Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gratitude


Today was my young women lesson on Gratitude. (One of my absolute favorite topics) For the past few weeks I've been preparing for it. I got this block idea from my friend Heather that she had on her blog several months ago. I had a sweet lady named Kim in my ward (church) cut the vinyl for me. I so appreciate her doing that for me. I bought, sanded, painted, sanded the edges and applied the vinyl to them as handouts for the girls. I love how they turned out.
These are Hershey bars with almonds that I covered. They say thank you on the front and the back says "The two most important words in the English language are these: "thank you" "
You can't go wrong with chocolate, so of course I love these too.

I also made each girl a card for them to write a thank you note to someone in their life who they appreciate. It's kind of a blurry picture, It says "When I count my blessings, I count you twice." Very simple, yet cute. (I'm only one woman, ya know) hee...hee :o) I did go overboard on the handouts, but it's the holidays, so I felt it was okay to do so.In the beginning of the lesson I used this little object lesson. I gave each girl a jolly rancher candy to suck on, then I gave them a pebble to put in their shoe. (cute ones, of course) and had them walk around the room for a minute. After they sat down I asked them how their walk was. They all had complaints about the pain in their foot, but not one comment about the sweet treat in their mouth. This was just to demonstrate how often times in our trials, we only focus on the bad things, and over look the blessings.
Today I thought I was so prepared to teach, but instead I let my fear of teaching overcome me and I fumbled over my own words, cried over dumb things, forgot to say some things that were important to my lesson. Heck, I didn't even tell the girls how much I love and appreciate them...and I REALLY do! I'm so disappointed in myself. I have a genuine desire to be a good teacher. I have great intentions, I study, I prepare, I make things for the girls that I think are memorable and appreciated, then I choke in the classroom. I pray that it gets better the more I do it.
I did have to laugh today because while I was teaching my lesson, Mark was teaching the men. I had to make 3 trips from the car to bring all my stuff in to set up for my lesson. You know...women have to make it pretty too....table cloth, pictures, treats, handouts, manual, scriptures etc. When men teach, all they need is their manual and scriptures. LOL! Not saying their way is bad...just different. :o)

At the end of my lesson we all walked down to the bishops office to give him these beautiful magnet boards. I custom ordered them from the ever adorable and bubbly Heather D White and I picked them up in Utah on our trip. I can cut wood, but I don't router, so I really appreciate her doing that for me, especially during her busiest time of the year. If you haven't visited her blog, you must. She has the energy of 3 of me....I'm honest! I just love her! I wasn't sure if I was going to share this picture, because it's not very flattering of me. I look a bit on the "fluffy" side. Heather looks too cute not to share it. I have lost a couple of pounds since then. Slowly but surely, I'll get where I want to be again.

The magnet boards have the young men on one and the young women on the other with their birthdays and what group their are in. I took pictures of almost all of the youth (still have a few I have yet to catch) I printed them wallet sized and matted them on black cardstock with their info on white cardstock. Then I put magnets on the back so they can slide over as their birthday's come around. I can update their pictures as they grow and change. We just wanted to let our bishop know how much we love and appreciate him and all he does for so many. I SO LOVE the way these came out! At some point I would like to take a big group picture of all the primary kids together and frame that for his office as well.

I've gotten to talk to Chad several times in the past 2 weeks on instant messenger. The first time, I sat here and bawled like a baby, because it was just so amazing that we were talking back and forth instantaneously. (hence instant messenger...LOL!) Totally different than email. We talked for over 3 hours. The lack of sleep was well worth it. I'm trying to think of what to send him for the holidays to make it more enjoyable for him. Christmas in Afghanistan with bunch of soldiers doesn't sound so great to me. He's never been away at Christmas before and I want him to have a piece of home, so he's not so lonely.

Sigh.....I miss my sweet boy!


My big plans of staying in bed all day Monday have been replaced with me having to clean this messy house that has been terribly neglected during this busy time. That's okay too because a clean house makes me happy and gives me the peace I so desire. I don't know about you, but when my house is a wreck, I'm really grouchy and stressed out. The whole family suffers then, so a clean house really benefits the whole family. :o) My life is full of so many blessings...trials too, but always blessings!

22 comments:

Diane said...

What girl wouldn't love you for a teacher. You put so much thought and love into your lessons. I think it will get easier for you the more you teach.
Diane

Maren said...

I thought I left a comment on the last post. When I went back just now I couldn't find it. Hmmmmm.

You are quite amazing with the handouts and creativity for your class. The Young Women leaders who did that were always my favorites. I like your object lesson too.

Gratitude's are one of my favorite topics as well. You are right--there is always something to be grateful for. I have found multitudes of blessings in our, at times, difficult circumstances.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week.

Maren

Anonymous said...

What wonderful handouts and lesson! Those girls are very lucky to have such a wonderful teacher. You do an amazing job! I would like to send Chad a package for Christmas. Please let me know what would work and how to send it. The thought of the soliders not being home for the holidays makes me feel sad, so sending him a little something extra would be so nice - make me feel a little better about their sacrifices and maybe make him happy too!

Thanks! Have a great week-
Brandi White
Brandiwhite@comcast.net

patti_cake said...

You are a wonderful teacher and your hand-outs are so unique and memorable. So what if you "choke" in the classroom from time to time. It will get better. I am sure those girls know how much you think of them if no other way than by how you go all out for them!

chrisg said...

You know that when you are asked to give a lesson or a talk that it is to benefit you just as much as anyone else because you learn as you prepare. How many people have you seen give a lesson and fumble a bit and no one cares?? So doesn't matter does it? I would love to be in your class you are really teaching these girls to let their talents shine!!

Pam said...

Dang girl I have no idea how you do it all! You are such a huge inspiration! Love the little candy wrappers! And those girls are so so lucky to have you!

So glad you had a nice long chat with Chad!

Briana said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! You are a terrific teacher! Your giving personality just oozes and I'm sure those young women can sense that! You are so good at what you do!

So glad you got to IM with Chad!

Heather D. White said...

HEY LOOK..IT'S US! It was so fun to sit and chat with you and your hubby while you were here in Utah! You are GREAT! I am so glad that you liked the block idea...and they turned out GREAT! You are such an awesome teacher. And the magnet boards look great and I'm sure your bishop was thrilled. I am glad that you are happy with them. You have to make sure and let me know if you guys are up here in Utah again...we'll have to do dinner! :-)

Missy's Blog said...

Jolene ... I am so, so excited!! I am at my MIL's house in Florida and she has high speed internet. I can finally visit your blog again and leave comments!! I am sooooo gonna get caught up. Just wanted to say "hey" and let you know I was here. Missy

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Jolene, what cute projects & gifts you gave those girls. I'm sure you are a wonderful teacher, so don't be so hard on yourself. You will be used no matter what! Do the best you can do & it will all work out fine. You have been very busy with all those little details. It's all so cute!

xo,
Rhoda

Andi said...

And I'm right here behind Missy and Rhoda!

Jolene, every time I read about the wonderful lessons you prepare for the young women I'm amazed. And yes, there is always, always, always something to be grateful and thankful for. I'm grateful I met you through your blog.

So glad you got to talk with your Chad.

Love & Hugs, Andi

bs honey said...

I know that you miss Chad terribly and your spirits have just got to be soaring after talking with him for a long period of time. I'm so happy for you.
Don't you beat yourself up over "thinking" you goofed on your young womens class. I'm sure it's not what you "think" you didn't say; but what you say and do that really matters to these girls.

Blessings

ellen said...

Suggestion: I like sending Christmas stories to missionaries/servicemen.

Cassandra said...

Gosh! Does your talent ever end?! Everything is great! I especially live the vinyl signs for the girls. I've ordered two vinyl sayings for my walls after seeing your home and now I think I'm going to have to get some more! I love it! I wish you were Mia's YW teacher! I'm so glad you were able to talk with Chad...

Valerie said...

amazing stuff you've done, missy! and i'm SO glad you got a nice long chat with your boy, too!

Jacquie said...

Such great ideas! How exciting that you got to talk to Chad, how warm your heart must of felt.

Nikki *Ü* said...

Incredible handouts!! And I love the object lesson!!! I'll need to remember that for Primary. Cute picture of you and Heather. I think you BOTH look great!!!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You are amazing!
With all you have going on you still find time to give of yourself so graciously.
I enjoyed your lesson as well... the piece of candy and the pebble was a great idea. We all need to remember that one.

Chickenbells said...

What a beautiful lesson taught! I am so happy that you discovered IM-ing...it is both fun and addicting, isn't it? Have a very happy Thanksgiving...I can't wait to see the spread...

Lou said...

some great ideas - thank you for sharing

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