Thursday, September 11, 2014

2015 Mormon Mom Planner - PRE-ORDER

http://intheleafytreetops.com/2015-mormon-mom-planner/


We are so excited about these planners and we know that you are going to LOVE them.

intheleafytreetops.com

I especially love the new full color dividers with awesome quotes.

intheleafytreetops.com

The back of each divider is a great place to take notes or use as a bulletin for sticky notes


Family Home Evening Planner

Of course, my favorite feature is the FHE planning spread with just a few tweaks.  Again, there are awesome quotes throughout the entire planner.

intheleafytreetops.com

A double sided pocket (the element is not included, but you could definitely add your own label and make it exactly the way you want it)


A zip-lock bag to hold your pens, small notes, embellishments, etc.

intheleafytreetops.com

The planner is still about 1" in thickness and the same great 6x9 size

intheleafytreetops.com

This planner is so full of beautiful vibrant colors that you will love.  Each month has different background paper and the tabs are gorgeous.

intheleafytreetops.com

Another sample of the great dividers with quotes

intheleafytreetops.com

Great year-at-a-glance pages.  Even one for 2016 so you can always be planning ahead.  

And So much more!


The best part about the new 2015 planners is that you get the same great planner along with the new added features, new pockets, better dividers and tabs and a sturdier cover and coil, but you're not going to pay a dime more than what you paid for last year.  



The 2015 Planner Cover Choices.  14 different covers to choose from.

You can go HERE to order.

But wait...

If you are one of the first 1000 people to pre-order you will also receive a FREE


PEN HOLDER (attaches to the planner)


BOOKMARK (snaps in and out of the planner)


A  SHEET OF CUTE LDS STICKERS (140 total)


AND A FREE PAD OF STICKY NOTES

SO ALL IN ALL YOU GET $15.00 WORTH OF FREE PRODUCTS  JUST FOR BEING THE FIRST TO ORDER YOUR MORMON MOM PLANNER.


THAT EQUALS = AWESOME!




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Comparing is Dumb!

I've been an avid blog reader for many, many years now, since they first started to gain popularity.  I have also loved Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, etc. from the beginning.  My husband and I are both very fond of technology, especially new, fun, innovative technology that allows for creativity and expression.

I especially love blogs and social media because it usually inspires me and gives me tons of awesome ideas and motivations.  I have enjoyed dreaming, planning and even contributing some to the world of ideas that are out there.

Lately, I've been reading many different posts from different kinds of women in many religions, political standings, many differing lifestyles and views.  Lately, I have been concerned by many comments that are so extremely negative toward these women who are blogg-ers, instagramm-ers, facebook-ers, twitter-ers.  It's upsetting.  I feel like fighting off all the bullies and telling them to just leave. One very popular forum in particular caught my attention where they were simply bashing bloggers because they were "too crafty","skinny", "rich", "bronze-haired", "mormon", "christian", "too good to be true","white" women.  Really?  So take your pick, if you're one of THEM, it doesn't matter what you share, you're doomed to this online bullying, ridiculing and bashing.  It's a form of school ground bullying.  I find it disturbing.

What I found these comments full of is comparing.  I'll give a few example from random blogs:

"OMG, she took a trip to China with her kids, she must be rich and she's skinny too, so she must be shallow and obsessed with the gym and probably has no time for her kids anyway, I can't stand the ignorance and first world attitude of these people"

"Oh yay, she created a beautiful table-top piece, wow she must be a SAHM who has all the time in the world to do that sort of stuff, I'm so glad I work and can avoid the pressure to think I have to do this kinda crap".

"I can't believe that anyone would WASTE their time or money on a silly birthday party for their one-year old that they won't even remember, she must have nothing else to do or she must be depressed to feel like she needs to do that."

"You're a working mom so you must not understand what it's like to be a full-time mom in the trenches."

"Wow, their family is picture perfect, they must not have a care in the world, everyone looks like a supermodel, our family pictures are nothing like this"

"I'm so tired of all of these women posting positive things about ______, like she's so perfect.  They need to say things like it is and make her know we are not happy with her choices."

"I can't believe she doesn't put a helmet on her kids while riding their bikes, I'm appalled at this irresponsibility."

"How can they afford to go on that vacation?  Aren't they on welfare? I mean, I don't know, but it just seems like with that many kids, they would be on welfare, idk.  I know I could never afford that, even if we drove like they did"

"She must've spent all the donations she received from the plane crash to buy all of the expensive clothes, and boots and stuff from anthropology.  That just makes me so mad, and now they have this huge expensive house, I just think that that is so wrong. What gives them the right?"

"How are all of these mormons so rich with so many material goods?  Their church much have a pretty good welfare system to be able to make it possible for these kind of  lifestyles."  (This one kinda made me laugh...if only?)

Yes, these are actual comments I've seen on different blogs and Instagram pictures.  And there are SO many more of them, not to mention all of the debates back and forth between, SAHM's, Working Moms and WAHM's.  It's like we never left high-school, or worse, middle-school.  Holy smokes!

Can't we just enjoy one another?  

Can't we take what we like and emulate it and if it's not for us, pass it by with appreciation for another's gifts and talents.  Do we need to get so caught up in the comparing and feeling bad because we don't have the big house, the big laundry room, or the body type we want.  Does that make THEM bad or wrong because they have those things?

If Annette wants to decorate a beautiful cake that she's been wanting to do for awhile and it brings her satisfaction and joy, does that take anything away from me?  Do I need to feel bad about buying or making a cheap ugly cake at the last minute? 

If Rachel wants to homeschool their kids, does that make me bad for sending my kids to public school?  If Roxy wants to improve her life by cutting out sugar and doing yoga, what does that have to do with my life?  I can be inspired by them or pass it by right?

Monica is naturally gorgeous, skinny, smart and funny and has a million kids? Does that make me naturally ugly, fat, dumb and boring also with a million kids?  

If Sister Jones has 7 kids all sitting pristine and proper at church every Sunday, does that make her better than someone who only has 2 kids that can't seem to sit still?

If Mindy conducts well and gives great lessons and dedicates a lot of time in preparation, does that mean I'm a piece of crap because I don't?  

If my neighbor sends amazing teacher gifts that are beautifully done, does that reflect one little bit on me?  

If Michelle gets all of these compliments all of the time about her hair, does that make my hair lame?  

If Becky likes to run triathlons, should I feel like a failure because I don't?  

No, no, no, no, no and no!  Let's just stop this thought process altogether.  What someone else chooses to do, what someone else chooses to eat, what someone else chooses to make or wear or create has nothing to do with you or me.  It's SO not personal.  It's simply everyone doing the best they can or at least trying to, with what they've been inclined or blessed to pursue.  Some things might seem silly to you, but bring someone else great joy.  Something that you do and feel is important may seem silly to others.  

The key is to appreciate, respect, love, encourage and honor women!  That is how we will change the world.  
One family and one generation at a time.  





There is not only one way to do something!  My ways of organizing, planning and parenting may differ completely from another's, but can't we still be friends?  Can't we still appreciate the differences and respect and honor each other for the unique individuals that we are?  Do we need to bash entire religions, entire races, entire hair colors, jean sizes and entire families because we differ in ideas and ways?

I hope not.  I hope that especially as women, we will rise above that.   





Here are just a few questions to ask some of these ladies who leave these hurtful comments:

What if that woman you're judging is going through depression and one of the only joys she finds is in creating something no matter how grand or small.  Or what if she's happy as a lark and just wants to create and share? 

What if that woman you're comparing yourself to has serious self-esteem issues?  Or what if she feels fine about herself but with constant negativity being said about her on social media begins to doubt herself?  Who would ever want to be a part of that?  

What if that woman you're criticizing it just trying to keep a journal of her family and home and do some good in the world and you're there just tearing it to shreds, putting a damper on her joy?

What if that woman you're bashing is lonely and needs some social media to validate and uplift her spirits?  What if she's very social and has friends and family reading your hurtful comments?  

What if she's in love with a great man and has a great family she takes care of and people are telling her that her "husband is not that good-looking anyway and her kids are only cute because of the way she dresses them"?  How hurtful is that?  

What if, what if.....



I love what Dieter F. Uchtdorf  had to say about comparing:



Comparing often goes along with judging and I have a whole other post that will be dedicated to judging others, or better yet, not judging others.  Judging others and comparing apples to apples, or apples to oranges is just so unnecessary (unless it is for math or reasoning purposes) to our eternal happiness.There are a lot of valuable lessons I have learned about the topic of judging this year particularly. I have struggled with my Pride this year and can't wait to do a post about what I've learned and how the Lord and His atonement has helped me overcome that burden.  Still a work in progress!  :)  We are commanded to judge for ourselves and govern ourselves, but we are never commanded to judge others, unless it is within our right as parents and leaders. More on that in a different post.

Here's a great and valuable quote by Bonnie Oscarson that I really appreciate.



I love women!  We're awesome and we have so much power within us to change the world.  We're naturally sympathetic, nurturing, we're the ones to reach out and help others.  We work hard and sacrifice for others and we make a HUGE difference in many people's lives. The devil is happy when we are nit-picky with each other and waste our time and efforts putting ourselves and others down.  





And finally, one of my most favorite quotes ever and I believe it will all my heart.



It's time to join the revolution!  It's the build-each-other-up-revolution and I'm on board ready to sail with it.  I'm going to live off of this awesome saying from Thumper:




...but always try to say something nice!

What are some different ways you have learned to stop comparing yourself to others?


Here are some helpful links to read to help us stop comparing.  Very useful.



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Be available and dependable!


I love this talk by Elder Maxwell.  It really gives some great insight.  I especially loved this statement he gave about qualifying ourselves for the work.  "God does not begin by asking us about our ability but only about our availability and if we then prove our dependability He will then increase our capability."  

The Lord loves someone who is willing and dependable.  This is something I constantly struggle with, being someone the Lord can really count on to accomplish His purposes.  #1, we need to be available and willing.  #2, we need to actually do what we're inspired to do.  Only then, with the Lord's help can we truly reach our potential and true capabilities.  



Elder Maxwell gave us some helpful tools to qualify ourselves for the Lord's blessings and help.  



Here are some simple things we can and should always do:


Put our shoulder to the wheel, rather than stepping back and yelling for someone to provide us a tow truck.

Beware of pride. The Lord says in the fourth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, “if you have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.” (D&C 4:3.) But he means righteous desires, not desires for status.
The Lord also notes therein that charity qualifies one for the work, but there is no mention that a craving for causality qualifies one for the work. When some are given a chance to do a task, they bring their own agendum and, unfortunately, seek to do their will, not God’s.

Beware of self-pity. When we seem tempted to call ourselves to the Lord’s attention by answering when uncalled, “Lord, here I am,” we instead ought to ask of our present assignment, “Lord, am I doing enough?” When failure seems foretold, we ought to ask with genuine concern, as the earlier disciples asked, “Lord, is it I?”

Beware of making comparisons. Perhaps when the Lord asks us to put our hand to the plow and not look back, he is also suggesting that we ought not to look around for comparative purposes, either.


Develop a personal sense of historical and scriptural perspective. We need to remember that God sees things more clearly than we do. What we see that is going on in our lives, therefore, is not necessarily all that is really going on from an eternal perspective.

Accept the potential in each learning experience. We must learn to serve in tasks that require thrust and initiative, but also in roles that focus on maintenance. The one produces the thrills of a beachhead landing in enemy territory, while in jobs involving “minding the store” one must often serve quietly.

Count our blessings. Whatever our current calling in a branch or ward, a district or a stake, we also have continuing and significant callings in our families and callings to be good neighbors—callings from which we can never be released.

Develop multiple sources of satisfaction through wise and multiple services to mankind. Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said that “service is essential to salvation.” (“Only an Elder,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 68.) Service can be given in so many ways, and when thus pursued, if one opportunity for service dries up, we are not left unfulfilled.


Search our souls to see if it is possible that in our present tasks we may be giving of our time, talents, and money without really giving fully of ourselves. It is possible to withhold self while still doing much. It has been noted how some prefer to give presents rather than presence! (Dorothy Briggs, Your Child’s Self-Esteem: The Key to His Life, p. 66.)

Read the whole talk, it's worth it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book of Mormon Speeches - King Benjamin

Some of the greatest "talks" I've ever read have been in the Book of Mormon.  I love to learn and study these great sermons from these great prophets and leaders.  I recently read the Book of Mormon again in the storybook format (no verses, no notes, just the words).  I LOVED this experience.  I read it straight through and could hardly put it down.  I love reading and studying the scriptures in the verse and footnote format as well, but I really think everyone should try reading it both ways.  I think we would all benefit from studying the scriptures in as many creative and new ways as possible.

I love general conference. Studying the words of our current prophets in our Ensign magazines makes me happy and I can't wait to get them in the mail, the words just jump out and grab me.  My husband and I thought we would try putting the words of the Boom of Mormon prophets into our current format of general conference addresses that we have today.  (Same words, unaltered, just taken out of the scripture format). I have enjoyed this type of study.  It takes the meat of the message and puts it in easy read format and you can really dive in and partake of the beautiful gospel as taught by these ancient prophets to the Saints at that time.  (Same church then as it is now, so of course they had "general conferences" right?  At lease in some form or another.)

We will be adding new "BOM general conference speeches" periodically to the blog as free downloads, so make sure you subscribe to the blog to get your updates when these come out.  When we get finished with the BOM series, we will then do New Testament, Old Testament and the Doctrine & Covenants.  I see this being especially beneficial for the youth to study.  This doesn't replace the scriptures, it's just another creative way to study it.  I like to mix things up a lot and get creative.  It's a great way to get new truths and studies from the writing of the scriptures.


Our first "BOM general conference speech" is from good old King Benjamin.  What a gem he was.  I really think this is some of the greatest stuff ever written and I wish the whole world had access to this great speech and these great truths and lessons.  What an example he was of service and love, of being humble and willing to serve always.  I think of our Prophet today, President Monson and how he is much like King Benjamin and has worn himself out all his days in the service of God and in the service of others.  






Monday, August 18, 2014

Priesthood Blessings

One of the favorite traditions in our family is to spend the Family Home Evening right before school starts discussing the importance of education, being friendly and doing your best in school.  After we have a little discussion about it, each of our kids then receive a Priesthood blessing from their dad to help them start their school year out right.

 I love this time and it is so unique how each child has their own little help and guidance from their Heavenly Father pronounced upon them.  In the past, we have recorded these Father's blessings on our iPhone for our records, but I thought this year, we would have the kids record their thoughts and feelings after their blessing, so that it can remain in their hearts even longer.

I'm planning on typing the blessings up afterward, so that they can refer to it the whole year for help, guidance and comfort.


I think it's important to record these blessings down because of how quickly all of us are to forget.  I wish we had done this for all of the blessings I received from my dad growing up.  I have a few letters from my parents that were given to me at girls camp that offered counsel and guidance and I still cherish those to this day.

I made these little note pages for my kids to record their thoughts and feelings tonight right after the blessing and right before treats.  ;)   Feel free to click on the image and save them to use for yourself.  There is a girl and a boy version, print front & back, borderless printing.