My mom and dad are going on a mission for our church. Most of you are probably used to seeing two young boys in white shirts and ties. Well, we have lots of different missionaries out there. My parents are going on an Agriculture Service Mission. What is that?! Well, our church owns a lot of farms across the country. These farms are operating to supply the church’s large welfare program. Most of the jobs are run by volunteers.I decided to learn more about the welfare program since my parents were going to be leaving for about eight months to be a part of it. The welfare program was started during the depression of the 1930s. With no jobs, the government stepped in to alleviate this problem. The church feared that their methods promoted idleness because nothing was required in exchange for the help. In regards to setting up the welfare program as a response to government welfare, the president of our church at the time said this:
“Our primary purpose was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)
Since then, it has grown tremendously and the help we are able to provide spans the globe. The Humanitarian Aid program provides medical supplies, they find water sources in third world countries, effective substance abuse programs and respond to natural disasters to name a few. One of the reasons I love this program so much is that there are no administrative costs. The work is volunteer.
The night before they left, we had Family Home Evening with the whole family.My parents talked to everyone about what they would be doing while they were gone and why they decided to do it. Each family came up with their own service goal to do as a family while my parents were gone. Their decision to serve has inspired all of us to serve more too.After that, the tweens and teens were fortunate enough to have a little extra
lecture inspirational talk from my dad about education. He made a deal with them..something about grades and money. I don’t remember earning much for my grades. They were so engrossed. They didn’t even seem to notice the dessert party we were having.Chocolate mousse, root beer floats, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, apple cobbler, banana lumpia. It was yummy. There was a lot! I ate a lot too.This picture is blurry, but I love the laughter on everyone’s face. I found this video while I was doing my research. It talks about the church’s response to Hurricane Katrina. I love that they had trucks on their way to Louisiana from various parts of the country before the storm even hit! It kind of gives you an idea of how they do things.So, we will miss my mom and dad a TON! But, we are all super excited for this adventure for them. What a great way to enjoy retirement. Live the simple life. Enjoy each others company while providing service.
Here’s a timeline of the church welfare program. It was a good little history lesson for me.
Gosh it’s taken me a long time to find the time to get to this post. And, to save time, this is mainly just going to be a post of pictures. There are soooo many. Please pardon the lack of order. WordPress is not the most user-friendly for inserting a lot of pictures, so it was taking too long to organize it. I really had to cut out a lot of good ones. I wish I could post pictures of everyone. I didn’t get any great ones of just my brother and his wife. There was an “official” photographer, so she took care of that.This is my oldest brother with my youngest brother. Both of their wives are natives of the Philippines.It was a LOVELY event. It was so elegant and so beautiful. We love love love our new sister-in-law! We are so happy for my brother. They make a beautiful couple.As for my kids and their wedding attire, I really wanted them to “coordinate.” The only way to do that I realized was to sew the clothes myself, so I sewed my daughters’ dresses. I was pretty excited about my older daughter’s dress because I “designed” that one in my head, then on paper and it came out as I imagined. My little one’s dress started off as a peasant dress, but it wasn’t happening…so I did a bunch of stuff to make it look the way it did and I was really happy with how it turned out.Everyone had a great time planning and putting things together. With my sister-in-law (who did the jewelry) as the coordinator, we were quite the wedding force. Everything was beautiful. All of the vases were re-used from past weddings in our family. The decor was so incredibly budget friendly. The reception was held at my brother’s home turned vacation rental. The setting was perfect.For the food, we all took care of a dish or two. Everyone kind of does at least one dish really well…so we stuck with that. The food was so amazing. Here’s my dad at the stove.The company was fabulous. It was a small-ish reception in that it was just the family. So, including my grandma (who is 90 years old and has more energy than me!), that makes 38 of us. My sister and her husband who currently (not permanently 😉 ) live in California, came so it was really nice having our whole family together in the temple.The bride’s sister flew in from the mainland and she has a cousin that lives here who was able to attend. My daughter and my niece are excited about their new aunty!That’s my Crafty SIL/Jewelry Store/Wedding Coordinator on the left…and one of my ultra fabulous baby-sitter nieces on the right. As you can see, height does not run in our family.
Here are a few candids…All the little ones loved walking through these crystal strands.My kids love all their older cousins.We got the idea for these monogram letters from Pinterest. My mom cut them out of pine wood and painted them. They were a really nice touch.We brought the letters inside to hang on the wall once the dinner started.My sister did the same thing under these plates that she did at the shower.Here she is with my oldest niece. Sometimes we suspect they were made from the same mold.I love this boy…and his smile.One of my super-dependable baby sitter nieces and my nephew…son of the groom.Strategizing the cake cutting.Daughter of the groom…she got him good!I love this shot my sister-in-law took. The sky is a perfect backdrop.Look how much spunk my grandma has. And that’s my “Martha Stewart Sister” who doubles as a pastry chef. Very handy to have around. I love that she lives about a minute away from my house.This is the sea-glass candy she made that I talked about at the end of this post.My daughter and my niece had fun with my camera for about 10 minutes….I have so many pictures of my sister here…she’s setting up something in almost every single one.Here’s my cute niece sneaking (getting caught) a plate of cake in a dark corner of the room.
And here’s my daughter…not so sneaky with her cake. It kept her busy while we were cleaning up.Boys Club.And more candids. Everyone loved the edible pearls.As you can see, it was a lovely event that we were all thrilled to be a part of. Congratulations to K & J and the beginning of their new life together.
After the fun we had at the jewelry party, it was time to focus on the shower. We had a “Tea Party” theme. The bride’s sister who lives thousands of miles away flew in the night before the shower.Everyone did their part to make things pretty.My little sister did all of the names on doilies by hand. It was a really elegant touch.My SIL used her handy-dandy cricut to cut out all those adorable boxes. To make it even better, they were filled with chocolate covered macadamia nut clusters smothered in caramel.We played some games and ate.Look at all these hand-made prizes! Lucky for us, even if we didn’t win, we still got a prize at the end.Fresh baked bread was filled with different sandwich fillings. We had three “flavors” to choose from. It was delish!This flavor of lemonade was new to all of us. It was a big hit.Spinach salad and these cream filled strawberries on the side completed the meal. It’s great having a pastry chef in the family! She stuffed them with a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla. They were topped with graham cracker crumbs.After we ate, it was time for gifts. The bride received a beautiful heirloom pearl necklace from her sister who had been keeping it safe for 14 years since her own wedding! It was a really sweet surprise.She also brought a gift from her son who used his own money to buy his favorite aunty some comfy PJs.We all chipped in while my SIL worked her magic and made this beautiful pearl set (She’s wearing all three pieces) for her. I wish I had a link to her online store, but IT’S NOT UP YET!!! (no pressure Ky…but HURRY UP!).My other sister found a great idea to make a basket of “Dates For A Year” since my brother and his bride lived in two separate countries and didn’t get to “go on dates” much. We thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but seeing everyone fill it up was so fun and creative! For January, they went box car racing. Other dates they will have to look forward to are driving around the island sight seeing with gift cards to various stops around the island. A day at the park with a frisbee and a Jamba Juice gift card. A hammock to take to a beach park and hang out.A DVD for “The Bucket List” with a “worksheet” to fill out their own bucket list.An envelope with two five dollar bills. They go to a mall or superstore and each spend five dollars on the other person that is an expression of love and creativity. I wish I could remember them all. She was really excited about it. I think we all were! My mom also gave her the beautiful simple frame.I almost forgot. My oldest sister made these refreshing fruit popscicles. She used an ice tray as a mold. They look so pretty too!It was a super fun day with the most important women in our life. We were so anxious for the big day!
That night, we packaged all this beautiful rock candy that my sister made to look like sea glass. So cool! Can’t wait for the wedding!!!
Back in December, my son was making an ipu in his class. An ipu has a variety of uses in old Hawai’i, but for my son’s class, it will be used as a hawaiian instrument. After they cleaned their gourds on the beach with sand, they cut them open and cleaned them out.Then, they made cording to use as a strap (pretend not to notice the nails that need to be cut and cleaned).While my son’s class was working on this, I was moving from in and out of the classroom depending on the “station” that I needed to be at. My two youngest were moving with me. Without any instruction, my daughter sat down, grabbed a piece of my son’s cording and attempted to make her own.This was a powerful reminder for me about how we teach our children. It really doesn’t matter what we say. At the end of the day, how they really learn is by watching what we do.
And with that, check back tomorrow…I can’t wait to share a few posts relating to this fabulous event we had this past Friday!
To celebrate my parent’s 40th year of Marriage, the big plans 15 years ago of buying a boat or a car got pushed back about another 10 years. You think with eight kids, we could pull it off. Instead, they had to settle for a little party with their posterity. My party planning sisters were in charge and with everyone combined, this is what we ended up with.
My mom’s colors for her wedding were yellow, so we (my sisters) tried to stick with that. The kids lined the ground with chalk love notes.
The guests of honor. TThe girls did a good job of playing up the yellow. My parents also had daisies at their wedding. I love how my sister did those cute lemonade bottles. We had lots of fabulous food.
It’s really great having a pastry chef in the family. My parents were married in the Los Angeles temple in California, so they had chocolate covered macadamia nuts at their reception to bring a little bit of Hawai’i to their reception. The kids had a great time just being together.
At the end of the party, the teenage cousins put together a short video in pictures of their life together. The kids couldn’t resist the “shadow fun.” Then they watched a video while the grown ups got to hang out and clean up.Apparently I was taking pictures, so I didn’t do much clean up!
This is the product of 40 years of marriage, 8 kids, 20 grand kids and growing. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
comic by Nigel Sutherland
At my church, they always offer marriage and or family/parenting classes. I’m one of those that likes classes and workshops and I’m always asking the hubby if we can go. It’s been a few years, so he said yes to this one. They are always lots of fun and you usually get to meet other fun couples. Anyway, this one that we just took was mainly focused on marriage and this was by far our favorite. The speaker for the six sessions was Doug Brinley, an experienced speaker. He also teaches at BYU and he’s written a few books. I think we were lucky to have taken his class since most people that go to his classes have to pay. It’s usually part of a conference or a college course. There was so much good information, there’s no way I could fit it into a blog post. I thought I’d share one simple quote from tonight, the final class. This definitely wasn’t the most important, but it was simple and true. This one applies to me because we are really bad about making date nights. We always say we’ll be better, but it always comes down to not planning and finding a babysitter. I have lots of people that are willing, but you hate to always impose. Then, when you consider the cost of a babysitter, the night can start to add up. And my awesome babysitters are cheap too! Really cheap! I happen to have lots of great nieces. 🙂 Thanks to this piece of advice, I feel justified in making date nights a bigger priority.
Babysitters Are Cheaper Than Divorce!
I love that.