Monday, June 4

Testimony Bearing Boot Camp

Today I got my buns in gear like a proper Monday should be - fresh with high ideals! After breakfast and putting Jake down for his morning nap, I put my ipod cuff on and buzzed around doing chores while listening to the "Past Impressions" program from the Mormon Channel about the early Restoration days of the church. I boiled up some eggs so Jake could try egg yolk for the first time and the boys could have them in their lunches for the rest of the week - one of their favorites. I ate breakfast and lunch with Morgan, took her on a run, and we began the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 lessons. She proudly learned the sounds "m" and "s" and how to write them which is new to her. This is to say that this much productivity and joy are not routine for me - so I'm documenting that it has in fact happened and may just happen again. Tomorrow?! 

A word about taking Morgan running. This girl can't help herself, she loves to run! She has serious energy and it is so awesome to see how well she goes for so long. Two weeks ago when I first took her, it was hot so we made a deal that we'd run to the shade everywhere along the trail. She liked that game! Last week at the boys' run-a-thon she ran over a mile on the track. Today she ran almost the entire 20 minutes we were out but rain cut us short. She’d holler, “Power Speed!” now and then to keep her motivation up and I am always BEHIND her! Ryan and I both like to think she got it from each of us. 

I feel like I learn something new about her every day. I see so much of my features in her face - it's uncanny. She's a challenge and when she melts down, no one escapes the decibel of her scream. But when I get it right, she's so much fun!

For Family Home Evening, I had planned to do a family tree activity tonight with the kids where we'd post up pictures of three or four generations of our families. But I was six pictures shy of my goal so we scrambled. True to form, Ryan led a great impromptu FHE lesson. (Why do I even bother trying?! I guess we all know that the one preparing gets the most out of their own lesson so I must be in serious regular need! Oddly enough, I heard on one of my programs today a passing theory that those who serve missions get about a ten year "jump" on those who don't but we all even out in time with due diligence and study. Whether that is true or not doesn't matter to me, but I see evidence of it possibly having bearing now and then when I get to see Ryan in his element teaching. I'm a lucky woman to have snagged him!) 

This weekend was Easton's first time fasting. Ryan's lesson was the perfect follow-up as he briefly covered the facets of fasting, fast offerings, Fast & Testimony meeting, and finally – Testimony Bearing Boot Camp. (So the name is my idea, but he totally rocked the activity.) He lined the kids up in a straight line and they had to repeat after him, “I want to bear my testimony,” one by one and head to the back of the line.

Next round, they had to add one thing they wanted to bear testimony of:
Easton - “I want to bear my testimony that I am grateful for this beautiful earth that God created for us.”
McKay – “I want to bear my testimony that I know this church is true.”
Morgan – “I want to bear my testimony and I love my family.”

Next round, add a proper closing:
Easton – “I want to bear my testimony that I am glad Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth for us and that I know this church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
McKay – “I want to bear my testimony that I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Morgan – “I want to bear my testimony that . . . In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

It was an awesome thing to see and the kids got it! Ryan’s concept was simply brilliant! Perhaps others have done this too, but I'd never seen it done and to have it done with OUR kids was just awesome. Ryan and I both bore our testimonies to the kids and challenged them to bear testimony in the meeting next month even though we’ll be in Tuscany. If they do it, we’ll do it too.

Last week McKay had come to me and told me he wanted to give his friend Joseph a Book of Mormon. It was so cute and I loved the conversation we had. He wants to share the Book of Mormon with his friend because he wants his friend to use better words and to be kinder. It was so wonderful to me to see that we as parents were doing something right on this score. That McKay knows that reading the Book of Mormon changes people for the better. We're hoping to invite Joseph to church with us this week. I love that kids make that so simple!

I'm in the missionary chapters of Alma right now and love sharing little bits of it with the kids this past month. Such great stories!!! I know the Book of Mormon changes my life and makes me a better person as I read, study and ponder about the prophets and missionaries who find, serve, and soften hearts to teach God's beautiful Plan of Redemption. I am so grateful for my knowledge that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the eternal blessings I earn as I live up to the covenants I have made at baptism and in the Holy Temple.