Friday, April 30, 2021

We made it!!!

We did it!!!  Honor had her last day of school yesterday...her final math assessment of 2nd grade!

It's been quite the adventure!

I'm so grateful we could have this experience together learning and growing, discovering our world and our place in it.

I will have to take some time to think about how this year has changed me. I can now say that I have taught 2nd grade (best grade in my opinion!)

I know that God, for whatever reason, gave us this special time together, and I am grateful for it. 

Now, we celebrate!

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Plant Night and Missionary Work

I brought a friend to a Relief Society activity last week where we learned gardening tips from our Stake RS president who is a Master Gardener through Penn State.

My friend and I both enjoyed it immensely and were so excited to get our plants in the ground and try out some things we had learned. It was just a nice, simple evening with useful information shared.

Then as we were saying the closing prayer, we could hear laughing and cheering coming from the cultural hall.

I had to go right away and see what was going on: the missionaries were teaching English lessons for Portuguese speakers as they do twice a week now. (Because of the Pandemic we have many sets of missionaries who served in Brazil previously!)

My friend and I popped in to observe and they were having the best time. They were loud and animated playing a game where the moderator named a kitchen appliance and a set of elders were competing to be the first to slap the appliance with a spatula.

It was so silly but hilarious.

My friend suddenly had a million questions about missionaries and what they do, and wanted to know if I am going to "let Guy go on one", which I explained to her it has never been a matter of letting but of him wanting to go.

Anyway, I'm sharing this to give an example of a positive experience introducing our friends to the gospel in a way that touches them, but doesn't necessarily have to be doctrine heavy.

I definitely hope they have .ore activities like this and I know the missionaries are doing amazing work in the service they're providing. More good things to come from this time of COVID.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Reaching Out in Love to Youth

The girls had a special visit last evening from a dear lady at church named Sue Ellis.

Sue conducts the music during Sacrament meeting and each year she takes a few youth aside and teaches them all she has learned about leading music and then has them help her lead a few songs each week.

She has picked my girls to do this.

I was really touched as I sat in on their lesson. She not only taught them the mechanics of conducting music, but she ministered to them and emphasized parts of the gospel.

I was so grateful for her energy and kindness in reaching out to my girls, drawing them in, and giving them a job to do. Her encouragement means a lot to me as their mother.

I just wanted to spotlight her and people like her in the Church who reach out to other generations and pass their wisdom on to them.  Thank you!!!
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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dear Self...


This girl does something really funny...she writes letters to herself.

She's been doing it for a while now. I think it is something that she started during the pandemic.

She is writing these letters to read when she is away at college...over 4 years from now!

It's really, really sweet though.  The envelopes say things like "open when you're sad and miss home", "open on your birthday", "open on October 10th", "open when you think  you've found 'the one'". ETC!

She has read some of them to me.  And I'm telling you it's so sweet. She encourages herself, reminds herself that we love her, and gives herself good advice.

With letters like these I don't think she even needs me really! Yet some of these letters end with "PS - Call Mom" and "PS - Call Granny".

Today, she turned to me and said, "Mom, I wrote you a letter....but I'll send it to you in 5 years."

Typical Scarlett.

Maybe you've got a girl in your life looking for a goal to apply herself to....this might be a good one...

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Return to 2nd Hour Church


Isn't it funny how a few short years ago when they announced we'd be moving from 3 hour church to 2 hour church, it was a difficult adjustment for some of us?

And maybe a year later, the pandemic hit and we were forced to go to zero hours of in-person church and it suddenly hit us that the Lord knew exactly what was coming and prepared his entire Church to continue without missing a beat!?  

Isn't God amazing?

Lessons like these are lessons that I don't want to forget.
I want to trust Him more.  I want to remember that I follow the God of the entire Universe who sees all of time at once, knows the end from the beginning and can direct me and my family in all things and bring us safely home to him.

I want to remember that when something in my life seems to not make a lot of sense.  I want to remember this moment.

And I want to have the faith of a little child.

My little children are going back to 2nd hour church, which means they're going back to in-person Primary.

My two boys don't even remember what Primary was like.  Coy only knows Nursery.  Val only attended Primary for about two months before the shutdown.

They've been participating for two sessions of online Primary and Val (my five year old) in particular is really jazzed about going to Primary in-person. (See the video above of them singing along with the primary on zoom!)

And I'm jazzed for them....and us.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Beat the Virus!

 I got my second dose of the Covid vaccine the other week.  There is something to gratifying in knowing that fasting, prayers, God's grace, and the relentless work of scientists brought us this much closer to overcoming this worldwide pandemic.  I am beyond grateful to be a recipient of this great blessing!  I continue to pray for further advancement against this virus! 

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Friday, April 23, 2021

Val Starts Soccer

This little cutie started playing soccer last Saturday.  Val (age 5) wasn't at all sure he wanted to take on this new adventure, but once he tried it, he was hooked.  His favorite part, I'm quite sure is making friends!

He was cute. We were cold.  He was absolutely in his element, and it was a great day for our family. I treasure all of the great days as a family a lot more these days...


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Thursday, April 22, 2021

A Cousin Baptism


So, my husband's nephew Henry got baptized last Saturday and were actually able to make the trip to Toledo, Ohio to be there!

It was a really sweet baptism, and felt almost normal (plus masks!)  But the spirit was there, and I always love spending time with my sister-in-law Renae, who is sweet, gentle, and funny, and always kind.

And look at our kids!  They've grown so much.  It was just a really nice weekend away.  We drove all the way there and back with me reading a book aloud to everyone (that one of my blog friends recommended, actually!)

I am grateful for sweet experiences like watching an 8 year old get baptized.  It lightens my heavy days.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Children & Youth Goal: Know Your Worth

Autumn completed a very big goal this week: She created handmade signs of hope, positivity, and encouragement for each one of her classmates in the 6th grade (325 in all) and with the help of a small group of friends hung them on the lockers of each of her classmates to find the next day when they came to school.  It was a covert operation and no one except these few friends know that she is the one behind the whole thing, but just look at these faces!

Here are pictures of just some of the signs that she made--each one unique!  I loved hearing the girls squeal when reading each sign and then hearing them get even more excited discussing some special kid who might appreciate that particular message the most.

Autumn is a special and hardworking girl, and I'm really impressed she was able to get this done with very little help from us!  Her project is closely tied with the old value of "individual worth".  She hopes that her signs help others understand that they are loved and valued in her school and in this world!



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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

They Are Closer Than We Know


I shared a video on my FB page this week where these sister missionaries were talking about how they felt their ancestors watching over them during an experience that they had on their missions.

I testified that I know that our ancestors can help us and are near us helping us through hard things.

Later that day, my kids begged me to take them to this little candy store in the next town over, so I obliged (since it's on the way to the nursery and I wanted to look at plants!)

When we walked inside, I saw multiple things that reminded me of my grandma and great-grandmother.

The first thing we saw when we walked in was a display with my Great-Grandma's last name on it "Holman".

And then we saw a bunch of candy buttons which my grandma often gave to us in bags of candy she would make up for us.

I felt in that moment that my ancestors were sending me a little nudge from beyond that what I had testified of earlier was true and that they really are beside me...even when I am too busy, too stressed, or too sad to recognize their help.  They are there for me.  And I am so grateful for this knowledge.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Autumn's First Talk in Church


Isn't it amazing that our Church it taught by the membership?  And that by invitation, regular members are asked to deliver messages called "talks" to the entire congregation on Sunday  mornings??

I mean, it really does amaze me.  We can be taught by the young and the old, the new members and the long-timers, the learned and wise, and everything in between.

This past Sunday, my daughter Autumn (age 12) was given the chance to speak in Sacrament meeting for the first time.

I was really impressed by how composed she was, and she wrote her own thoughts, her entire talk by herself.  Now, she's kind of a quieter girl.  Because of this her composure while delivering her talk impressed me even more.

I am so grateful I was able to watch my girl shine brightly as she testified of her faith in Jesus Christ and the blessings of making righteous choices.  I hope she will always have the glow that I saw on her today:

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Farewell to Elders


I really don't get too attached to missionaries.  I always thought it was odd when people got too personal with a particular elder and they really became attached. Yet, over the years of living in Pennsylvania, there have sure been some missionaries whom I've come to respect and have been strengthened by.

Today, we said good-bye to one of them.  I really haven't spent a ton of time with him, but we've been bringing dinners to them for months and they've come over and taught us.  I also convinced these two to do a FB live for our stake FB page (which you can view here!) and they did a phenomenal job of bearing testimony of Christ.  They really blew me away.

They also really brought me hope in the future and the future generation.  All I see is my oldest son who is setting a terrible example for me of what this generation can do.  And while it makes me a wee bit sad to think I might have to wait 10 years until I send an Elder out into this world...I can wait if my little ones can turn out anything like these missionaries I have worked with recently.

I have hope.

While we sat through sacrament today, Coy Boone, my 3-year old kept pointing to the elder passing the sacrament, because he recognized him as the one who came over and played bubbles with us in the yard the other week!  I wanted to make sure they got a photo together so I can post it somewhere so that maybe he'll remember this time when he looked up to the elders too and aspired to be like them....although right now, my two little boys swear they're never leaving home! :)

Farewell, Elder Moody!  I know you'll continue to make your family and your Heavenly Father proud. Now get out there and catch some really big fish!

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

A Love song for Val


My boy Val Oaks turns 5 years old today.

I call him my good luck charm, because he's been by my side bringing me so much love and sunshine through the last 5 years.

At first, he brought me joy just by the fact that he was a boy.  We hadn't had a baby boy in our family in ten years!  So his "manly" presence was so exciting to us all!  His big sisters especially fawned over him!

Then, he was just so handsome and smiley as a baby.  We had fun dressing him up in little boy clothes.

When he was 3 months old, we went on a 4 week road trip across the country.  I loved snuggling with him in the back of the car.  He was a magnificent traveler and a great comfort to me.

Right before our trip, we found out that we'd be moving and leaving the home that we knew and loved.  Val became my bright ray of hope that I was going to be ok.  He smiled so much and his smile filled up his whole face.  This always reminded me to be happy and encouraged me to find joy myself.

Another thing that I loved about Val was how blue his eyes were.  I crocheted him a blanket and when it was finished I realized that it matched his eyes.  He always sleeps with this blanket, even though his little brother likes to rip holes in it!

As a toddler and now preschooler, he is adventurous, but he is also so affectionate towards me, which I really have needed in the last year.  He often stops what he is doing to tell me that he loves me.  He usually hugs me or kisses my arm. :)

Another thing about Val that brings me joy is that he loves exploring nature and digging in the dirt.  And when his younger brother hits him, Val doesn't react or hit back.  I just admire that about him so much.  He is an awesome example to us all and a fantastic brother.  Very curious and very kind.

I am absolutely so grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending me a son like Val at this time in my life.  

And although he swears that he doesn't want to grow up and that he doesn't want to have any more birthdays, because he wants to stay a kid, I hope some day when he is grown up he will read this and know what joy he brought into my life.  Love you forever, Val!

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