Friday, June 30, 2017

Wholesome Family Activities

Our family got together for Family Home Evening to come up with some wholesome family activities that we can do as a family to help strengthen our bonds and relationships. This could not include any electronics and little to no money.

1 Have a picnic
2 play at the park
3 Go swimming
4 play card games
5 bake a cake
6 play a board game
7 Go on a walk
8 Walk the dogs
9 play charades
10 Hiking
11 camping
12 Go to the river and skip rocks
13 reading books
14 cook dinner
15 have an indoor picnic
16 have a dance party
17 look through old photos
18 write letters to loved ones
19 have a bonfire
20 build an indoor fort
21 play favorite music
22 learn to knit or crochet
23 bake muffins
24 do easy crafts
25 color
26 make something for someone else
27 family bike ride
28 play tennis
29 yard work
30 laundry folding
31 volunteer in community
32 wash the cars
33 family slumber party
34 create a scrapbook together
35 set up a lemonade stand
36 have a garage sale
37 attend church together
38 go rollerblading
39 create busy bags for kids on a road trip
40 create a home version of a popular game show
41 bake cookies
42 make decorations for home
43 play flag football
44 play hide and go seek
45 create homemade birthday or holiday cards
46 take a dance class together
47 search for constellations/stars
48 have a family BBQ
49 create emergency plans/fire escape
50 create first aid kit
51 create a family tree
52 create and practice a family play
53 test drive cars
54 go visit open houses
55 create a family recipe book
56 learn a home repair
57 start a collection (rocks, beads, coins)
58 make a grocery list and shop
59 have a scavenger hunt
60 work on a puzzle
61 create a local list of kids eat free locations and attend one
62 create a family handshake
63 create a family mission statement
64 label all the things in house with a new language to learn
65 have a bubble blowing contest
66 have a water balloon fight
67 have a pushup contest
68 have a home professional photoshoot
69 write a family song
70 go to a museum
71 go to a local splash park
72 visit the library
73 create a time capsule and bury it in the back yard
74 collect pictures of a dream home
75 perform magic tricks
76 collect and paint rocks
77 collect leaves
78 play four square
79 skype out of town family
80 start a garden
81 play  kick the can
82 donate things to D.I.
83 have a formal dinner at home(including  servers, menu, dressing up)
84 have a karaoke night
85 go fishing
86 hang pictures in house
87 paint a bedroom
88 have a family house party
89 fly kites
90 set up a recycle system in home
91 make snow angels
92 make a snow fort
93 snowball fight
94 sledding
95 make a fireplace fire in home and roast marshmallows
96 play with outdoor chalk
97 make homemade popsicles
98 make homemade icecream
99 go to the beach
100 water gun fight

Importance of Teaching Work

Dreaming of Raspberries
The need and value of work was taught in my family from a very young age. We were all expected to help out in the home with chores, dinner, yard work, and shopping. Work came first, and then we could play. The expectations of my parents became my own and at a very young age I was able to exercise my knowledge of work and see the blessings play out in my life.
            The very first job I had was when I was 12 years old. It was during the summer and while all my other friends were playing sports, having parties, and swimming I was picking raspberries. My mother found me a job of picking raspberries at 4:00 am every morning. The only morning I had off was Sunday morning. Four in the morning came so fast too. It was so hard to wake up and get going, but I learned that being up so early I felt refreshed. We had to wear long sleeved shirts and gloves with finger holes so that the raspberry bushes didn’t scratch my arms up.
            I remember how hard my mother worked picking raspberries. She would try and compete with us to make working more fun by racing to see who could pick a flat of raspberries the fastest. I think I had only beaten her at her game once. She was so fast and thorough. She took time away from picking raspberries to come and show me her secrets. She said, “Tamisha, after picking from the top and middle of the bush you have to get down on your knees, and while lifting up the bottom limb of the raspberry bush, you find the gold mine.” I was so wide eyed to find that bunch of humongous berries where you can’t even see them! My mother did lose more of her raspberry picking speed games after that!
            Picking raspberries every morning wasn’t easy. I had my ups and downs. I really hated the green flat stink bugs and working in the dirt. My mother and I would pop a couple raspberries in our mouths every once in a while. She accidentally popped a raspberry with one of these green nasty stink bugs into her mouth. It stung her tongue and I always checked my raspberries after that happened!  After picking raspberries until 11 am, I still had my home chores, room and laundry to do. I remember every time I closed my eyes I would see raspberries, raspberries, raspberries! It filled my mind and crept into my dreams! If working in the raspberries this hard would make me see raspberries and dream of raspberries, would it also be possible to work so hard reading scriptures that you could see them and remember them just as well?
            I began putting this thought to the test that summer. I read my scriptures and told myself that I was going to read my scriptures and try to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the summer. I felt spiritually fed and while I was working in the raspberries at 4:00 am I would think, remember, and reflect of the things I was reading while I was working. I invited my mother to do read the scriptures too. We worked on the same row of raspberries, but on opposite sides and just talk about our experience with reading our scriptures. This was also precious time with my mother. After all these years I believe that this was the one time where I was able to get to know my mom the most.
            At the end of the week we collected our checks for what we had picked. We were paid 75 cents a pound. That doesn’t seem like a lot because raspberries are pretty weightless. It does add up. I was able to cash my check, learn the importance of paying tithing and instead of spending that money on anything I wanted, my mother had us pay for our own school clothes and supplies.
            I had learned more about the importance of work and the blessings that come from working hard. I learned a great deal about my mother too. These are not only working experiences but precious memories built with my mother. I will never forget how hard I worked and challenged myself. I will never forget these memories and life skills budgeting out what I could spend. I paid my tithing and I was greatly blessed by my Heavenly Father. I was able to grow spiritually and bless my family as well. I look for opportunities now to parent my children as my mother did to me.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Protect the Children"

I love the talk "Protect The Children" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. One of the questions that I would like to explore deeper in the article is, "why does the relative stability of marriage matters to children?" My response to this question is in Elder Oaks talk. "Of utmost importance to the well-being of children is whether their parents were married, the nature and duration of the marriage, and, more broadly the culture and expectations of marriage and child care where they live." Also, Elder Oaks states, "Children need the emotional and personal strength that come from being raised by two parents who are united in their marriage and their goals." And  "The most powerful teaching of children is by the example of their parents. Divorcing parents inevitably teach a negative lesson."
I want to make sure that my marriage is a partnership with not only my husband but with God. When my children can see what a good marriage should be they will have those expectations in their own future spouse and marriage. 
Here is the link! Comment and let me know what your thoughts are!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Teaching our children the importance of Gender and Eternal Identity

            In Our Identity and Our Destiny by: Tad R. Callister. He explains, “They teach that we are more than creations of God; they teach that we are literal spirit offspring or children of God our Father. What difference does this doctrinal distinction make? The difference is monumental in its consequences because our identity determines in large measure our destiny.“ This quote tells me that we must know who we are as sons and daughters of God. After we understand who we are as a son or daughter of God we learn that “gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.” (The Proclamation to the World) And then in The Family by President Eyring he states, “And we know that in the premortal world we were men and women, with unique gifts because of our gender, and that the opportunity to be married and to become one was necessary for us to have eternal happiness.
             “Since the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith until September 23, 1995, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a proclamation only four times. It has been more than fifteen years since the last one, which described the progress of the church had made in 150 years of its history. Thus you can imagine the importance our Heavenly Father places upon the subject of this most recent proclamation.”( Elder Eyring, The Family)

God's Will

            In Elder David A. Bednar’s talk, “We Believe in Being Chaste,” he states, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan. Such relations are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. We are agents blessed with moral agency and are defined by our divine heritage as children of God—and not by sexual behaviors, contemporary attitudes, or secular philosophies.” This clearly tells us how we should treat our intimate relationships. Families are central to God’s plan. We learn this in the Proclamation to the World. We also learn that when married, “sexual relations are divinely approved not only for the purpose of procreation, but also as a way of expressing love and strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.” Elder Spencer W. Kimball points out that, “Even marriage does not make proper certain extremes in sexual indulgence."
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called “Children”, because this talk explains how it is a crowning privilege of a husband and wife who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for these spirit children of God. We believe in families, and we believe in children. Elder Andersen continues to express that, “When a child is born to a husband and wife, they are fulfilling part of our Heavenly Father’s plan to bring children to earth. The Lord said, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Before immortality, there must be mortality.”
We also learn from the Proclamation to the World that the commandment given to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth is still in play today. Elder Andersen states that, “This commandment has not been forgotten or set aside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We express deep gratitude for the enormous faith shown by husbands and wives (especially our wives) in their willingness to have children. When to have a child and how many children to have are private decisions to be made between a husband and wife and the Lord. These are sacred decisions—decisions that should be made with sincere prayer and acted on with great faith.” And that “If you are concerned about providing financially for a wife and family, may I assure you that there is no shame in a couple having to scrimp and save. It is generally during these challenging times that you will grow closer together as you learn to sacrifice and to make difficult decisions.”
            I discussed this topic with my husband. We have always wanted to start a family and the words from Elder Nelson really helped us understand our purpose as a married couple. The quote was, “We cannot always explain the difficulties of our mortality. Sometimes life seems very unfair—especially when our greatest desire is to do exactly what the Lord has commanded. As the Lord’s servant, I assure you that this promise is certain: “Faithful members whose circumstances do not allow them to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and parenthood in this life will receive all promised blessings in the eternities, [as] they keep the covenants they have made with God.” This brought my husband and I comfort. We have tried everything to have children in our marriage. We have continued to do all we can on our part and left it in the Lord’s hands. We are now 7 months pregnant after 2 surgeries and 16 months of trying!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Praise to the Mother's

I'm not so good at expressing how much I care
for all the mothers I have met out there.
I love you mother who held me so tight
while singing and rocking me through the night.
I love you mother who hoped and cared
who loved and raised the baby I shared.
I love you mother and you are my friend
who has been there to carry me to the end.
I love you mother who I've loved so long
who I've grown with and loved me even when I've been wrong.
I love you mother who calls every other day
who lifts my burdens while I'm on my way.
I love you mother who wants to be one now
who has tried and struggled to figure out how.
I love you mother who might not know
who have touched my life and taught me how to grow.
I love you mother who helps me be
who I couldn't be if my babies didn't stay inside of me.
I love you mother who is old with time
who brought me a mother that will always be mine.

By: Tamisha Schetselaar

I am very full with love today as I reflect on all the women I know and love and who have touched my life, even for a brief time, I do remember you all and how my life wouldn't be the same without you. Special thanks to my mother Sharee Burt, my Grandmother's Nancy Burt and Betty Jones, my mother in laws, the mother who adopted my first child, the mother's who serve me in my wards, and the mother's I call friends. Take a moment to reflect on the mother's in your life. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Get to know your loved ones! This is for you DAD!

My mother passed away back in 2012. There have been multiple times where I have found myself crying because when I have a question or want to learn something from her, that I know she knew, it's too late. If I could give advise to any young woman or young man, it would be to learn all you can from your parents and grandparents AND all those you love before there isn't a choice. I went to and printed off a 30 life questions to ask your grandparents, so that I could call and interview my Grandpa and Grandma Burt. I found out that my grandmother was in the hospital. They are getting older and time is not their friend. My husband and I have decided to make a trip over there soon to visit with them. My Grandpa turns 89 this fall! Since we are making a trip to see them, I called my dad to interview him so that my kids could learn more about their Grandpa Jones. Here is the result of my questions and answers: ( I kind of switched them up a bit according to the website I shared)
1. Tell me your full name
Hyrum Derald Jones
2. Do you know why you were given that name?
I was named after my great grandfather Hyrum and after my dad's first name Derald.
3. Tell me about your parents
My parents grew up spanking as discipline, dad always felt bad after spanking us and came back to have a talk. We would rather be spanked though because his talk always made us feel bad. He would always say, "It hurts me more than it hurts you."
4. What was your home like growing up?
Typical farm family. We had to do chores before school and after school. It was an uphill, three mile walk to school and back. We didn't have a lot of money.
5. Did you have a nickname growing up?
No nickname
6. Tell me about your friends
In elementary school, in Montana, my best friends name was Phil, and in Washington during High School my best friends name was Joe.
7. What was the first trip you took-that you can remember?
My parents drove me to Salt Lake City, Utah to see relatives when I was really young. Grandpa got pulled over for speeding and Grandma was upset saying that Grandpa was going to get a "pinch" (get a fine).
8. What was your first car?
1973 Chevy Nova
9. What was your favorite subject in school?
Advanced math
10. What was your first job?
I was 14 years old and worked all summer for a farmer. I was  a farm hand and got paid $100/ month plus room and board and I could go home on the weekends.
11. What was your favorite job?
Hyrum Farm Service
12. When you were my age (35) what were you doing?
I was working for New Holland in the Tri-Cities.
13. What's your earliest memory?
Earliest memory was when I was 4, maybe 5, and we celebrated my birthday at the fish hatchery and had a picnic.
14. What kind of music did you like?
I like all music except opera and rap.
15. How did you meet your spouse?
At choir practice, at church
16. How did you know you were in love?
She liked me and I liked her.....
17. What was your first date?
We went to a movie in Spokane
18. What did you find challenging during the first year s of your marriage?
Mom was a slob and I was a clean freak.
19. What was your secret for staying together?
Forgiveness, Perseverance
20. What were your children like when they were little?
21. What were holidays like when you were young?
Christmas: stayed home, opened presents, ate and played with toys. Sometimes we would go to grandpa and grandma Barns' place-which was boring and we always just got a shirt. Thanksgiving: big meal at home. Easter: we were lucky if we got a napkin filled with some candy. We did a lot of boiled eggs. 4th of July: We bought a lot of fireworks and tried to blow our fingers off (joke).
22. What were some of your hobbies growing up?
When I was young I loved building stuff. I built a great big dog house for our two German Shepherds. Grandpa asked why I didn't build it a little bigger for a garage. When I was older I liked to work on bikes, cars and mechanics.
23. What do you enjoy now?
Hanging out with my kids, kayaking and traveling.
24. What are your hopes for your family?
That they all do better than I did with their families.
25. What is the most important thing you've learned during your life?
It's better to be serving others than trying to make yourself happy.

“Work before play and early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy and wise” (Ben Franklin) Does this really make a man healthy and wise? According to Hyrum Derald Jones it’s the only way to live.  “I know because I lived it!” says Hyrum.  Business owner, worker and Farm Equipment Specialist for the Northwest region of the United States are just a few of Hyrum’s titles. Facing the bone colored building from the dirt road reads the sign painted by Hyrum’s daughter, “HYRUM FARM SERVICE-JUST BAIL IT!” This business is located forty-five minutes North of Pasco, Washington, and placed strategically amongst fields of green alfalfa, orchards of blossoms and pretty much any crop you can think of.
 Hyrum is known well in the area, which is why he has even been summoned to many different parts of the United States to help teach farmers how to fix and prevent issues with their farm equipment. “The average farm equipment mechanic doesn’t know how to do it and it’s really a specialized field. You need to know what you are doing,” says Hyrum.  He can be found with his plaid button up shirt and wrangler jeans strutting the fields in his steel toed leather boots fixing issues on the spot as farmers are harvesting and planting their crops. Hyrum’s silver hair and farmers tan testifies of the hours he’s spent out in the fields working.
Hyrum was not always sure of what he wanted out of life. He dreamt of joining the Navy and being a submarine captain in the deep blue seas in 1963. when Hyrum turned eight years old this dream changed. His parents had relocated the family from St. George Utah to the outskirts of Bozeman, Montana, that had a farm house standing in the shadow of a big red barn, surrounded by fields and logging. Hyrum shares a time where, “Dad had a bailer that didn’t work so he stuck me on the back of it and said, “make it work!” I figured out the problem myself and fixed it.”  There were three other sibling brothers but Hyrum was the oldest. Expectations were high. Hyrum was named after his father, Derold Hyrum Jones, he explains, “I looked up to him and wanted to be like him. My dad taught me but he never really taught me, he just had me watch. He never talked to me about what he was doing I just had to pay attention to what he was doing to learn. That’s what was expected.” Yes, expectations were high yet they had to be to survive a winter in Bozeman Montana. There were cows and a family of five to feed.  Hyrum had 12 cows he had to milk every morning and night. “It only took me an hour each time milking, but that was because I had a milk machine!”, Says Hyrum.  “The hard part was not milking but going to school right after to face the kids who made fun of my boots covered in cow manure. That’s when I knew that my father was right about city boys. This is the whole reason I decided never to live in the city.” Thayne Jones, Hyrum’s son, states: “I learned the same way from my dad. He had me watch. I learned from observing my dad and that’s what made me become the hard worker I am today. I do live in the city though! I’m not that old fashioned.”
Hard working attitude and demeanor runs deep in Hyrum’s family roots. “When Hyrum was young, I taught him by example as my father taught me”, says Derald Jones, Hyrum’s father. “Back in my day we did everything by hand! I was 8 years old when my father,  Alvin Jones, took me out to plant watermelon seeds in a huge one acre field.  We watered, cultivated, and grew those babies so big!” (Derald Jones). All summer father and son worked hard and were about to harvest their hard work when…. “city boys thought it would be fun to take their truck through that field. The next morning that field was painted red. I had never seen people so ignorant and selfish. I decided at that age to be hard working and appreciate all things in life, especially hard work!” This is Hyrum’s father, Derald’s reasoning to raise his family outside the city. And so, the line of hard working men literally run through the blood of the Jones’.
Hyrum feels really good about his work. “Anytime I’m helping someone it makes me feel really good. Like I’m useful in the world. Not being selfish.” Hyrum explains, “It’s not always in the education you get but it’s in how you use the education you have. Continuing. If you aren’t learning something new every day you are going backwards. To be a good worker it’s basic knowledge, then……. experience, experience, experience!” For a person to become a hard worker, they must learn from someone. In Hyrum’s case that someone was his father, and his father’s father, passed down from generation to generation and observed by the next.

Strengthening Families!!

I love this talk by Robert D. Hales from the April 1999 General Conference. Please take time to read this article or listen/watch it.  Stre...