Saturday, May 7, 2011

MIA

Sorry that I've been missing in action for so long. I'm attending spring term here at school and I've gotten crazy busy. Spring term is half a semester and I'm taking two history classes. On top of that I'm still a housewife and a mother, so I haven't had a whole lot of down time to blog or to even be crafty. I'll try to update at least once a week, but it will be mostly updates on my personal life, and not crafty updates. Since I'll be taking Summer term also, I won't really be back until August! I hope you all are having an awesome, sunny weekend!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

 First off, congratulations to my wonderful husband for graduating and commissioning this past week. I am so very proud of him and his accomplishments! He's worked really hard in the ROTC program for the past two years, and now here he is; a 2nd Lt. in the United States Army! He earned his bachelor degree in Middle Eastern Studies and spent four long years struggling to learn Arabic. He did an amazing job persevering through the frustrations of learning a new language, and has become quite fluent.




Second of all, happy Easter everyone! It's a beautiful Easter for us--super sunny, and just a little chilly, perfect weather for taking a walk! 


A big thank you to my brother for taking the pictures!

Easter is not just a silly holiday for us. We enjoy the candy just as much as the next person, but there is something more to this holiday. Today is the day, two thousand years ago, that Jesus Christ rose from the tomb and became the resurrected Lord. This is a time where we can focus on the Savior, his life, and especially his death and resurrection. I know that my Redeemer lives. Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins. He gave his life freely out of perfect love for us. I testify, along with President Thomas S. Monson, that this is true; in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Craft day

Alan and I don't use washcloths, we just don't. I use a loofah, and Alan just soaps up . . . anyway, we don't need to get into our bathing habits, sorry about that. Since to us they're useless, the washcloths that we got with the towel sets from our wedding just sat in our cabinet and never saw the light of day. Yesterday as I was organizing the cabinet and decided I needed to do something with them.

I googled and voila! Bath-time duckies! I also came across whale scrubbies, bunnies and flowers. Awesome for my plethora of washcloths!

There's not a plethora anymore since I already used some, but you get the idea. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

New toys

Today was an inside kind of day. Outside it's rainy, and sleeting, and really cold. So Killer and I threw on some comfy clothes, spread out a fat, fluffy comforter and pulled out all the toys. I had Killer practice sitting up (which he's getting really good at) and practice trying to crawl. When Killer was a newborn he absolutely hated tummy time, then as he got older he started to like it more, and now, just when he's so close to crawling he hates it again. He'll sit there whining and crying until I turn him over or sit him up. What a stinker!

Enough about my cute, little boy and on to the real reason for this post. Since we spent most of the day inside I, of course, had to pull out the old sewing machine and make something. I decided to make a couple of new toys for Killer since he seems to be tiring of his old ones.

I got the idea for this teething giraffe off of Etsy. I know what you're all thinking and it's true, I'm a copy cat. I'm not so great at thinking up original ideas and so I just steal other peoples'. The giraffe is made from cotton fabric, is stuffed to the gills with stuffing, and has a tail made of braided embroidery floss. It took me about ten minutes to draw a pattern that I was satisfied with, but I think it ended up very nice.  

Here's Killer with his new toy. For the longest time I couldn't get him to actually chew on it, which was my intention; it is a teething giraffe after all. But he soon got the hang of it.

It turned out fine, but I decided that the next giraffe needed a lot more stuffing. So more stuffing was exactly what giraffe number 2 got.
See how nicely they stand?
This one I  made a little bit bigger, which makes it look better. The other difference is that it has a braided tail of yarn. I love how number 2 turned out! I'll probably be making a million more of these with all the fabric scraps I have lying around.

My other toy project I actually made yesterday, but I have to share it with you.

Meet Big Blue the big, blue whale! I got the pattern from Jess's blog Craftiness is not optional. Looking back on her post I realize that her whales' eyes are a lot farther back.  Huh; that's probably why mine looks so funny . . . . Oh well, Killer doesn't seem to mind:
Or maybe he does and he's actually laughing at Big Blue . . . .

What an awesome stay inside day it has been! I hope you all had and are having an excellent Friday!

P.S. Just one more picture because I think it's adorable!

He got his pacifier in his mouth all by himself

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What you've all been waiting for!

Finally, the post that you've all been waiting for . . . . my color quiet book!


I found this idea on Etsy and instead of buying the kit I just made my own. That way I could do more of what I wanted. I made the book entirely of felt, except for the scraps of fabric inside. Next time I make a fabric book (and I hope to do many more of them) I'll use fleece for the pages; the felt is just a little too bulky to sew together correctly. In fact, I had to hand sew the whole book together because there was no way I was going to be able to use my sewing machine!
Onto more pictures!


 Colored balloons on the front. At first I was going to do shapes to add one more element of learning to the book, but it proved to be a little more difficult.Okay, actually it was more laziness that prevented me from doing that. I didn't have the patience to search the internet for ten different shapes and make them all of the same size.

 You can unbutton the balloons! I wanted to make this book an interactive learning experience. So Killer (and his future siblings) will learn colors, and how to use buttons. Also, it's fun because it's a matching game. On each color page there is another button that the child buttons the balloon on to. That doesn't make much sense, but hold on it will.

Red balloon unbuttoned!
All the balloons unbuttoned!

 Now my explanation about how it's a matching game makes more sense doesn't it?

 I want to thank my mom who provided all of the scraps for this book. Thanks mom! I love you!

 Don't look too closely, it's all wrinkly. I had to do a lot of marking with a fabric marker and I forgot to iron the pages after washing all the ink off.

Yeah, the black page is a little sparse, but that was my only black scrap. And by the time I got to the black page I just wanted to get this done that so I didn't bother to go buy another black fabric.  


So there you have it! My long awaited color quiet book. I want to give a shout out of thanks to my friend and neighbor Katie for taking such wonderful pictures for me, and for selling me those adorable buttons! She made those buttons! Yep, you heard me, made them! And they are so dang cute! Here's the balloons again so you can get a close up of one of the buttons. 
I love the criss-cross pattern on the white and purple. You all can buy some buttons too since she sells them at her cool Etsy store. So go heck that out, and while you're at it check out her awesome blog too. Again, thank you Katie!

Update on my shirt . . . I finally got the pattern perfect and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to go out and get some awesome fabric (tomorrow is payday after all).

Check out my latest quiet book, and my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Going out on my own

I'm very much a pattern sewer. What I mean by that is I always use patterns when I'm sewing things, especially clothes. And they have to be patterns from the store; patterns that someone else dreamed up and has done all the math so that they come out perfect every time.

But times are changing. The crafty blogs I read are filled with dresses, shirts, pants, and other clothing items where the women made their own patterns. They usually do little girl clothes, and use clothes that already fit their children as patterns. For awhile now I've been wanting to make myself a shirt, but couldn't find any store bought patterns that I particularly liked. I have a couple of shirts in my wardrobe that I absolutely love and so last night I gathered my courage and did it. I took this shirt

Sorry that it doesn't show off the shirt completely
(one from DownEast Basics) made my own pattern and sewed up a trial shirt.

AND IT WORKED! 
Yes!! 

Then I tried tweaking it just a little to make some parts even better. Yeah that didn't work out so well. So I went back to my original pattern and made some different tweaks. I haven't yet made another trial shirt, mainly because I have other things to do today, but I'm really hoping that it turns out how I want. I think it will and I'm so excited! 

I'll post some pictures of it when I'm done. I'll also be posting this in Jess's Flickr group over on Craftiness is not optional for her series The Sincerest Form of Flattery. Go check it out, it should be awesome!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Skirt for Spring

As is usual in the Mountain West states, spring is being very evasive, which is rather frustrating, but to be expected. So in order to help brighten up my life while the snow is still falling I decided to make myself a skirt. I blogged about the frustrations of not buying enough fabric a couple of days ago. I ended up just buying more fabric; expensive, but worth it. Here's the final product! (Sorry it needs ironing after yesterday's wear, and the lighting in my apartment is horrible and it looks better on, but oh well!)
Invisible zipper

Pleats (not as nice as they should be :P)

All in all I'm pretty proud of it. I did a pretty good job. There's some things I'll do differently next time I make it, but overall it was a success!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Frustrations

Gahh! So I have this adorable skirt pattern that I've been wanting to use for awhile now. Today I went and bought fabric, came home and realized that I didn't buy enough; I'm one yard short. It's good quality fabric too, aka it's expensive. The biggest problem is that I can't just go buy another yard, because the skirt has pleats around the waist and so if I go buy more, I'll have to buy at least a yard and a half. Sigh . . . .  I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do. Not that it's too hard because I only have two options that I see: buy a new pattern or gather it instead of pleating it.

But for now I'm off to bed. I'm going to sleep on this and see what I can come up with in the morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cloth Diapering

As I mentioned before we use cloth diapers. While cloth diapering is rather trendy right now, it's still not common and I get a lot of questions about them. So in this post I'm going to discuss the numerous options of cloth diapering, go over the pros and cons as I see them, and to give answers to questions that I had and that I've been asked.

Okay, so why we chose to use cloth diapers: cost. Disposable diapers are EXPENSIVE, and since Alan and I are poor college students living on one salary the comparable cheapness of cloth diapers was the real kicker. I personally haven't done any calculations myself, but I found this handy site that is actually pretty accurate from my observations. I was lucky because I have a wonderful mother and aunt who supplied me with everything that I would need to start cloth diapering.

There are four main ways to cloth diaper: prefolds, fitted diapers, pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers. Prefolds are what I use and I'll get to those in a second. There are two ways to size diapers, you have the one size that adjusts for baby growth and then you have gradated sizes. Okay, now on to some specifics.

1. Pocket Diapers. These are a relatively new "invention" and are really popular. What it is is a diaper with a small opening in the back. You insert a absorbing insert (rather clever naming they have going on). Fuzzi Buns is a popular brand, as is Bum Genius.

2. All-in-one Diaper. Just like a disposable, but cloth. Bum Genius also makes these diapers.

3. Fitted Diaper. This is just the inside, the absorbing part, of the diaper. It's fitted to the child's size (small, medium, large) and requires a waterproof diaper cover.

4. Prefold Diaper. This is the old school diaper. It's a rectangular piece of absorbing cloth that you fold around the baby and pin into place. It also requires a waterproof cover. I personally use prefolds and love them! Even though they are "old school" they have come a long way. Instead of having to use those adorable diaper pins (sorry but I do think they are cute) there's something called a Snappi that does the same thing, but it's faster to get on and off. Here's a link to one. Watch out, those things can really gouge you; I've had a couple of nasty cuts from mine. A diaper cover is usually made of a fabric called PUL, which is a breathable water-proof material. Not all diaper covers are made equally, but that's a topic for another post. When I give you the tutorial for my diaper cover I'll talk about that.

Okay, so why do I like cloth diapers so much?
Pros
1. Cost; it's saving us a ton of money, especially since I make my own diaper covers (tutorial coming) and because we can use all this stuff for our other children when they come.
2. The house doesn't smell. I use two 3-gallon ice cream buckets (any plastic tight, fitted lid container will work) to store my dirty diapers in and the smell doesn't leak out. I use disposables at night (in the cons section I'll explain) and that trash cans reaks!
3. Gentler on Killer's bottom. Diaper rash isn't a problem because you change the diaper as soon as it's dirty. (Yes, you will, I guarantee it . . . unless you want a nice little puddle of pee somewhere :) ).

Cons
1. You have to change the diaper as soon as it's dirty, which means you change a lot more diapers during the day. As my wise mother once said, you either give up money or time; and since I have a lot more time than I have money, this is only a very small con. And since cloth diapers don't "last" as long I use disposables at night and when we go out.
2. Overall, not as convenient: they take up more time, and if you use them when you're out of the house you have a lot of laundry to pack around.

Many people are just grossed out by the thought, and I can understand that, I'm just not. I'm very much okay with dealing with bathroom stuff, but as we all know I am not a spit-up, vomit kind of gal. (Killer vomited the other day . . . ALL OVER ME! My worst nightmare came true!)

If anyone has any more questions about anything, feel free to contact me. I researched this a ton before Killer was born, so I might not be an expert quite yet, but I know a lot about cloth diapers.

Whew! Now it's bed time; night all!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Not exactly what I promised, but still cute!

Okay, so sorry no pictures of my quiet book as I promised, because as I said, Alan has the camera, and I didn't get my brother's camera in time. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to give you those pictures and some tips I have on how to make cloth books.

Since I disappointed all of you, I have some pictures of my peas in a pod. Sadly, they're from my phone so they're not the best quality, but I thought that I couldn't just leave you all so sad. So here we go--three cute peas in a pod!




One of them is crinkly (popcorn bags are awesome for that), one has a bell, and one is just nice and squishy. Killer isn't quite old enough for them yet, he still tries to eat everything, but I'm excited for the time when he can play with it.

Sorry once again for the horrible pictures. I'm going to borrow my brother's camera tomorrow and I'll have better pictures to show you all, plus my finished color quiet book.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Blue Bow Ties

Yesterday was entirely devoted to crafts (with a little organ practice and laundry shoved in there), and I got a lot done. I almost finished my color quiet book, and by almost I mean I'll be showing it off tomorrow, if I can borrow my brother's camera. I also helped a friend make Three Cute Peas-in-a-Pod (oh yeah, I still need to show mine off); and I started experimenting with bow ties for the little Killer. My first attempt looked good but it wasn't perfect, but I figured out where I had gone wrong and, ta-da! here's the second attempt:


Sorry about the pictures. Alan is gone for the week for an ROTC competition and he took the camera so these are pictures from my phone. And yes, that's a giraffe wearing it. It's a better picture of the bow tie. So I wanted to show that one first. Now here's a picture of Killer wearing his.



Not too bad, huh? He's quite the lady Killer, haha! Okay, sorry, that was a little lame; but he did make quite the impression at church! Everyone was telling me how adorable he looked in his bow tie. Since bow ties are so dang easy I'm going to try making at least two a day (Alan needs to match his little boy) for the next week. I bought Alan and Killer almost matching argyle sweaters and so I want to make matching yellow bow ties. I know, I'm now one of those crazy people who matches them (or their spouse) and their baby. Oh well, I'm having a blast!

I hope you are all having an awesome Sunday. Tomorrow I'll post pictures of my quiet book for you all to enjoy. And Stephanie, I'm working on that cloth diaper post; it might take awhile to get posted because it's going to be a doozy, so just be patient with me!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blog Inspiration

Unlike Katie over on Notes from a very red kitchen, I don't have any cool projects in the works that are keeping me from blogging, I've just had nothing to say. I still don't have anything exciting to talk about, but here are some random thoughts from the past couple of days.

Some awesome blog posts that I read in the past couple of days: this one where Jess from Craftiness is Not Optional (a blog I read religiously) guest posted with her stuffed whales. I think that the whales are SO DANG CUTE! I wanted to start making a million of them, but I held myself back. The next post that had me all excited was this one from MADE who had Delia Creates guest post about bow ties.  Alan absolutely loves bow ties and he passed that love on to me. As soon as my dang book is done (I still need to get some black fabric to finish it off, gaah! so close) I'm devoting my life to making bow ties for the men in my life. They are so dang easy, I can't not make any!

So inspired by these blog posts I went to the DI today to look for sheets/fabric/old shirts from which to make whales and bow ties. I found the most adorable flowered sheet that I had to buy, even though I don't have a little girl and I don't know what I'm going to do with it. Also, I found an awesome bright blue sheet that I'm going to make a wee bow tie for the Killer and maybe a matching one for his dad. My camera is currently at Alan's work and so no pictures of the cuteness.

I'm really hoping to get my quiet book done by Saturday and then I'll be posting pictures, things I learned and some ideas for a Churchy quiet book that I want to put together. Also coming up in the near future I'll be blogging about cloth diapers, the pros, cons, and why I chose to use them. Plus, as a special bonus, I'm going to give you a tutorial on how to make cloth diaper covers with gussets! Stay tuned for some awesomeness!

P.S. Check out my adorable Killer!
Lookin' cool in dad's glasses!

Hangin' out with my pops!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Putting My Faith in God

Wow, it's been over a week since I blogged, sorry about that everyone. It's been quite a crazy week here. The biggest thing was that Killer got croup. Talk about scary! He's been wheezing, and coughing all week. I took him to the doctor yesterday, finally, and they gave him a steroid shot and he's fine.

Being a mother is the hardest thing in the world! I feel so lost most of the time. I've read some parenting books, and I read everything that I can find on the internet about being a mother, and about babies, but I'm still so lost. The books and websites only go over what's semi-"normal" about babies, and of course no baby is "normal." I love being a mother, but it's a high stress job and sometimes I feel burned out. This week as the ordeal with Killer was taking place, I came to a realization: motherhood is all about faith. As a mother the best thing I can do for my child is to put my faith in God and then continue forward doing what I think is best and praying for guidance. I have no need to be frightened, or stressed, God will take care of my little boy. I know that I need to keep doing everything that I possibly can for my son, but that the Lord will help me. It's not always easy to put my faith in God, but I know that to have peace in my heart and less stress in my life it's the best thing.

Despite all the hardships, I love being a mother and I'm so glad that God blessed my family with little Killer!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rainy Day

It's rainy outside today. Rain always makes me nostalgic for some reason. I'm from Idaho, where it hardly ever rains, but still rain gives me that wishing-for-another-time feeling. I love rain; I love the scent, the grayness, the feeling of just staying home and snuggling up with a good book, or a cute baby, or a loved one. I wish it would rain more often here, but it's nice that it's very infrequent and I can savor it when it does come.

It's been so long since I've written because not much has been happening. I've been busy, but mostly with stay-at-home mom kinds of things, so nothing overly exciting. I haven't even been working on my color quiet book very much this week.

I do have to tell you about my peas. I can't find my camera (crazy yes, but it's not in the usual spot) and so I can't post pictures, but here's my inspiration.
We all know the cute little peas from Toy Story 3, well I thought they were so adorable that I had to make some for my little boy. They aren't as professional looking as some peas in a pod I've seen on Etsy, but I didn't do such a bad job. I'm just going to make the pod a little smaller and then I think I'll be more satisfied with it. As soon as I can locate my camera (it can't be very far, my apartment is only 600 sq. ft.) I'll take some pictures and post them.

Other exciting news, Alan and I have a military dining out to go to tomorrow night. Basically it's a super fancy dinner where the servicemen and women wear their class A's or the blues (the uber nice dress uniform that's not camo) and their dates wear really nice dresses or a tuxedo. I've been eying a gorgeous dress for the past year and a half and it went on sale from $84 to $16. Whoo hoo! What a steal! We'll get some pictures of us and I'll post those also.

Now for a day of relaxation. I'm off to sew and stare out at the rain.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

When the Boys Sleep

Both Alan and Killer are in bed and what am I doing? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I should be in bed, or working on my color quiet book, but I'm sitting here watching TV and blogging.

One of the reasons that I'm not working on my color quiet book is because I'm working on  shapes for the front cover (I'll show you when I'm all done with it and it'll make more sense). I need to cut them out of felt, but since I don't have a nice stencil I'm making my own. This entails finding pictures of shapes on the internet and tracing them on paper, cutting the shapes out, tracing onto the felt and cutting out the felt shape. Whew! Long process huh? Well the worst part is I want the shapes about the same size and boy is it hard to find same size shapes on the internet. Some of you are probably saying "use the application paint, Julie!" I would but it doesn't do hexagon, stars, hearts or octagons.

So here I am sitting on the couch, wasting my life away by watching crappy TV, sigh . . . .

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sewing Away

So the other day (Saturday I think it was) I decided that I needed a hobby. Often I'm bored (I know, bored with a kid? It happens, believe me) and I decided that since I like to sew, I'll just get back into it. As you know (because of my last blog post) I don't have a lot of toys for little Killer and so I decided to look on Etsy for some toys that I could make.

Two teething rings
So far I've made a teething ring and I've started a cloth quiet book about colors. Killer is in love with his new teething ring, and it's super nice for me because now he doesn't have to chew on my fingers! Other things on my list include: stackable rings, a quiet book based on the Articles of Faith, and three peas in a pod. I also need to work on some cloth diaper covers that I've had cut out for awhile. Killer is growing too big for his small diaper covers and so I need to finish the medium ones I have started and get going on the large ones.

The one major problem with having sewing as my hobby is that I don't have a sewing space and so the kitchen table and our living room become my sewing room. It's kind of a pain to have the sewing machine on the table while we have dinner and to have diaper covers covering the couch, but Alan is so patient and is just happy that I've found something to do that I really enjoy. Thanks Alan!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Little Baby Killer

With my track record you thought that after such a long hiatus I wouldn't be back, but here I am! I just haven't written most of this week because I don't have anything to say. I still don't have anything to say but I wanted to write and assure you all that I'm still here. 

So this little cutie right here is Killer. He's my adorable five month old. His personality is starting to show now and it's so fun to see it! As the picture above testifies, he's such a happy baby, usually giggling or smiling at whoever is holding him. The only time that he's really cranky is when he's tired or when he's gassy (yep, it happens, babies get gas). Also, he's begun to drool even more than he has been the last two months and chawing down on everything that he can get his hands on. I think that the teething process is quickly picking up speed! I absolutely love being a mom and so far things are going well, but I have a small conundrum. What do I do to entertain him and to teach him at this stage? He does roll, and finally enjoys being on his stomach, but he can't quite sit up by himself yet. He's getting lots better with his hands; for example he loves to grab his pacifier out of his mouth and then try to put it back in by himself. So with those achievements what kinds of games and toys should I give him that will keep developing his motor skills? I often find myself just talking with him while he's in his chair or on the floor while I'm doing homework or dishes. What more can I do to interact with him and help him develop? I want to make sure that he's meeting all of his milestones at the right time and that I'm also improving his brain.  I'm hoping that some of you readers can help me out, since many of you have kids older than mine. Thanks in advance for all your advice! 

And because he's so dang cute, here are some more pictures of the little Killer! 

Super smiley.

Just hanging out on the couch
He's recently found that his thumb tastes good

He was sitting but as soon as I took the picture he fell over, poor kid!

First taste of rice cereal.

BIG blue eyes just like his Grandpa (my dad).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shopping on the Internet Again

Remember when I told you that I have an addiction to window shopping on the internet? Well I've been at it again this morning!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs "Helping Little Hands" this morning. Her post was all about her friend who just opened an online store called Lily and Oak. HLH was talking about the wax melts that she was sampling and how much she already adored them. At the very end she mentioned in passing the pendants that Lily and Oak sold. I went and checked them out; and I'm hooked!! I want every single one of them! Here's just a few that I fell head over heels for. Enjoy!

Pink and Blue Flowers

Red and Blue Flowers

Lavender Blossoms

Lavender on Cream

Gold Flowers

Lessons from the Doctrine and Covenants

It's another religious post, but this one has been sitting in my draft pile for awhile and I just feel prompted to post it.

I'm taking a Doctrine and Covenants class this semester, and recently in my readings I came across this scripture:
Doctrine and Covenants 95:11Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom Ialove I also chasten that their sins may be bforgiven, for with thecchastisement I prepare a way for their ddeliverance in all things out of etemptation, and I have loved you—
It intrigued me. I had always viewed chastisement as a very negative thing, but here was God saying that he chastens those whom he loves! It made no sense to me! Wouldn't God chastise those whom he was displeased with? I then had an epiphany.

Growing up, I had felt that I could never confess anything to anyone, because I didn't want anyone to think less of me, or to think that I wasn't a good person. I wanted to avoid chastisement because I felt that it was a purely negative thing, that only those who were bad were chastised. I didn't want to be a bad person, and so I probably hid too many of my sins from people in hopes that they would think that since I had never been in trouble I must be a good person.

God loves me. So why would He say that He chastens those whom He loves? Well, we are all sinners. No one is perfect, no one is better than anyone else because we are all equal--we are all sinners. There is only one way to put off the natural man, and stop being an enemy to God, and that is by repentance that comes only through the atonement of Christ (Mosiah 3:19). God chastens those whom He loves so that we will repent and come unto Christ. God wants us back to live with him and to become like him, and the only way that can happen is if we are perfect, but none of us can attain that on our own. Chastisement is a negative thing, in that we should be doing what we are being chastised for; BUT it is also a wonderful thing because through it God points out the mistakes that we are making and provides a way for us to overcome those mistakes and to repent and be forgiven.

I know that God loves us and that He has provided the atonement so that we may become like Him. I know it was through Jesus Christ that this atonement was possible. I know this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"For God so Loved the World . . ." John 3:16

First off, happy Valentine's day everyone! I hope that you're spending time with those you love today, even if you have no significant other.

Yesterday was Fast and Testimony meeting for sacrament meeting. We had stake conference the week before and it got moved back to this week. Alan was off at drill and Karl was being rather fussy yesterday in church (nothing unexpected from a sick little boy), so I wasn't able to bear my testimony. This is a little unconventional, but I would like to share with you all my testimony of our Savior.

Bishop Finlinson challenged us to read The Living Christ every day in December. I took that challenge and I did well. I didn't read it every day, there were I think two days where it just slipped my mind, but I did it every other day. I didn't necessarily learn something new about the Savior every single day, but my testimony of Jesus Christ and his divine mission was strengthened enormously. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that he bled in the garden of Gethsemane and died on the cross so that I might be forgiven of my sins and be able to live with God again. I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected, and that he does indeed live and that through his resurrection comes life eternal. I know that. Jesus Christ is our exemplar; through his actions he laid out the path that we must follow. It was through the love of God for us, his children, that all of this came about. I know that Heavenly Father is indeed our Father and that he cares for us. I know that He has a plan for us, and that we have a purpose in this life, and in the life to come. I know that this is true in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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