Sunday, January 20, 2013

Spiritual Thought Sunday

My heart is full today.  Today we had a special Stake Conference.  It was announced about a month ago or so.  We were told that a member of the Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would be coming to speak.  We were all excited.  A couple of weeks ago it was re-announced that we would also be privileged to hear from Neil L. Anderson, an apostle of The Lord and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  So exciting.

Well, we had that special Stake Conference today.  I was so excited that I actually was able to hear Elder Anderson speak last night as well as this morning.  What a special experience to have an apostle in the same room speaking and testifying of the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was very powerful.

Last night I attended a meeting with the Priests and Laurels of the Henderson, Nevada area.  There were hundreds of teenagers gathered to hear the message.  It was a great time.  The overwhelming message I took from the meeting was "You are not yet who you will become."  He spoke about becoming great in the sight of the Lord through a Monarch Butterfly analogy.  It was really good.  I also loved his message about looking beyond ourselves to better our future generations.  A question he asked was, "How can i make my life better than something of me?" We really do get caught up in the feelings of "ME, ME, ME" a lot.  We often say things like, "I was wronged." and "This was not fair to ME because....".  He taught us that it was time to look beyond ourselves and think of others.  Not only the others around us that our Heavenly Father also loves, but our future generations.  We need to be doing the things that we know to be correct and true to benefit our future children, children's children, and so on.

At the end of his talk, he bore his testimony.  At the end of his testimony he said, "I AM a witness of Jesus Christ...".  I was overcome with the Spirit of Testimony.  I know without a single doubt that he IS an apostle of Christ.  He has been given special Priesthood keys.  It was amazing.

This morning his message was about opening our eyes to the gospel and also testifying of our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.  He used a story that President Monson told about a man who had severe cataracts and had a surgery to heal them.  He was able to see for the first time in a long time.  He related that to our own testimonies and our view of the gospel.  He urged us to SEE the gospel and to VIEW it purely.  He related this message through a few stories about our beloved prophet.  

I want to testify to each of you reading this today that I know Jesus Christ lives.  He loves us.  His gospel has been restored in it's fullness to the Earth.  We have a living prophet today that is living on this Earth, just as in the days of Abraham and Moses, and Nephi and Helaman.  Our prophet has  Twelve Apostles on this Earth today just as Christ did in His days on the Earth.  I know that our prophet and apostles are true witnesses of Christ.  They are given revelation from our Lord that they teach us.  It is a wonderful thing.  We live in a wonderful day and age.  I feel so blessed to live at this time.  I also feel very blessed to be able to share my testimony with you.  I know that there aren't a lot of you who read this, but I am so glad that at least one of you will read this.  

If any of you reading this would like to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, please click HERE and HERE or leave me a comment with questions or thoughts!  

I love you all!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Hey peeps!  I hope your week has been fabulous.  Mine has been pretty good.  Here are a few things I am thankful for this week:

My BOY COUNTRY Pandora Station
It has a bunch of country music from the 80's and 90's that I grew up with.  It has really been fabulous.

Time to do whatever I want
It seems so silly, but I really love it.  Since I don't have a job yet, I have been able to clean the house, do the laundry, finish projects, read, and take naps when I want.  It has been really great.

7 Layer Dip
Seriously.  It has been a one true love this week.  I have eaten almost this entire 8x8 pan myself this week!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Spiritual Thought Sunday

I had the opportunity to teach the lesson in Young Womens today.  I am so excited about the new "Come, Follow Me" curriculum that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has put out for our teenagers (to learn more about what I am talking about click HERE or HERE).  It has been a joy to learn about this new curriculum and to prepare lessons so far this year.

This month we are focusing on The Godhead.  We are teaching and learning about God the Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost.

My lesson was on Jesus Christ.  I felt impressed to explore with my girls the importance of Jesus Christ's atonement and what it means to us.  Even more specifically, how He has felt our every sadness, heartache, and burden, and through his atoning sacrifice, we can find peace, comfort, and even understanding in our trials.

For those of you who are teachers of any kind, you know that by preparing a lesson you will most likely learn way more than you can ever convey or teach to your group.  It was no different in this case.  

The girls in my class are all between 16 and 18 years old.  Which to me is the HARDEST ages as we grow up.  My girls are all facing hard times.  At home, at school, with their families, and with their friends.  They are all struggling with finding out who they really are and what they really believe and what their place is in their families and this big world.  Even at 28 years old, I still struggle with a lot of these things.

I want to testify to each of you who are reading this today that Christ lives.  He loves each and every one of us.  There is nothing that we feel that He has not felt.  As He suffered in the Garden and bled from every pore, He felt every single heartache, physical ache, trial, burden, and sadness that we will ever feel.  At those times when we feel that there is not a single person who understands what we are going through, I testify that Jesus Christ does.  He knows EXACTLY how we feel.  We can pray to Him for comfort and understanding.  He will reach out to us in our times of need.  He loves us.  He is waiting for us to reach out to him.  Through Him we can find happiness and solace.

This picture brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.  It is Christ holding someone. He is weeping with them.  He is comforting them.  This picture can represent each of us.  

Here are a few of the scriptures and quotes I used in my lesson as well.

I hope that your days are filled with joy and gratitude.  I also hope that each of you will take advantage of the precious gift of the Atonement that has been given to each of us.  It is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Well most of you are probably thinking about the Christmas song with this line in it right now, right? Well- that is not the time of year that I am talking about. I actually mean VALENTINES DAY! It is seriously my favorite!

I love it more than Halloween and definitely more than Christmas!

Last night kicked off the Valentines Day crafting and decorating extravaganza. The last 24 hours have been so much fun!

I love everything about this holiday. The colors, the idea, the LOVE! Here are some photos of the bits and bobs I was able to use to make my lovely wares. There are also a couple of pictures of some of the finished products!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Fabric Flower Tutorial

Hey there!  I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook and I had a lot of people ask how I made this cute flower.  So- here is a tutorial.  I had a ton of fun making them.  It is pretty easy but the steps can take some time.  It took me about an hour per flower (I haven't made very many, so I may get faster as I make them more).

Materials Needed:
-  Synthetic material (taffeta, chiffon, or something like that.  It needs to be synthetic so that it will melt.  Natural fibers will not melt, they will just catch on fire)
-  Felt
-  Fabric scissors
-  Thread
-  Sewing Machine (you can also sew it by hand if you don't have a machine)
-  Cutting mat
-  Acrylic ruler
-  Rotary cutter
-  Lighter (a candle burns too hot and will leave smoke marks on fabric.  Just stay away from the candles if at all possible)
-  Hot glue gun
-  Hot glue sticks

Step 1: Cut strips of fabric to desired width (I am showing a 3" width here).  For a "palm" sized flower, it will take about 48" of fabric.

Step 2: Sew strips together "long" ways to make one very long strip.

Step 3: Adjust your machine's stitch length so that it is on the longest stitch possible, or a basting stitch.

Step 4: TIME TO SEW! Fold your strip in half "long" ways and sew your basting stitch on the folded side of the fabric.  **Note: you can sew the raw side together instead, but it will make the cutting part quite difficult.

Step 5: TIME TO SCALLOP! Cut raw side of strip (or opposite side of seam) into scallops to make petals.  Do this the entire length of the strip.

**Note: don't worry about the scallops being even.  It is better if they are not even because it will give the flower character and it will melt "prettier" if they are not even.

Step 6: TIME TO BURN!  Take your lighter and wave it over the very edges of the scallops.  The edges will melt and curl into fabulous petal shapes.  Not only does this create the petal shapes, but it melts the edges so that there will be no frays and loose threads to worry about.  Melt all the scallops down your strip of fabric.

Step 7: TIME TO RUFFLE!  Take ONE thread at ONE end of your strip and tug until it comes free.  The fabric will start to gather.  Slide the ruffled fabric down the length of the strip until the entire strip has been ruffled.  This can take some practice.  **Be sure to tug gently so that the thread does not break mid-length.

Step 8: TIME TO GLUE!  Take small sections of ruffle and glue them around each other to form your flower.  You will glue the ruffle around in sort of a spiral shape.

**Note: I found that gluing about a petal to a petal and a half at a time was just the right amount.  It wasn't so much that the glue was dried before I finished placing it together, but it gave me enough to work with so that I could see progress.

** Your flower should look something like this on the bottom when it is finished.

Step 9: Cut a circle out of your felt that will cover the ruffled part of the back of your flower.

Step 10: Spiral hot glue on the felt and stick it to the bottom side of the flower.

TADA!  Your flower is done!  Isn't it pretty!?  It is now ready to have a pin, clip, or headband added to it.  These can also be glued onto picture frames, made into garlands, or sewn onto clothes or a bedspread.

Have fun!  Don't forget to play and experiment with your project.  Try different fabrics, patterns, sizes, and petal shapes.

This is a picture of the difference between a 3" fabric strip and a 4" fabric strip.  The flower on the left is a strip that is 3x48 inches.  You can see that the flower has many more petals and it is a more flat shape.  The flower on the right is a 4x48 strip.  There are not as many petals and they are larger, making the flower a little puffier.

Let me know if you have any questions.  Leave me a comment below and I will be happy to answer questions or comments on ways to improve my tutorial!  


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013

I am very excited for 2013.  I have a good feeling about it.  As most of you who are reading this know that every year I choose a word that I will carry with me throughout the entire next year. (For earlier examples, click HERE and HERE)  A word that I will encompass all areas of my life.  A positive word.  This is what I do instead of making New Years resolutions.  I find that I never keep them.  They always go to mush in about three weeks.  One single word that I can work on all year is much more manageable and a much better expectation.  I have chosen my word for 2013.

I am excited about the word. I prayed about it.  I thought about it, and I feel that it is the best word for me this year!  

I can do so much with this word.  There are all kinds of things that can BECOME this year.  I can become smarter, become more forgiving, become wiser, become kinder, become calmer, become better, become more talented.  the list can go on and on and on.  

One of the things that helped me come up with this word is those awesome Special K commercials.  You know, the ones where the women step on the scales in Time Square and they are all freaked out because all of Time Square will see their "awful weight"... only to be surprised to see things pop up on the scale like JOY and CONFIDENCE.  The tagline they have chosen is "What will you gain when you loose".  I know they mean this as in losing weight, but those commercials got me thinking.  I love them.  I love the message.  It is not about getting skinny or getting to a society ideal pants size.  They have made it seem so individual.  So.. positive.  So, bravo to the marketing department for coming up with that!  I am totally into it.  ANYWAY- It got me thinking this fall/winter.  What will you gain?  What will I gain?  What will you become?  What will I become?  

I am excited for the things that I know will become different right away.  I am excited to see what my new career will become.  This is in the forefront of my mind, as it seems to be the most important thing to me as of right now.  Can you imagine the possibilities with this word?  So much is in store! 

May 2013 be much better and kinder than 2012.  I think it will... I know it will... I can feel it in my bones!

Now- I couldn't find the specific Special K commercial that I was speaking of, but this one still has the same tagline and the right idea!

So my dear friends, what will you become this year?