"Motherhood is not a burden to be borne, it is a privilege to be enjoyed. It is not a trial of endurance, it is a time of celebration." Winnie Dalley


Little Mommy

I just love being a mommy.  I can't imagine that there is anything in the world that could fill me up with so much happiness.  Here is an example of this happiness from my day today. 
Our precious 'baby' girl is getting so big.  She is 17 months and she is already a mommy.  She is obsessed with babies.  She tries to hold 'babies' who are bigger than her.  When she was still crawling she would chase around her older cousin with her arms stretched out trying to hold her.  This obsession has only grown as she can now walk and is starting to become a little chatterbox.  We were on a walk today and we passed one of our neighbors who has a little 5 month old baby.  Anna immediately reached her arms out and started yelling, 'Baby! Baby!'.  Our sweet neighbor actually let her hold her baby.  Well let me tell you, Anna was in 7th heaven!  She had the hugest grin on her face and kept stroking the baby and patting her tummy, all while repeating, 'baby, baby..' over and over again.  When the baby's mommy asked if she could take the baby back, Anna would shake her head and hold her closer.  She cried and cried when her turn to be mommy was over.  It was so precious to watch.
I think it is so beautiful how this sweet little girl already knows who she is.  She already loves being a woman even in her tiny toddler form.  This desire to mother came built in with her spirit.  I feel like getting on top of the tallest building and shouting to the whole world when I think about how amazing and fantastic it is to be a woman.  I feel so blessed to have the ability to create life with my husband and then to watch as my body knows exactly what to do.  And why?  Not by chance, but by divine design. I am a woman and I have the sacred priviledge and responsibility to bear children.  I feel sad for women who have bought into the lie that being a mother is just not enough....who feel that they have to think and do and be exactly the same as a man in order to be equal.  We are different on purpose.  For a purpose.  I am so grateful for the amazing happiness that comes from knowing who I am and why I am here and where I can go after this life.  I am so grateful for the things that I can learn about my Heavenly Parents by having my own turn as a parent here on earth.  I am in awe when I think of how much I love my children and want their happiness more than anything....and to know that my Heavenly Parents love me with that same kind of love, only it's the perfect kind, and it's multiplied by an infinite number, so big of a way that I can't even comprehend it.  The more I ponder it, the more quiet and humble I feel.  I am most grateful.


Are We Not All Mothers?

"Motherhood is more than bearing children.  It is the essence of who we are as women."

Motherhood: Love That Is Woven From Heart to Heart

Look closely at this picture.  This mother is knitting her daughter's sweater from the thread of her own that she is wearing.  This is a beautiful and powerful message to me.  Today we celebrate the sacredness of motherhood.  My heart is filled with a deep gratitude for the great privilege it is to be a mother.  I am so grateful for my own mother who had this same deep love and passion for mothering that she knitted into the very fabric of my soul.  Because of her love of womanhood, mine was nurtured, cultivated and made to grow and expand.  This picture shows what my mother did for me in so many ways.  This picture shows me the great influence and affect that I have on my own children. 
I feel so deeply about the subject of motherhood that I don't even have the words to express my feelings.  I will just say that I know it is the most important thing that I could do.  I know sometimes women feel like they are inadequate and like they aren't contributing anything to society if they are 'just a mother'.  Well, to quote Julie Beck, she said that when we are living with our Heavenly Father forever, the name that  His exalted daughters will be known by will be 'Mother'.  If that is the highest and holiest name from our Eternal Father (and it's wonderful to note that Father is the name that He wants us to call Him), that is the name I want now and forever.
Happy Mother's Day to every woman....because whether we have children of our own or not, we are all indeed mothers and can be forever thanks to the wonderful plan of happiness given to us from our beloved Father in Heaven.

*This picture is entitled 'Windows of Heaven' by Emily McPhie


Easter Week : Thursday- Monday

I am so excited about the Bible Videos that the church has made and started releasing.  There is a beautiful video for each of the remaining days of Easter week that would be wonderful to watch and ponder as a family.  Here's the link.

Tonight Jesus ate the passover meal with his apostles.  He also instituted the first sacrament and taught the apostles many beautiful truths.  He also washed their feet, always the perfect example of service. 
Then He went to Gethsemane where He faced alone the embodiment of all of our sins and weaknesses and pains. 

"Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with the most transcendent of all events, the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, It is the most important single thing that has ever occurred in the entire history of created things; it is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest. "
Bruce R. McConkie

It seems so...not enough....to just say how grateful I am for the atonement of Jesus Christ.  I can't even comprehend all that He suffered for me, but at the times in my life when I have felt the deepest pain or sorrow, I have felt the reality that He has already felt all of it.  And He has been with me and delivered me from every trial of my life thus far, and I know He will be with me through whatever is to come in my life as long as I turn to Him.

We made these today to show that we want to give Jesus our hearts and always remember Him and what He did for us.

Tonight we are going to celebrate passover with our extended family.  We eat all of the traditional foods and discuss how the law of Moses was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  It is a really neat thing to do.

Disclaimer: I had plans of making all my art projects in advance so I could post pictures and more details, but I think I temporarily forgot about my most favorite job of being mommy to 3 young children and how it takes up a lot more time than I ever anticipate.  So...here is a brief rundown of what we do and some ideas I wanted to try.  I'm sure you all are more creative than me, and I would love to hear of any ideas that you think might work better!

Tomorrow is the day Jesus was crucified.  We celebrate that greatest act of love of all time by doing random acts of kindness for other people. 
For our art project tomorrow, I was going to have the kids make an earth and put a sad face on it because the earth was so sad when Jesus died that there were earthquakes and storms all over the earth. 

Saturday we celebrate with the theme "We Are Free!"  We know from the Doctrine and Covenants that Jesus ministered in the spirit world during this time.  We usually like to go to the temple on this day and discuss how we can help people in the spirit world to be free by participating in temple work.  I was going to have the kids make a butterfly as our art project on this day.

Sunday we celebrate the we can all be resurrected because Jesus broke the bands of death!
I was going to make a ressurection puppet for each of the kids.  (Print out or draw a picture of each child, one on plain white paper as the spirit and one in color for the body.  Then put them on popscicle sticks and use them to show how our spirit and our body are separated by death and reunited by resurrection.) 

On Monday we celebrate Easter in America.  We have a mexican night!  Everyone tells their favorite story from 3 Nephi and we watch the last part of The Testaments when Jesus comes. 
For the art project on this day I was going to have the kids draw a picture of little children around Jesus and then have them make a 'ring of fire' with pipe cleaners to illustrate the story from 3 Nephi.

I hope everyone has a glorious week and feels the great love and power that come from the greatest miracle that is Easter!


Easter Week: Wednesday

There is no scriptural record of what the Savior did today.  I wonder if He might have gone somewhere to be alone and talk with His Father to gain strength and prepare as much as He could for the experiences of Gethsemane and Calvary coming tomorrow and the next day.  We are not sure what He did, but in our family we call today our wilderness day.  We spend time as a family strengthening eachother through our love for one another.  If we can, we go somewhere out in nature and feel the love of our Heavenly Father through His creations.
This morning the kids made a collage of pictures in nature that reminded them of Jesus' love.

Growing up, we always did a family talent show today.  I think it is kind of neat that we have a sort of "ponder day" right in the middle of the week.  There is so much to think about and be grateful for remembering all that the Savior was about to do for us.  I am so grateful that because of what He did this week, I can be with my family forever in His presence. 


Easter Week Ideas: Sunday-Tuesday

Happy Easter Week!  I know we're already 3 days in, but I just decided this morning to post about some of the things we do in our family to make this week the most celebrated holiday of the year!
When I was growing up, my mom and dad decided they wanted Easter to be the biggest and most important holiday in our house.  Every day, starting on Palm Sunday, we do something special to remember what Jesus did during this last week of His life on earth.  I won't go into detail about everything we do (because there's a whole book that my mom made for this special week), but I thought I would share some of our traditions and ideas that I have adapted a bit for our young children.

Since it's Tuesday, I'll have to catch up a bit for Sunday and Monday. :)

Palm Sunday

We talk about Jesus riding into Jerusalem and how the people shouted "Hosanna!" and laid down their clothes and palm branches in the way.  We make palm branches out of construction paper and put them by our front door. We talk to the kids about how Jesus is coming again to the earth and what we can do to be ready to meet Him.

Every day we eat special and yummy food that is symbolic of something to remind us of the Savior as well. 


Today Jesus cursed the barren fig tree, cleansed the temple and healed in the temple.  Each day we read from the scriptures about what Jesus did on that day.  My husband and I read together, and we use pictures to teach what happened to our children, as well as reading as much as their little attention spans can handle.

For an art project today, you could make a fig tree out of construction paper, (or any fruit tree) and discuss with your kids what it means to have "fruit" and not just "leaves". 
For Family Home Evening last night, we talked about Jesus cleansing the temple because people were not doing good things in the temple.  Then we discussed how we want our home to be like the temple and what we should be doing and not doing in our home to make that happen.

We ate fig cookies to remind us to be fruitful.  For dinner we ate french toast to remember that Jesus is the bread of life.


Today Jesus taught many parables.  He also lamented over Jerusalem and how often he tried to gather them as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings and they would not.
So today we talk about the parables that Jesus taught.  A lot of the parables have a picture to go with it from the gospel art kit.
This morning we made chicks to remind us that we want to be gathered and follow Jesus. (Thanks to my sister-in-law for the cute idea:)

I also have been trying to display a visual of what happened on each day on our counter so the kids can see it in the morning.
Tonight we will eat chicken for dinner to further remind us to be gathered. :)
My mom makes these absolutely adorable chick sugar cookies as well, but as I said earlier, I'm just giving a few ideas right now. 

I hope everyone celebrates this most special week and remembers how much our Savior loves us all.
Happy Easter Week!


Life Saver

Hi, I'm Mary.  I'm a wife.  I'm a mother. I'm a mormon.  I don't sound as cool as a lot of the profiles I have seen on Mormon.org.  I'm pretty ordinary to a passerby.  Not like this really amazing story I saw about a young man named Paris Thomas.  He had a tough upbringing.  His father was taken to prison when he was young.  Two of his older brothers died as teenagers due acts of violence.  He was a highschool drop out.  He was heading down a bad road.  Then he found the gospel of Jesus Christ and his life completely changed.  Among other things, he is now attending college and has a bright future.
I loved this story.  The gospel literally saved his life.
I was thinking about this and how wonderful it was and I had a realization....this boy and I have led very different lives, but we have one thing in common.  The gospel of Jesus Christ has saved my life too.
In fact, the gospel of Jesus Christ continues to save my life each day of my life!  Being a mother of young children, as any mother of young children can tell you is a demanding and exhausting and exhilirating task.  Sometimes the average work of daily living can be really hard and I can forget what is important.  But, because of Jesus Christ and His atonement, I can have strength and energy and smiles and deep breaths beyond my own abilities....and I can call on this amazing power as many times in my day as I need.  He saves me from myself.  He transforms me into a new creature....daily.  Every day as I turn to Him I am becoming a little bit better....a little holier....a little purer...a little more of who I really am and who I can become.
This may not sound like a miracle to anyone else, but it is to me.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is truly a life saver in every possible way.  I know this is true.  I have tested and tried it.  I have tasted the fruits of the gospel and they are delicious.


Really Wonderful!

I turned this talk on to listen to while cleaning up my kitchen, and I could NOT turn it off to go to bed!  It is a really beautiful message by Elder Patrick Kearon about how we can better hear and feel Heavenly Father's messages of love to us every day.  Watch it, and listen with your heart! :) 


Just Wait...

I love it when I find a voice that talks about all the joys of being a parent.  A friend shared this with me and I totally love it.  I think you will too!  Joy, or "Just Wait?"

See the joy, feel the joy, embrace the joy, share the joy!!!!!!


The Laurie Berkner Band - Goldfish

One of my favorite things about being a mommy to young children is all the fun songs they love to listen to. We found this one through Bobby's pre-school teacher and it is so cute!
We love to dance around to it!


Remember, baby girl...

You know how in life you go through general good times and tough times?  Well lately I have been going through a bit of a rough spot.  Nothing drastic has changed or happened in my life.  I guess it has been more of an inner struggle.  I feel like I have been under attack.  So many doubts, fears, worries, and inadequacies have been just screaming at me for about a month now.  It really has felt like an actual attack on my soul.  I know that these feelings do not come from my Heavenly Father, but I also know that sometimes He lets me struggle through them so that I can experience that opposition that I was so excited about experiencing before I came to this earth.  I am so grateful for the gospel in my life.  It is my rock and source of truth that keeps me afloat on those days when I feel like I'm drowning, and it is my set of wings on those days when I feel like I am flying.
Among other things, one of the things I have been struggling with is feeling like I am not serving other people enough.  I look around me and see so many people who are struggling with really hard things and I want to help!  But at the moment, my own family's needs have kept me from doing so....and then I feel so guilty.  I know...red flag right there....that is not an emotion that comes from Heavenly Father.  But too often I feed that guilt. Now, I know that there is the kind of guilt that promotes change and growth and it is good because it will help us to become better or stop doing something that is wrong.  But there is the guilt that comes from the adversary which makes me hate myself and I know that Heavenly Father would never make me feel like I was worthless. Anyway, the purpose of this post is for my baby girl to read one day when she becomes a mama and may be tempted to feel the same way.
I read this quote from Henry B. Eyring and it made me feel guilty, the bad kind, for a little while, until I turned to the Lord enough that He could soften my heart and I could hear what He was trying to tell me...
" [One] way to obtain a soft heart is to make sure you don't focus too much on yourself or your personal problems and struggles.  Instead of thinking of yourself primarily as someone who is seeking purification, think of yourself as someone who is trying to find out who around you needs your help.  Pray that way and then reach out.  When you act under such inspiration, it will have a sanctifying effect on you."
There are different seasons in our lives and different times for different ways to serve.  Right now, my most important job and the thing that I should focus the majority of my efforts and energy on is my precious family.  This quote came to my mind tonight as I spent almost an hour trying to walk/jog my baby girl to sleep when I was so tired and still had so many things I wanted to get done before I could go to bed.  Then it came into my mind again when my sweet little almost 5 year old was still awake after the other kids had fallen asleep and I felt that he needed some one-on-one time with mommy, so we snuggled and read stories.  The simple acts of motherhood are indeed great opportunities to be sanctified.  Who better to pray to see and meet the needs of than my own husband and children?  Especially in this time of their life when they are so young and their needs are great.  I can't always discern what they need, especially if my priorities are out of line and the voice of guilt in my head drowns out the sweet whisperings of the Holy Ghost.
I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord and for His massive amounts of patience that He has for me.  I am so grateful for my divine role as a mother that has built-in sanctifying experiences.  I don't want to miss them by being too noisy inside to hear my Heavenly Father teaching me in those small and simple moments.
So, my precious baby girl, remember when you are tempted to feel like you just aren't enough, that your Heavenly Father knows that your love for Him and your desire to serve Him are enough.... and He knows that the work you do as a mother is among the very most important of His work on this earth and it will continue through the eternities.
And that is not to say that I can't serve people other than my family, because of course I can and I should, and  I need to teach my children to serve everybody through example.  But as I put my family first, the Lord will show me how to help others and when and how to do it in the very best way.


A house, or a HOUSE?

"Christ promised us a more abundant life if we would follow his teachings. He taught that going the second mile in any task brings joy and abundance. If we just do the minimum requirements as mothers, it is easy to be frustrated and feel that our job is demeaning. If we rise above the minimum and work to make motherhood a work of art, we will experience joy.
Take, for example, the rather onerous task of changing diapers. It is a necessity, and we can treat it as an evil and be very unhappy about doing it over and over again. Or we can see it as a part of nurturing a precious human being—in which case we change the diaper as soon as it is necessary, making sure the child is comfortable and happy and clean and that the dry diaper fits well. We take care of the soiled diaper at once (they do not improve with age). We can even use this time alone with our baby to give him some special love and attention. When we approach the job this way, we even get a certain amount of satisfaction out of it, and why not? We have to do it anyway. It’s a matter of choice—do we want to build houses or HOUSES?"
"There are houses and then there are HOUSES. Houses (lowercase) simply provide basic shelter. On the other hand, HOUSES (uppercase) are built and planned with love and care. They provide shelter, but also enrich the lives of those who live in them. These two kinds of houses are symbolic of an ordinary job of mothering and approaching our job with an attitude of excellence. Looking at the creations of the Lord here on this earth, I don’t believe He is interested in the easiest and cheapest. A sunset, a starry night, a pine tree, or a peach blossom remind me that God creates glory—even in the smallest details. A HOUSE of God should be glorious and as excellent as we can make it."

Taken from an article, "The Joys of Motherhood" by Petrea Kelly.  You can read the full text here.

Love This!

My sister really has a beautiful point here....for everything in life, not just motherhood.  Don't you think? :)

Some Happy Thoughts

I have really found this to be true in my own life...

"It ought not to be difficult for us to keep the commandments of the Lord, because keeping them leads to happiness. It ought not to be difficult for husbands and wives to love one another and be true to one another, because doing so is a source of happiness. It ought not to be difficult for boys and girls to love their parents and honor them, because that is another source of happiness. Being honest with our neighbors is a source of happiness. Paying Him our tithes and our offerings is a source of blessing and happiness. I might go on and enumerate many other things, but I may sum it all by saying: All the happiness that is worthy of the name, all the real happiness there is in this world, comes from living in accordance with the commandments of God—whether men know it or not."—President George Albert Smith

Happiness is Home Centered

I loved this talk, "Happiness is Home Centered" by Elder N. Eldon Tanner.  You can read the whole thing here., but I'll share a couple of my favorite parts....

"The happiest people I know are those whose life-styles center around the home. Work is very important, and success in one’s profession or business is also essential to happiness, but remember what we say so often: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” (David O. McKay.)

"If the trouble in the world is to be corrected, it will have to begin in the home where the future leaders are trained. What greater contribution can be made than for women to bear children who, through the mother’s influence, can be instrumental in righting some of the wrongs in the world.
Those women who for one reason or another do not have children may likewise wield great influence and find their places in society, as many have by working with the children of others or by entering into some field of activity where their talents lie. Let me remind those who discountenance motherhood that they owe much to the mothers who gave them birth, without whose tender loving care and early training in the home they would not be in a position to give worthwhile service to others. We recognize the many, many women who are not mothers who give invaluable service in the auxiliary organizations and in many other fields of endeavor."

"In a tribute to mothers on one occasion, President David O. McKay said: “She who can paint a masterpiece or write a book that will influence millions deserves the plaudits and admiration of mankind. But she who would willingly and anxiously rear successfully a family of beautiful healthy sons and daughters whose lives reflect the teachings of the gospel, deserves the highest honors that man can give, and the choicest blessings of God. In fact, in her high duty and service to humanity, endowing with mortality eternal spirits, she is a co-partner with the Great Creator himself.” (Improvement Era, May 1936.)

These words make me think what an honor and privilege I have of being called a mother.


Feeding the 5,000...or the 5

I have been feeling very grateful for the Lord's help in my day to day life lately.  My husband switched to night shift at work and it is an adjustment.  He goes to work just before the kids go to bed and comes home just before they wake up.  We see him for 3 or 4 hours when he wakes up in the late afternoon/evening.  He is a wonderful man and I so appreciate how hard he works for our family.  Night time is hard around here.  My sweet baby girl wakes up frequently.  My older boys have been getting up also due to bad dreams or wetting the bed.  When my hubby is home, he takes the boy duty, but with him gone it has been Mommy up a lot:)  Sometimes I don't know how I am going to get up in the morning.  I know that I am not the only one who feels this way.  I think it just comes with the territory of being a mom.  Even with just one kid getting up at night, I still feel exhausted in the morning.  It's hard work.  But I'm so grateful for the Holy Ghost who can remind me in those hard moments that it is indeed a privilege to be a mother.  It is a privilege to be so needed.  And it is just what the Lord knows that I need to be refined and changed.
I love this song.  I have posted it before, but I love it so much that I'll do it again:)  I think that whether He is feeding the 5,000 or helping me to feed my family of 5, it is still a miracle. And He does perform miracles for me over and over again.  I'm so grateful that He gives me strength when I don't have any.  I'm so grateful that He forgives me when I don't do this job right.  I'm so grateful that He teaches me and is patient with me.  I'm so grateful that He helps me to love this job with all of it's wonders and difficulties.  I'm so grateful for His tender mercies.


Let's Celebrate!

I found this article and totally loved it!  I loved it so much that it inspired me to change the name of my blog because of this quote, "Motherhood is not a burden to be born, it is a privilege to be enjoyed. It is not a trial of endurance, it is a time of celebration."  Let's celebrate, Ladies!
There are many worldly trends in parenting telling us how mothering is just too hard and we need more time for ourselves.  But as women who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, we should rise above these voices and be a voice for the joyous and wonderful blessings of motherhood. There are too many young girls who don't want to have children for fear that it is too hard or that they won't have time to pursue the things that they want.  Often the voices telling them these things are from mothers who can't wait for their kids to get out of the house.  That makes me so sad.  I'm not saying that being a mom isn't hard because it is!  I think it is the hardest thing a woman can do.  But I also believe that it is because it is so hard that it is the best and most fulfilling thing a woman can do- not in spite of the hard things, but because of them. 
Everything that I learn and continue to learn from the scriptures and from prophets and apostles is encouraging and uplifting and it tells me to love and enjoy the role of mother that I have been give.  The gospel teaches me to put my children's need above my own and to find gratitude in doing it.  Sometimes that is hard and it takes work, but by turning to the Lord I do know it is possible to keep His commandment to be grateful in all things.
I could go on an on as I feel passionately about this subject, in case you couldn't tell :) but read this because she puts it so much better than I do.
And have a wonderful day!  I am cheering for all you moms out there who love their role and fulfill it so well!  Let's celebrate!!


Love This Mama!

My sister has a blog and I just love to read it.  She had her first baby last July and has been documenting her experiences with motherhood.  She is a very gifted writer.  Her thoughts are beautiful and inspiring.  You should read it!