Hope Rises

February 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

Some days are dark… on Sunday this was what I wrote:

I feel as though life is a complete mess and most days I can see the beauty in that mess because it is mine.

It’s funny how you can go from Mrs. Optimistic to not, like that.

I felt like I was braving it well, the stress from the surgery, recovery and the financial mess our health has caused, the prospect of possibly never having things the way we imagine.  But, I was okay, happy to be me, happy to be healthy, happy to be Izzi’s mom, grateful for family and my faith and all that I do have and content to be patient for the more. {And by more I don’t mean boats, trips, expensive clothes or toys—I mean stability, and the means to help others in the places we have been}

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Another fun playgroup…

January 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Hello friends.

We had our first official playgroup for 2012 and I finally got to make the felt snake I have been eyeing.

I used 30 1 & 1/2 inch squares of felt, 1- 12 inch piece of ribbon, a button, and a 2 & 1/2 inch piece of felt to scrunch and make into the bow stopper.

Then all you have to do is attach the button to one end of the ribbon, wrap the ribbon around your bow and stich to secure, then use an exacto knife to cut 1/2 inch slits through each felt square.

McGily has already had alot of fun pulling them off and “practicing” getting them back on…yay!

We also had a hexnut word game on the agenda but I want to get together some teaching resources for those fun CVC {consonant vowel consonant} words before I share it.

The other resource I wanted to share with you is something the hubs and I are starting-to strengthen our faith and relationship- with couples scripture study.  I love structure and having a plan in this area so when I found the Red Headed Hostesses Spouse and Children study plans I was amazed as always and also ecstatic I don’t have to do all the work.  Check it out here.  I will let you know how it goes, topic for the month is the Godhead.

Love. Love.


Sabbath Day Fun!

October 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Dear friend,

This month I was lucky enough to teach one more time in Relief Society.  I have been so grateful for this calling it has been a security blanket for me through the last 7 months.  I am going to miss being in Relief Society with all the wonderful Heber City 3rd ward women.  When I was driving over to meet with the member of my bishopric that was going to extend my new calling to me.  I thought to myself, “What if they are releasing me?” and I just started to cry.  Teaching is nerve-wracking and I am a little obsessive about the time I put into it, but I have been so blessed to have the privilege of being with these ladies each week.  I am teaching a lesson tomorrow based on {this} talk by Elder L. Tom Perry called The Sabbath and The Sacrament.

I had been thinking about this lesson for the last 3 months or so and trying to improve my efforts in this area.  Rod and I have always been really strict about purchasing anything on Sunday and we knew that we were supposed to rest from work and attending sacrament was pretty important but passed that, I wasn’t sure what we should be doing.  So the research began and out of that came a lesson, and some fun activities and resources for keeping the sabbath and having fun at the same time.  And since I am a compulsive sharer I am posting it here because-well- I love you.

First is the “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” Box.  I got this idea from an article in the Friend magazine.  This box can be used one of two ways.  The first, is that you can keep all the supplies that the kiddos would need for Sabbath worthy activities in the box and add to it as you come up with more.  The second, is that you could make the contents a surprise and put in different supplies each week for the kiddos to use.  Here are some ideas:

  • Art supplies, notebooks
  • Flannel stories {I made my lid flannel covered so it just pops off and can be played with}
  • Church magazines and stories
  • Armor of God felt people
  • Gospel Art Picture Book
  • File folders with activities done on previous Sunday’s
  • The “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea book
  • The “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea can
  • If you do the surprise version you could change it out for games, books, movies, or whatever the supplies you need for the planned activity.
I just covered the lid with felt and the bottom with contact paper.  I also made some free printables for you that you can decorate your box with.
The next idea I had was I wanted a book that had my favorite ideas in it and blank pages so I could write in good ideas that we try or ones I find along the way.  So, the  “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea book was born.  You can staple this or use this binding tutorial to put it together.  It begins with quotes from LDS leaders about keeping the Sabbath and then gives a Saturday Checklist for preparing for the Sabbath.  The rest of the book is my favorite ideas I found and received and created through the process, at the end I printed extra blank pages to record the favorite things we try.
And then, I also made a  “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea can.  This can is filled with strips of paper that you can print off with ideas I came accross or write in your own on the blank ones.  The idea is that if you are idealess or if the kiddos get bored they can pull a slip and-Voila!- there is fun idea ready to go.  Hint: only put the ones in you are prepared to do:)
The last thing I wanted to share are some fun links to find more ideas on this fantastic subject:

After reading this talk and the time I have spent reading other articles and talks I have on the sacrament and the Sabbath I felt compelled to thank our Young Men, those that prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament each week.  The sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day and these young boys are entrusted with this responsibility.  I thought if these young men were thanked each Sunday how would that effect the choices they made the rest of the week-if they knew how grateful we are for their sacrifice in serving how would that effect their lives…

We are going to take a moment tomorrow and write little thank you notes to these boys and after Fast Sunday I am going to deliver them with a treat to tell them thank you from the women of the Relief Society.  If you would like to copy, here are the printables.

{Thank yous}

If you get a chance read or watch Elder Perry’s talk or if you want a quick read just take a look at this scripture in the Doctrine Covenants 59:9-13.  This scripture is pretty explicit about what we should be doing on the Sabbath.  I know that if we strive to keep the Sabbath our families will be protected, we will feel increased blessings and we will have more joy than we can handle.  The most important thing I took away from this talk is that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.  This day is the Lord’s and it is a small price to pay for all that he has given us.
To the 3rd ward ladies, thank you, thank you for giving me such a wonderful oppurtunity to learn and grow from your testimonies and love.
xo Ash
PS if you download anything or if you just enjoyed the post, drop me a line I would love to hear.

Free Poster Print

October 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

Dear friends,

Walgreens has a special right now until the 22nd- a free poster 11X14 when you use this code: PSTR4LESS!

So in honor of the cool deal I am uploading my favorite picture I have taken of the temple just for you.

{Click to Download}

xo Ash


A Kaleidoscope

October 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

 Dear friend,

I love Autumn!  This is the tree in front of my house…it is stunning.   From my bedroom window I can see the deep red leaves at the top and from my front room window down stairs I can see all the golden oranges along the bottom.  This week, just like this tree has brought some stunning changes.  From previous posts you may know that I was a teacher in Relief Society {an organization in my church for women 18 and over} Last time I checked it was the largest women’s organization in the world.  This is our motto:

“Charity Never Faileth” stems from the first Relief Society meeting. The sisters were asked by the Prophet Joseph Smith to assist the brethren “in looking to the wants of the poor—searching after objects of charity, and in administering to their wants.” The sisters took this call to heart and became a society devoted to seeking out the poor and needy. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 452.)

I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching the 4th Sunday lessons based on the words of our modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson and his apostles.  For the last six months my life has been immeasurably blessed by this calling, it has served as a proverbial security blanket for me-giving me just the right lessons and focuses I have needed at just the right time.  I love the sisters in my ward, their strength, their faith, their kindness, I have grown to finally feel a part of my ward family.  It is amazing to be a part of something that helps all of us set our aims upward, to think of others first and to draw us closer to our savior, Jesus Christ, and our Father in Heaven.

Last week I was extended a new calling which meant I would have to be released from teaching in Relief Society and the calling was being a part of the new Young Women’s presidency in my ward.  I was called to be the new secretary.  I have served these young women before as a Girls Camp director and as part of the Stake Team at girls camp {Young Womens is the organization to support the girls 12-18 in the LDS church to “Come Unto Christ”}.  These are some of my favorite people in my ward-they are brave, strong, beautiful girls who in such a precarious stage of life are standing strong and already aiming upward.  I am overjoyed to be able to serve them in this calling.  I am part of a team of wonderfully strong and spiritual women that I can’t wait to get to know better and be able to serve with and learn from.  The greatest part about this change is just like my calling in Relief Society I know my Heavenly Father knows where I need to be, he will qualify me for this calling, and if I seek out and listen to his guidance I can be his hand in the lives of those I serve.  Through this service I know I will be given opportunities to grow and will most definitely be blessed by the strength and testimonies of these wonderful young women.

I am so grateful for growing older, I find that wisdom is one of my most prized possessions and the interesting thing about wisdom is that you can not seek it out in college credits, true wisdom is a gift of life.  I look back at myself when I was the age of my Young Women and I am so grateful for the experiences I suffered and was blessed with that have brought me to this point.  The lens through which I view the world is uniquely mine and it is beautiful, and complex, and seems to get clearer as I move forward.  I know that the richness and acuity of my lens is from viewing the world with my Savior by my side .  I have so much more to learn which is so amazing and so exciting.  I know it isn’t always going to be easy and at certain times I may even resent it. But, because of this pearl I possess-that is my testimony, I know I will endure and I will emerge refined and closer to the potential He sees in me.   I am so grateful that I have a knowledge that I will never stand alone and if I lean on His arm and allow Him to guide me I will look back on my life and see nothing but a kaleidoscope of joy.

I am grateful for my Savior and even if others in this world don’t believe I am Christian, my Savior and I know the truth.

xo Ash

I wanted to share with you the theme of the Young Women, we recite it each week-

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Just fantastic!

Understanding the Abrahamic Covenant: a free picture ebook

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear friend

Quick post this morning.  I was perusing the blog that introduced me to scripture journals and I found this digital picture book that she published that explains the Abrahamic Covenant with such simplicity that I was amazed!  I had to link to it so I would have it forever.  I am going to print it and put it in a binder to use as McGilly get older.  All I can say is- wow and if you have even the slightest interest go take a look!

xo Ash

Scripture Study Tips from a Pro

October 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

Dear friends,

I found this wonderful lady through my cousin Dani on Facebook and I was stopped dead in my tracks.  On her Blog she goes by The Red Headed Hostess and this is a tidbit from her About page,

“My life hasn’t been what I thought, but has been exactly right.  After  working at girls camps, studying abroad in Israel, working at a youth corrections facility, attending the University of Utah, and working at a youth summer program across the country, I began teaching Seminary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “

My favorite thing she shares on her blog is scripture journals.  She gives a simple and effective way to record the spiritual thoughts and learnings that you encounter.  In this way it is effective across differing denominations.  For conference {a time for those of my religion to gather together from accross the world through TV broadcast and in person, and hear the modern-day prophet and his apostles and leaders speak}  this last week I got a stack of note paper and filled it front and back.  This is great but what inevitably happens is I put it in a stack in a cupboard and it isn’t very useful after that.  So, after seeing this scripture journal method I created my own and have been transferring the most meaningful of my notes into my journal.  I also have been using it during our family scripture study and I can’t wait to use it at church today.  The best idea I got from her post about it is that her goal is to fill one for each of her children as her legacy to them.  Just in the small amount I have added to mine I see in it’s pages a stream of learning and my testimony shaping on the pages for McGilly to be able to read  and provide her with advice even after I am no longer here on Earth with her.


{Check out this amazingness here}


{Learn more of my faith here}

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