It is not a tragedy to have only one talent; the tragedy is not using it.
January 17 -
A pint can't hold a quart. If it holds a pint, it is doing all that can be expected of it.
This past week life's mishaps gave me some more new lessons.
Last Thursday started off normal. I woke up so I could wake up my two sons for school and also get myself ready to be able to attend my choir practice for the Upper Valley Women's Choir that I belong to and currently serve as president. Hence I needed to get up and stay up so I can get to practice early to unlock the doors and start our set up. When I got back from practice I had a headache and was extra hungry. So I treated myself to lunch in the warmth of my basement and a movie. After eating I felt better but sleepy. A couple hours later I woke up without a headache, which isn't always the case, and was ready to start my day again. Naps are wonderful to give you a fresh start of things again. Well, it was after I woke I that I discovered that my internet was down. But it wasn't just my internet but several companies in the area were without services because a cable was cut and broken. We ended up without internet for about 2 1/2 days. We were the lucky ones though - some were without phone service or TV/cable service too.
What did I learn and what was my new lesson? I learned that it is not good enough to know how to schedule future blog posts but that I should use this tool regularly even if I think I won't need it for the next day because I'll only know I should have scheduled a post till after the time that I miss out and can't. Also, I discovered that my scheduling tool is set for the pacific time zone which is one hour behind me. This time difference is to my advantage but key to remember if I need to check if it's working and edit scheduled posts.
So for those detailed individuals out there you'll now know why I have my January 11-16 posts of quotes all posted on the 16th. Life took it's turn and then I wasn't ready to jump back in the game when the clock started clicking again.
January 15 -
What a different world this would be if people would only magnify their blessings the way they do their troubles!
Generally, I’m not a new year’s resolution type of person because my “natural man” traits lean toward procrastination and short term thinking. At best, I’m a due date person; I see the value of goals and have set goals but find it easier to remember and do things if there is someone to report to, submit the assignment or be reviewed on a assigned date. If I think of something I want to do or even need to do then I work that out in that present time and don't wait for a new year. But once in a while I find that starting a goal at the first of a new year necessary.
As this new year was creeping up upon me I decided that I wanted to take on the challenge of following through on an idea that has been on my mind for quite some time. For a while now I've wanted to digitize some quotes from a bear calendar that I have so I decided that I'd post them on this blog in hopes that doing this would also help me be more active with my online endeavors.
I've decided that this year I'll share my family's bear calendar quotes. I've learned to schedule posts so this task of posting a photo of each quote one per day is realistically manageable for me to do now. And if I have extra thought or story pressing in response to the quote of the day then I'll try to share them too.
How is this doing and how am I doing? I started creating gifts and established my own gift basket business at home and online because it makes me happy to create fun and beautiful things and be able to share my talent. Giving gifts is a way to show our love, friendship, and appreciation to one another and that will always be something that I want to be a part of. So, an old goal to find and make happiness in my life and the lives of others around me is still strong as can be. This year I'll just add a quote a day in hopes to give us all motivation and a smile.
I find my peace through the knowledge of Christ's gospel, The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints. Through that I have come to know my Savior, take upon me His name, and use his freely given gift of atonement for everyone. In short - I want to be happy. I want to live so I might qualify myself so that I might be able to live with my Savior and my Father in Heaven again along with my perfect stillborn daughter, Rosalin, and all my other family members who follow in their footsteps as eternal families. I mustn’t lose this goal but must find ways to be active and not reactive in life and remember that stopping to smell the flowers along the way is ok. One motivational thought or religious thought each day I think can never be overdone.
I've been also pinning my photos of each quote per day too. When I am done, January 1 next year, all my quotes should be then digitalized as photos on my Pinterest board. You can check them all out here:
A blessing always carries with it a responsibility.
I must admit that I am a very blessed person. Some blessings I believe I deserve and have worked for but many are pure gifts out of love from my Savior. I also have been the recipient of many tangible and even intangible blessings from the many people I have come in contact with during my life.
My first thought today when I read this quote this year was about the simple blessing of having enough towels. Now this might not seem like the usual response when asked to think about what one is blessed with but it was the case for me today. The reason these two, “blessings” and “towels” come together for me started when as a newly wedded couple my husband and I opened our wedding gifts. We received an abundance of towels: bath hand towels, bath body towels, bath washcloths, kitchen hand towels, kitchen dish cloths, and kitchen washcloths. Included with these linens we also received many hot pads, and hot mitts, tablecloths, and even some linen napkins.
I’m not sure how we came up with the idea or why but we decided to keep all of them. We boxed them up for our first move and planned to keep them boxed till we could better store and use them. All my towels and linens had to be stored in several boxes and as time passed through several moves we hauled and stored our towels; the ones we had out and used and the ones that we hadn’t used yet. This went on till we happily bought our first and even current house. Excitedly I was able to have a place to finally put all my fun wedding gifts, towels included, and use them. We had three children at that time and had even added to our collection of towels cloth diapers. We finally were settled and could unpack our linens. They occupied two full closets. Oh, and that also included our extra blankets and sheets. I knew I forgot something. Both closets were near my girls’ bedroom.
This abundance of towels has come in handy many times. Our towels became very useful when our home substituted for a hotel when we had family come visit. During these visits, we discovered that everyone could use as many towels as they liked and I still won’t have to worry about laundering them until after they left. Even when the not so planned life moments happened, we had enough towels to take care of most situations. When our dishwasher overflowed and flooded the floor with water and soap, we had enough towels to soak up the water. When bathtub time got a little crazy, we had enough towels to dry the floor and the children. Even when our children took turns over the years individually stuffing bars of soap or whole rolls of toilet paper down the toilet and flushed it to see what would happen, we had enough towels to soak up the entire floor full of overflowing toilet water.
Now I wanted to be a “good mom.” I generally allowed my girls to play freely within the safety of our home. I wanted to be active in their lives and teach them so I wouldn’t have to monitor them every second. I wanted to be patient and I didn’t want to lose my temper or yell if my children caused trouble or got loud or became annoying. But in my naive state of new parenting and being the youngest child I couldn’t imagine all the small issues that come with raising children including play time.
My girls liked creative playtime. They didn’t need very many toys to play with because they were good at imagining and using the different things around them. But imaginative play sometimes led into mischief causing a jumbled mess when it was done. Have you ever as a child or even saw a child play pretend games? Have you jumped into a pile of leaves or snow because they were soft and seemed like a fun thing to do? Pretended the floor was lava? Pretended that piles of cushions or blankets were mountains? Made a fort with couch cushions and blankets? Hopped or leaped from one floor mat to the next or something of that sort? Well, my girls liked to play like this.
Their imaginative play sometimes included blankets and towels now and again. One day their playing turned into several days of chores for me. Our wonderful blessing of towels that I’ve been mentioning . . . well, my girls pulled almost every clean towel and linen out of the closet and mixed them up with their dirty clothes to make some pretend mountains. Needless to say, I was not happy that I’d have to wash and put away everything again. When my husband came home I asked if we could buy and install a lock at the top of our linen closet. He didn’t think I was too crazy and did it for me. The lock was strategically placed out of reach from my girls’ young arms to reach so hopefully this mix up wouldn’t happen again.
So as this quote states that “a blessing always carries with it a responsibility” is true. Our blessing of towels mixed with young children and free time to think and play caused a chain reaction: - an overwelming amount of dirty clothes,
- an unplanned shopping trip to buy a lock,
- installation of said lock,
- at least two days’ worth of washing, drying, folding, and putting away laundry,
and the most important responsibility of
- remembering to lock our new linen closet lock!
Yes, we do get our share of responsibility. And I must also admit that when I think back, we had more than just one day that I had to pick up and fold and put away lots of towels that had been used for creative play. Our family grew even more through time and we found that we were still being gifted more towels. So, our lock stayed up. As most things in our home, our lock has signs of much use. Now we don’t need to lock it anymore but we decided it’s always better to be safe than sorry and keep the lock installed. One never knows when we might get a short-term guest who tries to follow in their parent’s footsteps. As for the towels, we have thrown a few away here and there as time and use wore them out but we just can’t help finding ourselves blessed with them. My responsibility for this blessing, after my daughters’ day of fun, now included locking the linen closest latch so I’ll have them clean and ready when I needed them.
The only real peace in this life is peace of mind.
I find my peace of mind because of the knowledge, power, and love of my
Savior, Jesus Christ, through His gospel and atonement for me.
Be sure to take an interest in the future, that's where you will spend the rest of your life.
Prayer = Talking silently or aloud with God.
Awsome!! Right? I've found many times in a day that I can use this wonderful heavenly tool and I know that God, our Heavenly Father, is real and hears our prayers.
Kneeling keeps you in good standing with the Lord.
Happy New Year!
But wait...at some point in our growing wisdom we might connect the dots of thought that there is more than one time zone in this world and then wonder, "When does the new year really start?" Well, once in a while my family gets on this annual kick (discussion/fight) about when the new year starts but never bothered to resolve the question in our moments of debate. This year I decided to find out for myself since we're now in the age of instant knowledge through different devices and the internet. I'll get to the answer in a moment. But first I want to elaborate on this dilemma we've (I've) gotten into.
I grew up as an east coast gal in Rockville, Maryland. When December 31st came around I'd watch the big New York count down (New York and Maryland are in the same time zone.) with its ball in times square for the new year on TV until I was old enough to go to a party or a dance or even host my own party at home. Then I graduated from high school and went off to Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. (Not the same time zone as Maryland and New York. - Mountain Time) While at school there I met my husband who grew up in Fairfield, California. (Again, not the same time zone as Maryland or New York. - Pacific Time) It was then that I realized that most of America watched, on the then limited TV options, the New York times square count down but delayed to air during their particular time zones’ time before midnight. I thought to myself, "why do I want to wait or watch a rerun of what had already happened?" The only good of that was staying up late because I could to feel the night time suspense of trying to find myself awake for the first minutes and beyond of the new day.
Thankfully, my husband and I both have a laid-back opinion about this holiday. We'd just go to bed when we felt tired and say, "Happy new year in two more hours" before falling asleep or in the morning say, "Happy new year." Then we started having kids and as they got older our celebrations increased. Staying up late then still wasn't too hard. But somewhere between the time we started staying up for our first teenager to party and come home to now we found ourselves more tired. As parents, we found ourselves stuck with the dilemma of not personally wanting to staying up late and also finding a balance for our kids (teens) to be able to celebrate this world recognized holiday. Our past solution: we stayed up for our girls to come home, then they didn't care too much to go out and luckily for us our boys weren't the party types. When the kids decided it was cool again to stay at home again they stay up and the grownups went to bed early. Now, as my family and I have gotten even older and a little wiser, the appeal to stay up late to greet the new year for a count-down has lessened more. Our noise makers and fanfare have gone away again. The new year can wait till morning to greet me.
So, when should we celebrate the new year aka January 1? Well quite frankly, whenever we want. I discovered at www.timeanddate.com/counters/firstnewyear that the first minutes of the new year start in Tonga. If my family wanted to celebrate the first minutes of the new year in the world, then we'd be celebrating it at 3:00am the day before our Idaho mountain time got to 12 midnight. That makes staying up to midnight my time zone sound easy. From then on (my 3am the day before/Tonga midnight) we could pick any minute to celebrate the new year. Kind of messed up - huh?
This leads up to the greater point. The holiday New Years isn't all about celebrating the first minutes of the new year. It is also about being happy and celebrating new life and time on this wonderful earth for the full upcoming year - January through December.
Life is good - no matter what time zone you live in because it is our gift from God to be here. So, "Happy New Year! And may all your days of this year and the ones to follow bring you knew hope, excitement, and time to recognize this gift of life."
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Ugh! I just want to scream. No wait, I can’t ‘cause screaming would hurt & damage my voice so I’ll change that to I want to yell really loud and smack something. I confess that sometimes learning new things is over rated. Each time I try to make a step toward enhancing things with my business I feel like I’m going uphill and sliding down several times. It serves me right for trying to figure out everything on my own. But I’m slowly getting it.
I haven’t considered sharing all of my real-time up & downs of how all of this is going until while reading several online tips through Pinterest links I realized that I should be writing more and allotting time in my schedule to switch this from hobby status to a functioning business. I have found a few more helps such as www.canva.com which allows me to improve my social media look on Facebook to design my cover photo. My not so momentary frustration today has come through learning how to make an image transparent. Granted that I’m still learning and only got part of it down which is making me repeat a somewhat easy task several times (over a ½ hour) to get an image right. The program that is almost working for me (almost because I haven’t learned yet how to do some undo and other commands in it) is through www.online-image-editor.com . Anyway, I’m slowly getting it but wanted to get it a long time ago. I can’t tell exactly how much real time I’ve struggled with this today because I’ve had many interpretations to walk away from the computer to fulfill my mom duties to kids. It’s probably a good thing though so I can’t really focus and know how much time I’ve really struggled today.
Now I will just need to remember to write when I have some more successes to balance all of my frustration from my learning curses. Oh wait again, that's a good reason for me to have other categories within my blog too. I've added two new categories for my posts. They are: Feel Good Stories & Gifts For The Soul. I want this & in general myself to stay on the sunny side and hope to balance life's frustrations with posts for these categories too.
In an effort to do something uplifting with my teenage boys I sometimes do an internet search for positive videos for us to watch together. Most of the time these kind of videos or at least the ones we stumble upon are only a few minutes long. I usually pick the first one and after we watch that one more times than not my boys want to watch more so I let them pick a few also for us to watch.
Oh, and did I mention that this is an evening activity for us. Since most of my family are movie / video / T.V. junkies (because I am one and created somewhat video addicts) this activity works well as a way to gather them and teach them with the perk of getting them ready for bed. Getting ready for bed and bedtime routines has always been difficult for my family. So any evening quiet time to talk or do something to whine down is always nice.
Anyway, we found this video on the Ten Commandments that we enjoyed. It’s not your typical Ten Commandments story with Moses but talks about how only a few of these Ten Commandments are seen as popular views today. But in truth, all of the Ten Commandments are needed today and I believe our societies and people today would be better off if ALL of the Ten Commandments were adhered to.
This slang word came to my mind, when I watched this news video, because of the positive attitude and responses of a young gentleman's dedication, hard work, excitement, and even luck - that during the glimpse of his experience as part of a basketball team HE WAS NOT AN UNDERDOG. When I was in high school I didn't experience or witness someone be treated nice or cheered on despite or because they were more disadvantaged than others. My own bubble and personal thoughts at times were: I'm on the outside or I'm slow, or I'm not this or that; but not as much as (fill in the blank). I thought about me and what I needed to know or do so I won't be viewed or thought of as dumb, unacceptably weird, or embarrassing. I omit that I was more typical of a teenager, thinking more about myself then others, than I realized. And I believe that others can relate a little to my reveal of normalcy and that's why this video just makes everyone feel good. It's nice and refreshing and even exciting to see and hear about people who are nice, that build up, and cheer for the underdog instead of ignoring them or putting them down. It's good to let go of our pride, selfishness, simpleminded thoughts and actions so we can cheer on the underdog.
My Valentine Baskets are for sale through Facebook groups. Check out my baskets at East Idaho Marketplace; Rexburg's Garage & Yard Sales; Rexburg Yard Sale; ALMOST anything goes trade, sell, buy, barter, bid, sale group; and BYU-I Buy, Sell, or Trade. Each basket includes candies (Red Heart Lollipops and/or Hershey Kisses Candies and/or Conversation Heart Candies and/or Red-Hots Candies) and at least one stuffed animal or figurine or candle. Cash or Checks only please.
I love these different emotion faces. For some reason whenever I see small colored circles with facial expressions on them creates a sense of happiness within me. I can't help but want to share them. For this alone I've realized that emotions are good enough to mention as a daily gift. Because whether or not we think as emotions as gifts, we are sharing them every day with all of the people around us. Have you ever thought that our personal emotions could be a blessing gifted from God? Well, they are, so I say enjoy each and every different emotion that you have. Life wouldn't be the same if we didn't have change and different ways to express our reactions. Once I was given a humorous parenting tip that everyone could benefit by using: when you see a little toddler stumble and fall down, smile at them, clap your hands and say yeah. Surprisingly, almost every time you do this the child's sad or questionable face changes to a smile. It's not necessary easy, but we can choose how we act and react and remember to go for the motto; onward and upward, without stepping on anyone.
Janet Burrup Spencer
Writing about myself here reminds me of all my English assignments at the beginning of the school year were I had to write an essay about myself or one of those get-to-know you socials where everyone has to say several new & interesting things about themselves. I never did get smart and save my answers to use them again. For some reason I always feel hesitant and at times unclear about what I should say about myself that would be interesting. So this is me at a glimpse: I grew up in Rockville, Maryland - went to Wheaton High School - went to Ricks College - met my husband while at school - am a mother of six children - live in Rexburg, Idaho - received my associates' degree from BYU-I in 2011 - actively a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - actively volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America program in Cub Scouts - and like to organize and create things.