Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Busyness

It seems like every year, our summer gets a little busier than last year's.  Last weekend, feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, I sat down to read our new Ensign, where I found a poem called "Traveling Light" by Sharon Price Anderson about the handcart pioneers.  Here's the quote that really struck me:

Those who go leave
all but seventeen
pounds of poverty
carefully weighed.
Each ounce considered,
they abandon offense,
desert regret,
lessen their load,

I'm not usually a huge fan of poetry, but I loved what I got out of this poem.  The handcart pioneers really had to think about what they were going to carry on their journey--they could only bring 17 pounds of stuff, which had to include clothing and blankets.  It made me think of the extra load I carry of worry and regret.  I don't have room in my summer for stuff like that.  So here's my goal for the rest of the summer:  I'm leaving all the negative stuff behind.

I also found this quote by an unknown author yesterday:  "Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, it empties today of its strength."

Choose Your Own Adventure Young Women Activity

My daughter's young women leaders planned an activity to teach the young women about their power to choose.  They wanted to play a short and fun "Choose Your Own Adventure" game with the young women that would show them how different choices can lead to different outcomes.  The leaders did not want the girls to have choices involving right and wrong, so we came up with this game.
Choose Your Own Adventure

You just got home from school. It’s Friday afternoon and you are so excited for the weekend. It’s also time for your favorite show—Middle School Makeovers. You love, love, love makeover shows. Maybe it’s

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finding Time for Your Passion

How do you find time to pursue your passion?  Whether that passion is playing the guitar, quilting, or playing golf, we all have something that brings us joy.  More than likely, our passion plays a part in our life's mission.  It's our way of serving and helping others. 

My passion, of course, is writing.  I spent a lot of time developing my writing skills in college, but after I graduated and had a couple of children, I decided I'd have to give it up.  Fortunately, my writing had a pull on me.  I couldn't give it up.

I've found a great role model in one of my favorite artists, Minerva Teichert, who created stunning paintings and murals until her death in 1976.  I always imagined Minerva Teichert as a single woman with an art studio.  Then I read an article about her in BYU Today  http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=2124  I was surprised to learn that Minerva Teicherts's life was much like mine--only busier. 

She and her husband owned a ranch in Cokeville, Wyoming.  Among other tasks, Minerva cared for 75 chickens, sold milk, read stories to her four children, and grew a garden.  She regularly cooked meals for her family and some ranch hands.  Despite her busy life, Minerva found time to paint.  She kept a large canvas hanging in her front room--a painting in progress.

The article quoted her granddaughter Marian Eastwood Wardle:  “She was a multitasker—big time.  She’d be cooking at the stove and walk around [the corner] and put some brush strokes on the painting.” I could relate to that.  I do some of my best writing while I'm cooking, doing dishes, running errands, or folding clothes.  I often have to pause during my chores to write down a few sentences or ideas that I'll later transfer to the computer. 

Minerva took advantage of the time her children were asleep to work on her paintings.  The article noted that she sometimes even set the clocks forward so she could sends the kids to bed even earlier and eke out a little extra painting time.  I think many of us busy moms can relate to that.

I think the most important point that the article made was that Minerva Teichert didn't sacrifice her family time for her art.  Her art contributed to her family life.  She used her pictures to teach her children and others about the gospel, the pioneers, and other important subjects. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Praise of Men

Dad and me
In honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd write a list of reasons why I like the men in my life.  I'd love to hear your comments about why you appreciate men.

17 Miracles Movie

We saw this movie a couple of weeks ago and thought it was very well done.  It tells the story of the Willie and Martin handcart pioneers.  It's in theatres now.  We thought it would be appropriate for our older children to watch.  Some of the scenes are too distressing for our younger children. 

I found it to be very inspiring because of the miracles but also because of the sacrifices the pioneers made.  It makes my daily battles seem less overwhelming.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sleeping Beauty Skit

This is a skit about Sleeping Beauty and the Young Women Values.  A narrator reads the story while the young women act out the parts.  

Sleeping Beauty Dreams Big
By Rebecca H. Jamison

Sleeping Beauty was a young woman who dreamed big. Even when she wasn’t asleep—which she was a lot of the time—she dreamed. Her biggest dream was that she would some day marry a charming prince in the temple. But, truth be told, her most frequent dream was of true love’s kiss.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Persuasion Movies

Being obsessed with Persuasion, I have watched every Persuasion movie available.  My husband has earned a lot of points for sitting through all these with me.  Sometimes, he's enjoyed a good nap. Here are the movies in the order of my preference:

Don't be dissuaded by the cheesy DVD cover.  This 1995 version starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds is very faithful to the book.  It also contains great acting, costumes, and scenery.  The actors portray the characters just as I would imagine them.  I think it's funny that Ciaran Hinds, who plays the handsome Captain Wentworth, also plays Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester, who is described as ugly. He may not be the most handsome Captain Wentworth, but he does a great job portraying his emotions.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Values Fashion Show Skit

For this skit, each young woman "models" a value. We used fashion show music and the young women loved walking the runway.

Personal Progress Values Fashion Show
By Rebecca H. Jamison

For this skit, we’ll need one young woman to be the announcer and eight others to “model” the values.

10 Virgins Young Women Values Skit

Here is a simple skit about the 10 virgins that reiterates the values statements from the Personal Progress book.  I copied the story of the 10 virgins out of New Testament Stories from church distribution.  The only props we used were little glass bottles to represent the oil.

10 Virgins Personal Progress Skit

Jesus told the story of the ten virgins to show us the importance of always being virtuous. Once upon a time, ten young women went to a wedding. They had to wait for the bridegroom to let them in the door. No one knew when the bridegroom would come.