President Kimball was the prophet of my childhood.
I loved him.
I knew he loved me despite my color (which is not very much) and race.
I knew that I mattered.
I remember when he died. It was hard for me. I cried and kept the newspaper clippings about his death and life in my journal.
President Kimball is my prophet. (I have loved all the others so this might sound silly. I wrote a little about Pres. Monson here.)
I know that sounds selfish and perhaps a little strange, but I feel like I have claim over him. Perhaps we all do.
I have loved the other prophets who have served, but the bond seems different. Perhaps it was because President Kimball is the first prophet whose impact was huge on my young life. He was there as my young tender testimony of the gospel began to grow.
Perhaps it's the passage of time and as I look back affectionately he is part of those memories. I can still hear his raspy voice, unique, comforting, and lovely. I am so thankful that I can go and listen to his voice anytime I want. The church has provided past conferences from before the time I was born. I don't remember any specific message that President Kimball gave, not from my memories. I have studied many as an adult, but as a child I only remember how I felt when he spoke.
Today as we prepare for another General Conference I look at my children and wonder if they will have the same affection towards the prophets of their youth. Will they look back at one particular prophet and say "he is my prophet"? Will they well up with tears hearing his voice? Have their testimonies been influenced by who he is and how he lives his life? Will they cherish his testimony and teachings?
No matter who their prophet is President Kimball will always influence their lives. I am continually asked if we are related and those same people always tell me a story of how he influenced their lives and how much they love and respect him. I hear experiences where he would tenderly embrace someone or have the person lean down so he could give them a kiss on the cheek. He made people feel loved.
I love the story my father in law, affectionately known by the grandchildren as Oopa recounts. One day he was walking with President Kimball and he asked Oopa how they were related. Oopa responded, "my great grandfather is your father's 1/2 brother". To which President Kimball replied, "Allen, there are not fractions in the Kimball family".
I think he felt that way about all people. I hope that my children will learn to love in that same way. That they will see beyond any difference and see that a person's true worth and value. I know their father has that same kind of love. I hope that they will cleave to their testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ. That they will follow His example in loving and serving all with whom they associate. I hope that they will always know that I am striving to learn, grow, and become a better mother through these same principles. I hope they will remember how much I love them.
1. Get a blank notebook. I love moleskine notebooks, in case you were wondering. I'm getting orchid purple for this conference. In addition to the black and purple there is beige, and underwater blue.
2. During conference take random notes, thoughts, impressions. Listen to the what the spirit has to say in an overall broader picture for my life. I also draw, paint or sew as I want my mind to be focused on the words and my feelings.
3. Review the conference talks at a later date. Pondering and focusing on learning the individual messages. I mark my conference Ensign like I make my scriptures.
4. Take notes.
With the General Women's conference just days way and General Conference in a week I find myself reviewing what I have learned over the last 6 months from the words spoken last October. Did I accomplish the goals that I set? Did I become a better person, even if only in one area of my life?
I thought about what else I needed to do to prepare for this year conference. Should I prepare some sort of download, update any changes within the church leadership on the "conference is awesome" downloads, or think of new ways to help engage my children during conference? Perhaps I will do something after conference.
Conference weekends are some of my favorite times of the year. Look at this cute gem I found from last year. My children haven't always been excited about conference weekend, except for the fact that they don't have to get into their Sunday clothes, until I started "CONFERENCE IS AWESOME". A few days ago I noticed the little guys had pulled out their conference notebooks and were talking about how they couldn't wait. They were discussing the treats they earned from listen and I know they were more excited about the candy, but I'm okay with bribery. Let the fun begin.
Here are some of the main conference weekend links:
1. What we do to make conference awesome.... it's better than a movie.
We went to the temple this morning, and Dean sent the girls off to baptisms after they were confirmed and then kept me there to confirm. About 10 minutes later he turned to me and said, "did you want to baptize your daughters?" He is a funny man. The little guys start junior jazz instructional league on Saturday morning, which will be amusing. I am planning on coaching them the following year once they are out of instructional league. I plan on using the triangle offense that has been employed by Phil Jackson with the Bulls and the Lakers. The elders can probably give you an explanation of how that offense works. I really enjoyed coaching Tank and Rock, and coaching Dash and Brick will have the added advantage that they are fast and athletic. They broke Dash's bed, which I just fixed, by jumping from the tall chest of drawers down onto it hundreds of times. Finally the side boards cracked from the bolts, and the bed fell apart. I told them tonight when we were doing reading not to break Dash's new bed, and they said, OK, we'll jump on Brick's bed. In the last stake conference Elder Tate came, and he gave a challenge to read the Book of Mormon three times, the first timing marking everything that is a gift given from God to his children, the second time marking everything regarding Christ, and the third time marking everything we can liken to ourselves. I have been doing this with both the little boys and the big boys, and it has been quite successful and amusing. The little boys carefully listen to every word because they want to be the first one to call out something to mark. They are quite refreshing in what the notice, such as they call out words like "hands" because God gave us our hands, "manner" because we need to have good manners (even though the usage in the Book of Mormon for the word "manner" is "after the manner" rather than manners). It is great. Loaf generally attends the little boy sessions.
Sunday was the primary program, which was both spiritual and hilarious. At one point Brick licked his finger and then used that finger to dig into his ear. Very entertaining. He was also trying to get at left over sacrament bread, and then when Mom wagged her finger at him he made his finger into a gun and shot her giving that half toothless grin while he did it.
The girls did french braids for Loaf this afternoon. She looks really cute with them. We are up with grandma and grandpa at Bear Lake with all the cousins for a family reunion for three nights. We did the wave runners today, although they call them something else now, sea doos or something like that. I did my best to traumatize all of our children by going full speed, finding waves to jump, and doing tight turns while still going full speed. Arnold and Gus would not go with me. Fred had a great time. Rock was scarred for life. Tank had a great time. Brick loved it most of the time, but was traumatized when I found some large waves. Dash went back and forth between terror and exhilaration. Loaf went a couple of times between Fred and me and loved it. The house we are staying in is very good for children. It has slides in addition to stairs and many great play areas. The kids have a great time and get very tired. So it is perfect. Yesterday we went to a large cave with 444 stairs that we traveled in on and then back out on. There was some complaining, but it was enjoyable. Brick said it was the worst vacation ever yesterday followed by saying it was the best vacation and best day ever later in the afternoon and today. On the way up going through Logan canyon, which is quite curvy both Tank and Brick threw up. Fortunately we had a large bag that they both successfully used. When we got out of the car they handed it to Uncle Tom. He was quite pleased.
"Repeatedly God has described His course as reiterative, "one eternal round".... We mortals sometimes experience boredom in the routine repetition of our mortal tasks, including even good works; and thus vulnerable, we are urged to not to grow wary in well doing... But given God's divine love, there is no boredom on His part amid His repetitive work, for his course, though one eternal round, involves continuous redemption for His children; it is full of goodness and mercy as His long-suffering shows His love in action. In fact we cannot even comprehend the infinite blessings which await the faithful "eye hath not see, nor ear heard." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine (Salt Lake City; Bookcraft, 1988), 53-54)
"The divine delight in what seems to us to be mere repetition is one clue to the sublime character of God. Since we must, at times, accept what appears to be routine, repeated experiences, we too, if we try, can find fresh meaning and fresh joy in the repeated experiences. God's course is one eternal round but it is not one monotonous round. God is never bored, for one who has perfect love is never bored. There is always so much to notice, so much to do, so many ways to help, so many possibilities to pursue." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "A More Excellent Way" (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1967), 84-85)
A few layout for the week. I only seem to get one done a day. It feels slow, but considering I just work here and there if there is time I suppose it's okay.
I am enjoying mixing the new products with some of the very old product I kept from the old days.
This layout made me reconsider why I started scrapbooking again. The tiny wood letters made me CRAZY! I disliked the project life cards so much that I am giving the rest of the kit away.
I added an insert for a few of the extra photos. I sewed a little ribbon on the edge.
without the insert... the layout flows better with the insert
I remembered to close ups of each side, because people asked. Not very exciting, but here they are.
Last one for this week. I didn't take photos of all the layouts. It's not really very interesting. I'm not sure what you are interesting in know or seeing. Let me know.
No need to worry.
I am fine, just fatigued.
A few curveballs thrown.
I feel weak, not in control.
It makes me more humble.
Everyone has trials.
No one is exempt.
I am not alone.
I'm not giving up.
I'm not backing down.
God hears our prayers.
He knows us.
He strengthens us.
He loves us.
I feel stronger.
I can go on.
I'm sure I told you already that I subscribe to the Studio Calico project life kits. It's frivolous, but I love the quality of their cards and getting a little box of new supplies in the mail each month really helps me stay motivated. Last month I decided to get on of the add on kits and I will have to admit that when I saw the pen in the kit I was not very excited. I have never had great luck with white pens, but decided I could give it to the littles to play with.
So yesterday when I revamped my conference journal and as I was putting all the journals way in the cupboard staring back at me were 6 identical journals. Not really a problem, but certainly not convenient for fast retrieval. I went to my stash of used white pens that never seem to work as promised and started testing on the back of my personal journal from last year.
1. Sharpie paint pen: Splattered every where and struggled on the soft surface of the notebook. On a harder surface I think you can get a nice even look. Longer drying time.
2. Sakura Permapaque: wrote nicely, but not bright enough for me.
3. Uniball Signo: (I miss labeled this as I was writing, sorry). It took quite a while to dry and on the soft cover did not write evenly. This pen is still one of my go to white pens.
4. American Crafts Permanent Chalk Marker: dried quickly, strong white. The only down side is that it's a little thicker than I like to write with, but I can't have everything right?
5. Zig Writer chalk: Warning: there was nothing on the cover as I was writing. It was clear and I thought the pen an absolute dud. It wasn't until I took the picture this morning that it was white. I might write over it again to see if a second coat improves the brightness.
6. Silver Sharpie: worked beautifully, dried instantly, just thicker than I wanted.
My all time favorite journals are moleskine notebooks. I have tried more notebooks that I can count and I always come back to the moleskine. I love the extra large size (7.5 x 10) and it has a soft cover. I love the black journals, but I noticed yesterday that there are now beige, orchid purple, and underwater blue in the extra large size. I abuse these notebooks and they hold up beautifully. You are looking at new journals that are just starting out, but they will double in size and get mashed in books bags, thrown around... they take the abuse beautifully.
2. Personal journal: I find that I need to clear my mind before I study. Writing in my journal has been the therapeutic emptying that I need.
4. Book of Mormon: feelings and impressions as I read my favorite book. Remember if you want a free copy of my favorite book I would love to send you one. (here)
I do not profess to be an expert in journaling, creative or scripture journaling. I have just found things that work for me and I write. In the various posts I have linked people a few people that have inspired me. There are so many more. People who have a gift of writing and expressing themselves. This is just my little corner of the world and it really only has meaning for me.
Do you ever have a great idea, but the reality of of it just doesn't work out?
I do this all the time. I think of something and work on it for a bit in a rough draft form and find that if I tweak it this way or that way I can make it better, more grand. It will be perfect. Then the reality sets in and you realize that you've made it more complicated that could ever manage.
I have become so intimidated by the idea of creating something meaningful, beautiful, and lasting that I stopped working. I didn't stop studying, but I stopped taking notes. I don't want to add color to every page and I felt like I needed to create a masterpiece from each talk. I hate micron pens! I know it's almost blasphemous to say, but it's true. I hate the way they move on the paper, I hate the way my handwriting looks with them. It's not a happy relationship. I hated having to have so many supplies out. I couldn't just go and sketch with a pen and paper, it became complicated and messy.
So there in the cupboard sat empty notebooks, taunting me.
Why do I do this to myself time and time again? It's not just with this project, but so many other projects in my life. I take on too much. I plan too much. I think I can do everything, when I know I can't.
So I ripped the pages out of the notebooks. I glued them into my favorite moleskine notebook and I started again, this time simply. I went back to what I know works and what feels comfortable to me. Something I can drag from room to room if I need to.
I can use my favorite pen. I can draw simple stick figures and not worry that my skills are lacking. I can skip pages, add inserts, and do whatever I want. I know I can do that with the other sketchbooks, but it wasn't working. It's a silly thing, but I never claimed to be anything other than just me. This is comfortable for me and with everything else going on in my life comfortable is essential.
I even said no to some outside projects this week.
General conference is in a few weeks and for the first time in a long time I am ready. My conference folders are ready. My children are even excited.