Grandma's are such a blessing in the lives of their children and grandchildren as well. So much education goes on in their lives as they have lived long and have wonderful experiences and learning that they can share. My mother happens to have been a violinist and has blessed the lives of ALL her children through music. She has gone on to teach violin and educate musically to all her grandchildren, and now she is working with ther great grandchildren. What better and more loving education for the love of music and cultural arts, than for a grandchild to be taught by their (Great) Grandmother?

Well, I could go on and on, but I had better stop. Sisters, get a good education, continue to learn from good books, Education week, General Conference and womens conference. If you have the opportunity to take a class here and there, do it and enjoy the opportunity and growth that comes to you. Did you know that BYU offers many FREE online classes to take and so do many universities all over the United States. Keep learning and expanding your intellect. Educate yourself, and remember Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. “And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” ( D&C 130:18–19 )

Here is a good link for you to enjoy...http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:67jQMPzWVbUJ:institute.lds.org/manuals/the-gospel-and-the-productive-life-student-manual/prod-2-10.asp+whatever+principle+of+intelligence+you+gain&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

I have made a bookmark for the printed handout for this month, and you can find it by going to this link.... http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/2009/08/august-2009-visiting-teaching-handout.html

General Conference Talks

Hear the words of the living prophets.
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
There is no question in my mind, that we who call ourselves Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are indeed Christians. Those who would say otherwise remind me of the words my Savior, Jesus Christ spoke as He hung upon the cross... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This same Jesus Christ attoned for my sins, and died that we all might live.

What shall we give?

<>Other wonderful Christmas Videos, go to \http://www.lds.org/topic/christmas/christmas-videos.html

An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ

"This Easter and throughout the year, may we have uppermost in our minds His divine teachings, the unparalleled example of His pure love, and His willing sacrifice of self to accomplish the holy purposes of God, the Eternal Father." The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints"

This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!

My sister sent this to me today and I feel like it is an important enough message, that I wanted to share it with all of my blog readership. The words spoken are directly out of the mouths of our Prophets, past and present. Hear them, heed them. Love, Katie G. You can find this at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehD390q9G3k

July 24th - Pioneer Day

July 24th - Pioneer Day
Click on the picture and it will take you to the last post. Did you get your Visiting Teaching done by today? If not, just keep on trying, just like the pioneers. I would love to hear what you have learned from these wonderful Pioneer Women's stories. I know that I have learned alot about sacrifice, and persecutions of the early saints, and of a strong testimony that these Pioneers had to have to endure all that they did, and gave in establishing zion. Once again, I say, Blessed, honored Pioneer! If you would like to comment, please email me at ktgauger@gmail.com or click on the link and comment on the last story. Happy Pioneer Day! Love, Katie G.

July 22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr

July  22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr
Copy and paste into your address bar and this will take you to the story of Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr, another of the wonderful Pioneering Women.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.
Do you want to find out if you have Pioneer ancestry. This site is most useful to those who have had members of their family tree that belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Mormon migration period of 1847-1868. By the way, the goal for this Pioneer Women Journey is about to reach it's end. You only have one more day to do your Visiting teaching, before the 24th of July, which was the goal. You still have time to push the proverbial handcart up the hill, so get out and get it done. Share a pioneer story with your sisters, and you have pleanty to choose from right on this site.

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!
Wo is me, I am so behind on my own treck of keeping up wonderful Pioneer women posts. Actually I have a great excuse, and almost made it when I realized how little I have to complain about. Ok, so I am going to tell you anyway. My air conditioning has been off for 6 days now, and I am having to live in my basement, though my computer in upstairs. It is ten degrees cooler in the basement, but my main floor has been up to 92 degrees inside my house. Wo is me.... and what do I have to moan about. I began thinking about the pioneers in their covered wagons, crossing the hot, hot prairie, and their only hope of relief from the blazing sun is the cool shade of a tree, or a stream, or night time if it cooled off enough for them to actually sleep. I have not slept well until I decided to go in the basement. Wo is me. What do I have to complain about. I have been so sick from the heat and a medication change that I have been nauseated all day long. So what do I do... hop in my car and go to Walgreens and get some acupressure wrist bands that took away some of my nausea. Wo is me, but what do I have to complain about.... the pioneer women suffered without any relief. If herbs didn't work for them, or if they didn't have access to them, they just suffered. I feel so blessed to live in this day and age where even if I have to be inconvienenced by having no air conditioning, I still can go in my basement, or hop in my car and turn up the air full blast, or just drive down to a store and walk around and shop, or even go to the pool and cool down that way. You know that poem.... "Father forgive me when I whine, I have two legs, the world is mine"? I have no reason to complain, but you still didn't get the updates on the Pioneer women because I am still too sick and hot to stay upstairs long enough to do them. Count this one as an update and count your blessings along with me. The wagon might be broke for a bit, but once the wheel is back on, the wagon will keep on rollin. Now, I am going to hurry back down stairs and try to replenish the sweat that is pouring off my face and body with gatorade. Don't give up on me, I will be back! Love, Katie G.

July 17 - Handmade by the Pioneers

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride
....You know the drill... click on the photo and it will take you to the story of Margaret Alice McBride. Enjoy! Katie G

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee
This story is told through the eyes of Julia's husband. It is a short but touching story, all to familiar to Pioneers. Click on the image and you will be directed to the story.

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston
I thought it was important to realize that not all pioneers only traveled from Missiouri, Ohio or other Eastern States, but many were converted to the church and traveled from overseas. This story tells of the Church Emigration fund, and Louisa's family traveling first by boat and then on to Utah. Their travel took them 8 months to get there, with their fair share of challenges. Click on the picture and it will take you directly to the story.

July 13 - Mary Ann Payne

July 13 -  Mary Ann Payne
This is a cute little story about Mary Ann Payne that I found, and I know that you will enjoy reading about her. She is the top right photo. Click on the photo and it will direct you to the link that has the story. Enjoy!

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)
Click on the picture of Margaret and you will be taken to the link that you can read about her.

July 11 - Jane Jenkins Howe

July 11 -  Jane Jenkins Howe
Please click on the photo to see the history of Jane Jenkins Howe entitled - A WIDOW SUPPORTING HER FAMILY

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about this amazing Pioneer woman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman
This is a short story of a non-Utah Pioneer woman, who was taken by the indians as a little girl, and to read the rest of the story, you will have to click on the picture and it will take you to the link you need.

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler
The life of this marvelous Pioneer woman can be found by clicking on the photo which will take you directly to the link. This woman is classic Mormon History as her story tells of her being apart of so many of the historical accounts in Nauvoo, Hauns Mill, handcart pioneers, and so much more. I found her story so interesting that I couldn't stop reading until it reached the end. It was also interesting to me that she was given 3 Patriarical blessings in her lifetime, and she was truely a wonderful woman. I know you will enjoy reading about her as I did. Love, Katie G.

July 6 - Pioneer Cooking

Since all of us cook, I thought it might be interesting to find out what Pioneer Women cooked, how they did it and recipes they used. I found quite a few recipes, but I would like to open this one up to you and if you have any authentic pioneer recipes, please send them to me and I will add them to this post. My email is just to the right of this page.

Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/07/pioneer-recipes.html

I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!

July 5 - Ann Parker

July 5 - Ann Parker
Sorry I am so late posting this story, but click on the photo and it will take you to the link where her story will be told.

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)
I had to post about someone very special to me on this day. I chose one of my ancestors whose trek took her with the other ill fated pioneers of the Martin Handcart Company. I could not locate her photo, so I substituted one of her son's wives photos. Click on the photo and it will take you to the account given by two of her sons, of what she and her family dealt with after joining the church.

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw
I hope that you are enjoying so far, the stories of these wonderful Pioneer women. I hope too that your testimony will strengthen as you read about those who came before us and the unimaginable things that they had to do to pioneer the way for us to have what we do in our wonderful church. My gratitude and love for them has deeply increased, and I would echo the words in the hymn..."Blessed, honored, Pioneer!" Click on the photo of Elizabeth and it will take you to her history and for more reading about Elizabeth, you can go to http://students.ou.edu/G/Erin.R.Ging-1/story3.html Also there is another account of Elizabeth found in a book that you can read by going to this link... http://books.google.com/books?id=rzkAcWtngX4C&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=BRADSHAW,+Elizabeth+Simpson+Haigh&source=bl&ots=UJEtgTZ4Sf&sig=2h_qWhKeYEiK6hM8ev95tiRuu2M&hl=en&ei=kHE-SpW4JpDosQOe94n0CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block

You can find the posting of a marvelous Pioneer woman, whom I have chosen to spotlight on my other blog that is located at http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ and just click on the link and it will take you there! I hope you are having some good Pioneer fun!

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker
Did you think I forgot? Actually my life became so hectic today, that I am just getting some time to make my first Pioneer woman post. I hope you will enjoy reading about these marvelous women who came before us. I hope that you can feel their courage and understand that we too have a purpose for living in our generation. We are the generation that lives to prepare for the second coming of Christ,though none of us know when that will be.... and with that I will just say... Keep your wagons rolling along in good works, do your Visiting Teaching, strengthen your sisters through your testimony and determination to get your visiting Teaching done. Click on the photo and it will take you to the link where you can read about our Anne, who is most likely the woman in the middle front of the photo, holding the baby.

Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.

You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/

I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
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Downloading

When you click on the pictures or ideas that I have on my site for you to download, sometimes the picture ends up really large. What you need to do to size it is to go to the "page button" then click on zoom. Take it down to 50% and that should fit better on your screen for viewing . Also, if you right click "save picture as" then save it to a file on your computer, you can size it using your own desktop publishing program and then print it off with my compliments! Enjoy!

A February Enrichment Idea

A February Enrichment Idea
"The Hearts of Angels" dinner & program. Click on the picture and it will take you to where you can find the entire program written out. Once you get to the site which is my Visiting teaching surprise, make sure to scroll down a ways because there are alot of other great ideas, printables and handoust before you will find this wonderful "Angelic' program. Enjoy!

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?
I have also been enrichment leader from time to time as well as have been asked to do many projects for Enrichments. I am not sure if anyone would be interested in some of my ideas, but if you are, please leave me a comment and I will respond. One thing that relates to Visiting Teaching that I wanted to share is something I have taught for many years, and in fact my Daughter in her Park City ward just used this idea in their Super Saturday last week for the second time. It is Glass etching and it is really pretty easy and turns out to be a great project. The etching I do is etching glass casserole or platters with the name of the person who will receive this gift or for whomever is signed up for the class. I have given etched casserole dishes as wedding gifts and have taken many casseroles, rolls, cakes, and all kinds of goodies to people, and always get my dish back, because it has my name etched in it. Go to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ to get instructions.

Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids
Read the idea below

"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea

This is an email I received from a wonderful sister as well as a new Relief Society President about an idea that they will be doing as a theme for their activities for this year. (if you have a great idea to share, please email me at katie1956gauger@mindspring.com and we can add it to all the other terriffic ideas!

Dear Katie,
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho


SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....

Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots.
You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.