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I am a mother of 5 and a grandmother of 5. I loved being a stay at home mom, my kids were the center of my life. Now they are all grown and out of my home I work part time in my husbands chiropractic office, volunteer with the Zambia Scholarship fund which provides sponsors for children in Zambia to attend school, college and then provides teachers with jobs in rural villages. I also teach an early morning seminary class and love doing fun things with my grandkids
My mother was visited by the missionaries years before I was born. They gave her a Book of Mormon and asked her to pray about it which she did. She received such a powerful witness that she wanted to join the church. There were no other members in the town we lived in and my dad opposed her being baptized. Finally after 7 years of study, prayer and sharing her great new faith with others she was baptized and went on to raise her 7 children in the faith. Although we were very few in numbers in our little town we grew in faith and knowledge of the truth. We held meetings in our home and then in larger places as others joined. I knew from a very young age that the Church was true! It's hard to explain just how I knew, I just did. The strongest confirmation came for me when I was 17 and I felt like my whole body was flooded with an absolute knowledge that God was in the Heavens, that Jesus Christ was my Saviour and that there was a true and Living Prophet on the earth today. My father did not join the rest of the family for 50 years but 9 years ago he was baptized and 8 years ago we knelt around the alter in the temple as a family, all 9 of us and were sealed for eternity. What a glorious day.
Being a stay at home mom gave me the chance to talk with my kids when they wanted to talk, and to listen in and avert dangers as they reared up. Most kids will open up when they are ready, but if you are not there you lose that opportunity to teach and guide them. Some might say once your children are raised that you are done! For me we are just on a roll. While the work of discipline and the daily tasks of teaching my grandchildren belong to their parents I feel I can still do much to strengthen my family. I look for opportunities to lift the load from their parents in some way, for instance it is easy for me after teaching my early morning class to run across the road to my daughters house and drive the older children to school each morning giving her more time with the younger ones. We have frequent sleep overs and look for fun things to do with our grandchildren so they enjoy being with us. Just this last Friday night it was a cold winter night and we were having the boys come for a sleepover so we pitched a tent in the living room, lit a fire in the fireplace and roasted marshmallows. We kept the lights out and armed them with flashlights and spent a wonderful evening telling them stories and listening to theirs and "camping" in the living room. They LOVE hearing stories about when we grew up. We have a "Grandma Getaway" each year where we spend time together and find fun activities to fill our days, and a "Grandparent Christmas Sleepover" Where we serve a candlight dinner on a beautiful table and play games we used to play with our parents when we were young. In the morning we decorate cookies and gingerbread houses and trains. Time with our children and grandchildren has always been a priority and making the time we spend together special goes a long way in keeping communication lines open thus strengthening our family.
Sometime ago on my youngest sons 4 th birthday our family were on vacation in Utah and went to an area called Hanging Rock in the American Fork Canyon. We were at the river and the children were playing in an area where the flow of the river was slow. My husband, his sister and I were sitting on a rock at the waters edge, talking and watching the children. My husband suddenly jumped up and gathered us all up and told us we needed to move. We went over to where the rest of the family were cooking meat and gathering. We did not really want to leave that ideal little spot but my husband had felt a strong impression that we needed to go, so we went. A very short time later a large bolder that had been dislodged by hikers on the cliff above came crashing down onto the rock where we had been sitting. We were saved by his obedience to the prompting he received from the Holy Ghost.
I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We all have the opportunity to serve in the church. I have served as a leader of women, youth and children and am currently teaching an early morning scripture study class for youth of high school age. I have been doing this for 9 years now and I LOVE it. I meet with the youth early each morning before they go to school and we spend an hour studying the scriptures, the doctrines of the church and the words of living prophets. It is SUCH a great start to each day. The kids love it too. It is not unusual to get a posting on facebook on a day we don't hold class with them saying they REALLY missed seminary that day.