Tag Archives: relief society

“In Her Shoes”

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Tuesday night was our annual Relief Society Garden Party for the ladies at church. The theme for the night was “In Her Shoes.” We shared the message that although the shoes we might wear in life differ,

we are all walking the same path in hopes of arriving at the same destination. None of us need to walk alone.

As Relief Society sisters we are here to support, encourage, and lean on each other when our burdens are heavy and when we are tempted to just sit down and quit walking.

It was a night of sisterhood, fellowship, laughter and tears as we became better acquainted with each other, shared our stories with new friends, and cried tears of support as we listened to the messages spoken.

The night was a true labor of love as many women offered up their time and talents to create a special night for an amazing group of ladies.

Here is a peek at our night…

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We hit our first hiccup on Monday night when the weather channel reported a 70% chance of rain. Last year’s garden party was so much fun and the ladies enjoyed being outside so I was crushed when we had to make the call to move it into the gym at church. I had no idea how our committee was going to manage turning an ugly gym into a “garden,” but thanks to the many green thumbs in our group we were able to gather enough potted flowers to achieve the garden look we were looking for. I then tore apart my home and with the help of Toby and the kids moved half my home into the gym for the night. 🙂

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My family was a huge help as they dedicated their day to helping mom avoid going off the deep end. We joke in our family that every calling Toby or I take on becomes a family calling. 🙂 Yesterday we had a few extra honorary committee members!

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With God’s grace we pulled it off and the finished result wasn’t too shabby.IMG_0137 (2)We carried the shoe theme through all facets of the evening, beginning with our centerpieces. Each table had a different colored pair of heels. As the women arrived they chose a button pin to wear and had to find the high heel shoes that matched their ribbon color and that determined where everyone sat for the evening. It was a fun way to encourage the ladies to mix and mingle and get to know new friends.

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The evening began with a delicious appetizer table prepared by Karen. It turned out so pretty that we almost hated to dig in…but we did, and it was delicious!

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We let the women have some time enjoying appetizers and chit-chat before our first activity began.

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Then it was time for our first game of the night: Speed Friendship. For this game the ladies sat in two rows , facing each other. They were given a list of possible “get to know you” questions that they could use if they wanted or they could ask their own questions.

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A whistle blew and Shelley, who was running the game, gave them 60 seconds to get to know the lady that sat across from them before she blew the whistle again and they had to move down a chair. It was a fun, fast-paced way to get to know each other a bit better.

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Then it was time for dinner. When we first talked about the theme we came up with the fun idea of serving dinner in shoe boxes. I was able to order white shoe boxes online and Pat put her creative touch on them to make them pretty. With the help of many “behind the scene” helpers each box was filled with a croissant, chicken salad, pasta salad, a bag of potato chips, a small bottle of water, 2 dinner mints and utensils/napkin. Dinner was delicious and the shoe boxes were a fun touch!

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Following dinner we had the spiritual message of our evening. The ladies who serve in Primary (those who teach the children on Sunday) sang a special musical number.

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Then we heard from three amazing sisters (Karen, Rorie, and Shelley) who shared their personal stories of what it is like to walk in their shoes and the lessons they have learned from their journey. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and I think we all left feeling humbled and less alone in our own personal struggles.

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When the program was complete we ended with prayer and then revealed the answers to our other game of the night: “Guess Whose Shoes.” For this game the ladies had to guess the owners of 10 different pairs of shoes that we had on display. There were a wide variety of shoes from ballerina slippers, to cowboy boots, to bowling shoes. As we revealed the answers the owners of the shoes stood and shared the stories behind the shoes they brought. It was another fun way to learn something new about the ladies we pass in the halls at church each week.

The winning players won crazy shoelaces (donated by Diana.)

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The night ended with high heel shoe cupcakes, lovingly made by Teresa. They were adorable and brought home the theme of the night in the sweetest possible way!

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The message of the night was a powerful one. So often we feel alone in our walk through life. We often feel weighed down and weary. Sometimes we find ourselves stumbling and wondering if anyone even noticed. Sometimes we are tempted to just sit down and refuse to take another step forward.

When we feel this way we need to remember to look up, look around, and reach out to those walking near us…

Reach out for help, or reach out to offer help.

That is the beautiful blessing of Relief Society:

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We never need to walk alone. 🙂

We can do it!

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Thursday was our monthly Relief Society activity at church for the ladies. The committee I work with planned a great night with a great theme.

Our theme was “We can do it!”

Based on the old WWII propaganda poster of Rosie the Riveter.

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Rosie the Riveter became the face of a new type of woman that arose out of a need, and became the symbol of empowerment to women everywhere. She represents the housewives and mothers of that era who stepped up and stepped out of the noble task of keeping house to meet a desperate need during that era. With the men of the workforce being called to the front lines of war there were jobs that needed filled, labors that needed accomplished for our country to continue running and for the needs of the war effort to be met.

Many, many women removed their aprons and put on a new hat (figuratively and literally) as they stepped onto factory lines and into places of business that had previously been a man’s world.

Women who had never worked outside the home were now building airplanes and then going home to still care for their families and fulfill all of those responsibilities at home

while they waited and prayed for their husbands across the sea.

When we began planning for this activity our goal was simple…

Remind the ladies that they can do hard things. Like Rosie the Riveter they are more capable than they might believe when it comes to certain daunting tasks like DIY home repairs or canning food. We planned a series of classes playing off the “We can do it” message.

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When the night arrived we decorated the gym at church with a 1940’s patriotic theme. We played off the idea of flags, canned goods, and aprons. It was a fun activity to decorate for!

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We began the night with a spiritual message.

Michele Pinter (a military wife) shared with us the spiritual spin on Rosie the Riveter and our “We can do it” theme for the night. She talked about how in life we often find ourselves on paths we never thought we’d be on, facing challenges we never expected to face. We get called to do hard things we never expected to have to do…

Whether facing a husband deployed, a child in the NICU, the death of a spouse, or loss of employment.

Like the women during WWII who were asked to step up and take on challenges they had never considered taking on before, we are sometimes called to move beyond what is known,

and expected,

and comfortable

for the sake of a bigger cause…God’s cause.

Like Rosie we move out of the security  of the “known”  and find ourselves stepping into the faith dependent “unknown.”

She reminded us to never lose sight of the source of that power that allows us to do hard things…

It is because of our Heavenly Father’s love that

“We can do it!”

It was then time to split for classes.

Our teacher for the DIY class got stuck at work so we had three classes:

1. Life Hacks: tricks and tips to make life easier.

2. Canning jams and jellies.

3. How to can meat.

Our teachers were wonderful and all their hard work and preparation made for a great evening.

The night ended with a delicious array of dishes made from home canned food.

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The ladies were able to visit and enjoy each others company while they participated in a fun challenge game:

Can you guess what is Canned?”

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On the tables were 25 different mason jars with home canned food inside. The ladies walked around, looked at each jar and wrote down their guesses on the answer sheet.

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We then revealed the answers with a prize for our winners. 3 ladies tied with 17 correct guesses.

It was a fun night with a fun group of ladies.

And it was an empowering night as we were reminded that we CAN do hard things.

Whether we are speaking of the temporal or the spiritual challenges of life,

when the Lord calls us to a task He will empower us to do that which He has called us to.

With God nothing is impossible.

Remember:

“We can do it!”

Tests, Chicks, and Roundhouse Kicks

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This week has found us running in multiple directions and pulling some long hours as we work to finish up the school year. Many of our activities are coming to a close as we head into the summer months and the kids are all trying to complete the last of their school work by the end of next week.

Here’s a peek at our week:

On Tuesday we had a Relief Society activity at church. It was a finance class on “Saving for a Rainy (or not so Rainy) Day.”

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The girls went with me and helped me set up and decorate with the other ladies on the committee. Pat lent us her impressive collection of piggy banks to use for our centerpieces.

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One of the men from church taught the class and did an amazing job!

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It was informative and entertaining and we all left with many gems of “saving” wisdom.

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While we attended the class Molly and Grace babysat  the little people in the nursery. They love the chance to snuggle some babies. 🙂

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At the end of the class we enjoyed a large variety of “cheap treats,” snacks that can be made on a shoestring budget.

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It was a great night!

On Wednesday we had our final day of state testing.  We were back at Butler County Community College for Gracie’s Literature Keystone Test. She was a bit nervous, but not nearly as nervous as she was last year when she had to complete her Algebra and Biology Keystone Tests.

She had to check in at 8:00 am so we left the house at 7:00 with books and computers packed so that the other kids could work on school while Gracie tested. We dropped her off and then settled into the college lobby where we made ourselves at home for the day with our friends, the Hudaks.

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The kids worked all day, taking breaks every few hours to play video games with friends or enjoy one of the board games we packed. It was a good day. Grace left testing feeling confident that she did well and eager to tell us about the fun games and activities the teachers had planned for the down time in between the testing sessions.

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I’m relieved we are DONE and we don’t have to face state tests again for another year. 🙂

On Thursday we added two more to the Taekwondo family. Grace and Molly decided to join Rusty and Ozzie for Taekwondo lessons. At the school the boys attend they offer a family rate. Once you have 3 children attending it is the same price regardless of how many family members join, so the girls decided to try it out. Thursday was their first class…and they really enjoyed it. They are all trying to talk Tyler into joining them but they haven’t had any luck yet.

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While at class, Rusty and Ozzie were informed that they were ready to test for the next belt level. In two weeks they will both be testing. Ozzie is especially thrilled at the prospect of becoming a yellow belt.

Now on to animal news…

In addition to this sweet addition to Patchwork Farm

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

Teddy doing school with Rusty.

we have also added a few more feathered friends this week. Friends from church hatched some poultry eggs in an incubator to give their grandkids the neat experience of watching them hatch. Now that they are all hatched and beginning to grow they asked if we would like to adopt them.

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This week they joined our farm family. There are 3 ducks and quite a few chicks. We look forward to more eggs in our future!

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We also added another batch of bunnies to the mix. We now have 4 litters of bunnies. It is cute to see the bunnies from one nest wander over and snuggle in with the bunnies from another nest. I don’t know how the mommas keep things straight! Here the bunnies from an older litter climbed into the nest of our youngest bunnies. You can see the mix of sizes all snuggled together in one soft, fluffy bunch. 🙂

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And to end a busy week on yet another high note…

Last night was Spring Formal for the girls.

Stay tuned for photos. Needless to say, they had a ball!