LDS


Yesterday I returned from our ward (congregation) Girls Camp.  With my call as Young Women President comes the annual summer girls camp.  Last year it was a stake camp (all wards in our geographic location) and lasted for five days.  This year it was only three days, but I still came home exhausted (and a little stressed about all the school work I haven’t done).  But even with as tired as I feel, the camp was a great success!  The girls and leaders had fun, unity was forged, and many expressed feeling closer to God.

Though I came home with almost 500 pictures I can only share a few here to allow for anonymity.  Our theme was a “Survivor” theme–“Look to Me and ‘Survive.'”  Most of the usual camp activities occurred.  We did a craft, went on a hike, played games, acted silly, enjoyed the scenery and the wildlife, but it did rain both evenings which prevented us from having campfires and roasting marshmallows.  It also made it too wet to go on a snipe hunt, which was a bit of a disappointment to the older girls.  😉

Here are a few pictures that perhaps give a bit of taste of what camp was like…

Inside one of the cabins

One of the girls put my hair up into a "drill team" 'do

Appetizers for dinner

A visitor

Service project

The best part for me was being at camp with my daughter, Hoob.  She really blossomed in a leadership position AND she received the award for being the funniest.  🙂

I will take these experiences any day…whether school work gets done or not.

Starting graduate studies has forced me to rearrange my schedule, drop certain activities, and really look at my priorities.  One priority that I insist on making number 1 is my family.  I don’t want my family to ever feel that I put school, or a future job made possible by school, before them.

This week’s dilemma?  Hoob’s 16th birthday.  How do I make it special for her and still meet my school, church, and other family obligations?  Hoob’s birthday is on Friday which also happens to be a full-day youth conference for our stake (group of congregations in our church).  Here are my ideas to make the day as fun as possible for her:

*I had her choose the shoes she wants for her birthday from zappos.com and we ordered them last week.  They should arrive before her birthday.

*Even though we will be visiting four historical sites in SLC during the day with other youth and leaders from our stake which makes it hard to celebrate her birthday, I have arranged with one of the ward (congregation) leaders to buy a birthday cake.  We will keep it secret from Hoob until we break for lunch and then we will pull it out and have the youth and leaders from our ward sing happy birthday to her and then share the cake.

*I will make sure to take pictures of the cake activity.

*Tomorrow afternoon I will put homework on hold and I will take Hoob shopping for new capris and flip-flops–the rest of her birthday presents.

*I always give my kids a chance to go to lunch or breakfast with me on their birthday for some one-on-one time with me.  Because of the youth conference starting early, making it necessary to eat a quick breakfast at home, and then including lunch and dinner as part of youth conference, Hoob and I will, instead, go to see a movie together that night as our one-on-one time.  The movie she has chosen?  “Green Lantern.”  Once again, homework will be put on hold.

*Of course I will wish her a happy birthday on facebook so that others can know it is her birthday.

*Hoob, or course, is anxious to get her driver’s license.  With Friday’s schedule being what it is, we will go Monday afternoon as soon as I am done with class to pick up her license.

I am hoping these ideas will help Hoob to have a special day.  Hoob is so good-natured, I really don’t have anything to worry about, but it really is about…

…making family #1!

*

Listening to the General Conference of our church this weekend.  It always seems that the messages shared are meant just for me.

🙂

Yesterday after church Yawlin went upstairs to his room to change his clothes.  He soon came downstairs with a filled water balloon and his air-soft pistol.

“I’m going to shoot this balloon,” he announced.

He went outside, gingerly set the balloon on the patio, stepped back a few feet, took aim, and shot the balloon with one shot.

It made us all chuckle because it was so totally “random” as the teens here called it. 

Makes ME wonder what he learned at church…

😉

Joy, happiness, pleasure, contentment, cheer–things many of us seem to be searching for but somehow miss the mark.  For the next two weeks I am going to deliberately look for and create joy in my life.  I have always admired joyful people and consider the trait of being joyful a divine quality worthy of emulating and developing in myself. 

For the next two weeks my blogging schedule will change from my normal Monday/Thursday posts to a short daily post reporting on one or two things that brought me joy the previous day.  I might end up reporting on things I am grateful for or those “happy accidents” that happen to all of us that bring us clarification and a new perspective or I might report on deliberate acts on my part to bring joy into my life.  Each day will bring something new.

Today’s report (Joyful Report #1) comes from a deliberate act on my part last night.  Hub had to leave to take care of some things at his parents’ house while they are out of the country serving a mission for our church in St. Maarten.  Juju and Shroom were called away to a dinner at their mother’s house.  Squid serving a mission in Uruguay and Huh attending college out of state left just me, Mack, Hoob, and Yawlin at home.  

I was tempted to let the three kids watch tv and give myself some “alone” time to read and get other things done that I’ve been dying to finish, but instead, I chose to spend the time with my kids.  We try to keep Sunday as a family day around here anyway, so my request to turn off the tv and play a game didn’t receive much resistance.  It was a simple game, one adapted from a book, but we had fun.  We laughed.  We teased.  We ate kettle corn and drank root beer.  And while all of it was going on, I was happy, I was joyful, I was content with my life. 

Mission accomplished.

Until tomorrow…enjoy!

Here is one more game for family game nights.  We played it on Monday during our Family Home Evening and had a blast!  It is called Who, What, Where, When, Why.  

Each player has a piece of paper and a pencil.  On the top of the paper each player writes down a Who (Grandpa, President Obama, Michael Jackson, Uncle Ted, etc.).  Next, fold down the paper so that the Who can’t be seen.  Pass the papers to the person on the left.

Without looking at who is written on the paper everyone now writes down the What (ex. played baseball, went grocery shopping, had a nightmare, etc.).  Details make it fun.  Again, fold the paper down so that the What can’t be seen.  Pass to the person on the left.

Without looking at what is written on the paper now write a Where and repeat the folding and passing.  Next comes When and then Why.  Once the Why is written the papers are passed one more time, unfolded, and everyone takes a turn reading what is written on their paper.  Some of the results can be quite hilarious!

Here are a few examples from our family (please remember that we have teens):

Lady Gaga…became addicted to doughnuts…in the middle of the Gateway Fountain…after the earth was destroyed…because there was a pee stain in the jeep.

Kweenmama…started licking the ice cream while crying…in Neverland with Peter Pan…when she decided to come out of the closet…because Shroom ate a pickle.

George Bush…farted in public…at the Museum of Natural History…after Max started barking…because all of the kids showed disrespect.

Hoob…hated Julius Caesar…in the Pacific Ocean…on Hub’s birthday…because he was claustrophobic.

Jimmer Fredette…was lazy all day…at Hogwarts…on September 17…because he was sick of school!

President Obama…spent all afternoon doing homework that was unnecessary…in a cold, foggy graveyard…when Max’s paw hit the ground…because he was trying to win the lottery.

Our grouchy neighbor…jumped off a cliff with a time bomb in his hand…in the library…on April Fool’s Day…because he was very hungry.

Try it with your family!

We were running out of time.  Hub had been expressing his desire to see the ice castles in Midway for about a month, ever since he read an article in the newspaper about them.  Another article, and Hub made an executive decision that this family was going to drive to Midway for Family Home Evening this week because it is the final week for the display.  So, even though the drive is two hours round-trip, and even though it is cold, and even though the kids had homework, we went.

And everyone decided it was worth it.

Yes, we did have hot chocolate afterwards.

****Ice Castles were made using pvc pipe and sprinkler heads.

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