Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Favorite Black and White Movies

I've sat through my share of really bad black and white movies.  I've also seen some really great black and whites that I can recommend.  Here are a few of my favorites (not in any particular order.)  I've had good luck checking these out at my library.

The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer is a funny movie about a teenager who has a crush on a man who has a crush on her older sister.  Cary Grant plays a rich bachelor and does plenty of slap-stick stunts to keep us entertained.  Shirley Temple plays the teenage sister.  Myrna Loy plays the older sister, who's also a lawyer.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why I Keep Taking My Children to Church

I've sometimes heard people say that if you don't get anything out of going to church, then you're doing something wrong.  Well, as a mom, I'm here to tell you that sometimes it might seem like you're not get anything out of going to church even when you're doing everything right.  During sacrament meeting, you walk the halls with a rambunctious toddler.  During Sunday School, you help your three-year-old get used to primary or play with the children in nursery.  During Relief Society, you walk the halls with the toddler or feed a baby in the mother's lounge or teach a Primary class that doesn't want to listen.  Every mother has days like these.  If you take the children to church by yourself, you'll have a lot of days like these. 
These are sooo not my kids!

Looking back to the days when all my children were young, I wonder why I didn't quit.  Why didn't I just stay home and let the toddler take a nap?  I remember my three-year-old standing up in the middle of Stake Conference to announce, "It's time for a coffee break."  I don't know where he learned that trick from, but it

The Clothing Swap

Our church clothing swap has saved me big bucks over the past six years.  This year I got 3 pairs of jeans for my boys, 3 boys' shirts in good condition, and a couple of dress clothes for my son's school uniform.  I estimate that it saved me $50 or more.  More importantly, the clothing swap is an easy way I can help my neighbors to get through these hard economic times.

This year, I enjoyed meeting our missionaries at the clothing swap.  One of the elders had outgrown his suit and was able to find a new one.  Both of them were so happy.  It reminded me how much they're sacrificing to be able to serve the people in our neighborhood.  I'm glad someone's donation helped them.

Our swap usually happens in July--right before the start of the new school year.  A few months before the swap, we start seeing posters announcing the date and reminding us to start collecting clothes.  About a month ahead, the Relief Society President announces that we can take our clothes to some of the volunteers in our neighborhood.  These families help to take the clothes over to the building on the day of the swap, but they also get first dibs on the clothes.

We swap clothes for every size and gender, including women's plus size and men's Sunday clothing.  The leaders like to emphasize that "You don't have to swap to donate! You don't have to donate to swap!"  To donate, we bring our clothes pre-sorted by size and gender.  We can drop them off ahead of time to one of the volunteers, or we can bring them to the church on the morning of the swap between 9 and 11 am. 

The swap is from 12 pm to 2 pm.  Usually, women's clothing is in the cultural hall on labeled tables.  Children's clothing is separated into size groups in the smaller classrooms.  Men's clothing usually takes up a larger classroom.  Any leftover clothing is sent to Deseret Industries, a local non-profit thrift store.

I've never been to a smaller swap, but I think it would be a lot of fun.  One of my neighbors organized a Halloween costume swap.  (In this swap, the costumes were borrowed then returned after Halloween.)  I've also heard of women having accessory swaps.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Losing My Baby Fat

As a mother of six, I've definitely gained my share of baby fat.  It seemed that with each pregnancy, I gained about five pounds, so that by the time I was pregnant with my last, I was about thirty pounds heavier than I wanted to be. 

I was determined while I was pregnant the last time that I wouldn't gain any more weight than I had to.  Of course, it helped that I got a bad case of heartburn during that pregnancy and had to eat smaller, more frequent meals.  This kept me from overeating.  I started listening to Jonathan Roche's blogtalk radio show, which is free on iTunes and www.blogtalkradio.com/noexcusesweightloss .  From him, I learned some simple changes that could help me lose weight.  Most importantly, I learned that any movement can count as exercise.  This was a huge concept for me because I was always too exhausted to "exercise" during pregnancy.  Now that I could count mopping or shopping or taking out the trash as exercise, I was "exercising" more often. 

I gained thirty pounds during my pregnancy, but six weeks after I had my nine-pound baby, I weighed ten pounds less than I did before I got pregnant.  (No, I'm not recommending having another child as a weight-loss method.)  Around this time, my insurance sent my husband and me a letter about a free health coaching program.  Since it was free, I signed up immediately.  I figured I could use all the help I could get to lose the rest of my baby weight.  Having a health coach helped me stay motivated to complete my goals.

One of the things I discovered about weight loss is that it has a lot to do with attitude.  Back before I started losing weight, I would think things like, "After I lose all this weight, I'll buy myself some new jeans."  My new attitude became, "I want to look great now--no matter what I weigh."  I didn't spend a lot of money on clothes, but I did put more effort into how I looked every day and I did buy myself jeans that fit well.  I also decided I was never going to diet again.  Whatever changes I was making I was going to make for the rest of my life.  I also accepted that sometimes I was going to make mistakes.  If I ate too much one day that didn't mean I should give up and eat even more.

One of my favorite quotes is by Karen Lamb:  "A year from now you will wish you started today."  I often thought about how I would feel in a year if I quit eating dessert every night and just ate it once a week.  I made myself a list of all the reasons I wanted to lose weight, and as I lost weight, I found more and more reasons to add to my list.  For example, I love having enough energy to run with my kids, shopping for a smaller size, and not having to worry about heartburn anymore. I also got a great deal on my new life insurance policy.

I've lost about twenty-eight pounds and have a few pounds left before I reach my goal weight.  I weigh myself once a week, do cardio intervals three days a week, and strength train two days a week.  I actually spend less time exercising than I did back before I started losing weight but, because of the intervals, I'm in better shape.  I have slowly taught myself better health habits over the past 2 years like drinking water and eating vegetables.  I am still a work in progress.  My goal right now is to not eat anything after 8 pm at night.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Modesty, Dress, and Grooming Skit

This skit is based on the dress standards found in For the Strength of Youth.  It has parts for both Young Men and Young Women.  The skit is about 10 minutes long.  We added a song at the end about how everyone has a royal heritage.

Vance, Lance, and Chance Go on a Date
by Rebecca H. Jamison

Cast:     1. Vance
            2. Lance
            3. Chance
            4. Shoshawna Shepherd
            5. LaDawn
            6. Olympia
            7. Ribbon dancers
            8. Joseph
            9. Joseph’s body guards (2)
            10. Donny Osmond Fans (3)
            11. Casual Clothing Models
            12. Esther
            13. Esther’s Royal Entourage

       [Boys enter front stage dressed very casually in baggy clothes with baseball caps on.]

Vance:  Dude, these girls are psyched to go on this date with us. [funny laugh]  We must be cooler than I thought.

Lance:  Yeah.  I never thought I could get a date with Shoshawna Shepherd.