I am launching the JOYrific Etsy Shop just in time for Black Friday and Christmas Presents! If you would like to order a JOYrific chart for your family visit my shop today.
Use Coupon Code: LAUNCHPARTY2013 to receive $5.00 off
Expires on Black Friday
I think the most eventful morning of the year is picture day in a house full of girls! And this is just the beginning. Gracie had sponge curlers in last night. Ainsley showered this morning and got Velcro curlers. They made it to school on time and looked beautiful!!
I watched a great video by Brad Wilcox at a conference. http://youtu.be/UMx3xJ9Ei8c
And it inspired me in many ways to begin writing again and my passion for writing on my blog.
I have published my JOYrific book but there is so much more I want to do! And I want to inspire my kids to write and become published!!
I have a zillion ideas and projects going and it has gotten me out of the habit of writing daily of our happenings here in the “Braithwaite beehive”. But I want my kids to be able to look back and remember/read about what we are doing. I want them to look back and remember that I was “here” playing and working and cleaning and reading by their side. Our lesson today in Relief Society was about Strengthening the Family
And this reminded me of Garth! “You ask me to tell you of the man I know. I have often thought when he is gone people will say, ‘He is a very good man, sincere, orthodox, etc.’ They will speak of him as the public knows him; but the man they have in mind is very different from the man I know. The man I know is a kind, loving husband and father whose greatest ambition in life is to make his family happy, entirely forgetful of self in his efforts to do this. He is the man that lulls to sleep the fretful child, who tells bedtime stories to the little ones, who is never too tired or too busy to sit up late at night or to get up early in the morning to help the older children solve perplexing school problems. When illness comes the man I know watches tenderly over the afflicted one and waits upon him. It is their father for whom they cry, feeling his presence a panacea for their ills. It is his hands that bind up the wounds, his arms that give courage to the sufferer, his voice that remonstrates with them gently when they err, until it becomes their happiness to do the thing that will make him happy. …The man I know is unselfish, uncomplaining, considerate, thoughtful, sympathetic, doing everything within his power to make life a supreme joy for his loved ones. That is the man I know.”
(Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family)
And I am glad that together we make our family a priority. Together we work hand in hand to make life enjoyable and fun even when we have to work!
Like this Saturday…we had a million errands to run and we are packing up the house in preparation to move in April. We split up and tagged teamed the responsibilities until it was done and then we went to the Lego movie together – exhausted and sweaty – after a hard days work!
It is easy. But in the same breathe it is really hard! Finding balance. Prioritizing. Faith. Work! Teaching. Playing. Cleaning. Learning. Growing.
We take it One day at a time!
“Family unity and family commitment to the gospel are so important that the adversary has turned much of his attention to the destruction of families in our society. On every side there is an attack on the basic integrity of the family as the foundation of what is good and noble in life. … ”
“Far more important than the question of occupation or wealth of people is the question of how their family life is conducted. All other things are of minor consequence, so long as there are real homes, and so long as those who make up these homes do their duty to each other.
The primary function of a Latter-day Saint home is to insure that every member of the family works to create the climate and conditions in which all can grow toward perfection. For parents, this requires a dedication of time and energy far beyond the mere providing of their children’s physical needs. For children, this means controlling the natural tendency toward selfishness.
Do you spend as much time making your family and home successful as you do in pursuing social and professional success? Are you devoting your best creative energy to the most important unit in society–the family? Or is your relationship with your family merely a routine, unrewarding part of life?”
The home … is the workshop where human characters are built and the manner in which they are formed depends upon the relationship existing between parents and the children. The home cannot be what it should be unless these relationships are of the proper character. Whether they are so or not depends, it is true, upon both parents and children, but much more upon parents. They must do their best.21
“Oh, go away and leave me alone, I haven’t time to be bothered,” said a hurried, impatient mother to her little three-year-old daughter who was trying to help perform a certain household task. … The desire to help is born with every normal child and parents have no right to complain. There can be no such thing as household drudgery when all assist with the tasks, and through the association in the discharge of these duties comes the sweetest companionship that can be experienced.”
(Chapter 4: Strengthening and Preserving the Family)
The lesson in Chapter 4 is awesome and worth studying!! Above are a few of my favorite whole heart beliefs!
Ainsley says “we are going to Grandma and Grandpa’s to watch the Thunder Bolt”.
Garth says “you mean the Super Bowl”
Later Ainsley says “Dad we are watching the Super Bolt”
Ainsley says “Did they forget how to play the game? Why is it still zero?”
Ainsley says “Why can’t the Broncos get behind the Sea Hawks?”
Garth made delicious steak!! And slept through the first 3/4 of the game.
Dad says “can’t you find a plug for that baby?” We said “what? I can’t hear you because Astrid is singing so loud!”
Grandma made a huge bowl of Salsa and I forgot the chips! The band forgot their shirts at half time too.
Jme – Bruce Willis hugging Fred Armisen #hugfest and the TurboTax one with the kid watching the Prom Date.
Dad – Cherrios getting a baby and a puppy deal
I was in a pinch! I have been working on scout paperwork all morning and afternoon!!!! By the time I got done the BSA office was closing in 45 minutes and it takes 33 minutes to get there! I left the kids with Garth and headed out. On my way I called my Dad and he said he would meet me there to help!
We did it! All 50 Merit Badges purchased and sorted. Along with 15+ Rank Advancements and mother pins.
I’m almost ready for the Wednesday Court of Honor. All I have left to do is summer camp scout paperwork, merit badge counselor paperwork, invitations, program, final touches on the power point parent presentation, confirm all 2014 dates and costs for parents, assemble staple/sign all badges, confirm refreshments, confirm set-up crew, confirm guest speaker, set up projector, and then show time!
I am so proud that Garth earned his wood badge beads tonight!!
these are two of the most important people in my life!! Garth mentioned tonight this is the first award as a Scout he has gotten since his Eagle Scout. Also meaning this is the first award he has gotten without his mom by his side.
Life is busy! and this is what we have been up to lately. I love being a mother of 4 adorable girls! I really do enjoy! This pregnancy is more than half over! 109 days until we meet our little guy. I have been keeping busy on my computer (“keeping it easy”) working on JOYrific! We have recorded several JOYrific Podcasts – today Shauna Earl was on the show – and it was so much fun chatting with someone who is as passionate about the chart as I am! She really is one of my heroes!
In iTunes we now have 2 books! The Basic JOYrific Flip Chart along with our 90 page JOYrific: The Art of Mastering Meltdowns and Attitude Adjustments. A Guide to the JOYrific Communication Tool. Click here to see it in the iTunes Store
Some additional things that I am working on are the JOYrific Certification classes and the JOYrific S.M.I.L.E. Skills for Early Childhood Developmental Milestones in the areas of Social skills, Motor skills, Intellectual/cognitive skills, Language skills, and Emotional skills. It is a FANTASTIC program and I am so happy to get the ball rolling!
So for now my daily “blogging” of pictures has been put on hold while I am working away like a busy bee on the JOYrific Project. I hope one day my girls will look back and see that everything I have been doing is for and with them along my side! I have recorded them on the podcast. I have talked with them. I have trained them. I have learned everything from them! They are the best JOYrific teachers in the house! 100% Certified! I love them with all my heart! Along with my sweet husband Garth who has been by my side encouraging me to continue working and gathering the information together. He talks me through things and helps me over road blocks! I am feeling super blessed and grateful for my fam!
Since the New Year we have recorded the following:
Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the origin and explanation of the JOYrific Communication Tool with answers to many frequently asked questions. Topics addressed include: Real Life Examples, Vocabulary, Meltdowns, Temper-Tantrums, Mean Talk, Teasing, Sarcasm, Bullying, and applying JOYrific to your home along with upper elementary school and middle school aged tweens and teenagers. Listen for free at SoundCloud.com/JOYrific
Listen to the first chapter of the JOYrific Book. Read by Dr. Joy J Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite.
Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the topic of Communication.
Here are a few words about the JOYrific Chart from the mouths of my daughters. I created the chart and JOYrific System over 4 years ago when my now 8, 6, 4 year olds were only 4, 2, and 6 months old. They have grown up with a Chart in our Kitchen and the JOYrific Vocabulary discussed on a daily basis. This is completely unscripted and they said (and sometimes sang) what they wanted to about the JOYrific Chart. This should also give you a good idea of how we discuss the chart as a family when visiting the “high and middle”. We recall stories, feelings, emotions, and openly share our experiences.
Dr. Joy J. Lea and Jamie Lea Braithwaite come together to discuss the origin and brief explanation of the JOYrific Communication Tool with answers to many frequently asked questions. Topics addressed include: Real Life Examples, Vocabulary, Meltdowns, Temper-Tantrums, Mean Talk, Teasing, Sarcasm, Bullying, and how to applying JOYrific to upper elementary school and middle school aged tweens and teenagers.
today I had my BIG ultrasound. I’m 21 weeks and they check all the vitals and stats and measurements and we get to see the adorable baby!! This is when it really becomes “REAL”. My favorite time. I’m not too uncomfortable pregnant. I still have energy. There is still time to get all my projects done and the house rearranged before the baby. But now I’m on the downhill slope. Only 19 weeks left.
I’m excited for a baby BOY! The girls are excited for a baby boy! He is measuring large (like all my babies). They say he will be 8 or 9 lbs and we saw his cute chubby cheeks on the big screen!
we had a fantastic Christmas Eve! Grandma and Grandpa took the kids to play at their house most of the day! We then had a talent show and nativity before bed. The talent show included Astrid saying “Hi” and giggling in the microphone. Emi singing Twinkle Twinkle, I am a Child Of God, and Pat-a-Cake. Ainsley did a cart wheel and read her new Christmas Book “Gingerbread Pirates”. Gracie almost sang “Let it Go” and read her favorite Christmas book “the Fourth King”. Mom told the Christmas Story from the bible with help from the girls and Grandpa added a new insight about the wiseman. Garth read our families favorite story from the Book of Mormon that talks about the New Star appearing and what was happening to the Nephite & Lamanite people in America the night before Christ was born. (See 3 Nephi 1:20)
Merry Christmas to all!!
For Christmas I am framing these prints and hanging them up in our house. I created this cool 7 generation family Fan Chart online at www.familysearch.org
and I created this cool family TREE in Adobe Illustrator that combines My living family and Garth’s living family. It has all of the cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and one generation of dead people (Great Grandparents).
Merry Christmas to me!
Instagram (and probably pregnancy #5) has ruined my daily blogging. Life is busy. We are always up to a zillion things. Moving and shaking! I have been able to take it fairly easy because I “Let It Go” as sung by Elsa (and Gracie) in the new Disney movie Frozen. Gracie actually sang the song in front of her entire 2nd grade class! After school she got in the car had told us all about it. She was too shy to sing it to us! But she went for it loud and proud at school! She loves her teacher and her school!! She came home sick on Monday and I kept her in bed all Tuesday to make sure she was HEALTHY! She was begging begging begging to go to school! (Such a big change for our Gracie Girl over the last 6 months!)
Ainsley has turned into a book worm! She begs and begs to read more and more! She loves reading and reads to all of her sisters all the time.
Emi is so excited for Christmas. She says it’s Christmas (time) but not CHRISTMAS until my count down tree reaches the top because Mrs. Heather said so!
Astrid is getting bigger and such personality by the minute! She will say new words every day perfectly clear. Like diaper, buckle, etc… And she understands everything!
The baby is growing!! I am feeling VERY pregnant. But it’s probably because I need to do laundry and have no clean clothes in the closet that fit me! They are all too tight and uncomfortable.
Garth is doing great. He is still doing low carbs pre-diabetic doctor prescribed diet. He says he has hit a rough patch and is feeling frustrated with his menu. But he has come so far I am very proud of his dedication! Right now he is downstairs baking cookies (he won’t eat) and cleaning up the kitchen. I love him so much!!!
I am still the Scout Committee chair and am working to get every leader trained! (An impossible task with our turnover!) I have also been substituting in the Youth 16-18yo Sunday School class. (As blogged before) we learned about spiritual self reliance along with 15 minutes of scripture study + 5 steps.
This week we are discussing the symbols used by the Savior to teach about the second coming of Christ. It is a great way to “remember” Christ this holiday season!
I have decided that I need to be OCD with my housework. Or at least SOMEONE in our house needs to be OCD. Because right now I’m housework constipated. Plenty to do but nothing is moving. I am ignoring the housework “situation” causing a blockage.
Here is my to-do list
-throw away all the clutter!
-get rid of the crap!
-change the sheets on the beds
-and SO MUCH MORE
I can’t even make a to do list with out getting side tracked and distracted. I’m housework ADHD.
And I survived five days with 4.5 kids. We are so happy to have him back and that I was able to sleep in Saturday morning!
Thanks for calling and waking this sleepy bag of bones!
we have enjoyed the daily walk to work with you! Astrid wakes up calling your name and refuses to share the phone. After your call she sat and took pictures. I have a zillion of her cute little pony tail.
I dropped Emi off at preschool and came home and showered while Astrid is napping. I am headed down to eat lunch and then we have an afternoon of activity! Meeting at School, Activity days, and we were invited to dinner with the best neighbors (after my library fiasco)! In the hour I have alone I’m going to finish setting up Uncle Richards laptop
notice my rocking bed head and PJs that I was wearing when I dropped off the lunch. Glad I’m showered and less stinky now! We love you! We are staying busy! And the girls are doing extra chores for a play date on Saturday! Only 36 more hours.
We left the house in a flurry this morning. Someone glued me to my bed and I was stuck until it was rush out the door time. We FaceTimed this morning. It was a great motivator for the big girls to quickly get ready and it is a drug for Astrid! If she is not holding the phone her world comes crashing down. She woke up saying Dada and went searching for my phone. Look at her grasping with all her might to hold you! She is a daddy’s girl!!
The babies and I stayed in our pJs to save time and I forgot my phone (camera) as we rushed out of the driveway for school. After dropping off big girls at school – not late – we decided to purchase milk and a few necessities at the grocery store. We were headed to Smiths but I decided I was dressed more suitable for Walmart so we kept driving down the road to the Walmart grocer. We fit right in with the morning PJ dress code and matted hair. When we pulled into the parking lot Emi said “MOM I CANT GO INSIDE IN MY PAJAMAS!” True. This is something I have tried teaching my children but this week is a special week! It took a little convincing but in the end… We all went in together. LUCKILY we didn’t see anyone that we know! Or at least I avoided everyone in the store and never made eye contact.
We got home and put milk on our dry bowls of cereal with the newly purchased blue berries. Astrid was in Heaven! Emi picked out M&Ms and we played a math sorting, counting, JOYrific lesson.
We cleaned up a little and Emi wanted to play play-do. So I told her after a nap we could play together. We watched the Frozen music video 19 times and then were ready for sleeping. Astrid went down like a champ! Emi did a great job too. I hit the pillow like a sack of potatoes and slept like a rock! My 30 minute power nap turned into a much longer beauty rest. Emi sang along to Frozen soundtrack 200 more times and Astrid and I kept sleeping. It was magical!
The day moved on and we got the big girls from school. They had a fantastic day and I had packed up all the library books. Astrid was screaming and screaming and screaming. So I told the girls we could only drop the books and not go inside. They begged to get new books and promised they would help with Astrid and be fast! So we braved the small library – which is not my favorite library.
I recall visiting that library 4 times in my past. 2007 trip #1 I remember being pregnant with Ainsley and being a super-awesome first time mom taking Gracie to story time when she was 18 months old. We were asked to leave because Gracie was not sitting the entire story time and she got up and was moving around. 2009 trip #2 I was pregnant with Emi and had two toddlers. Gracie was 3 and Ainsley was 18 months. Ainsley decided to read ALL of the board books and we were asked to clean up and go because she was being so loud. 2012 trip #3 I was pregnant with Astrid and the big girls were in school & preschool. Emi was 18 months and she was “communicating” loudly – ok – she was screaming but COME ON! I’m right there next to her trying to keep her quiet! We went to the library weekly in Utah for the previous two years and never had a problem!!
Today December 11, 2013 was trip #4 I am pregnant again. I have three big girls that are learning to love reading! and an 18 month old that loves screaming. I forgot my library cards in the car. Garth’s out of town. I’m trying to encourage reading but it looks more like HURRY- GRAB ANY BOOK AND RUN before the baby screams.
We made it. It was a 20 minute library trip of torture. But everyone exited the building unharmed with a bag full of books.
I recognize a pattern. I despise the library close to our house. And I should never go to the library with an 18 month old when I’m pregnant. Trip #5 is scheduled for sometime in 2015.
We came home and the girls read on their beds while I got dinner ready. Everyone pitched in and did some extra chores and picked songs for the playlist on Spotify. LET IT GO is still my theme song and Gracie picked it several times and reminded me each time :)
We’ve been watching you and I started dreaming of living closer so I looked at the housing market on zilliow. And WOW! It’s a big leap to find anything near the same size as this house! All the houses for sale are over 600K and anything for rent is crazy expensive!!
I don’t even know how they get 5 bedrooms to fit into 1000 sq. ft!? Maybe all the bedrooms are the size of Astrid’s current bedroom (in our walk-in closet).
Mom came and joined us for dinner. And super-random…Marci stopped in and trimmed my neck line and gave my mom a haircut. I finished mom’s address labels for her Christmas Cards and we chatted for a bit while clearing the table and doing dishes.
The big girls have been doing a really god job of tucking in and reading to Emi. Tonight Ainsley sang her a song and Emi went right to sleep. Gracie showered and they both stayed up late reading (lovely lovely worth the pain LIBRARY BOOKS!)
I called and chatted while eating my routine bowl of nightly Cheerios. And sat and missed you some more. Overall today was rough. But at the same time it was great.
PS. I can feel the baby moving around!
For some weird reason I was up at 6:30. I guess my body feels responsible for getting my children to school while my brain was still sleeping. Astrid woke up soon after and the house was alive and rocking. Emi was sleeping in her room….but come to find out she was “asleep” under her covers with technology reading the pigeon books app. At least she took care of her business first (that is where she found her technology). We face timed this morning on your way to work and It brought smiles to all of our faces!!
By some miracle we were in the car and headed to school in good time.
The plan was to get to the temple with Lauren Brown before she left for Texas at the end of the month. We’ve been coordinating and rescheduling for months!
While I was waiting I studied up on the Temple.
I like how it mentioned in an article I found on preparing for the temple the 8 steps.
8. a Guest in the House of The Lord
And today we made it work! By another miracle!! We had our 5 kids under 5 farmed out and with babysitters. And we made it to the temple with 3 minutes to spare! I grabbed a family name from the Stake envelope but didn’t notice the initiatory work had not been completed. Lauren pointed it out when we were on our way upstairs. So with another rush & name exchange we were settled in the 12:30 session. They offered me a cute old-lady shall to keep warm and I was nice and cozy! Maybe a little too cozy because the 1:00 Quiet Time hit me and I swear I almost fell out of my seat when my body stopped responding, my brain started dreaming and I was zzzzzzz z z ing away. After getting up and moving around I was able to at least keep my eyes open! So embarrassing!! Lauren reassured me that making a baby was hard work. The temple was beautiful and sunny and bright! The stained glass windows had an extra special sparkle with the noon sunshine.
I think the old lady sprayed a sleeping potion on my shall….probably not….but it does make sense why all the old lady’s sleep with magic knitted shalls at the Temple. I need one for home!
Speaking of sleeping…after school I picked up Emi & Astrid and they watched a movie in the car while we waited for the big girls to get out of tutoring club. Once the big girls climbed into the back we noticed Emi was conked out!!!! She was exhausted! Came home and slept some more.
I had a lovely JOYrific preschool chat and the girls took a long relaxing bubble bath together. We ate dinner. Played on the computers. Read books. And you sang good night songs.
Life is pretty good! I miss little things like how my phone magically gets charged and my water bottle magically refills. And how your magical dirty diaper detecting skills.
I’m snuggled up and am going to throw my technology across the room (probably not) so I will go to sleep!!
PS. Gracie said tonight “dinner smells bad but I ate it so it wouldn’t hurt moms feelings.” Ainsley filled up my water bottle. Emi sang the Frozen sound track at least 43 times. Astrid pooped three times this morning instead of taking a morning nap.
We were all up and gave Daddy kisses at 6:30. The big girls got dressed, fixed their own lunches and ate breakfast in good time. Astrid had a rough teething night so she was finally sound asleep. Grandma was on her way into work and since she passes right by our house (after her +35 minute drive from across town) she was able to pick up the big girls for school. It is an amazing blessing to have grandma involved so closely in my girls lives! Astrid slept in so Emi and I did some dishes, made the big girls beds, and started a load of laundry. Astrid woke up and we ate our second breakfast and watched Cake Boss. We changed a few diapers but mostly chill-axed on the couch. We are our first lunch and Astrid was ready for her nap. Emi took a bath while Astrid was sleeping and we chillaxed some more. I showered and got dressed. Astrid woke up and we ate our second lunch just in time for my school meeting. So we packed up and headed out! Come to find out my school meeting is on Thursday not Monday. Oops! So we sat and chit chatted in moms office until Board Game clubs got out. Gracie’s teacher caught me in the hall and let me know she improved 200 points in reading!! The kids are doing great in school! Gracie and Ainsley are both really excited to help start a buddy bench on the playground to help shy kids find a friend.
After chatting we headed home via Dropping off a bag of handy-me-downs to the sweetest family. Then after chit chatting some more we were home ready for dinner & bedtime. Ainsley helped make the dinner. The other girls “took care of business” with technology in the bathroom. Dinner was great. We FaceTimed with Dad and then it was bedtime. Ainsley was exhausted! She crawled in bed and was asleep first. Gracie read 2 books to Emi and then sang a song and tucked her in and Emi fell asleep next. Gracie tucked herself in and said prayers while I was holding screaming/teething Astrid. After sitting and rocking to a show (actually I couldn’t decide what to watch so I just watched previews) I sang to Astrid and she was the last to go down at 7:55pm. Now I’m curled up in bed cozy. (I turned up the heat) And ready for sleeping. Day 1 pretty successful overall. After school we watched cake Boss and cleaned up a little. We love you daddy!!
this is my theme song for the week: Let It Go! From the new Disney movie Frozen. I am letting it go! I’m letting the dishes go! I’m letting the messy house and sticky fingerprints go! I’m letting the laundry go! I’m letting my computer projects go! I’m letting go and signing and dancing with my girls! The perfect house is gone and let the storm rage on!
Dear Little Guy,
Today, after checking and re-checking, the nurse and ultrasound tech informed us that you are a boy! Multiple times we heard the words “that is definitely a boy!” We will have our “official” 20 week check up on New Year’s Eve so if something changes we will love a little girl with all our heart. But for now we are going with “it’s a boy!”
Mr. Man we have you named already. Your name will be Jameson Garth Braithwaite. Your middle name will be Garth, after your very proud father, who’s middle name is his father’s name. Carrying on the tradition.
Your first name has been picked for over 20 years. Jameson has been my favorite name since I can remember. I grew up knowing my first baby boy was going to be named after my Grandpa Jameson. My mother named me Jamie because that is the name everyone called Grandpa Jameson. I remember the day I saw my name painted on the trailer grandma and grandpa would travel between Las Vegas and Kanab. In high school I had several friends call me Jameson (without even knowing the history of the name!). When I married the love of my life and started having beautiful babies we had one boy name picked out with long lists of undecided girl names. You have many cousins! There are 19 grandkids, over 40+ great grandkids, and 5+ great great Grandkids from the Afton & Karl Jameson family tree. You are one of 17+ of the Joy and Jim famLEA cousins (10 girls and you will be the 7th boy). And I must mention your four older sisters!! Needless to say you have one very big and excited family ready for you to join us!!
Along with the Braithwaite side of the family that has 9 cousins. (7 girls and you will be the 3rd boy. The first boy with the last name Braithwaite).
Your dad is excited to do scouting, camping, video gaming with you! We are exited to have a future priesthood holder, missionary and Eagle Scout!
You have a lot of girls in your life. We are here waiting and excited for your arrival!! I grew up with all boys. I was the only daughter. Mom says she prayed so hard for a girl (after 3 boys, plus one more) that God didn’t respond until the next generation.
I have dreamed and dreamed of a little boy. I must say we have a lot of pink and princesses around here. But your Dad is ready! He is ready for someone to be on his team! At the doctor appointment the first thing he said was “it’s time to buy BOY TOYS!” By the time you get here we will have an abundance of Legos, superheroes, action figures, video games and more!
We are ready for silly faces and tigers!
Every baby I have picked an “animal” to love and represent during pregnancy that has become their sleepy time friend. I have known for a long time that you will be our little Tiger. Your great grandpa was called Tiger in South Africa. He was a boxer and fighter pilot. He was tough and strong. “Tiger” Hartley Braithwaite.
See you soon Tiger! We love you!!
(And Dad and 4 big sisters)
Confirmed by two ultrasound techs! We love Jane & Marlo! Garth took tons of video! The girls were jumping out of their skin with excitement!!
Is it a girl? Or is it a boy? Our appointment is in 15 minutes! Garth and the big girls came to see the baby!
Today for my 15 minutes study session I began in Alma 37:37. It is amazing how much my brain and heart can soak up from the scriptures when I spend the time to “STUDY” the word! The other amazing part is that personal revelation comes quickly and floods the heart….so as I type it out after it is strange to see the order of my thoughts. I will type the overall awesomeness I learned.
IT IS EASY! Really! It is simple and easy! Starting in Alma 37:37 he says “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”
Counsel the Lord….
in all your doings…
He will direct the for GOOD!
At night: that he may watch over your sleep
At morning: let your heart be full of thanks and ye shall be lifted up at the last day!
So far seems pretty simple to me. It reminded me to have a thankful heart – every morning. As I continued reading in Alma 37:40 it talks about things happening by FAITH.
By small means comes marvelous works. This includes temporal matters and spiritual matters. However he warns us that the SLOTHFUL do not progress. The slothful will not make it to the land of Promise. By SMALL MEANS you shall make it to the great and eternal land of promise. I love how it references back to Nephi and the Liahona (1 Ne. 16:10 (10, 16, 26)) one of my favorite stories in the beginning of the Book of Mormon.
And the 15 minute timer went off. Garth and I had a great discussion about the chapter after I finished reading. When I started telling him about the verses I read the first thing he asks is “Who is talking?” Garth and I read the scriptures very very differently. I take in the words and apply it to my own life. I do not have much care about “who, when, where” is being said in the verses. Garth on the other hand has a strong knowledge of the “timeline and history” behind each book. He gave an interesting insight about these verses. He told me it is about Alma the Prophet getting ready to “pass the torch” to his son Helaman. Helaman is the very righteous-going-to-take-over-soon son that has always “got” the gospel. Garth said the gospel came very natural to Helaman much like it comes naturally to me. I am told something and I can whole heartedly believe and accept the truth without having to try and test it for myself. I can learn from others mistakes and accomplishments. Then Garth went on to tell me about the Prophet Alma speaking to his next son, Shiblon. It was a different conversation. He did not say the same things to Shiblon that was said to Helaman. Shiblon had his own lessons and experiences and Alma, the Prophet and the Father, had insight for him individually. Garth loves to read the Prophets words as he his interacting with his own children. It gives it a deeper meaning and insight.
As I type that I am sure I am butchering the story….but that is briefly what I got out of our conversation. I love Garth even more for sharing with me his insight and his patience to listen to my own insights. Together we make a great team. We are very different…and that is a good thing!
Sunday School Challenge Day 1 – Nov 18, 2013.
Part of becoming spiritually self-reliant is learning how to answer our own gospel questions. Revelation often occurs when we earnestly seek answers to sincere questions and have faith in the promise made by the Savior: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). We can find answers to our own gospel questions as we pray, study the scriptures and words of the living prophets, and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
In 2002, I was attending BYU and vivedly remember my Book of Mormon Class where my Scripture Study testimony began to grow and I learned for myself how to become spiritual self reliant. As I prepared for teaching the sunday school lesson I could not stop reflecting on my past. Then watching the Youth Fireside by Uchtdorf. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Reflection in the Water,” CES fireside for young adults, Nov. 1, 2009; see also the video of the address. He opens with the story of the Ugly Ducking. Teaching the 17-18 year olds I could not help but remember when I was in their shoes finishing off my senior year and applying for college. Comparatively I feel like I have made it to Swan Lake with my husband, house, college degree, four and a half children, pregnancy, bills, and big grown up decisions. But then I think of one of my best friends who is wise in her years. She has raised her children, grandchildren, great grand children, seeing the world change for over 80 years. Next to her I feel like a little ugly duckling again trying to find my way in my young motherhood.
Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013 opens by saying he would like to talk to the young people: “I wish to speak directly to the young people of the Church—young in years of age or young in years of membership or young in years of faith. One way or another, that should include just about all of us.” And it is true everyone can be included in the “young”.
Now to the Week Challenge. As I said before I learned how to become self reliant in my BYU Book of Mormon Class as a freshman. Our entire grade was based on one thing: Daily Scripture Study. We had to read 30 minutes EVERYDAY! At the time I thought I would never pass! I was busy with school, full load of classes, working, playing, dating, studying, sleeping and all those other things college aged kids do on their own. When we studied we had to complete the following 5 steps:
At the beginning of the semester it was a difficult task to complete and I usually saved it for the last 30 minutes of my conscience before falling sound asleep. Then as I learned and saw how it worked I was able to make it a higher priority in my day. Going back and reviewing now I am able to see my self worth grow and my testimony of the gospel is rooted in those hours of study. That semester I truly came to know that I am a Child of God and that Heavenly Father answers my prayers. So I challenged my Sunday School class to do the same. Since they are “only Seniors” and not college age kids we took the time down to 15 minutes for this week. I hope next week they will take the challenge to move it up to 20 minutes.
Now to my 15 minutes of Study. First I had to set up my ideal study situations. With grapes, apple slices, drink of water, Book of Mormon, bucket of sharpies, pen, paper, and most importantly my phone on silent/airplane/do not distract mode. I set the 15 minute timer and got started reading. I opened the Title Page and read the “The Book of Mormon an account written by the Hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi” I pondered these ancient prophets and their example and wisdom to gather the spiritual matters of their lives. Then I opened to my favorite favorite favorite part of the scriptures the index in the back of the book. I looked up “Question” and was drawn to D&C 50:13, 16. I pondered the question “What to do?” What to do in my life, as a sunday school teacher, as a pregnant lady, a mother, a wife, a volunteer, a scout committee chair, an author, a Child of God. I love the answer that “He that is weak shall be made STRONG!” I need strength. I need strength. I need strength in all my weaknesses. In my physical body I need strength. In my attitude I need strength and knowledge. Then I moved onto the Joseph Smith History, the record of the beginning of the church. Joseph Smith had a question that he needed answered. He gives a history of his life and the religious freedom movement in America with different religious parties creating a division among the people with some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!”. In my life I have a division of my time with the decision of what/where I spend my time children, husband, school, friends, JOYrific, Pinterest, FaceBook, Instagram, scriptures, scouts, church, activities, homework, chores, laundry, dishes, crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!”. In verse 8 Joseph Smith describes “During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection”. Verse 10 Joseph Smith wrote down the questions that he was asking… and two pertain to my current situation, “What is to be done?” and “How shall I know?” He found his answer in studying the scriptures in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” In verse 12 he says, “NEVER did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man that this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did.
I know Joseph Smith asked God. I know God have an answer. Just as I have asked God on many occasions, What is to be done? How shall I know what to do? and he has given me answers. My answers are small and can seemingly be insignificant….but to me….they are very important matters that I have entered into serious reflection. There have been times that I have had those small simple answers come with POWER to my HEART with great force.
And then the 15 minute timer went off. I said my prayer of gratitude and thanks for the simple reminders. And now I am off to continue pondering as I tackle my day, dishes, children, and many responsibilities I have been entrusted.
It has been a while since I have consistently blogged or journaled or recorded my daily activities. Why!? I’m lazy. Or I’m busy. I am not sure. Either way I got out of the habit.
This summer we wrote 1000 words a week and I enjoyed that challenge on JamieBee.com
Now school is in session. Gracie is in 2nd grade. Ainsley is in 1st. Emi is in preschool. And Astrid is almost 18 months busy body around the house. The new baby is 13 weeks and growing. Being involved at school kept me very busy at the beginning – until we were able to set up an amazing Derby Board parent organization. I will and have always been busy with mom’s school and now that it is mom’s school & the kids school I am invested in every success and pitfall. I used to go in every morning an hour early and drop off the girls, set up the morning music, mingle with the girls and the teachers/staff. Now with morning sickness I’m usually home rolling out of bed as the girls leave with Garth for school. Finally the last few days I have been alert enough to feed the kids breakfast, scriptures, and do hair.
At church I stay busy. I’m going on three years as the Scout Committee Chair. Recharter happens in November and it is a lot of paperwork with 50+ scouts. We have a huge group of scouts and my goal is to get them eagle ready – 13 life scouts with no advancement in 3 years. Progress is rough. There is only so much I can do as a committee chair. There are leaders, parents, and scouts that also must be responsible. I have been substituting in a Sunday School class and enjoy teaching the gospel with the new curriculum. I subbed in Singing Time primary and enjoyed all those little voices!
At home it’s chaos. But I like chaos. The best advice I have gotten from stellar moms that I idolize with lots of cute kids running around is “let it go”. I’m still working on the balance of letting go of the mess and teaching with love how to clean up the mess. JOYrific helps me to express with love how I feel and identify my own personal inventory with my expectations, body, sleep patterns, nutrition, and getting/giving attention. Without projecting my strong emotions at my children. Some days I wish I had an interior designer setting up my rooms because I still feel like I have hodge-podge furniture and decorations like poor college kids. But at the same time I love the feeling in my house that my kids have ownership and love every room! Decorating can/is very expensive and/or time consuming. There was some YouTube video I watched of a kid giving a list of reasons his mom was awesome. Kid president I think. And he says our house is awesome because we live here. and I agree. I am “letting go” of the not-so-picture-perfect walls/floors/rooms. I guess part of me is waiting for my walls to turn digital so I can decorate from my computer (Pipe dream).
As a wife I’m whole heart in love with Garth. He let me use his airline points and fly to a conference with mom and dad to present JOYrific. It was an amazing 4 days. I was not worried at all about my little ones because they were in good hands. When I got home he surprised me with a spotless house! No dishes. No laundry. No toy messes. Clean bathrooms. Clean FRIDGE! Organized playroom & classroom. Amazing amazing amazing!! I wish I reserved more energy to show Garth how wonderful and amazing he is! He does little things like always plug in my dying phone. Bringing me more water to drink. Surprising me with weird healthy treats I love (and he hates). He is working on a healthy low carb lifestyle and I applaud him for his strength to be better for his family and love a long healthy life. He is now serving in the Stake Sunday School presidency and is able to train others on the new gospel curriculum and teaching tips. I appreciate everything he does for me and us.