Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dyeing from all the Fun!

Maybe you haven't heard of playsilks before, but they are a different way to dress up.  The dress isn't already make, you create it with silk.  I'd only seen places to buy it before (in the range of $17 for ONE), so when I saw something on how to dye them last week, including a link on where to buy the plain silk, I was all over it.

I used the method described here, but I suggest using more water in each jar (gives more uniform color - the first few I ended up dyeing more because there were splotches without as much color).

Kool-Aid color chart to get you started, I saw this site where a different lady talks about the colors she uses for dyeing yarn.  Some other color info just to get you thinking.  Hard to totally rely on everyone's color "recipes," because part of it is based on how much fabric you're dyeing at a time and such.

Buy the silk at Dharma Trading Co.  If you buy more than 1 yard of each it comes in a strip of however many yards you bought.  I loved that - I cut different widths so I actually got more than I thought I would.

Just saw another idea/method.  It says to iron them to make them shiny.  I tried it with one and didn't notice a difference.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

One Ingredient

It's amazing what one ingredient can do.

It can take something from YUM to . . . huh.  From, "Mom, can I have another one?" to "No thanks, I'm not really hungry right now."

What's 1 cup of sugar anyway?  Of course in Kool-aid I can understand - after water, it's the main ingredient.

No, I wasn't trying to be healthy.  Blame a quick glance at the recipe, assuming I knew all I needed.  Take it from me, be sure to add the sugar in this recipe.  With it my family and I highly recommend them.  Without . . . not so much.

Bring to Boil:  1 cup sugar and 1 cup white Karo syrup
Add 1 1/2 cups peanut butter.
Mix together and pour over 6 cups of corn flakes.

If I wasn't so uptight over the fact that I'm not eating what I would really like to be right now, I could probably come up with an amazingly symbolic lesson, but as it stands, make up your own.  WITH the sugar.

Laundry Love

I know what you're thinking.  "Did she really just say laundry and love in the same heading???"  Yes, dear reader, I did.  A couple days ago I read this post talking about a family's laundry system and immediately fell in love.  I presented it to the kids, wanting to get them on board, and they responded very positively as well.

And so, today we began.  Baskets in place, we sent a few loads through.  Because of space everyone is sharing a basket with someone else.  Melanie shares with Madeleine, and delightfully volunteered to fold her clothes as well.  (Yippee!)  Only time will tell how well this will really work, but I can think of few hiccups in this system.

While telling a friend about it, she mentioned something a friend of hers does to make sorting easier (that has been one of Adam's complaints with the girls' clothes - that he doesn't know whose is whose).  For instance, the oldest girl gets one dot on the tag of her clothes, the second two, third three...  You get the picture.  So for one, it's an easy tool to glance at the dot(s) and see who the item of clothing belongs to, but as said oldest girl grows out of something, another dot is added, continuing things down the line.  Easy as pie.  (Which isn't actually very easy, at least not easy to make it look lovely, but we can talk about that another day.)

Something else we've been trying to do, and with our new basket system will definitely push harder, is having everyone put their socks into a lingerie bag when they take them off instead of tossing them into the basket.  What does that spell?  No sorting socks!  Some are better at this than others, but it's time to make another push for that.

Bottom line - the coolest moms make jobs easy so there is more time to be the cool mom and less time being the slave driver.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Welcome To My House
Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere,
For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door,
I should apologize I guess for toys strewn on the floor,
But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read,
And if the windows do not shine, their eyes will shine instead,
And when at times I'm forced to choose the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife, but first I'll be a mother.
--Author Unknown

I read this while glancing through a book yesterday and had to come home and find it to share.  For more on my feelings about that, read this other post.

While I'm on the topic of awesome moms, isn't this a fabulous cake?   I'm definitely going to have to make that for someone's birthday soon.

And speaking of cooking, I am make two of THESE last night.  Don't you wish you were going to be at our Thanksgivings?  The second is mainly to ensure I have leftovers.  YUM.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Love to See the Temple

For the Relief Society lesson today I was asked to share an experience when I sacrificed to go to the temple and the blessings I received for doing so.  When I first thought about it I could think of plenty of sacrifices - time, distance, being away from family, and the like.  While reading President Monson's talk "The Holy Temple--A Beacon to the World," the basis of the lessons, I went online to google maps to calculate where 2500 miles would be from me so I could have a better perspective on what the people described in two of the stories sacrificed.  From where I live, 2500 miles would be to either Miami, Florida or Southern Maine (Anchorage, Alaska is almost 3000 miles).  Already humbling.

But then google maps tells you how long it would take to travel by car - 1 day 18 hours.  And that's in a nicely air-conditioned car on well-paved roads with plenty of snacks packed and restaurants and rest stops abounding.  In comparison...
Those faithful Saints journeyed by boat for four days on the Amazon River and its tributaries. After completing this journey by water, they boarded buses for another three days of travel—over bumpy roads, with very little to eat, and with nowhere comfortable to sleep. After seven days and nights, they arrived at the temple in São Paulo, where ordinances eternal in nature were performed. Of course their return journey was just as difficult. However, they had received the ordinances and blessings of the temple, and although their purses were empty, they themselves were filled with the spirit of the temple and with gratitude for the blessings they had received.
With a temple 20 minutes away, what really do I have to say about sacrifice?  "Once upon a time I drove for 10 minutes to pick up a friend from work, then drove another 10 while minutes to the temple.  When we were done there, we stopped for ice cream before dropping her off again.  The house was messy when I got back."

It was a kick in the pants that I need to get there more often.

The temple has been a different blessing at different times of my life.  When my children were all young (making it necessary to find a babysitter to go), the biggest blessing for me was the peace I felt there.  Now, the blessings are answers to prayer and other types of instruction, reminding me that God knows there is such a person as Marni, trying to do my best to be a good wife, raise the children He blessed me with, and fulfill the other responsibilities He has given to me.  I assume the blessings of attending will continue to grow and evolve.

I like to sing a song or two with my baby before putting her to bed.  It always makes me smile when I start to sing a song only to have her stop me with, "No! Temple!", letting me know she wants me to sing "I Love to See the Temple."  She does like other songs, but she's never "requested" me to sing any other song.

Can't wait to go take you there someday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Really Should Do This Once in a While...

For a quick update...

We've had a sick house this week.  I would prefer everyone to get it and get it over with, but at our house we have to spread things out one at a time (though the two littlest started first, about a half hour apart).  Seems that the stomach flu has about a 48 hour incubation period...

The Hall Family is working on memorizing:
Moroni 7:45-48
Isaiah 64:8
The first quote on this page.

Together we are reading:
"I am David" by Anne Holm

I am working on reading (by this I mean I've picked it up within the last month and read part with the intent to eventually finish it):
"Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
"Daisy Chain" by Charlotte Yonge (I'm not going to admit how long I've been reading this)
"Baden-Powell: Two Lives of a Hero" by William Hillcourt
"Daughters in My Kingdom"

Jamie introduced me to the movie "12 Angry Men" this week.  I sadly admit that I've complained about those jury duty letters, though the closest I've been to actually being on a jury was the one time I had to go to the courthouse where the other potential jurors and I sat for about an hour before we were dismissed to go home.  After watching that movie I realized why we need good, intelligent, moral people on juries.

Our chickens are doing fabulous.  They are just over 20 weeks old (average "start to lay eggs" age), and two of them have been laying for a week.  It's a gift finding those eggs every day.  We have to rotate through the kids, because they all want their turn gathering them.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Parable of the Chicken House - The Interpretation

(I said I was going to do this part over a month ago.  Oops.  I've shared "the interpretation" twice now, so I guess I should make it official on here.)

My personal interpretation is about vision.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Parable of the Chicken House

Once upon a time we got six really adorable baby chickens.  All they needed was a big box for a house, a change of newspaper every day or two, some food, and water.

But then they grew...

And grew...

And grew...

...until they needed a new house.  Because of the timing, we were very busy and didn't have a chance to work on their house more than this (four boards screwed together to make a base)...

...before going out of town for a week to be all scouty with the family (yes, there is an extra in that picture, and Madeleine is on Jamie's back).

When we got home, the need for the chickens to have a new house was even greater, but since Jamie was heading to scout camp for a week and then out of town for a week, it was me or no one.

Thank goodness I had some drill using lessons during our week away.

And so I began.  I had already looked at a lot of pictures online and saved a bunch in the style I wanted (but nothing exactly what I wanted), so I printed some out, figured the size I wanted, went and bought a bunch of wood, and went crazy.

(I thought I took more "during" pictures than that!)

I was very impressed with my skills and how well things were going together.  Then suddenly I would realize I didn't know what to do next.  I would pull out the pictures I had printed - good ideas, but again not exactly what I wanted.  So I would sit in a camp chair in the shade next to where I was building and just stare at the chicken house for a while.  Before long, an idea would come, I would know just what to do next, and I would get back to work.

After days of work, the chicken house was completed!  The chickens were very happily removed from their box and introduced to their lovely new home where they will hopefully live happily ever after, or at least until they go to chicken heaven.


(For my personal interpretation of this parable, check back in a week or so.  I'm using this in a Relief Society lesson and don't want to spill the beans yet in case someone that will be there reads this.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

UNITY - Women Are That They Might Have Joy

I had the lovely opportunity to teach Relief Society last Sunday.  It was extra special with it being Mother's Day, since so many extras got to join in our discussion (the young men and young women took over their classes for the day).  Here is pretty much the whole long gist of the lesson.  (Personally, I hate long blog posts, so really, don't even feel like you have to read this.  I wanted it here for myself.)

As women, our nature is to love and serve others, and we have so many opportunities for that all around us.  But Satan also knows our nature, and he does all he can to get us to go against our nature – judging, gossiping, distractions, busyness, etc.

BUT - women are that they might have JOY!  When we participate in those kinds of things we aren't feeling joy.  When we are loving and serving each other, and feeling more UNITY with one another, that's when feelings of joy come.

From Henry B. Eyring “Our Hearts Knit as One” (pulled from throughout the talk):
“We see increased conflict between peoples in the world around us. Those divisions and differences could infect us. That is why my message of hope today is that a great day of unity is coming. The Lord Jehovah will return to live with those who have become His people and will find them united, of one heart, unified with Him and with our Heavenly Father.”

“The Lord’s prophets have always called for unity. The need for that gift to be granted to us and the challenge to maintain it will grow greater in the days ahead, in which we will be prepared as a people for our glorious destiny.”

“The miracle of unity is being granted to us as we pray and work for it in the Lord’s way. Our hearts will be knit together in unity. God has promised that blessing to His faithful Saints whatever their differences in background and whatever conflict rages around them.” 

“The reason that we pray and ask for that blessing is the same reason the Father is granting it. We know from experience that joy comes when we are blessed with unity. We yearn, as spirit children of our Heavenly Father, for that joy which we once had with Him in the life before this one. His desire is to grant us that sacred wish for unity out of His love for us.”

(This is key ----->) “He cannot grant it to us as individuals. The joy of unity He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. It is not surprising then that God urges us to gather so that He can bless us. …  We can pray and work for the unity that will bring us joy and multiply our power to serve.”

We talked about why unity is important, and the kinds of acts, even small acts, that create feelings of unity.  (A smile, quick phone call, unexpected treat, crying together, visiting teaching, service, etc. - there were many more.)

Dallin H. Oaks “Desire
“What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.”

(I love this---->) “To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being.  For example, eternal beings forgive all who have wronged them.  They put the welfare of others ahead of themselves.  And they love all of God’s children.  If this seems too difficult—and surely it is not easy for any of us—then we should begin with a desire for such qualities and call upon our loving Heavenly Father for help with our feelings.  The Book of Mormon teaches us that we should “pray unto the Father will all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ” (and to continue Moroni 7:48…) “that when he shall appear we shall be like him.”

“It is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something.”

Then we discussed the results of having a relationship where trust, love, friendship, and unity is felt.  (You don't feel alone, feel supported, know you have someone you can call on for help, burdens are lighter, etc. - again, the very few I can remember.)

In our church, we have formal assignments to care for one another through visiting teaching and callings.

Julie Beck taught at a recent training that we should “count the caring.”  That visiting teaching isn't about marking off each of the little check boxes (went with a partner, gave a lessons, etc.), but about really caring for one another.  Visiting teaching is a system to love and nurture each women in the gospel.  It is a system of watchcare.

Pres. Henry B. Eyring on Visiting Teaching - “Each time you and your companion prepare to go visiting teaching, you just need to remember what success will be. It will be more than getting in the door. It will be more than giving a message. It will be more than asking how you can help. Success will come perhaps only after many visits. And you may not in this world see the evidence that you have succeeded. But you can feel by the Spirit if you are on the way.”

A few things to think about while trying to create meaningful relationships where we can feel unity:
- Do you know basic details about them?
- Are you helping to bring the spirit into their life?
- What impressions do you get about their well-being?
- Are you pondering ways to strengthen them both before and after you visit?
- How do they strengthen you?
- Do you pray to know and love her?

Spencer W. Kimball “The Role of Righteous WomenEnsign, November 1979
“Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different-in happy ways-from the women of the world.”

That quote has been given many many times, but it needs to be shared yet again.  If we are succumbing to Satan's tools against women, we aren't being "distinct and different-in happy ways," we are following the world.  When we do seek for unity,  as new sisters join with us (at least four definitions of "new"), they will see and feel that unity, but rather than feeling left out, they will feel drawn into it.  That rather than keeping them on the outside, we will gather them in.

As RS sisters, we have the amazing opportunity to strengthen one another through welfare and compassionate service.  Think about it!  We go into each other’s homes, provide a meal, help with one another's children, give service, be a friend, show love.

Sister Hinckley, from “Glimpses into the Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley - “Sisters, we are all in this together.  We need each other.  Oh, how we need each other.  Those of us who are old need you who are young.  And hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old.  It is a sociological fact that women need women…  We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.” (also quoted here)

 M. Russell Ballard “Finding Joy Through Loving Service
“By treating each other kindly, speaking words of support and encouragement, and being sensitive to each other’s needs, we can create loving unity among ward members.  Where charity exists, there is no place for gossip or unkind words.”

Quoting Spencer W. Kimball Elder Ballard said, “It is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. … So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving … help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow … from small but deliberate deeds!”
Henry B. Eyring, “Opportunities to Do Good
Quoting Marion G. Romney “You cannot give yourself poor in this work.”  Quoting Melvin J. Ballard, “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Face the Future with Faith 
Each of us is a child of God “with a sacred purpose and potential.  Each is born with challenges to overcome and faith to be developed.”

We just need to "lock arms" like Sister Hinckley said with "our hearts knit as one" (Elder Eyring) and do everything we can to strengthen and love one another.

Like one sister shared (can't remember just when she did during the lesson), if she ever had to send one of her children to a place where she knew they would struggle, where they would feel pain, where they would really be challenged and tested, she would want to send her children together so they could help each other through it.  And that's exactly what our Heavenly Father did for us - he sent us together.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quote Currently Hanging on our Mirrors...

"You become what you want to be, by consistently being what you want to become each day."
                                                                    --Richard G. Scott
I was talking on the phone to a friend earlier and she mentioned she and her daughter want to write a book someday.  The first chapter will be "Nice People are Nice."  The second chapter will be "Mean People are Mean."  I told her that fits in perfectly with my latest favorite quote.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Develop, Share, Give

Go figure - my time and brain power towards writing has been more limited the past few months.  I hate not parking myself for this, especially when there's something I really want to get down, but I don't want to click "publish" when I don't have enough time to polish.  (I especially don't want anyone walking away from their computer stupider than when they sat down.)

While stewing on this problem, I realized that I'm still thinking and gathering thoughts, but they are being delivered in a different format.  Yet it wouldn't take much more effort to bring those things to this format.  So that's what I'm going to do.

A few months ago I led a discussion on a quote I heard in December:
"Develop yourself, share yourself, then give yourself to something bigger than yourself."
Since I wanted to learn as much I could from the discussion and the great women participating in the discussion, knowing I wouldn't remember a lot after sitting down, I asked my counselor to take notes for me. For each part of that quote we discussed a scripture that goes along with it, then talked about how we could do that.

Develop Yourself - Matt. 25:14-19, 22-25.  How can we develop ourselves?  Try new things, education, strengthen weaknesses, temple attendance, develop talents, pray, read the scriptures, church magazines, accept new callings, set goals, learn from others, stretch and grow.

Share Yourself - Matt. 5:14-16.  How can we share ourselves?  Teach others, service, callings, smile, visiting teaching, give and show love, be a friend, volunteer (don't wait to be asked), make time for others, be receptive to the Holy Ghost, give your heart, speak your mind, visit and get to know each other.

Give Yourself to Something Bigger Than Yourself - Matt. 16:25.  What can we give ourselves to?  Callings, community, schools, family, marriage, serving a mission, family history, temple work, sharing testimony.  Ultimately, to the Lord.

As we talked about each of these it was brought up that going through this leads to self-reliance.  It's a cycle - sometimes we need to work on developing, other times we can give of ourselves more, but we should remember that when we are asked to give ourselves to the Lord, He will qualify us and help us be what we need to be.  We need to counsel with the Lord on how, when, where we can/should share and give ourselves, and remember that we are all individual with unique gifts and talents.

The responsibilities of the Relief Society as individuals and as a group are to (1) increase faith and personal righteousness, (2) strengthen families and homes, and (3) help those in need - each of which fits very well with developing, sharing, and giving ourselves.  When we follow these, we will strengthen ourselves, our families, our ward, and everyone around us.

Any other thoughts?

My thoughts on 12/17/2012 - I wish I would have asked them HOW them personally doing those things has helped them to develop, share, and give.  It's one thing to say you should read the scriptures, and deeper learning and application to say how it's actually been beneficial.

Touchy Feely - Lego Series 4

We got a phone call yesterday from a friend of mine asking if I could bring my son, Sammy, to a store to help them find the minifigures they were looking for.  Sammy is the Lego genius that brought me into the realm of Lego package feeling.  (It's amazing what you can learn with a master by your side.)

For those that don't know, Lego has been put out 4 sets of 16 minifigures each.  Series one and two had an extra bar code on the back which could be scanned to find out which minifigure was inside.  Lego realized people were picking and choosing, so they took the extra bar code off starting with series three.  There are some tiny raised dots that supposedly indicate what is inside (not always correct), so most people resort to the touch method.

Back to the story.  Before we headed to the store I looked to see if there were any feeling helps and didn't find any, so while this is not regular fare for my blog, it is a public service announcement to assist those attempting to feel which minifigures are hiding inside those little orange series 4 packages.  Sammy is helping me explain.

Artist - We could tell this best with the palate.  It is small, flat, and roundish, with a handle on the back.

Soccer Player - We found this by the trophy and cone piece.

The Monster - The head piece is easy to find - big and flat on top, head hole at the bottom.

Kimono Girl - The dress/skirt is the easiest way to tell this.  It's a pretty big piece.

Lawn Gnome - The long fishing pole and handle.  He also has shorter legs.

Hockey Player - The hockey stick and body armor piece (it goes over the neck onto the body).

Ice Skater - Harder to tell.  Little skate pieces.

Musketeer - The hat is a dead giveaway.  Also the sword.

Punk Rocker - The guitar is long and forks at the bottom.  The hair is an odd shape as well, small and curves on the bottom side.

Sailor - The hat is easiest - round with a lip around it (edge of the hat folded up).

Crazy Scientist - He has rubber hair, so the points are hard to feel.  If you find a big rubber piece, you got him.  Also the beaker.

Street Skater - Skateboard piece is easy.  The wheels should be off, and they feel like little dumbbells.

Surfer Girl - The surfboard is big, and if you find her hair it has the knob on the top.

Hazmat Guy - The helmet is a big piece.  Besides just a head piece, it has the front/back that slides over the body attached.

Viking - The helmet is really different, and you can feel the round shield and ax handle.

Werewolf - I would usually find him by his hair (like the elf's hair from series 3), then feel for the small bone.

My hands ache after all that package feeling (we went through 3 cases, mostly full), but supporting my Lego genius is great quality time.  Plus, I since he's not a big fan of reading, I use these little guys as reading incentives.  We have a couple friends we help and swap with now.  Feel free to join us!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Small Miracles, Everywhere

Last Thursday I lost my iPod Touch.

I didn't realize I didn't know where it was until that evening.  I immediately went through in my mind when I knew I had it last.  That afternoon Erin had played with it but brought it back to me, and I vaguely remembered putting it in my pocket, but wasn't sure if that was the right day I remembered that happening or not.

I DID know that we'd been a couple of places, including Wal-mart, and while I was there my lovely Erin decided that since mommy wouldn't buy her an umbrella, it was time to take off through the store running and hiding.  Knowing she would just run farther if I initially gave chase, I just watched where she went, snuck up on her, and did a shorter chase-and-grab than it would have been.  There was still some wrestling involved and a bit more chasing, but eventually all was settled, and no, I still didn't buy the umbrella.  But I was sick thinking maybe I had lost it there.

Friday I did some looking to no avail, and called Wal-mart to see if anyone had found it there (no).  That evening I went to bed feeling really upset about it.  Didn't help that I folded laundry for an hour and a half and didn't have my iPod there to play the inspiring words of great men and women to make it less drudgery.

Still, I woke up Saturday feeling hope, and carried that through the day.  Did more looking, did more praying, but still found nothing.

That night, the miracle happened.

I was cleaning the kitchen getting ready for Sunday.  Everyone was in bed and I was finishing up, but at about 11:15pm Madeleine woke up crying.  I walked in her bedroom and cuddled her for a few minutes, laid her back down, and went back to work.  At about 11:45pm she woke up again, but since I was about done this time, I brought her in to the kitchen while I finished up.

A few minutes before midnight I walked her back to her bedroom and was cuddling her back to sleep, when suddenly, I heard a small chiming noise.  My first thought was that I could use my phone for an alarm in the morning, something else I use my iPod for because our regular alarm is terrible.  My second thought was, but that wasn't my phone!  It was in the kitchen charging and the dishwasher was running, so there was no way I could have heard it if it had been my phone.  The more I thought about it, I knew it had to be my iPod... somewhere.  But at least that somewhere was in the house!

The next day Adam took a dive under Erin's bed for me and came out with the iPod.  Guess she decided she needed another round of playing and forgot to get it back to me that time.

May seem silly, but to me it was a miracle that I was in the perfect place at the perfect time to hear the chime of an appointment reminder, a feature that I don't hardly ever use.  It was a little, "I love you, and want to help you even with your small worries" from Heavenly Father.

I know they happen far more than we ever realize, but I'm so grateful for the small miracles in life!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

40 Bags, 40 Days

I saw a new cleaning/organizing challenge and I'm all over it.  After all, it's a SMART* goal.

The goal is...

40 bags out of the house in 40 days!

Those bags can be garbage, donations, giveaways, whatever, and you choose the size of the bag.  (When I told my kids about it to rally their participation, they thought a snack bag size of bag would be great, but I'm thinking grocery bag size.)  My day 1 was yesterday, and I took that bag out of my bedroom.  Seeing as how I've been bad enough about starting (lots) of blog post without finishing them lately, I'm not even going to think about updating daily or weekly or anything.  Update at the end will be good enough for me.

It's a whole different type of motivation, though, looking at things with a "what can I kick out to reach the get rid goal?" mentality.

Who's with me???

(Jamie, you're automatically recruited.)

* For those that don't know, a SMART goal means that the goal is:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Timely

To learn more about SMART goals and a variety of other leadership lessons, join me at Wood Badge this summer!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


More and more I really enjoy words.

I thought of the word "whelmed" earlier today.  In my little brain it should mean not quite overwhelmed.  Like "Wow, crazy!" but not, "Whoa, I can't take this!"  Don't you think?

The dictionary doesn't agree.

The Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines "whelmed" as "Covered, as by being plunged or immersed."  It has no overwhelm.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "whelm" as:

1.  to turn (as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something : cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect
2.  to overcome in thought or feeling

It defines "overwhelm" as:

1.  upset, overthrow
2.  a. to cover over completely : submerge
     b. to overcome by superior force or numbers
     c. to overpower in thought or feeling (The same as whelm - how can that be when you add "over" to it?)

Then get this.  The Free Dictionary online defines "whelm" as:

1. to engulf entirely with or as if with water

2. another word for overwhelm (What???  There we go again!)

I like their "overwhelm" definitions the best:

1. to overpower the thoughts, emotions, or senses of
2. to overcome with irresistible force
3. to overcome, as with a profusion or concentration of something
4. to cover over or bury completely
5. to weigh or rest upon overpoweringly

I like my personal definition of whelmed.  Maybe if we all started using it according to the definition like unto "to weigh or rest upon somewhat," "to heavily weigh the thoughts, emotions, or senses of" we could start a new trend.  I think whelm would be a fun word to use.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook

Things have been so busy in so many levels that I haven't had much time to think about writing here, and even e-mail messages that take extra thought take me days to write.  I've been wanting to write for a while; I think this is my speed right now.

FOR TODAY - January 7, 2011

Outside my window... it's dark and cold.  The girls are in bed, all my guys are playing with the scouts building snowcaves, but are coming home tonight to sleep in their own warm beds.

I am thinking... of how to simplify, and the things I should be focusing on that are really important. 

I am thankful for... so many things.  My family.  My wonderful and fun husband who I love to be around, and my children who are a delight to be a mother to.  Thankful that Adam will be doing something he'll love all summer working at a scout camp, even though I'll miss having him around.

The latest news... a new calling - Relief Society President.  Yah, crazy.  Came as a complete shock.  Heavenly Father has far more confidence in me than I do in myself, but I'm thankful to know He qualifies those He calls.  Should be a fun ride!

From the learning rooms... we finished reading "The Hobbit" together a few days ago and started "The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle."  I'm learning all the time; hopefully the kids are too.

From the kitchen... Jamie has done a lot of the cooking the past month or so.  He's been home quite a bit, so we've had some really delicious things.  It's been a blessing, especially as I'm learning my calling and getting up to speed with that.

I am wearing... my jammies (cozy time), but I got a couple pairs of pants for Christmas that I love.  Haven't hardly worn jeans since then.

I am creating... memories and love.  That doesn't require a clean/organized home, right?  But still/always trying!

I am reading... "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card.  Maybe 1/5 of the way in, good so far.  Some here and there's bug me (like random crude language, not swearing but crude), but an intriguing story.
Goals for the New Year...  Without even checking my reading goals every year have become more simple, and this year is no different.  This year I want to read one book each month of my choosing.  I say that because I am now involved with two book groups, plus a homeschool group that had a book for each month.  With all that, I don't feel like I have a lot of opportunities to read what I want (not saying all those books aren't books I want to read!).  I have so many things I want to study that my reading time seems to get less and less.

This is also my year to learn about pie crusts.

A picture thought... so glad my kids are friends!