Sunday, December 8, 2013

Five Things For Friday, Poor Neglected Blog Edition


Okay, so I know it is not even close to Friday anymore (and I have 6 things today) but I really wanted to write this all weekend and I never got the chance. I am feeling sad that this blog has been neglected the last few weeks. I have so many things that I want to write and just not enough time to write them. It is frustrating. I really need to get a better time management strategy figured out. It would help if I could just get myself to wake up early in the morning, but that hasn't been happening. I think I need a good alarm clock, one that won't wake up babies when it goes off. Maybe one that would shake my bed or just poke me in the eye until I got up.

That would be nice.

 It is really no fun to get up early to get things done, only to have three little ones wake up at the same time. Then not only can you not get anything done, but then the littles all woke up at 5:30 AM and by 3:00 PM that means disaster and destruction. I haven't been able to convince myself yet that it is worth it. If I could be guaranteed at least one uninterrupted hour I would jump at it... but without that guarantee my bed is much too comfy.

One of the main reasons I've been absent is because about a month ago I got a new calling that I am a tad bit overwhelmed by-- teaching ONLINE Seminary.

Seminary is the LDS education program for teenagers and often it is done as early morning classes or in a release-time class during school hours. Just recently the church started offering online classes for students whose circumstances (distance, health, etc..) make it hard for them to do early morning classes. Our stake is pretty big (it would take you three hours to drive from one end to other) and so there are quite a few students for whom this program works perfect.

Four days a week the kids work through online lessons that come from CES (which are SO well done) and then have writing assignments and class discussions. On those days I do the lessons with the kids, "grade" the writing assignments, and participate in the class discussions. Then one night a week I hold an online seminary class where they all log-in with their webcams and we have a "face to face" class. It is really a lot of fun, even though it is strange to teach a seminary class over the computer. The first time we did it I was so lost, but now that I've done it a few times it is getting easier. The web conference program the church has is really interactive and so there are lots of fun things that we can do. I am sure that it will just get better and better as we go along. Though I am still wondering how I bring the spirit to an online class?

So really, seminary has been eating up most of my computer time the last few weeks! But I am hoping that now that I have things better figured out I will be able to balance things better. I know that there aren't very many ONLINE seminary teachers out there (yet) but any suggestions from experienced seminary teachers would be appreciated!


I discovered Instagram a few months  ago and am in love. I am not a great photographer and so it is pure magic to see it take my bad camera photos and turn them into something beautiful... or at least interesting. I have been posting lots of pictures and it has been a fantastic way to stay in touch with family and people I love. Right now my account is private (meaning only people I allow can see my posts) and I have been debating the pros and cons of having a public Instagram account. On one had I'd love to connect with more people and share the fun and beautiful moments of my life. Yet on the other hand I am a bit creeped out at how easy (it seems) for people to find and use your pictures. I know that anyone who wants to can see (and technically swipe) the pictures I post on my blog, but somehow it doesn't seems as invasive as someone following my Instagram account. It just seems too easy for weirdos to find me through Instagram and I don't really know if I want people I don't know viewing every picture I post of my kids. Still it seems like most people I know on Instagram have their account public, so I am  torn. Any thoughts, opinions, horror stories, that might help me make up my mind?


Jon and I watched the BYUtv production of Silent Night awhile ago and it is fantastic. It tells the true story of the man who wrote the hymn Silent Night. His name was Joseph Mohr and was a Catholic priest who went against his superior to put together a choir from the people he met at the tavern. I guess it was a big deal that he wanted them to sing in church in German and not Latin, and so it made quite the stir. The story behind how his hymn came to be is just so sweet and it is really a remarkable story.  I was very touched by it, not to mention that the history is fascinating! It has made singing Silent Night even more special for me and turned my thoughts towards the Savior. I think you can watch it for free online until the end of December. It is very much worth your time and is a great one to share with friends and family!

Rose has been going through a cute phase right now. She is still my little firecracker but she has these moments that just melt my heart. For example, the way she talks is just so sweet. About every other sentence is sprinkled with character and her latest phrases are "whatcha' think" and "somethin", as in "Watcha' think could I have that cookie, or somethin."

You really have to hear her say it, to do it justice.

She also asked me the other day if we could go to the "Good Whale". After a few minutes of her repeating it I finally figured out that she meant the Goodwill (the second hand store). I had a good laugh about that one, but didn't tell her the mistake. It is just so cute I don't want her to stop calling it that!


I also had a sweet experience with Rose in church last week. We hadn't been in Sacrament Meeting for more than five minutes before she was begging me to let her go get another drink and go the bathroom again. I told her no, and then she screamed and threw her toy cell phone (which she wasn't suppose to have) across the chapel.

It nearly took out the old ladies on the back row.

I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her out of the chapel screaming all the way to coat rack. I made her put on her coat (only after chasing her down the hall after she tried to escape), marched her out into the parking lot and put her in the car. By this time she was crying and screaming as loud as she could that she wanted to go back, but I told her we were going to sit in the car until she calmed down. We sat there for about 10 minutes (in the cold) before she was sane again. As we were walking back I told her that I was sad that we had to go out because we probably missed the sacrament and that we wouldn't get to have the power that comes with taking it. We'd have to wait a whole week.

When we got back the sacrament had already started and so we sat on the couch in the foyer to wait until it was over. I sat down and Rose, now perfectly calm, looked at me with big eyes full of tears and said, "Oh, Mom I really wish we could take the sacrament." I was just about to tell her that we could next week when right then a deacon stepped into the foyer with the bread. Rose's face just lit up like a star. She took a piece of bread and smiled at me as if to say, " My wish just came true, God heard me! " We ate the bread and then Rose snuggled up against me on the couch and I put my arm around her. We sat there in perfect silence while they blessed the water. After the prayer I looked down and saw that Rose was wiping her eyes.

"Are you crying?" I asked.

"No," she said as she wiped another tear.

"Are you feeling the Holy Ghost?," I asked her.

She looked up at me with the sweetest smile and said, "When he said the sacrament prayer I felt really good inside." 

I pulled that little girl in tighter and whispered into her ear that that was what the Holy Ghost felt like. And when they finally brought us the water the two of us drank it with reverence. In fact, I can't remember the last time I was more grateful-- and more excited-- to take the sacrament than I was then. I knew that God was aware of my little girl and that he had sent his Holy Spirit to teach her-- and me-- that He was there. I hope that I will have many more moments of sharing the feeling of the Holy Ghost with my daughter, but there was nothing more sweet than this first time.

Those are the moments that make motherhood worth doing. 


  1. So I'm actually the person behind "Online Seminary" -- the one that adds all the material to your course, and sometimes posts in the Faculty Room, and I've got to say I'm so excited to have you teaching! (And thanks for liking the curriculum. I don't personally write it or edit it but I'm involved in the process.)

    My best advice is to rely on your OSS. She's been a teacher for a few years and knows what's up. The other advice I have for you is to not spent TOO much time grading. It's easy to get bogged down in those details. You need to decide how your time is best used in shepherding, and it may not be personalized comments on every assignment.

    As for Webex, from what I've been able to tell it does get better the more you try it. No teacher has had a fully satisfactory experience their first couple of times. But I'm not really involved on the teachery end of things, I'm just excited that you like it (even though it's WAY overwhelming, it really really is).

    1. Thanks Leslie! I really appreciate the suggestions. It does take a lot of time, but it is getting better. It is really SUCH a well done program and I have really enjoyed it. I know that it will just keep getting better. I will have to look out for you in the Faculty Room posts!

  2. I love Instagram too; it makes everything and everyone look fabulous! lol I try to be careful about the type of things I photograph on it but, other than that, my account is the standard public one. At the end of the day, there are millions of people taking millions of photos and it's unlikely that your photos are going to be of particular interest to anyone outside your circle. Also, it is so easy to Photoshop just about anything, these days, that the fear should be more about someone photoshopping you (or your kids) rather than publicising an innocuous photo that you actually shot yourself. Put another way: it's about as safe or risky as any type of published photography. x

    1. True, true. I am going to have to find you on Instagram Fiona! What is your username?

  3. That sacrament story was so sweet, made me tear up a little! I haven't been to church in awhile and that made me yearn to go, to get myself in gear and go!

  4. I'm a seminary teaching in the Sioux City stake... is that the one you're in? I teach in person, but I only have two students and we meet each morning in my home. It is definitely a challenge, with my kids (age 2 &4) waking up in the middle of class hungry/grumpy/etc. and it is a ton of work each night after the kids go to bed, but it has been the greatest blessing. Its been my favorite calling yet. A lot of the online teachers in our stake speak highly of the program and say that the students are more willing to share experiences because they don't factor in peer judgement. It seems like a wonderful program. Best of luck with everything!

  5. Our family watched Silent Night on BYU TV last night after the LDS Christmas Devotion. I cry every time I hear and sing it. Sunday, it was sung in church twice, I cried. Then I heard it on TV two programs in a row, yep I cried two in a row. An inspired song I am thankful for. Even though I feel like a blubbering ninny I am greatful I can feel the tender spirit. On a side note, thank you, for posting about online seminary. We had know idea such a thing was available. My husband and I have felt that our time in the UT community we reside is coming to a close. One of our concerns about leaving is the loss of seminary for our high school aged children. I am thrilled to hear about the online program as we continue to search and pray for direction.

  6. Just a word of warning about Instagram, which you may or may not know already. Be careful using the Photo Map option. I do have a public account, and I've never had any problems, but the photo map really does pinpoint exactly where you are when you take that picture. I don't worry about it so much when I am in a large city, but I am very wary of adding a location when it's my home, or somewhere that I am frequently. It is nice to chronicle the location of a vacation or certain memories though!

  7. I've been home for 10 days with a nasty respiratory virus and I just read this post. How tender this experience was for you and your daughter. I'm hoping to feel better on Sunday so I can take the sacrament again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.