Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mom Guilt at Christmas

The other day my middle child asked me if I took a nap the whole time she was at school.  I laughed at the thought.  
My days are full of housework and meal planning. Playing with my 2 year old is done 1-2 minutes at a time and then back to the tasks at hand. 
There are always more cookies to make, presents to buy, and Christmas cards to address. Tonight it's the cub scouts who need cookies.  

I love this time of year and I wish it didn't go by so quickly, but it's a really busy time of year as well. The calendar is full of parties and celebrations. 

This week I've been declining invitations and it makes me feel guilty.  I should be everywhere, supporting and fellowshipping.  But I'm afraid I can't keep up.  My body is tired and nearly 9 months pregnant now.  

I was happy to find this article on Mom Guilt: 

And this one was good too

I think I'll start today to put aside the feelings of guilt and overwhelm.  I can do what I can and I can choose to say no the other things.  All that really matters is that my family feels the spirit of Christ this season.  I hope we all can feel Him near and remember his humble birth.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Look for the Good

We are quickly out growing our house. I'm tempted to look around and find all the ways that this house is no longer serving us well. The size of the family room, the old carpet, the broken kitchen tile and the tiny bedrooms have all been the cause of my complaints in the past.
Yes, these problems do need to be addressed, but they don't need to irritate me. They don't need to darken my gratitude for this home.

The other night I took my youngest outside for breath of fresh air. She had been crying and needed a change of scenery. The cold night air quickly chilled us to the bone. We looked around at our Christmas lights and the neighbor's lights. We found the moon and searched the sky for a few stars. But it was only a minute or two before we both desired to return to the warmth of our home. As I stepped back inside I felt so much gratitude for protection from the cold. Our home offers us a great gift of warmth. 

It is a place were my husband and I can sit on the couch and admire the lights of the Christmas tree.

It is a place were my tiny children can sleep safely.

It is a place where we gather as a family to eat, study scripture, and pray together.

I will look for the good and by so doing I'll always feel grateful.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pres. Eyring's Advice on Family Unity

I was happy to stumble across this talk today. President Eyring gives some practical advice on how to knit the hearts of a family into one. Family unity is so strongly correlated with family satisfaction and family love. He mentions how he and his wife used Family Home Evening as a tool to bring the family closer to the Savior and therefore closer together.

I hope you enjoy his message:

Everything Alma and his people were inspired to do was pointed at helping people choose to have their hearts changed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That is the only way God can grant the blessing of being of one heart.

In Mosiah we read:

“And they were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church. …

“And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.

“Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

“And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

“And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God.” 3

That is why Alma commanded the people to teach faith and repentance. That is why my children came to expect in every lesson in family night that I would find a way to encourage someone to testify of the Savior and His mission. Sometimes the parents did it. On our best nights we found a way to encourage the children to do it, either by presenting the lesson or answering questions. When testimony about the Savior was borne, the Holy Ghost verified it. On those nights we felt our hearts being knit together.

You can watch the full talk at:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Influence of One

I have always liked my grandfather. When I was 3 grandpa and grandma lived with us for a time in our tiny apartment in Oregon. Grandpa and I would wake up earlier than the rest, grandpa because he read his scriptures in the mornings, me because I enjoyed the mornings best. We would sit at the small table in the kitchen. I would eat while he read silently to himself.

One morning, I finished my glass of milk and I finished my cold cereal.  I asked grandpa for more milk and he took the remaining milk from my cereal bowl and poured it into my glass.  I vaguely remember protesting and refusing to drink it on the grounds of "grossness". But grandpa was economical. I learned at that early age that he would not allow waste.

Fast forward to my teen years. My family had grown and had moved to a 4 bedroom house in California.  Grandma had passed away and grandpa came for a visit on his own.  Both grandpa and I were still early risers.

I remember one early morning in particular. Grandpa sat at his favorite corner of the dining room table, the corner that allowed for him to move his dominate left hand freely.  I sat on his right eating my breakfast.  I don't believe I asked about grandpa's scripture study but he took a moment to tell me how he reads every morning.  He read two pages from the Old Testament, two pages from the New Testament, two pages from the Book of Mormon, and two pages from the Doctrine in Covenants or Pearl of Great Price. I enjoyed the insight into grandpa's studies but as a teen I had no intention of copying him.  He was a temple sealer, I was a kid. I was pleased with myself if I opened my scriptures to read one verse before I crashed into bed each night.

Grandpa passed away the day after I turned 16. These two stories of him, along with a handful of others, I hold onto and treasure.  I could have learned so much more if I had been given more time with him, but I know the Lord has a perfect plan and I do not doubt. I now read my scriptures each morning in the pattern following my grandfather.  I am not a temple sealer, or even a president of an auxiliary in my ward.  But my calling and responsibility in life is very important.  Can you guess it? I am a mother.  I have 5 children to raise and a sixth that is moving inside my belly as I type.  Like most parents I know, I do not want to fail my children. I want to do all I can to help them through life.  I hope to pass on the goodness of my grandfather to them, too.  I still feel his influence in my life.

It amazes me that we can have such influence for good over others.  We usually do not know how much our words and actions impact others. Who has changed your life for the better? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Ways to Save Money This Christmas!

Everyone could use a little extra cash over the holidays! With a family of almost 8 I have been practicing my money saving skills for years.  I'm sharing some of my favorite ways to save money and enjoy the season.

#5 Make your own Christmas wreath! I will be making one this year and posting the tutorial on A Home With Love soon.  Before I post you can go pick up the very inexpensive supplies.  The most important part of this wreath is the greenery.  Check out your local Christmas Tree sales stands.  They usually trim the bottom branches of the Christmas trees they sell and give away the trimmed branches for FREE!! I love this! I grab branches every year from the shops I buy from and I put them up all over the house.

#4 Handmade Gifts! These gifts have a touch of thoughtfulness that really add to the spirit of the season.  Check out I Heart Naptime to see 101+ inexpensive handmade Christmas gifts.

#3 Don't let your grocery budget go out the door.  It's so easy to grab a box of cookies for the office party and 6 bags of candy for the kid's school parties. It's easy to order your dinners out during this busy time. But all these treats and luxuries add up.  With a little planning you can keep your grocery budget down.  If you don't have a budget then check out this site for ideas of how to eat cheap.

#2  Buy second hand.  This one takes work.  You have to shop around and check out local garage sale websites a few times a day.  I like my local Facebook Online Yardsale sites.  I find great deals on kid and baby items there and I sell things I don't need!  I also find good things on Craigslist. If you are looking for specific items then consider asking your Facebook friends if anyone is looking to sell the item you are looking for.  You may have seen some friends post ISO: and then an item.  ISO means "in search of".

#1 I saved the BEST for last!!! My favorite way to save money over the holidays (and really everyday) is checking out the website  This website posts every few minutes.  You can find great deals online and in stores.  You have to go there! I'm sure you will find something exciting.

How do you save money at Christmas?? Please comment below and let us know.