1) To be a Mother. What a blessing it is! AND oh, the things my children have taught me and still do teach me. I love them very much. AND last but certainly not least....I could NEVER be the mother I am today without my husband. Without him, I am nothing. I love him.
2) My Mother, who I look up to and admire for the wonderful example she is for me. She has helped me, and taught me so much. Sometimes I didn't want to listen, but WOW! she was always right. I love her so much.
Goals for the Day:
1) Go to church with my family.
2) Visit my Mom
3) Talk to Curtis
4) Visit Kevin's Mom
5) Somewhere through all of this have dinner
7) Get things ready for work tomorrow
From the Camera:
For the past several days Lexi has been spending a lot of time on her own in the bedroom, which isn't like her at all. Well, looks like she has been a busy girl cutting and fixing these so they were ready to go in our yard. How sweet is that. I had to laugh because Kyle helped Lexi place all of these hearts all over the yard last night without me knowing. Then about an hour after they were done Lexi and I had to run a quick errand. So, I saw all of this late last night.
This made my day! Thank you Lexi and Kyle. I love you!
From the Heart:
In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another idea...
Whether you are at work, school, or home, cleaning up after yourself is a kind way to show your consideration of others.
Often life can get busy and it is tempting to leave your clothes off the hangers or your desk messy with papers. Don't! If you do it right away instead of procrastinating, it will go so much faster than you think. Others will greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness, too. No one likes looking at a messy room or office, even if it's not theirs!
When you clean up after yourself you make life easier for all those around you. You are showing everyone that you are responsible, dependable, and thoughtful person. Take pride in your cleanliness!
Step It Up:
Strive to always leave a place nicer than when you found. Do more than just pick up your immediate mess; clean as well! For example, once you pick your clothes up off the floor and put them away, vacuum the floor they were on, or dust your bureau. Or if you finally conquer the stacks and piles on your desk and get all of your filing done, wipe down your desk and computer. Do more than just put things away, clean some things, too!
Keep It Simple:
Start with one thing--tackle your locker at school or your office at work. Or tackle your bathroom or bedroom. You don't need to do them all at once, just one at a time! Do it over the course of a week; get into the habit of cleaning a little everyday. Starting this habit is as easy as throwing away your own trash after a meal or wiping down the counter if you spill something. Make a vow never to leave a mess for another person to clean.
From the Kitchen:
From the Spirit:
The Influence of Mothers....
I found myself thinking about this wide range of emotions last week as I addressed the American Mothers Convention in Salt Lake City. It was inspiring to meet women from different cultures and backgrounds, all united as champions of motherhood.
That night the 2011 Mother of the Year was named: Ernestine Allen, a beautiful woman representing the District of Columbia.
Ernestine is an educator, a counselor, and, with her husband, an Elder in The Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church. When the Allens' youngest son fell victim to a violent crime, they responded by establishing the Bereaved Parent Support Group.
Ernestine's oldest son Ronald said that his mother, the tenth child of eighteen, learned early how to share.
"That is where we get our giving personality," he says. "My mother has done it all her life because she loves to encourage and empower others. And through our toughest time, the passing of my brother, she was the glue that held us and our faith together."
This son's tribute says it all.
I have had the joy of working with women and their families on almost every continent. From one culture to another, I have seen exactly what he described: When mothers are strong, their children — regardless of the challenges they face — tend to be strong. When they're resilient and filled with faith, their children are likely to be resilient and filled with faith.
It was no doubt curious to those at the American Mothers Convention that an unmarried woman without children would be invited to address them. But I care deeply about motherhood precisely because of my life experience. The doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which I am a member, are clear: that the family is ordained of God and that there is no pursuit for a woman more ennobling than motherhood. Period.
My faith means everything to me. So as the years have marched by and my hopes and prayers for marriage and motherhood have as yet to be answered, I have wrestled with what motherhood means for all women.
Why do I feel deeply about mothers? Because I know exactly how it feels to NOT have the privilege of fulfilling the foundational aspect of a woman's divine nature–which is bearing and nurturing children. For a woman of faith, nothing fills the void of not having children. Nothing.
So as a tribute to the highest, noblest calling a woman may receive, I share five truths about mothers.
Truth #1: Motherhood is a sacred trust from God.
The destiny of mankind is in the hands of mothers. This is not hyperbole. The proverb, "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6) is more than a formula; it is reality. Mothers not only perpetuate the human race, they raise up the next generation.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, who served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, "When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happens in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses?" (Ensign, May 1978, 10-11)
God has placed the well-being of His children in the hands of mothers.
Truth #2: We tend to define motherhood as maternity, but the word "mother" has layers of meaning.
Eve was called "the mother of all living" before she ever bore a child. Mother is the word that best describes the essence of who we are as women. It defines our identity, our divine nature and the gifts with which we have been endowed.
In reality, all women are mothers. We all need the nurturing touch of the mother who bore us and the "mothers" who bear with us. One of the greatest blessings of my life has been the privilege of learning from marvelous women — beginning with my mother and grandmother, but including others who have taught me things I would have never grasped on my own. They have made all the difference.
Truth #3: Mothers can do more than any others to cure the problems that exist in our society.
While serving in the General Presidency of the Relief Society, the women's organization of the LDS Church, we hosted Mrs. Jehan Sedat, the widow of Egyptian president Anwar Sedat, at a luncheon not long after a mass shooting in a U.S. high school. During the luncheon, the conversation turned to this horrifying event, and one man opined that the problem was with the failure of law enforcement agencies.
Mrs. Sedat immediately countered him: "No, the problem is with our homes. Too many mothers have abdicated responsibility for teaching their children what is right. What happens in society all begins with mothers."
There is no better place to teach integrity or compassion or the virtue of virtue. Perhaps that is why President Gordon B. Hinckley called women the "one bright shining hope in a world that is marching toward self-destruction" (One Bright Shining Hope, Deseret Book, 1)
Truth #4: Satan is real, and he has declared war on women.
The adversary understands full well that those who rock the cradle are strategically positioned to rock his diabolical empire. Thus, today his destructive myths about women and mothers abound. Here are just three:
Myth #1: Men are more important and have all the power, so if women want to have influence they should be more like men.
Myth #2: A woman's value is based solely on size and shape.
Myth #3: The only worthwhile validation comes from outside the home, and thus, motherhood is a waste of any talented woman's time.
Too many women have bought these lies. Our culture is disintegrating at the speed of light, and regrettably, the female gender is doing its share of the damage. Sleazy women who flaunt their indiscretions jam the airwaves and monopolize magazine covers.
Other distortions are equally troubling. One prominent magazine annually publishes its "100 Most Powerful Women" cover story. Almost every woman mentioned is a politician, entertainer or CEO. I mean no disrespect to any of these women. What I dispute is the distortion that in order to have influence, a woman must have money, fame or a title. That is a lie!
External validation has short-term value at best. It's difficult to hug an award. No one from the office will call on Mothers Day to thank you for changing their life. There world's praise pales when compared to the joy of family.
Truth #5: Mothers have more influence than they realize.
Women are the leaders of leaders. Who has more influence on a man than his wife? Or on children than their mother? The word that best describes leadership by a woman is mother. Is there any influence more enduring than a mother's shepherding of her children along the path towards exaltation?
One of my sisters just finished chemotherapy. Two days after her final treatment, while still battling nausea, she insisted on running a 5k with her two daughters and son-in-law. I thought she was crazy, but she not only ran the race but won a medal in her age category. (We like to tell her it's because there wasn't anyone else in her age category.)
Within hours, both daughters had posted Facebook tributes to their mother. Imagine what she taught them that day about courage and about running the race of life.
Mothers are always teaching, often in simple ways. As a youth, it was not uncommon for Mother to wake me in the middle of the night and say, "Sheri, take your pillow and go downstairs."
We lived in Kansas, in "tornado alley" (think Dorothy and Oz), and that meant a tornado was nearby. It was scary, but mother always calmly reassured me, "Everything will be okay."
I learned early to listen for her voice. To this day, when the pressure becomes too intense, I call home to hear mother say, "Everything will be okay."
After 9/11, First Lady Laura Bush described something similar: "I called my own children immediately to reassure them," she said, "and then I called my own mother, just for the comfort of her voice." (WashingonPost.com, 21 September 2001)
A mother's voice is unlike any other because a mother's influence is endless.
On this Mother's Day, I pay tribute to my mother and to the other "mothers" in my life whose collective influence has been life-altering. And I thank Heavenly Father for giving his daughters the most ennobling gift of all: the privilege of motherhood.
Sheri Dew is the President and CEO of Deseret Book Company, a member of the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board, and the author of "Are We Not All Mothers."
From the Schmidt's:
This has been an awesome week! One full of so many wonderful things. I am overflowing with the sense that I am truly loved by friends and family, and that means so much! Thank you. Today especially has been an amazing day! My children all attended church with me. We all spent time together just having fun. We all got to talk to Curtis. That was great! He is a missionary through and through, but he is still the same crazy Curtis we all know and love.
Looks like Curtis will get a new companion soon. His current companion is moving up north and becoming a zone leader. They told Curtis that his next companion comes from a very wealthy family and he doesn't like immature companions. I guess that means Curtis is in for a rude awakening. Yikes! It's no fun working so closely to people you have trouble getting along with or you can't seem to find some common ground with. It's one thing to deal with it at work, but to do it 24/7. Wow!
I know he will figure things out and it will work out for him. That's the only possible option. These are just growing moments for my son. -smile-smile-
We also delivered flowers to both Kevin's Mom and My Mom. Kevin's Mom received hers last night when she made a surprise visit to our house, and my Mom received hers today. My Mom took some incredible photos of the flowers too.
Take a look....
Well, I should go. Take care and I hope you have had a wonderful Mother's Day too. We will talk again soon.
From the Missionary:
We get to talk to Curtis today!
Here are a few funny photos we took of Curtis as we Face Time'd with him.
He's still the same Curtis. Anytime he knows his picture is about to be take by his family we get silly Curtis.