Tuesday, November 24, 2009
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.
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.
and it will take you there in a flash! Enjoy! Katie G.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
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
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!
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
General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
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 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
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.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
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.