During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Happy Day

Photo Source

Today is a very happy day for me.  The LDS Jordan River Temple has been re-dedicated and will be opening for regular temple service this coming Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:00 am.  DH and DD1 and I were able to attend one of the three dedicatory services this morning.  The service was wonderful, and I came away with a renewed commitment to make regular temple attendance a priority, hopefully THE priority of my life.  Throughout the history of the world, the Lord has provided sacred temples for his people to visit, draw closer to him, learn more of him, and make essential, eternal covenants: The Tabernacle of Ancient Israel, Solomon's Temple, and Herod's temple in Jerusalem where  Jesus Christ visited many times during his life.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is know as a temple building church.  Latter Day Saint Temples  are different from the meeting houses where we hold our weekly meetings.   Marriages are performed there, but other sealing ordinances are performed by proxy by worthy members in behalf of deceased family members who may not have had the opportunity to receive these ordinances for themselves.  Members of our church have often made great personal sacrifices in order to contribute to, build and to attend the Temple.   There are currently 159 functioning LDS Temples all over the world, with more under construction or announced.   I have not had the opportunity to visit each of these temples, but there are several temples that I have visited often and that hold a special place in my heart. 


The Salt Lake Temple is the temple that my parents made it a priority to regularly attend at least twice a month during the years that I was growing up.  The temple was a 40 mile drive from our home, but their planned dates of attendance were marked on the kitchen calendar every single month, and almost nothing would prevent them from making these visits.   This is the temple that I first attended back in 1981, and is the place where DH and I were married nearly 35 years ago.  


The Washington DC temple was the temple that DH and I attended during the years that we lived in New Jersey.   It was a 3 to 4 hour drive from our home (depending on traffic and who was driving), so we usually would visit only once or twice a year.   Often we would drive down on a Friday evening, spent the night, and then spent several hours in the temple before returning home.  Sometimes we would leave the children with friends, and other times we would travel with friends and take turns watching the children and attending the temple.   DH was able to attend more often than I was since many times during those years I had a nursing baby, and he was also able to serve as an ordinance worker there.   It has been several decades since we visited Washington DC, but I would love to go back again some day.


Once we moved back west and bought our home here, the Jordan River Temple has become "our" temple.  I remember visiting the original open house for the Jordan River Temple back in 1981, but I was attending the Missionary Training Center when it was dedicated on November 16th of that year, so had not attended the temple here until we moved.   We have not always been able to schedule a regular time to attend together with young children and a family business, but after the children were all in school and I was only working part time.  I would many times drive over in the morning and attend a session before going in to work.  Since working full time I still try to attend at least one evening or Saturday during the month.   I can't help but think of all of the individuals who have lived on this earth without having the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ and his gospel and atonement.  Attending the temple as proxy for these sisters of mine, also daughters of our loving Heavenly Father, is one of the greatest priorities of my life.  

Photo Source  Artist's rendering of the Barranquilla, Colombia Temple which will be dedicated  December 9, 2018

Another temple that is very close to my heart is the Barranquilla, Colombia Temple, which is currently under construction, very close to being completed.   This temple is being built very near the neighborhoods where I lived and worked as a missionary for six months during my year and a half mission to the country of Colombia and met many wonderful people!   I don't know that I will ever have the chance to return to the beautiful city of Barranquilla or the country of Colombia, but I am so very grateful that the blessings of the temple are being made available to these beautiful people.

There are many other special temples all over this country that I have visited at different times, and I hope to be able to visit many more during the coming years.  But the blessing of this happy day is that beginning this coming week, I will once again be able to make the short fifteen minute drive to the Jordan River Temple!


Read more about LDS Temples here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Reflections on A to Z Challenge 2018: Mom of 6 Memories

Dad of 6 with his flag at a soccer game.  I have a Mom of 6 jersey too, but couldn't find a photo!


First off, I must begin by saying that this year's blog theme of  my memories as Mom of 6 would not have been possible without the love and support of "Dad of 6"  aka  DH in many of my blog posts.  Last year during the 2017 A to Z challenge I blogged about our courtship, and this year I blogged about the amazing adventure we have had as parents.   Dad of 6 has been very instrumental in so many ways to making the amazing adventure of being "Mom of 6" possible.  His hard work and sacrifices made it possible for me to be home with our little ones when they were small, and he continues to support me in my mothering and now in my grand-mothering efforts.   Our children are now adults and we have added daughters in law and grandchildren to the mix, and the amazing adventure continues!

My goal as a blogger isn't to generate a large following, though I do enjoy the visits from fellow bloggers, especially during the annual A to Z challenge, and I enjoy meeting new bloggers and making new friends and reading their wonderful blogs too.  The challenge has become a tradition that I look forward to.  It is a challenge that encourages me to make the time to write on a regular basis, if only for the month of April.  The past few years I have also used the challenge as an incentive to help me to record many of my favorite memories during different time periods of my life.  This year has been especially wonderful for me as I have been able to put down memories and thoughts of one of the greatest blessings of my life:  being a mother.

The A to Z challenge has changed a bit over the years since I first found it back in 2012, and I have changed a bit too.  At first I had no theme, and often was not able to complete posts for every letter of the alphabet, but it was fun to sign up on the linky lists, to visit new blogs, and to have new friends visit my blog.   The spreadsheets used this year as found at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/  have been as good as the original linky lists, I think, if not better.  This year I was able to post the link to each of my posts and even change the category if needed to better fit each post.  Sometimes my posts were more of a personal/memoir type of post, and other days they fit more of a parenting type category.   I hope to use the links to continue to visit other bloggers as I have the time, and I hope that if you've stumbled upon my blog that it has been an enjoyable trip for you too.   Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Mother's Day Gifts

Wondering what to get for the Mom that has everything? 

 A video from the International Rescue Committee ( https://gifts.rescue.org/product/health/three-newborn-baby-kits) has been regularly showing up on my Facebook feed, and I for one would be more than honored to have one of these newborn kits gifted in my name for Mother's Day.  Yes, I have been abundantly blessed to be the mother of six amazing and awesome children, and did not ever lack for the necessities to care for any of my babies. 

GIVE JOY   3 Newborn Baby Kits  $63



GIVE HOPE:  Care for Mom and Baby $73



GIVE OPPORTUNITY:  Year of School for two girls $116



Your own Mom might want something different for Mother's Day this year, but this or a donation to another worthwhile charitable organization would make this Mother very truly happy!

That's all, and have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Zippers Buttons and Bows



Learning to zip zippers, button buttons, and tie bows are three fairly major challenges for young children.  When a mother has several young children, one of the first things she looks forward to is the day when the babies are potty trained and she doesn't need to deal with diapers any longer.   Some of the next milestones that she looks forward to is when a child learns to dress themselves, and a big part of that is learning to zip up zippers, button buttons, and tie their own shoes. 

The Joy School preschool curriculum that we used in our home with all of our children devoted an entire section to the Joy of Goal Striving:  setting and reaching goals.  During that month each mother and each pre-schooler is encouraged to set a goal for the month, take the time to work towards that goal every day, and to make a chart to mark their progress in reaching that goal.  Some of the suggested goals for the children are learning to zip their own coat or tie their own shoes.  There are songs and stories in the curriculum that teach and remind both children and adults that we can set goals, we can do hard things, it is good for us to keep trying and practicing and to not give up on our worthwhile goals, and that achieving goals brings Joy!

This month one of my goals has been to participate in the A to Z challenge and record some of my favorite memories of being a mother.  And now, I am happy to say, I think I have met my goal!

What is a goal that you are working on right now?

What is a goal that has brought you Joy?

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Yes!



One word that young children learn very quickly is the word NO.  As parents there are so many dangers that we feel we need to protect our children from, and so many values that we need to teach them.  Some days  it seems like we are always saying the No word to the kids. "No, you can't play outside right now."  "No you can't touch the stove when it's hot."  "No, you can't eat cookies before dinner."  "No, it's too cold to wear shorts and flip flops."    "No, you can't go and play until your homework and chores are done."

As a mother I easily tired of saying no, so would try to find things that I could say YES to.   " Yes, you can play inside with the Legos."   "Yes, we can bake cookies after we eat our lunch."   "Yes, we can go out and build a snowman after we put on our snow pants and coats and gloves and boots."  "Yes, I can help you study your spelling words."  "Yes, you did do a wonderful job setting the table!"

Am I a perfect mother?  Of course not.   Did I always find the positive way to present things and look at things?   No, I'm afraid not.

 Do I love being a mother?  Am I proud of each of my six kids?  Absolutely and positively YES and YES!

Friday, April 27, 2018

X Marks The Spot






Treasure hunts were popular activities at our house, and several of the kids birthday parties featured a hunt for buried treasure.   Usually a series of written clues was prepared before hand, and the guests were divided into two groups, or maybe just one, and given the first clue which would lead them to the location where the next clue was hidden.  Sometimes there was even a map!  When the treasure was found, sometimes buried in the garden and sometimes in another secret inside location, the stash of candy and trinkets would be divided among the participants.

Usually after such an activity, at least several of the kids and their friends would plan their own treasure hunt for other siblings or friends.   Filling a box or other container with messages and important objects, then burying them as a "time capsule"  was another favorite activity.

There have been several times when as a family activity we have written letters to our future selves, and sealed them up in an envelope to be opened in five or ten years.    It is always interesting to open up the letter years later and to see the thoughts and goals and other predictions that had been written by your former self years before.   In fact, I have one such envelope sitting on my desk right this very minute:

Family Time Capsule
December 2009 to December 2019
Does anyone remember what's inside?


Have you ever searched for buried treasure?   
Have you ever buried a treasure or a time capsule?
 Have you ever written a message to your future self?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Work and Chores


Work and chores are an important part of family life.   It takes a lot of work to run a household, keep the house and clothes clean, provide meals, and care for the yard and garden.  When children are young, they love to help Mom and Dad, so that's the best time to start teaching them how to work and take responsibility.   We have had different variations of chore charts throughout the years, and our kids have always been responsible for making their own beds, cleaning their own rooms, clearing their own dishes from the table, and doing other chores around the house each week.   Young children also love helping in the garden, and we've always tried to give each child their own little garden plot to be responsible for planting and weeding.  Each child has had a turn mowing lawns, doing laundry, dusting and vacuuming, taking out the trash, cooking dinner, moping floors, and cleaning bathrooms.   Some assigned chores were just expected, and others could earn the kids a bit of extra money

.With six kids, our home has never been a showcase or a model of pristine cleanliness, but I believe that each one can do a fairly decent job of running a household on their own.   The kids also helped with stripping wallpaper, putting up sheet rock, painting, and other jobs when we bought and remodeled our own home, and have earned money helping with the cleaning and filing and paperwork of the family business.

 

DS1 was the first of the children to get a job outside of the family, and spent several years folding and delivering newspapers weekday afternoons and weekend mornings.  Rain, sleet, heat, and snow did not keep him from his rounds.  DS2 soon followed in his footsteps, and for a few years we had two paper routes in the family.


 Mom and sisters helped out when the boys were at scout camps, and the girls also had their share of babysitting jobs.   As they grew older there were part time jobs at scout camps, the library and at call centers.   During college years they found more jobs at libraries, tutoring, as teacher's aids and lab assistants,  custodial work, serving banquets, cashiering at gift shops, snack shops, and even the local planetarium.

What chores have you or your children done during the years?

What were your first paying jobs?