Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WFMW - Giving Myself Permission

Works for Me Wednesday
Taking Baby Steps
After unloading the van Saturday night, this is what one area of our family room looked like:

This is what it looked like this morning:
It may not look like much of a change, but we are making progress. See, the bins are empty. And by this afternoon, one of the two counters had been cleared off.
I've learned to give myself permission to do a little bit at a time, and not get stressed over getting everything all cleaned up immediately. So, first everything gets out of the car, then everything gets out of the bins, then all the "stuff" gets put away, and then we put the bins away. Same for suitcases and dirty clothes, and the bags of maps and paperwork, and uploading, then ordering, then organizing pictures.
We had a great trip last week, taking 32 youth to Nauvoo, Illinois (with help from six other adults). Here's the collage of the road trip. Pictures of the other activities will come when they come.I learned a long time ago that it takes at least two weeks to prepare for a one-week vacation, and another two weeks to recover. Having been home only 1/2 week, I think we're doing pretty well at getting caught up with everything. And that's my "works for me" tip of the week.
Remember you can find many great ideas over at We are THAT Family! Hope you're all having a great summer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Links

It's been a busy week (more on that later), so this is a day late, but in honor of Father's Day we wanted to share a couple of articles/posts we came across yesterday. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
1) Here's a link to Wayne's cousin's blog where she wrote out her sacrament meeting talk. She had some great thoughts to share - "In Honor of Fathers and Priesthood Holders."

2) Happy NEW Father's Day! (Just in case you haven't found these pictures yet. Steven particularly likes the first one with the soccer ball.)

3) We all thought this article in our Sunday paper also described the dad in our home quite well. What do you think? (I've copied part of it below.)

LEVI (who is 14 years old): It's Father's Day today, so let me tell you about Dad.

He can be really annoying.

But in his annoyingness, he has also taught me important lessons about money and other things. Let me offer some examples.

1. Dad doesn't let me buy many things I want with my own money. But because of that, I've learned from him how to think through logically whether I really need something, or whether I just want it.

2. He is a cheapskate with his money, so he often goes for the cheaper option when we have a choice about something. But that has taught me to like camping, since when we travel, he usually likes to camp rather than shell out money for a hotel.

3. Dad doesn't let me play many videogames, which I hate because so many of my friends do. But his restrictions have forced me to enjoy other kinds of entertainment and use my imagination a lot more. When I was younger, my friends and I would spend hours playing pretend games with "swords" (plastic pipes and sticks) -- thanks to my restrictions on videogames.

4. Dad is strongly opposed to buying junk food. This has made me eat, and even like, healthful food. In fact, given a choice, I'll sometimes pick healthful options over junk food.

5. Dad has passed down to me the value of saving things as small as Halloween candy. That has definitely cluttered my room, which is filled with things I'll probably never use. But it also means that I save money -- waiting for something I really want instead of just need.

6. On weekends, Dad drags me outside to do yard work. Again, pretty annoying. But I also know that the time in the hot sun working in our jungle-like backyard helps me appreciate when we have a barbecue on the newly cleaned deck or when I look out on the backyard from my bedroom window.

7. Dad values experiences over money, which meant that when I was little, I'd get upset that I didn't get huge Lego sets. But now, I appreciate the times I spent with my dad and cousins building inexpensive model rockets.

8. Dad saves things until they are about to fall apart or are so outdated that they are unusable. I've written about how annoying this is when it comes to our family computer, which is deteriorating rapidly. But his approach has meant our family has saved a lot of money over the years, and enabled us to take trips that we never could have taken otherwise.

So overall, there's no doubt that Dad can be really annoying. But there's also no doubt that many of these annoying things will only help me in the long run.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WFMW - Photo Albums

Works for Me Wednesday
Simple Photo Albums

Someone asked if Wyatt looked like his dad as a newborn. I decided I was curious about that as well, so went to pull out the pictures. Then I realized that our system of storing pictures would make a great "works for me" post. From the time we were married, I was pretty good about putting our pictures directly into photo albums - nothing fancy, just make sure the date's on the back, and slip them in. (I would always order double prints - one set went into the family photo album, and the other was divided among grandparents and the kids' scrapbooks.)

The first ones weren't particularly archive-friendly, so once I realized that, we switched to these simple acid-free 6-to-a-page albums. And several years ago I bought a bunch more and moved our first pictures into them.

Now we have over 30 albums, but because everything is in chronological order, it's super simple to find the pictures we want. (Of course, that assumes no one has removed the photo and never replaced it. THAT would never happen!)

Now, you can decide for yourself if Wyatt looks like Weston!

That's what works for us. This is what works for others. What works for you?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our son's a Dad

and we're so happy for him. To read the whole story, go here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

3 of 936

Memorable Monday Moments
starting early

Family Home Evening is important. Elder L. Tom Perry taught last conference that "parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. . . Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time.. . . It is our sacred duty to do our very best."

I am so grateful I married someone who agreed with this statement. I'm grateful that we had Family Home Evening every week (well, at least 98% of the time). And I am extremely grateful that I can now see the effect of that effort in the lives of our children.I'm not saying we had perfect family home evenings. In fact, this was how Weston's 3rd FHE started - with him asleep on top of me. But we tried and we did our best, and we'll continue to strive to do our best in our responsibility to teach our children in our home.

Because most of them have moved on to living their own lives thousands of miles away, that means that now a lot of our teaching has to be done long distance. So, today we're going to encourage them all, but especially the brand-new parents, to be sure and have family night tonight. And, of course, after a short and sweet lesson on the plan of salvation and the miracle of birth, sending us pictures of the newest member of our family would be the perfect activity!

Edited: They didn't even wait for family night to upload pictures. Wasn't that nice of them?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

WFMW - Summer Bucket List

Works for Me Wednesday
"How to keep from being Bored during the Summer"Although I am never bored, sometimes that's not true for my kids. So, for the past couple of years I've looked forward to the "Summer Idea Lists" on Works for Me Wednesday. And it's here again. Kristen even linked the posts from the past two years, so there are triple the ideas!

Unlike a lot of you, our summer doesn't even start until a week from Friday (although with final exams at the high school next week, our schedule won't be "normal"). Then we immediately jump into the week-long Priest/Laurel trip to Nauvoo. However, once we've recovered from that, we'll still have two months of "freedom" until school starts again. Brad's wedding will fill a couple of those weeks, but I still want some sort of summer plan! And I discovered a great idea this morning - The Summer Bucket List.Haven't you ever wanted to go swimming in the car washing bucket? No? Neither have I, but I do want my kids to have fun, and yet help around the house as well. So I think this summer, instead of doing our "List of Fives" we'll make summer bucket lists. I know there will be a couple of online classes, summer reading for English, and an Eagle project on the list, but I wonder what else will be? Here's the start of mine:
  • Have the kids make a "bucket list!"
  • Read the Women's Conference talks
  • Start a "Family Almanac" blog
  • Clean and organize the bedroom closets
  • Complete the pile of Christmas crafts
  • Finish weeding the backyard
  • Update the recipe binder
  • Set up a Facebook page
  • Learn how to drive the lawnmower
  • Make progress on the kids' scrapbooks
Okay, so maybe this isn't a "true" bucket list, but having written it down will motivate me to do better at completing some of these projects that have been on the to-do list forever. And I still have three weeks to make an even better list!Here are some links I found to give me some ideas. Maybe they'll be helpful to you as well!
Updated May 2017: Some of the links no longer work, so I removed them. However, I kept the titles to help you brainstorm on your own.
Have a happy and safe summer!