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30 September 2009

Pieces of the Puzzle

As I was sitting down to study this afternoon I realized why it is that I'm never on top of the Divinity articles: I'm reading other articles! I'm trying to get pregnant again, and as part of that process in a blessing I was told to study Charity. So whenever I'm reading articles about the gospel they have to do with either Charity or my Sunday School lesson. (I feel much better about myself, having figured out that I'm studying something else, not "slacking," LOL.)

So to choose my Charity articles, I go to scriptures.byu.edu, and look up Conference Talks (and things) that have quoted the verse that I'm currently mulling over. Right now that verse is 1 Cor. 13:4. And one of the talks they link to is a talk Brother Eyring gave in 1998 called, "That We May Be One." I was pretty surprised to find a talk about unity, in my study of Chrity. And further surprised that he started out by talking about marriage. The more I think about this the more sense it makes to me though. Charity. You need it to have unity. President Hinckley said, "Let your first interest be in your home." Of course Charity and unity have to start in the marriage that creates my home!

The more that I study Charity the more that I think that the gospel is like one of those big puzzels. The ones with a lot of pieces that it takes you a while to put together. We used to do that a lot when I worked at a home for troubled kids. We often kept a table in the hallway, strategicly located for supervising several locations at once, where the girls could come and sit and work and chat with us. We'd start with the edges, of course, the easy stuff. But then each person that would come and work on it would have something that would interest them the most. Sky pieces, or bright flowers, or what have you. Whenever someone worked the puzzle they'd always gravitate toward some particular type of piece. You couldn't get anywhere at all if you tried to do it all, all at once. There was just too much to take in. The pieces themselves, in a good puzzle, would be beautiful and fun to look at. And you'd study your piece, take in the exact shade of blue, the particular cut of the edges, and then study the rest of the pile you were working with, along with the related areas of the puzzle, to see if you could find a match. But once you placed a piece in the puzzle, even though it was, individually, beautiful, it ceased to be an individual. The individual pieces, as they became a unified whole, almost stopped being individually important. You didn't notice the exact shade anymore, much less the shape. Though they didn't entirely loose their individual importance: if one was missing it left a jarring hole.

The gospel is like that. We study tithing, the Word of Wisdom, the Resurrection, the Plan of Happiness, temple work. And individually, they are wonderful and good. Individually any one of those principles enriches our life. But once you start to put them together into the whole picture, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, those individual pieces become much more, and the lines that separate one piece from another become a lot less distinct. I study Charity, and realize that unity requires Charity; that Charity creates unity. That those things start, emanate from, the home and bless the ward, the city, the nation, the family of Adam.

I'm excited. When you put together a puzzle, there comes a point where the picture starts to take shape. Although not all the pieces are in place yet, you start to be able to connect this blob of pieces with that bunch, and to the frame around the edge. All the sudden pieces that didn't make sense before start to fall into place. The pace at which you find places for the pieces starts to pick up. I think that I'm starting to get to that place in my understanding of the Gospel. The picture that I see emerging is excitig and wonderful. Truly, I do "Stand All Amazed!"

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Elder Eyring's talk:

"The requirement that we be one is not for this life alone. It is to be without end. The first marriage was performed by God in the garden when Adam and Eve were immortal. He placed in men and women from the beginning a desire to be joined together as man and wife forever to dwell in families in a perfect, righteous union. He placed in His children a desire to live at peace with all those around them."

"Where people have [the Holy Ghost] with them, we may expect harmony. The Spirit puts the testimony of truth in our hearts, which unifies those who share that testimony. The Spirit of God never generates contention (see 3 Ne. 11:29). It never generates the feelings of distinctions between people which lead to strife (see Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 13th ed. [1963], 131). It leads to personal peace and a feeling of union with others. It unifies souls. A unified family, a unified Church, and a world at peace depend on unified souls."

"There are some commandments which, when broken, destroy unity. Some have to do with what we say and some with how we react to what others say. We must speak no ill of anyone. We must see the good in each other and speak well of each other whenever we can (see David O. McKay, in Conference Report, Oct. 1967, 4–11)."

29 September 2009

Cupcake Hero Returns!

I have long been sad, though understanding, about the lack of Cupcake Hero challenges. Slush was making waaay too many cupcakes, and it just wasn't sustainable. But it appears that there are new rules and perhaps a new "Contest Mom" (I can't tell for sure, looking at the new site), and they are back in business! October's theme is pumpkin, and we have until the 15th to make something brilliant. What fun!

28 September 2009

Black and White

The color version is here.

My Sister Is Incredibly Cool

Check out her new Halloween decorations. I think that, in spite of the difficulty that she encountered, I may have to consider making some as well. Those are stinking cool.

Don't Forget the Give-Away!

The give-away ends Wednesday night.
If you've been meaning to enter, now is the time!

My Shopping Menu

I love FlyLady's idea for a shopping list that's on your computer. Basically, she keeps her list on her computer and prints it out when it's time to go. I've sort of modified this idea to work for me. I've got a shopping-menu. On the first half of my paper is a form I made up in Word to write the menu down for 2 weeks. On the other half is the shopping list, which I use a highlighter to mark the things I need, plus I inevitably have just a few items that still haven't made it onto my printed list yet or are one time needs that are written in. Then I go shopping with it. If I get to the store and they have a huge sale on something I can check the menu and decide if I'm going to adjust it right there. It works great. The only thing it doesn't do is make planning the menu any easier.

27 September 2009

Alicia's Photo Challenge: Editing

Imma Momma

I've had a chance to really explore Photoshop in the past month, month and a half, and I've learned some fun things! Here are some of my favorites. This was a fun challenge, and very timely, just when I needed to learn some about how to use the Photoshop that Andy got me for Christmas. That is a Very.Cool.Toy. One of the things that I learned was how to do a classier watermark. I really like how the new one does the job without being a pain to put on, plus I think that it looks better, which is important.

Sunday Scripture

38 ¶ Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

-Luke 10:38-42

24 September 2009

What a Cool Idea!

It's a homemaking carnival! What fun! Now, if I can just remember to DO it on something that resembles a regular basis...

21 September 2009

What a Fun Blog!

Every time I stop by Many Little Blessings she's got something cool going on. The first time, it was a piano restoration project. A project that ppears to have gone stunningly well, I might add. That'll teach me to think small! I was impressed. Today, I see that she's been making donuts. I tried that a while back, and more or less failed because I fried them wrong. I see that she's got some tips and tricks on how to do it right. I'll have to pay close attention. Yum. Makes me want to cook.

She's also got a fun tag cloud, which I have yet to figure out how to do, and so I clicked around there for a while. I'm always a sucker for homeschool ideas, so I browsed that first. Also, she had the great idea on decorating with scrapbook pages.

Thank you Many Little Blessings! You are my Featured Blogger today; grab the button from the sidebar.

Featured Blogger

Guido Cake

By Monkey request, for his 3rd Birthday.

Happy Birthday, Monkey!

20 September 2009

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

-Matthew 3: 13-17

19 September 2009

A Barrette Give-Away! (Closed)

Monkey and I have a blast doing all sorts of things, but one that we don't do is dress him up all pretty, he being a male-child. Which is fine and good. But there is just something special about the cute little things that are intended for a girl-child to wear, and sometimes you can't help but admire them! There are some people who have a particular talent for producing cute things intended for a girl-child, and Goldilocks Barrettes is one of those people!

Goldilocks has graciously agreed to let me give away one of her delicious cake barrettes!

Up For Grabs:
One cake-slice barrette, handmade by Goldilocks.

It's darling. It's tiny.

It practically begs to be on the head of some cute little girl!

How To Enter:

1. Go to Goldilocks Barrettes's store and look around. Choose your favorite thing and come back here leave a comment telling us about it.

2. For an extra entry, post about this give-away on your own blog. Leave a comment letting me know so that you get credit for your post.

3. All comments must be up before 11:59PM on Wednesday 30 September 2009.

Among those local folks I've talked to there has been some question about how big the cake barrettes are, so here is a picture that should clear that up.

Here is a close-up to see all the details on the barrette:

Here are two similar barrettes in Goldilocks' little girl's hair.

Now, have fun browsing Goldilocks's store!

17 September 2009

Keepin' Busy

My, but things are busy around here! My neighbor has a pear tree that's heavy with pears, which she told me I should take a whole bunch of, as she can't eat anywhere near that many herself. So far we've picked an estimated 80 pounds. I've given quite a bit of that away, but I've also canned more than half of it. Whew!

Monkey's birthday is coming up next week, and he wants a Guido cake, as in a cake shaped like the little forklift of Cars. This is tricky. And the cake that I made last night stuck to the pan and tore in a most terrible way. I may have to just buy him one with Guido on top, rather than making one that's shaped like a forklift. Though that would be sadness. Additionally, I'm working on a puppet theater for his gift. The lion puppet turned out really cute. Now I just need to make the curtain, so Monkey's got somewhere to hide while he does his puppety thing.

Monkey's making good progress on the whole learning to read thing. He's at the learning to hear the sounds at the beginning of the word stage, which in our phonics program is step 3 of 8. He's getting pretty good at it too & spontaneously asks me, "What letter starts with?" and even occasionally, "Does 'umbrella start with U?" Happy Phonics is games-based, so we're playing quite a few different letter games these days, and it's lots of fun. We've got some letter books in the works: A is done, we're still looking for D-words and N-words, so I'd take suggestions on good nouns to include! I think next time I make the little books I'm including fewer pages.

13 September 2009

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God;
-Romans 8:16

08 September 2009

Heads Up!

This is a barrette. Isn't it the most adorable thing ever?!

Goldilocks Barrettes makes them. They're delicious.

And she's going to let me give one away!! Stay tuned for details!

07 September 2009

Intresting Use of Fabric

Here's a site that's suggesting a number of interesting uses of fabric - calico, to be precise, though I don't see that it would make a lot of difference what type of 100% cotton you used, myself. Anybody ever tried keeping their cheese in a cloth bag? Hmmm.

06 September 2009

Sunday Scripture

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”
-Psalms 116:15

02 September 2009

First Time

Music To My Ears

"Mom, I don't need a diaper anymore. I have underwear."

Clicking Around

I stopped by Keeley's blog the other day, and she had a lovely round-up of some interesting articles. I started reading them, and one click lead to another, and pretty soon I had IDEAS. Crazy stuff. I thought I'd see if it's catching. Let me know if it is, OK?

Keeley started with this cool post at the Homeschool Classroom about organizing the year into folders for the weeks, and then keeping the folders all in the same place. I don't think we're doing that much paper, yet, but it looks like a good idea.

Well, the Homeschool Classroom had some links too. I followed one to Donna Young's website. They've got some planner forms, and some lesson plans forms and how-tos. And she's got this amazing idea: set some goals. Oh yeah. That's pretty basic. Too bad I hadn't really thought about setting goals for the year, or those cool little sub-goals that are the steps that move you from where you are to where you want to be. For instance. Monkey counts to about 6 now, pretty accurately. It'd be nice if he could count to, say, 100, after a while. Maybe we should make that a goal and figure out how to get going on it, ya think? Yeah, I think it's a good idea too. Donna Young has some goal and objectives forms, but I didn't like her labels, so I made one in Word that's very similar to this one.

From there I meandered over to Many Little Blessings, where they have the most amazing piano restoration project they've recently done. Wish them good luck with the tuning part! (And if you ever do something like this, check with your tuner FIRST.)

Keeley also linked to this great post about hermit crabs and life.

Mother Hen has some crazy cool triangular math flash-cards.

I love reading homeschool blogs this time of the year, because there's so much energy and so many ideas. The Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival this time is called, "Inspired to Do Better" and I think that sums it up.


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