So, I am getting ready for a major road trip with my family. I am SO excited! When ONE was tiny – like still in the infant car seat and nursing kind of tiny – we went on a trip to California to see my amazing Grandmother-in-law (that is odd to write and I really just call her Grandma anyway). Other than that, we have taken our kids across the Utah/Arizona border when they (the first two only I think) were tiny and across the Utah/Colorado boarder once when THREE was the baby in the baby car seat. But really, we have just never done any road trips with them and we think that it’s high time they get a taste for life outside of Utah!
HUBBY and I have a conference in Alabama and were trying to figure out what we should do with the kids as we headed of for yet another lengthy conference. We couldn’t get excited about leaving them for that long again right now. FIVE is still struggling with some separation issues developed when we went to Cincinnati a while ago and it is THREE’s first week of KINDERGARTEN (can you believe it? I know I can’t) right during the time we need to be gone. So, rather than figure out who can watch them here, we decided to take them with us as far as my in-laws in Missouri. Then they can have fun time with that grandma and grandpa while we are gone (for a lot less time, since most of the road trip will happen together). Then we are going to follow the Mormon Trail home (something I have never done in all my years of road tripping). We are SO excited!
I have been working for over a month now to prepare for this trip of ours, because I knew that with 5 children, nine and under, in the car for that many days, I better be prepared! I wanted to make some printable patterns for some really cool pioneer puppets that could go on TP tubes. I started with the base pattern from the 4th of July firecrackers I made, but was having the hardest time figuring out how I wanted to design the look of these pioneer puppets. So, I started looking on line. (Duh, what else would I have done?) I found several cute patterns for a variety of TP puppets, but none that were quite what I wanted to find. Then I found the cutest site for today and decided I had to share it here.
I first started on one blog, and then was led to a second blog. This lady does some mega cute stuff, but it was her pirate puppets that did me in. I decided to post this because it related to what I ran out of time to share in my Primary lesson on Sunday. I was doing week 2 for August – about “I should read, listen to, and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.” I was SUPER excited when I saw the topic, but struggled a bit with deciding how I wanted to go about presenting things. I did not realize it was my turn to teach until it was too late to organize other people to come in and help me with my “centers” and I wanted to really help the kids start thinking of how to apply the lesson.
In case I haven’t mentioned it on my blog yet, HUBBY is a pianist. He actually studied it seriously in college and loves it to the core. It was while we were working together late Saturday night that I finally had my inspiration for what to do. HUBBY had turned on some kind of beautiful piano music (I have no actual idea what, other than at least one piece was by Beethoven I think). I knew I had found my answer and spiritual tingles ran up and down my spine. I needed to help the kids see that they can look for good things to read, listen to, and look at wherever they can find it. It does not have to be the scriptures, the hymns, and Church produced images and videos that would be on the list of things that would be pleasing to Heavenly Father. I wanted to point out that there is not a clause in the 13th Article of Faith that says we only look within Church produced materials for things that are virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy. We look for “anything” that fits that description – wherever that can be found!
I asked HUBBY if he would pick one of the most inspirational piano pieces he knows and play it as well as part of one of the more spiritual primary hymns. I found a couple books that I have been super inspired by, a quote or two from General Conference where someone was quoting some whoever author, and a great quote by Sherri Dew that I have in a frame sitting on the ledge behind my kitchen sink. I also gathered the picture of Jesus my sister gave me as a graduation present when I finished college. It is of him and a little girl with a lit lamp. The lamplight is glowing on both their faces and it just looks like they are both learning and gaining new light – fitting for this months theme I thought. I also gathered a statue of Jesus, a statue of a peaceful and beautiful young lady, a picture of HUBBY and I back when we were on our “senior” mission (at ages 21 and 22), and a beautiful piece of art done by Monet that is full of light and inspires me every time I see it. Then I also thought of sharing a Church done and a not-Church done movie that is inspirational to me. That is where I got stuck. I did not want to show anything that I had ANY hesitation about the content of the movie (I know that there would be at least one parent that would have an issue no matter what I picked, but picked the least likely to cause sparks to fly). I also took the movie The Testaments to use for my Church produced option. I ended up running way out of time, plus I couldn’t figure out how to work the new DVD player in our building, so I didn’t end up using either clip, but I wanted to share them here anyway.
The non-Church movie was “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.” My kids have gotten me into Veggie Tales in general, but this one was really so super fun! I was not about to show many of the sillier parts, but when I first watched it with my kids, I felt the Spirit to the point of tears towards the end. I won’t give away too many details, but there is a character that is a parable for God. He ends of telling the three goofy pirates that, “A true hero is the one that does what is right no matter what.” (At least it goes something like that, I have not checked the quote’s accuracy, so forgive me if I’m off a tad, but the idea is there.) I was overwhelmed by feeling Heavenly Father’s love for me and trust in me. Perhaps it is because I feel so weak in relation to the tasks at hand with creating our business and such an incredibly involved software right now. I guess I just could completely relate to the very fallible trio that turned out to be exactly what they needed to be. As long as I keep doing what I know He would want me to do, then I will be likewise, in the right places, at the right times, with the right abilities to choose the right. I was excited about sharing it with primary, but actually enjoyed the blessings that came because it didn’t work out as planned. Instead of sharing it on a large scale, I was able to come home and share it more personally with a couple of my kids while the little ones were napping. It was an amazing experience to watch them as they found the parable and listened for the Holy Ghost! Wow!
Then I showed them the part in the church movie “Testaments” where Jesus comes down. I started it enough before Jesus appears that my kids noticed – I think for the very first time (even though they have seen the movie dozens of times) – the voice of Heavenly Father announcing His Son. The kids were amazed by that part. I told them how I really hoped that we could work as a family to have our home be one full enough of the Spirit that we wouldn’t miss His voice, but that we would be listening and hear and know. Then I hope that we would RUN to be where He was and to be near Him (just like the characters in the movie did).
It was a lesson that taught me so much as I connected very directly with the Spirit as I prepared, as I was teaching (though there was not as much of that for me as there sometimes is, I could tell the kids – especially in Senior Primary – were feeling it and understanding much), and especially after Primary with my own kids. What a wonderful day!
So anyway, I am super excited about the pirate puppets because we will use them to help us remember the lessons we learned together on Sunday! Now I just have to figure out my TP tube pioneers…