"Hope is the anchor of our souls. I know of no one who is not in need of hope—young or old, strong or weak, rich or poor. As the prophet Ether exhorted, “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." (President James E. Faust, "Hope, An Anchor of the Soul", Oct. 1999)
This is the the little scripture journal packet that I put together for the young women that I talked about a couple of days ago. Look for additional downloads as I get them prepared to upload. We got composition notebooks for each of the young women. I spray painted a few black so they would look like a chalkboard, found the idea on pinterest. It was a really simple way to dress up a composition notebook. However I left quite a few in the lovely black and white geometrics.
The tags were inspired by Martha of Marthwrites.com (found here). Martha's handwriting is so wonderful, I have handwriting envy! I attempted to recreate her tags, but my left-handed angle was lost with her delicious swoops and curves. It doesn't appear that forgery will be my next profession, but it was a fun exercise none the less.
The girls also received a file folder filled with a few ideas:
1. Scripture journal overview that Dana created. It's a create overview of scripture journals, ideas, and formats. Dana said was inspired by Shannon over at Redheadedhostess, a wonderful resource.
2. Plan of Salvation pages (Dana created these using my Plan of Salvation downloads. Thanks Dana.)
3. Book of Mormon Maps created by Shannon.
4. Copies "The Living Christ" and "The Family: A Proclaimation to the World". I thought having their own copies would allow them to cut and paste according to their individual study preference.
5. A few other handouts that I will share in the next little bit after I get the downloads ready.
I also included a quote page on the importance of keeping a scripture journal. I formatted this to print on sticker sheet with 6 square stickers. You can certainly print it on cardstock and cut the quotes out as well.
As I was preparing for this evening I found more and more quotes and teachings about the importance of writing down the sacred things of our hearts. I had to narrow it down to six, but I will definitely work on another sheet for the future.
The last thing I included for the young women was a "fluff" envelope. I wanted each of the girls thave little bits of things they could use to dress up a page if they wanted. The envelope contained tabs, circles, labels, a couple hand cut hearts, tags, etc, etc, etc. I explained that the fluff isn't what is important. At least I hope I did, I have been nursing a horrible "bug" that I have let get out of control. I'm on antibiotics now, but much of that night is fuzzy. I hope they knew that it's called fluff, because that's what it is, fluff. Now don't get me wrong, fluff is nice, it's still just fluff.
Included in the fluff were these value tags that I created for each of the girls. I used this estate punch for my design, drew a little outline, added the text using Nelly Script Flourish designed by Crystal Kluge (had a lovely conversation Stuart Sandler, Crystal's associate. He answered all my questions about commercial use licenses. I have a new respect of font designers and all the work that goes into their products.) I then printed the individual value pages on their respective color and punched them out. It was a simple project that resulted in some lovely labels.
I currently have no inspiration on what I should write with the value labels, but I wanted to create an example of one way to use them in their journals so I created little 3 1/2 inch wide flaps using extra cardstock from another project and some decorative paper tape. I am anxious to fill in the flaps one day when the Spirit directs. Perhaps I will talk about my expereinces with the values from my youth. I still remember hearing and learning about the values and the new personal progress program when it was first introduced. It would change my YW experince as the values and their colors would fill my life.
Perhaps I will fill the pages with someone who typifies that particular value and what I can do to become more like them. Or I might write down what I know about each value and how adhereing to the principles can enhance my life creating the woman I want to become. I will have to think about it some more, pray, and listen to the things the Spirit would like to teach me.
I had every intention last year to upload the pattern for these puppets, but I forgot in the bustle of everyday life. Then to my delight I found that Kirsten over at embellishgoods had recently uploaded the pattern. If the link doesn't work (I don't know how long she will have it up on her site, you can download it here:
My puppets are slightly different than her examples, but it's the same pattern that I received one day years ago in Relief Society. I chose to sew everything down. I wanted the puppets to last and 15 years later they are still around. A little stained, but well loved. The googley eyes are the kind that can be sewn as well. Everything needed to be nice and secure with the rough and tumble of our house.
I took the photos of the individual puppets on different days as I couldn't find a few of the puppets, namely Mary. Loaf loves the baby Jesus and hides the puppet in secret places. I shot the puppets on the same spot in my studio, but as you can tell not at the same time because the light and back grounds look very different. I love that about light, of course in this case I should have paid closer attention.
I have kits ready to start sewing a set of puppets for each of the children as they start their families. It will be a fun gift and hopefully one that they will appreciate.
Mom and Dad hosted a wonderful gingerbread house and fort morning for the grandchildren. They worked together to create a delightful village of deliciousness. Thanks Dad for sending the photos. One of the beautiful things about boys,that I'm slowly learning to appreciate, is the way they play. The boys decorated their fort with the theme "Attack of the killer worms". It was marvelous!
"Loaf, what are you going to be when you grow up?" I heard one of the girls ask her one night
"When my hair is long?" she asked.
"Yes, when your hair is long." the giggled response came.
"Well, I not grow up right now. I has short hair."
Loaf is not quite ready for the big life questions, now choosing which dress to wear is another matter.
When we first decided to get a dog both John and I were ardent that it would be an outside dog, but even before Ellie came home we knew she would be an inside dog as the girls talked about sneaking the dog in through their bedroom windows.
Then I was serious that she would not be on the furniture and slowly despite my best efforts the children have been sneaking her on their laps on the couches.
All this culminated into Ellie looking up at me Saturday night with her huge puppy eyes as we were all up on the bed, and she was stuck on the floor. So I did the unthinkable, I called her up. How did I move so far from the strict rules I set up months ago.
I never understood dog people and now I have become one and happy to have changed.
My bedroom is a gathering place in our home. As I have heard other couples talk about their rooms as their sanctuaries and the boundaries they have set. I think about how wonderful it would be to have that kind of set up in our home, but then I walk into my room and see a pile of bodies watching a movie, laughing at the funny things they remember to tell one another, a little something to read during the boring parts. I see all this loveliness and smile at John knowing that these times will not last and one day our room will be once again just for us. Until then I will endure the crumbs in my sheets and the socks under my pillow with more joy.
The potty training has more downs than ups, however one day last month Loaf decided she was done with diapers. For an entire week she went to the bathroom and I thought we were done with diapers, but it was only for a week and then she decided going to the bathroom was too much of a hassle. I should be better about encouraging her, but my motivatation is waining. Maybe after the holidays.
Seeing as how Loaf is not currently using her underwear for it's desired purposes the littles found another use for the clean undergarments. Their laughter was almost uncontrollable as they walked into the room to show us. It's amazing how much delight can be found in simple things.
A classic conversation:
"DAD! Mom has threatened to spank me if I don't get my job done." Tank said one Saturday with disgust and horror.
John smiled and said, "Well sometimes that happens when we are not obedient. My mom spanked me when I was a little boy."
"BUT DAD, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND! MOM SPANKS HARD!" He was serious and I was trying not to laugh from the other room.
Chuckling John replied, "I know son, she has spanked me before." and before John could finish his sentence Tank with great disgust shook his head and said, "that is wrong in so many ways."
He didn't miss and beat. The children are utterly disgusted when we are affectionate. We tell them that one day they will appreciate it and think we are cute, but consensus is that it's not likely.
He did such a great job in his Christmas program. He has a great teacher who loves him very much.
I am so thankful for all the teachers in our lives. As I have contemplated who they are and the beautiful things they do for my children I am so blessed to have such positive influences that help them grow. In reflecting about the horrors of the shootings in Connecticut I look at those who bless our lives and in them I see the same kind of dedication, love, and devotion not only to their profession, but to the children as individuals. I know that if something horrible were to happen in our school they would protect and defend my little sweethearts at the cost of their own lives if necessary. Thank you dear teachers in our lives!
"He whose birth we commemorate this season is more than the symbol of a holiday. He is the Son of God, the Creator of the earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the fulfillment of the Law of Moses, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace. . . .
" 'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
" 'For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
" 'That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.' (D&C 76:22-24)."
"This is our testimony to all mankind. It is our gift and blessing to the world. He is our joy and our salvation, and we will find Christmas of greater meaning in our own lives as we share these truths with others.
(President Gordon B. Hinckley, "What Shall I Do Then with Jesus Which Is Called Christ?," Ensign, Dec. 1983, 5)
A few people emailed me about what kinds of pens I use in my scripture journals so I whipped up this little chart. I am very picky about what I use to write with. I have tried different pens over the years and these are the ones I currently use all easily found at most office supply stores.
I always use the first two pens: Uniball Signo 207 micro and Sanford uniball micro for everything I write. From checks to cards to scrapbook pages, they are my go to pen. I love the way the pen moves along the paper, I don't know if being left-handed has anything to do with this, but they are my pens of choice. Of the two I love the Sanford the best, but sometimes the little ball at the tip dislodges because I push to hard when I write, but I have used this pen for years and years and years.
I use the Pilot Precise pens primarily when I create a title. I like the way the ink flows out and fills in the space. It also doesn't bleed into the back of the paper, which is nice when I am adding so much ink in the headers.
The Sharpie pen is advertised to not bleed and so far so good. I use this primarily when I have slick surfaces like labels or post-it tabs.
The Staedtlers are also good on the glossy items. I will admit that I rarely use these as I don't love the tip quite as much.
Microns (not pictured) are amazing pens! I have a tendency to bend the tips because I push to hard when I write so I typically keep these for art projects.
My favorite scripture pens are Staedlter Triplus Poruous Point Pens. My mom gave me a set probably about 5 years ago and I have used them ever sense. I use them directing in my scriptures, although I will warn you that if you push too hard they can bleed through to the opposite page. However, I'm a serious pusher when writing and I have been quite pleased with the results. They are bright and maintain their colors well, at least since I have been using them.
As you can see there is a faint lines of color showing on the opposite page when you hold it up to the light. It has never bothered me, but you might want to try it out first before you commit if you are worried about your scriptures. I abuse my scriptures in the most loving and wonderful way.
Look for some scripture journal downloads next week.
Now to the WINNERS!!!! This was such fun drawing the winners! Congratulations. If you could email me your address and let me know if you have issues with Loafie graffiti indentations.
*A funny story I just remembered about the uniball pen: I was introduced to this pen when I was signing a plumbers invoice one day. I think I scared the poor man and I certainly embarrassed the children present as I talked about what an amazing pen he had. I think he gave me the pen so he could get out of the house.