Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You are a Soul.

I love this quote. love. love. love it! I know it's been dormant around here, but I think of you often. I am trying to decide where to go with Pearls as we're not receiving enough personal stories to share even weekly. We have had some great q & a's over on Facebook, though! If you have a suggestion for Pearls please feel free to share it! Thank you!

Go ahead and ponder on the following thought... and have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Activity for Kids, part 2

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Pretty much anything that squirts water is a huge hit around here, but these water blasters (I don’t know what they’re really called) top them all! I particularly like that they are simple enough that I don’t have to do more than fill their buckets with water. These pictures of my 3 year old pretty much sum up how much my boys love them! (I couldn’t get a decent picture of my 4 year old, but know he’s the one squirting his brother!) First thing each morning since we got them from the dollar store, my 4 year old wakes up and asks for a bucket of water to play with. It’s been great motivation to get him to change out of his pajamas, help with a few chores and at least brush his teeth! Sometimes, they will just go through bucket after bucket of just shooting the grass and not even each other! The7june 108 y aren’t very durable, however… if they hit the cement hard enough – they’ll shatter. But for $1, it’s worth getting backups! These would go great with a wading pool and a fun hose attachment/sprinkler, but we’re waiting until it gets just a little warmer (and by “we”, I mean “I”… I despise the cool air after swimming or playing with water!) I also have to dig their pool out of storage… (and by “I” I mean “my husband”).

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What are your favorite things to do in the summer?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Activity for Kids

Easy Homemade Sidewalk Paint

I found the recipe at Petit Elephant. My boys, ages 3 and 4, loved it and we didn’t even have paintbrushes, so they just used their hands (and feet)! I wanted to do a test run to see how it worked, but I’m going to get paintbrushes for this summer. This adds variety to our at-home outdoor activities, and would be fun with friends and neighborhood kids. It really did dry up like chalk and rinsed right off their hands and feet! I noticed that my 3 year old’s hands had a bit of green tint to them though… I’m wondering if I didn’t mix it well enough, and if there was a pocket of food coloring…?! That’s the only con to it… but paintbrushes would solve that, and to be completely honest, I don’t care about the greenish tint because he was obviously having a great time outside! Be sure to visit Petit Elephant for the recipe and further instruction!

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Bodies are Temples

While attending BYU-Hawaii, I changed my major 3 times! When I first arrived on campus as a young 18 year old girl, fresh out of high school, I thought I wanted to be a Psychologist, that lasted about a semester. Then, I wanted to be a Special Ed teacher...which lasted 2 years!! However, it wasn't until after I had my first 2 sons that I realized what my true passion in life was. I loved living a healthy lifestyle! I have always been very active whether it was playing sports, running, or lifting weights. I have also been very concerned with how and what I fed my body.

I knew I wanted a career in which I could make a difference but still be with my growing family. I finally graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology and have been so blessed by the lives I've been able to help change. My goal as a Personal Trainer and a Clinical Exercise Specialist has never been to get my clients "skinny" or to reach a certain weight in a short amount of time. It was to help them realize the importance of BEING healthy and LIVING healthy lives. I had to change their way of thinking. It was no longer about counting calories but understanding that our bodies are machines and it was up to us to fuel them properly. When my clients understood this, they began to look at food and exercise in a whole new light. And guess what? THAT'S when the weight came off! In 18 years I have never had a client NOT reach their goals or MY goals for them!

I have also been able to use my career as a sort of missionary tool if you will. I would often share with them that our bodies are like temples. We would never walk up to the Pantheon in Rome and spray paint it. Or do the same to the Salt Lake City Temple. These are beautiful buildings and to desecrate them in any way is disrespectful to all the people who built them. Heavenly Father has GIVEN us OUR bodies while we're here on earth.

One reason we came to earth was to gain physical bodies. President Brigham Young declared, “Our mortal bodies are all important to us; without them we never can be glorified in the eternities that will be” (Discourses of Brigham Young [1954], 56).

Although our bodies will be glorified in eternity, in this life they suffer from sickness, disease, pain, and injury. Some are temporarily handicapped. Others are crippled for life. But whatever their condition, our bodies are important to us because they help us progress toward perfection.

Man is both a spiritual and physical being; the physical and spiritual cannot be separated. Our spirits cannot reach their full potential without the support and strength of the body. We should develop ourselves spiritually and intellectually, but also remember to develop ourselves physically.

President David O. McKay stated: “The healthy man, who takes care of his physical being, has strength and vitality; his temple is a fit place for his spirit to reside. … It is necessary, therefore, to care for our physical bodies, and to observe the laws of physical health and happiness” (“The ‘Whole’ Man,” Improvement Era, Apr. 1952, 221).

Below are a few of the benefits we'll gain through living healthy lives:

We are able to serve better

The healthier we are, the more capable we are of serving others and bringing happiness to them and ourselves.

We Are Better Leaders

Because leaders need strength and energy to fulfill their callings, they need to be as healthy as possible.

We Feel Better about Ourselves and Others

When we keep our bodies healthy, we feel good about ourselves and have enthusiasm for our work. We also have more patience, love, and kindness for others.

We Are Able to Provide for Ourselves and Our Families

The healthier our bodies are, the better able we are to work and thus provide for ourselves and our families.

Remember too, that our children pick up on our habits, whether they're healthy or unhealthy. As women and mothers, Heavenly Father has blessed us with the opportunity of watching over His children while they're here on earth. We should make it our first priority in making sure they are healthy: spiritually, mentally AND physically!


Kris is a wife to a handsome Kiwi and mother to 4 amazing boys. She loves being at home with her family, and working as a Clinical Exercise Specialist and Chiropractic Assistant. Kris is living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and dreams of someday returning home to Hawaii.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Welcome, New Life

Well, do you want to meet the precious little man who has been keeping me away from Pearls?

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Luke Ho’oikaika, born May 7th

He’s doing well, and has been a good baby. His brothers adore him, and it feels like he’s always been a part of our family! I think I am finally regaining enough brain cells to resume Pearls! =)

Roxie also had her beautiful baby boy! Meet her little man…


Tayson Owen, born May 11th

Please be patient as I try to re-find balance in my life!


What tips and pointers do you have for three children (all boys!)?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Small and Simple Things - LinkUp!

Take a moment to find and capture a little something that made your heart smile! We all need to be reminded that life is good, and I'm sure we can all do a little better to find the positive in our lives. Were you able to find a moment of gratitude during a crazy day? Share a thought you had this week, or a visual moment you were able to capture in a photo!

Create a Small and Simple Things post on your own blog, and share it via the Linky Tool or share your thoughts in the comments! We may feature your photo or thought here on Pearls!

We love being outdoors! We don't necessarily have to be in the mountains, per say, but when it's warm and the sun is shining, it feels great to be in it! Even though the entire gallon jug of bubble "juice" was spilled, we still enjoyed ourselves! -Alicia

PEARLS for Latter-day Saint Women

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


“Do you have talents in taking photographs, making videos, or creating other types of media? This site will help you share your media with the Church and other members… The Church needs your help to meet its worldwide media needs. is where you can learn how to share your media talents with the Church and other members.” (Image is the current Photo of the Week)

Personally, I am very excited about this new branch of the Church website! I am going through the photos on my external hard-drive to see what I can find, and see who I can get to sign a simple model release. =) I feel good about helping out in this capacity, and think the whole thing is just brilliant! And I’m not gonna lie, it’s fun to see the faces of friends and family in a church magazine or website (speaking of, you can find my sweet grandparents on page 92 of the May Ensign… top left-hand corner – yep, that’s them!).

I know at least a handful of you are incredible photographers, and I think this is a great way to share your talents to “help build the kingdom”! This will also be a great tool for Family Home Evenings, Sunday School Lessons, Blogs *ahem* and other such things… so if you feel so inclined to participate – just do it! (Insert Nike Check Here…)


Monday, May 30, 2011

Safety and Peace

When I found out my husband would be deploying for a third time, I was devastated.

We had only been married 8 months. He had just gotten back from a deployment to Iraq 9 months earlier. It didn’t help that we just found out I was pregnant. I felt angry. How could Heavenly Father do this to us? I know it is my husband’s job to deploy, but I just wasn’t ready for it so soon. I felt fearful for my husband’s safety. All I could think about was what if he gets hurt? What if he gets killed? It was all I could think about 6 months before he deployed. I remember many sleepless nights trying to get horrible images of him dying out of my head.

Two weeks before he deployed we went to his parents’ house. His father asked if he wanted a blessing. The blessing specifically told my husband that if he lived the gospel, he would be able to preserve his life and the life of his men. This was an answer to my prayers.

After the blessing I was able to relax. I knew that everything was going to be ok. My husband would come home safe. My mother in law recorded the blessing and printed out copies for me and my husband. I look at the blessing at least once a month.

I have the wonderful gift of feeling at peace when my husband is in a war zone. I remember one time when my husband’s unit was on a blackout (A blackout is when someone gets wounded or killed and the army shuts down all forms of communication). I hadn’t talked to my husband in over a week. This was very abnormal. Even though I felt sad that I wasn’t able to talk to him, I felt comfort in knowing he was safe.

I feel very blessed that Heavenly Father gave my husband such an amazing promise. I know that my husband will be safe until he comes home. I feel so blessed to have the priesthood in my life. I am so grateful for fathers blessing. I know they come from Heavenly Father. He loves each and every one of us.


Katherine is a stay at home mom to an adorable 6 month old. She loves being a mom. She is currently going back to school to become a radiology technician. She has been married to her husband for two years. Her husband gets home from his third deployment in less then a month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Talk to me Tuesday with Christy Tilton... a Miltary Wife

Let's learn a little bit of what it's like to devote your life to our Country...

Nathan and Christy are living in the panhandle of Florida now. We have been stationed here more than 2 years, in the United States Air Force. Nathan is from Pennsylvania and southern Arizona. Christy is from Arizona and New Mexico. Nathan works in Logistics on base, and is currently serving over seas. Christy, is an elementary music teacher and middle school band director at a local charter school.

Pearls: Can you tell us a little about your spouse who serves in the military?

Nathan is a man of high integrity and is a great leader. He grew up wanting to be a pilot, yet was unable to fly due to a medical issue. He still wanted to serve in the Air Force, and chose to go ahead with his plans. His honor and duty to his God and his country, his family, and his friends are foremost in priority.

Pearls: What is it like being a spouse to a soldier?

We had been married for about 2 1/2 years when we made the decision together for Nathan to pursue his dream of the Air Force. Because we made this choice together, I was able to join forums, attend his ROTC classes, and had time to ask any and all questions prior to even entering the Air Force. This has made being a military spouse easier than I would think most spouses have it. I didn't marry into it and know nothing prior. Another thing, there is a lot expected of those in the military, and as a spouse, I have to be willing to let him go and do whatever and whenever. Sometimes, being a military spouse is just being the "arm candy" for your spouse, making sure to look great, act appropriately, and know who all the bosses are. It can be fun, yet when the others get rowdy, it can be uncomfortable.

Pearls: What was the 3 most surprising (can be either good or bad or both!) things about being a military wife?

1-there is a Relief Society type organization for military spouses in the Air Force to aid in looking out for each other, especially in deployment circumstances! 2-though the medical care is free, it's horrible most times. I've been dealing with a bum knee for over a year and the doctors are taking their time in figuring out what is wrong. There is so much red tape they have to go through with insurance. 3-there are many forms of support and help for military families: forums, organizations, support groups, and clubs. It doesn't matter what you are dealing with, there is always a place to find help.

Pearls: How do you and your soldier keep your marriage strong with such distance between the both of you?

We have had half the world between us many times in our nine years of marriage. The earliest times apart, were the hardest and when we made the most mistakes. Now, we make sure to have a set schedule of scripture reading and prayer. We make sure to pray each time we get to talk, we started the time apart with prayer, and we read the same scriptures on the same day. We are completing the Book of Mormon in 1 month! Our goal is to complete the standard works while he is gone. We also do our best to ensure our conversations are always positive. Whining about the awful side of being apart just makes us both feel bad.

Pearls: What is it like being an military family as members of the church?

Living in an area that does not have a high LDS population, is always hard, especially after being raised in the west. At church, a lot of the member population is military, especially this close to 2 bases. It's nice having that kind of support and understanding from other going through the same things. At work on base, the other military member don't understand or have as much of a tolerance of the differences in those that are LDS. When the squadron goes out, they have a hard time understanding why we don't drink, or other things. Yet, they try to take advantage of our "soberness" by expecting us to be the designated drivers. Serving in callings is hard because you are not in one place for very long, so as soon as you get settled into the calling, things change, either with you or someone else that's military.

Pearls: How do you feel that the church is supporting you and your husband in your service to our country?

A lot of my answer for #5 can be used here. Being so nears base helps because most of the ward is military families. They have experience and are willing to help. Also, having the gospel in our lives, gives us strength to push past the hardships of being military. Overall, I am extremely proud to be married to the man I am, and for his desire to serve his country the way he does. I am also proud to be his wife, a lot of people in town thank the active duty members, but there are also quite a few who know of the sacrifice that spouses make as well and express their gratitude to us spouses as well.

As part of this interview, we contacted Christy's husband, Nate, (without Christy knowing!!) and asked him if he'd like to add anything to this interview.

This is what he wanted to say:
"Every morning when I head back to my tiny little piece of home here in the sandbox, I rest easy because of my wife. I do not have to worry like many other men do. My wife supports me being deployed. This is not to say she likes it. But, She always is quick to give support via phone or email. She takes care of the bills, the house, the yard, routine vehicle maintenance, and any other thing that could go wrong. "

"She has had to let go of so much of what she wants so I can be out here. It takes a strong woman to be able to do it. Many of my fellow service members deploy with bad marriages and go home to no marriage. But because of my wife's faith and supportiveness, I feel our relationship growing emotionally and spiritually. Even thought we are on opposite sides of the world, I still feel the spirit and the connection that we share as an eternal couple even thought we can't go to church, attend the temple, or spend a lazy sunday reading together."

"The bottom line is that I would not be able to serve like I am, without having the wife that I have. I love her with all my heart."

** Christy & Nate, thank you for helping us understand a fraction of what you both go through as you make big sacrifices for our freedom! **

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beginning Memorial Week: A tribute to soldiers & their families

This week, LDS Pearls is honoring an elite group of people that pay a huge sacrifice for our Country each day.  There are not enough Thank You's out there that can be said for what they give up for our freedom.  Despite the political conflict happening all over the world, these soldiers & their families are out there serving us.  We want to honor them for the next week and prepare for the coming Memorial Day!


We'd like to include you in on this special week long tribute!! 

If you'd like to honor someone or a family please send an email to: & we'll post these tributes on Monday, May 30th, 2011. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Addition!

Hey Everyone! The reason that the post is so late today is that the amazing creator of this site delivered a beautiful baby boy this weekend! What a wonderful Mother's day gift she received! Congratulations Alicia!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Tribute to My Mother

My beautiful mother with  her three girls (she is the  mother of  6, the other 3 are boys)

Thank you for not giving in when you knew what was best, even when I threw a royal fit about my curfew; I understand now that you were protecting me.

Thank you for “making” me doing hard things even when I really really didn’t want to; I know now that you were preparing me to succeed in life.

Thank you for being consistent in living the gospel, even though waking me up at 6am for family scripture study was probably the worst part of both of our days; I know now you were helping me develop righteous habits.

Mom with 2 of her grandsons
I hope to be half the mother that you are to me. You are a source of strength and stability. You are an example of faithfulness and obedience. You may not be perfect (yet!), but you are the perfect mother for me.

All of my love and thanks,
Your oldest child,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Small and Simple Things Thursday - Link Up!

Take a moment to find and capture a little something that made your heart smile! We all need to be reminded that life is good, and I'm sure we can all do a little better to find the positive in our lives. Were you able to find a moment of gratitude during a crazy day? Share a thought you had this week, or a visual moment you were able to capture in a photo!
Create a Small and Simple Things post on your own blog, and share it via the Linky Tool or share your thoughts in the comments! We may feature your photo or thought here on Pearls!

Sometimes it's in those moments of doing small and simply things that you realize they are the big things....
Its mornings like this one, of simply playing cars with my son.
I'm grateful to be a mother.

There's something about driving around town with your windows rolled down! It may be silly, but that truly brings me JOY! It signals the start of SPRING! -Brittani

I am so excited and grateful that it is finally warm enough to do this! -Alicia

PEARLS for Latter-day Saint Women

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Running On Empty

When I was in college, me and a coupe of friends decided to drive from our home in California out to Utah for general conference.

The drive was going perfectly for a while. We were dancing to N'Sync, singing and talking all about how great it would be to attend conference in person. When we reached Vegas, we still had plenty of gas and decided to try and reach St. George, UT before refilling our tank. Let's just say that we severely underestimated how far it was to get from point A to point B. In the middle of the desert, we passed a gas station, but the gas was so expensive and we still thought that we could make it to the next big town.

As we got closer to St. George, the car started protesting as it was in desperate need for fuel. My friend suggested that we say a prayer to make it safely to the next town for gas. The car was starting to putter to a stop when we spotted a gas station in the distance. We ended up coasting into the station as the tank was absolutely empty. As we pulled into the station, scared and grateful at the same time, my friend noticed that the gas at this station was about a dollar cheaper than the gas out in the desert. Having a great sense of humor, my friend stated "I think that Heavenly Father just wanted us to save on gas money, so he got us here!"

I was so grateful that we were able to fill our tank and make it to conference in time. I also learned not to procrastinate the next time we needed fuel. I know that this is such a small experience, but it really helped to build my faith in Heavenly Father and to know that he was mindful of me.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday, Marie Ricks

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Meet Marie Ricks, founder of House of Order. She’s an author and professional organizer. Marie is all sorts of amazing, and a fountain of knowledge. If you have a goal to simplify – she’s your lady! If you ever have the opportunity to hear her speak – take it! We are honored that she was willing to share some of her thoughts and advice with our readers! Talk about “Pearls”… this woman’s got ‘em!  Enjoy!

Pearls: What does it mean to be a “Professional Organizer”?

Marie: A professional organizer helps people find order in their homes and their workplaces. Often, it is a simple change in routine. Other times it is reordering their work spaces to accommodate their personal style. Lastly, it usually means a change in their routines.
It is an occupation that I love and that is stimulating because everyone’s needs, styles, and challenges are so different.

Pearls: You obviously enjoy it and are amazing at it, but what got you into it?

Marie: I began organizing in 1986 when I began teaching organization classes at mcr02local community center. Since then I teach, write, and do personal organization coaching. I’ve seen a lot of rubble, trash, and treasures. I’ve helped people decide what can go, what must go, and what can and should be saved.

Pearls: Of all the areas to be organized… self, family, home… which do you think it most important, and why?

Marie: Organizing yourself is always the first step, whether or not it is most important. Unless you conquered your personal organization, you can’t get the cooperation of anyone else.
The first place to start is making your bed every morning. Not because making a bed, in and of itself, is important, but all change requires a shift in habit.
I start with my clients with bed making and then we work outward from the master bedroom to the home office and then the kitchen and then to the public areas of the house and then to the hidden corners.

Pearls: Will you give us a couple of tips on cleaning our kitchens?

hofoMarie: Yes: finish. And finish fixing the meal before you begin serving it. This means getting the cabinets cleared and wiped down, the preparation dishes in the  sink soaking or in the dishwasher. It means finishing enough that you eat with your family, not begin your meal when they are eating dessert. Remember, you are not the maid.
Then, after the meal, don’t leave the kitchen until you have finished cleaning up from the current meal (hopefully with the help of one other person). There is no worse work than work done alone.

 Pearls: How can being organized increase our spirituality?

Marie: Because being organized makes you nice to be around.

Pearls: Besides organizing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Marie: I like to tackle hard things. I just finished learning about psychology statistics and found that doing so has increased my world into new dimensions I didn’t know existed.

Pearls: How do you maintain your relationship with Heavenly Father?

Marie: I have a daily morning routine of prayer, scripture study, journaling and exercising (without headphones so I can listen for answers). It has been the mainstay of my life to do what He needs first and do what else needs doing next.

Pearls: What do you think is most important to teach our children so that they can be spiritually strong in this chaotic world?

Marie: The routines of personal prayer, personal scripture study, personal cyw journaling (all of these with a lot of support and supervision when they are young). Then lay the foundation with family prayer and family home evening. Finally, set the example with temple attendance. What you do and what you are is what they will do and what they will become.
With these routines, they will be safe and strong.

Pearls: Do you currently have a ward calling? What is it? What is one suggestion you have for anyone who may ever receive that calling?

Marie: I am a visiting teaching supervisor in my ward and a visiting teacher. I currently serve with my husband at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah where he serves as a branch presidency member in a Thai/English branch, which means we don’t attend our home ward but are at the MTC on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
If at all possible, accept each and every calling you receive. They are from God and will help you grow up and out in ways you could never dream.

Pearls: What’s your favorite scripture, and why?

Marie: “Oh, be wise. What can I say more?” Jacob 6:12 This scripture says all I want to be and still am not. It is encouraging and yet direct. It gives me hope!

For more tips, and information on organizing your life, follow Marie on Facebook and visit the House of Order website!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Feel Like I’ve Stumbled Upon Buried Treasure!

General Conference Have you been reading/rereading/listening to the General Conference talks? I have listened to a few and am impressed that I can keep getting something new out of a talk I’ve already heard!

While they were all inspiring, here are my personal favorites from April 2011 (and the link to listen/read them):

The Atonement Covers All Pain – Kent F. Richards

LDS Women are Incredible – Quentin L. Cook

Establishing a Christ-Centered Home – Richard J. Maynes

Desire – Dallin H. Oaks

The Spirit of Revelation – David A. Bednar

The Eternal Blessings of Marriage – Richard G. Scott

“As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten” – D. Todd Christofferson

What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be? – Lynn G. Robbins

Okay, so there were a few more than I thought there would be! But really, there is so much truth and guidance in all of the talks that I start to feel like I can actually do this! We have been given the counsel and tools to succeed in this life! And these are just from April 2011 General Conference! When I search through the archives of past General Conferences I find PEARLS! =)

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like they’ve stumbled upon buried treasure when they learn something new and inspiring, especially when it will make life more simple or answers a question they’ve been wondering about…?!

What are some of your favorite General Conference talks, recent or past?



Friday, April 29, 2011

Heeding the Call to be Self Reliant

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We have been prompted by several generations of Prophets to be prepared, provident, frugal, hard working and self reliant. With each General Conference session, the same pleadings from our General Authorities are heard.

As Latter-day Saint woman, particularly those of us who are mothers, we have a sacred responsibility to teach our children and create a sanctuary in our homes. The home should be a place of refuge, peace, comfort and security from the trials of the outside world. The home is where the foundation of faith is laid. We have been given principles and teachings that, if used in our homes, can provide some protection from the spiritual attacks that we encounter each and every day. Our physical welfare is equally important to our Heavenly Father. He has provided temporal council, like the Word of Wisdom, to protect us from some of the physical challenges of this world.

So why is it that the simple council to be self reliant is so often disregarded? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that for all of these years we have not experienced the types of trials that we expect would cause need for real preparation. Our country seems to be blessed with food. Our economy, although weakening, still supports jobs and our optimistic attitude keeps us hoping that “all is well.”

Unfortunately, all is not well. Our homes, our communities, our states, our country and our world is facing moral, social, and economic challenges at a magnitude that has probably never been experienced before. The Constitution of our country hangs by a thread and governments of many other countries are near collapse. There are wars, rumors of wars, famines, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and pestilence. If we believe that our Heavenly Father is a kind and merciful God, then we must believe that he would guide us through-not prevent us from- our greatest trials. We must believe that he has a plan. But most important we must be willing to follow the council of His Prophets. We may not know the reason why the Lord continually urges the Saints to be self reliant. We may not know when we will need to use all that we have prepared, but we must never doubt that the Lord knows. There will be a reason, a time and a need. The Lord would never waste your time or your money. Have faith that, in the Lord’s time, all things will come to pass, the good and the bad. May we each have the faith to do the work He has asked of us in preparing our homes and our children to be self reliant.

Kai is the mother of 3 beautiful children. She is a flight attendant and an Independent Consultant with Shelf Reliance. Learn more about ways to be self reliant on her blog, Shelf Reliant Living.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Need to Work When Your Heart Says 'Home'

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Working. Mom. The two are just about synonymous to me. Show me a mom that doesn’t work and I’ll show you how I can glow in the dark. Now if you’re meaning a woman who is a mom AND an employee at the same time, we can talk. I’ve recently entered that realm, myself.

My entire life my plan was to be a stay-at-home mom. Sure I would dream of being a veterinarian, a disc jockey or a storm chaser for a while – but I knew my career would be motherhood, and it was never a question. The path wasn’t smooth, but I made it; a divorce, second marriage, two miscarriages, and nearly two and a half years of trying to conceive and I finally become a mother just a few short weeks before my 26th birthday (I always figured I’d be about on my third kid by that age). So really, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I found myself needing to go back to work full-time, right?


Dead wrong.

If you had told me two or three months ago that I would soon be working full-time, I would have told you to take a hike. I would have told you I would live under a bridge before leaving my baby. I would have told you I would never do it – no way, no how! And I would have been wrong.

My husband lost his job at the beginning of February, and a month later with no leads I was calling up my good friend, Mike, who is also a recruiting manager for my previous employer. I left on good terms with the company, having gone on maternity leave and then discontinuing my employment to stay home with my baby (forever, I’d hoped). Mike told me there was a part-time job available from 8:00 pm to 12:00 am and I could have it if I wanted. Luke and I spoke about it and decided it would be a good move: a little extra money coming in and very little time away from Porter. I decided that it would be really tough, but I could do it.

I transitioned easily back to the company. In a way it felt like leaving my regular home to spend some time at my second home. I could do this. I desperately missed putting Porter to bed at night, but I could manage. I still had the whole day with him.

A few weeks later, I started feeling like it would be prudent for our family to have benefits, as our medical coverage from Luke’s former employer ran out at the end of February, and we went through March on prayers that no one would get sick. I then embarked on a hesitant journey of exploring the option of working full-time. I couldn’t believe I was considering it. I second-guessed myself constantly. Were the benefits and extra pay worth the time away from my child? Was I being selfish in wanting that little bit of security for my family?

I considered a graveyard position, working 2:00 am to 10:00 am, thinking somehow I could be Superwoman and work full-time in the middle of the night and then come home and be an effective mother. After a lot of thought, prayer, and scratching out Pros vs. Cons lists, I realized Zombie Mom was not what my son needed.

Our bishop came by our house one evening to let Luke borrow his Bobcat to move some gravel. Bishop and I chatted on the front porch and I had told him of the graveyard shift I was considering. He told me (with the disclaimer that he was advising me not as a church leader, but just his personal opinion) that if he were in my place, he would try to find a normal day job with normal day hours and find a babysitter for Porter. At first, I was shocked – haven’t we been counseled that mothers are primarily responsible for the care and nurturing of their children? How could I be the primary caretaker if I was gone all day, five days a week? My heart hurt and mind raced, but what he said next made sense. He told me that my most important relationship was with my husband. If I was working odd hours, we would essentially become ships that pass in the night, and ships aren’t known for their excellent marriages. Bishop told me that if I could have a good relationship with my husband, things would be okay; if my relationship with him deteriorated, the rest of our family would follow.

I got back in touch with Mike, but of course by this point all of the normal, daytime positions were filled. Slightly exasperated, I said, “Mike! They just need to create an assistant position for you and then you need to interview me for it!” With a smile he replied, “Funny you should say that…”

As it turned out, he had just received approval that day from his boss to create a part-time position that would assist him in his hiring responsibilities. Of course I thought this was great, but I expressed to him that the main reason I was considering transferring from my night shift to a daytime position with the company was to have benefits for my family. The next day, he came back and let me know he could offer it to me full-time, after all.

I still didn’t jump at it. I had wanted to work with Mike just about from the time I first started with the company in the fall of 2008. It was more money per hour and the company had excellent benefits – but could I leave my child? Was I pursuing something out of self-interest? Was I looking for a way to escape the everyday mundane tasks of being a stay-at-home mom? Was I looking for a distraction from the stress at home related to job loss and financial upset? Would Porter hate me forever for leaving him? Would God hate me forever for leaving my son?

I accepted the offer, but still felt slightly unsure. I put up two pictures of Porter at my desk and set a photo of him as the wallpaper on the brand new shiny laptop the company gave me. I left my heart at home each morning when I walked out the door.

It has only been a month, but I am grateful I don’t question myself anymore. I am grateful for the most incredible, sensitive boss I could ever hope to be blessed with. I am grateful for the flexibility this full-time position has offered me. Need to work from home for a few hours because I can’t find a sitter for Porter? No problem. Need to take a few hours off because I need some Mommy time with my best little bud? Take it.

I am also grateful that the Lord prepared me for this difficult decision – one, He knew I would have been too dead set against even a couple of months ago to consider. He helped me transition to a part-time job, and then helped me transition from there to what I had always considered the unthinkable: being a full-time employee and mother.

The key for me has been to realize that I am not the first woman to have to leave her child or children to go to work; nor will I be the last. My own grandmother became a widow when she was 28 years old and was left to raise three young children on her own. Life is hard, and the sooner I get over being offended by that, the more effective I can be. I am a woman. I am a daughter of God who loves and provides for me. I can do this. I can do anything.

It’s hard. Every day it is hard and I am exhausted. This change came at the right time, though. I have just finished nursing Porter for good, so I did not have to give anything up abruptly. I get to put him to bed again at night. I have a few precious hours in the evenings to enjoy his eight-tooth grin and laugh when he speaks his own version of “please” and “thank you”. I know these small things are tender mercies. I still leave my heart at home every day, but my mind is so occupied with my rewarding, busy job that I am left with little time to think of where I’m not. When I am home, though, my time there is very sweet. And best of all, I know my little boy still loves me.

Adrienne Knighton
Adrienne is the stepmom of 10 year old Austin, the regular mom of 1 year old Porter, and the BFF of Lucas since 2005. She is from Virginia but is currently enjoying life in Provo, Utah. She loves writing, singing, playing video games and making others laugh.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Meet the Team

Want to know who is behind Pearls? Have you wondered who you would be sending your stories to? Come Meet the Team! It takes a bunch of awesome women to keep Pearls running (relatively) smoothly, so come get to know us a little better! (Click here, or click on the link below "About" in the menu bar)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Talk to me Tuesday- Tiffany Bird

Meet Tiffany from Simply Modern Mom . She is a very talented mother of 2 beautiful (soon to be 3) little girls, that was looking for more than her motherly duties!  Check out how she shares how to make the most out of our lives by simplifying it! She shares tips on how to make crafts, how to simplify throwing a party for kids, and even how to make traveling with kids more enjoyable!  Don't forget to look into her new challenge of 2011: Glimpse into Motherhood!

Pearls: First, How did you come up with Simply Modern Mom? 

Tiffany: After adjusting to being a mother of two, I came to the realization that I spent most of my days feeding people and changing diapers. I knew that was part of being a mother, but I also knew I had more in me as a woman. I had a degree in print journalism and loved writing. So I first started Simply Modern Mom as a way to share my crafty ideas. And since there were a ton of crafty sites out there, I decided to change focus to something I was passionate about and knew could help others. So I redirected Simply Modern Mom to become a site that simplified the lives of modern moms. I never did give up the crafty stuff, I just added the mom stuff on top of it.

Easter Tutorial: Check out her weekly craft tutorial on Tiffany's blog!

Pearls: Last year you did a '52 dates' challenge, What did you learn from that experience and any tips for those that would want to try it out?

Tiffany: Project 52: Date Nights was one of the best things we've done for our marriage. It was an entire year of getting to know each other and coming up with weekly fun yet simple dates we did mostly at home. And best of all, we came out in the end with 52 wonderful date memories from last year. We learned so much about each other even though we've been married for a few years now. And it was our time to spend alone with each other, not having to worry about the kids. And my tip for those who want to try it would be to not give up. There will be weeks when both of your schedules are just insane and can't seem to fit in a date. Or you end up missing a date here or there. That's OK. Just pick it back up and keep going with it. It shows how much you value time with each other. And remember to keep it simple.

Pearls: What specials/ focuses are you doing on the blog this year?

Tiffany: I am always focused on creating posts that help simplify our busy lives with tips and lists. I am also often sharing tutorials of things I've made. This year, my big thing will be the reveal of my girls' bedroom makeover. And the Project 52 I am doing this year is a photography goal of featuring one photo a week of my Glimpse Into Motherhood.

Pearls: What do you enjoy most about blogging @ Simply Modern Mom?

Tiffany: Connecting with other mothers and getting to know my readers. I love it when people leave comments and share their ideas and stories with me. And whenever I receive personal emails from readers giving me feedback it makes my day.

Pearls: What are 3 things you like to do, 'just for you'?

Tiffany: (1) hang out with good friends (2) create and craft (3) learning and trying new things

Pearls: Do you have any tips on how to keep the spirit in your home on a daily basis?

Tiffany: Pray. Lots of praying. It's the only times when I can get my kids to be kind of reverent in our home. And I am also not afraid to talk about gospel topics with my children. This helps them to apply what they learned at church on Sunday. We would take what they learned on Sunday and bring it up here and there, without being overbearing, throughout the week.

Pearls: What are some things that you do with your girls to help them begin their testimony building?

Tiffany: I think one of the best ways for children, or anyone, to develop testimonies is to try to provide spiritual experiences. Give them opportunities to feel the spirit and then help them identify that it's the spirit they are feeling. For example, we recently had the rare opportunity to attend the open house of the newly remodeled Atlanta Temple. We took our kids there and they were able to walk through the inside of a temple. I don't think children are ever too young to create spiritual memories. 

Don't forget to visit Tiffany at Simply Modern Mom!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What I Learned About Food Storage

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When I got engaged 10 years ago, I honestly had no idea what Food Storage was.  I just knew that we had been told it was important.  The next day was 9/11/2001- which really stopped me in my tracks and changed things forever, especially how I thought about things.  My soon-to-be husband does construction, which is usually the first industry to halt during times of crisis and the last one to start up again after people feel comfortable.  Work comes and goes- and it looked like soon we'd be stopping for who knows how long.  This really got me interested and I wanted to read everything I could about what food storage is and how it works.

My now in-laws are experts at food storage- always experimenting with wheat and beans- these are so much more nutritious too.  My mother-in-law did a workshop for the ward and it really opened my eyes to what food storage was and what it can mean to a family.  For them it was a way of life- they never knew where that next job was coming from, and had 4 kids and their own parents to feed.

I learned that there are 4 parts to Food Storage:
1. 3-month supply of everyday foods
2. 1 year supply
3. water
4. savings

We started with water- watching for sales on jugs/containers and even some bottled.  We also know that in certain emergencies, our hot water heater can be cut off from the system and used.  The church also sells water filters and tablets- we got those for our 72-hour emergency kits.  Once we had all those, we knew we just had to keep those rotated so we do that with the General Conference schedule which is also when we do 72-hour kids updates (clothing, food, etc…).  Besides replacing bottled water, the refilling is basically the only part to worry about.

We also started to put away part of our paycheck each month- we saved $1000 for an emergency fund (and cover any deductibles that might need to be paid) and then a separate fund for an 8-month expenses savings.  If ever the emergency fund needed to be used (broken down cars, appliances, etc), then we'd rebuild that before going back to the 8-month fund.  I use an account on ING Direct- I can open a different account for each type of fund and see them all at a glance.  I can also direct deposit and put it away first before I even have to think about it- then I work with what's leftover.  But that's more with budgeting and a totally different topic!

I really didn't get into the food part until a few years ago- it hit me that I have 4 boys and in a matter of years, they are going to be eating constantly!  This is when my sister and I started learning how to coupon and save on items we needed to stock up on- 3-month supplies mostly.  Not everything on that link is what your family will use- only buy and store the things you will eat!  Make a list of your favorite recipes and the items you need- that will also give you a more personalized list.  Learn what the best prices are for those items and stock up when they are on sale.  If you can get one or two extra at a time when they are on sale, then you will soon have a good 3-month storage.  Last year we had 3-4 months where we were out of work, I was so glad we had this to live on.

There is a site I came across that really started to help me accept long-term food storage, because it was practical and taught how to use it on a daily basis- called  I started trying things out at home- I made a potato chowder completely from food storage items for my son's blessing gathering.  She also has a book that really spells out what to get and how to use it.  That lead to the bean butter cookies I recently did for my son's class- and the kids loved them, not one complaint.   Another site that is helpful and breaks it up into smaller steps is

Here in Hawai’i, we are always 1 disaster away from something big and the recent tsunami warnings have really hit this home for me.  We had a glimpse for a short while of what a dock strike would do- nothing would be coming in or out, or whenever something happens around the world it sends prices sky-high.  We can count a little on local farmers, but at that point demand would be so high that they'd hike prices as well.  I don't say this to scare you into doing Food Storage- it's just something that we have to be realistic about because we’re living in this vulnerable state.  Food prices are also increasing everywhere- so many of us will need to go back to basics.  These items are good for you and can save you money- a little more effort to prepare, such as bread, but you can do it for pennies instead of dollars.  This has been a great source of comfort to me- knowing I can feed my family if something were to happen with work or certain disasters. 

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (D&C 38:30) is a scripture that comes to mind and there is also a talk from 1995 by Elder L. Tom Perry, who talks about four ways to be prepared, and Food Storage is one of them.

Lindsay Pierce

Lindsey is a wife to her high school sweetheart (soon to be 10 years) and mom to 4 boys ages 8, 5, 3 and 20 months.  She enjoys all things Disney and helps families plan their trips as a Disney vacation planner and sharing with others how to live providently by using coupons and budgeting wisely.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why We Celebrate Easter Sunday

Amidst the hustle, bustle, egg dying and hunting, bunnies and baby chicks…

…Remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. Teach your children, grandchildren and any who you may have influence on, the real meaning of the Easter Holiday. Our Savior was resurrected! He lives! And because of that, we too will be resurrected! What a miracle! A miracle I will eternally be grateful for.

Take the time to read this wonderful message from President Thomas S. Monson from the April Ensign.

And here are two short videos to help us remember the Divine calling of our Savior.

Enjoy your family and yummy treats, but make sure your remember and that your children know why it is so important! =)

Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Traveling Husband

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Ever since my husband first started working, he’s had to travel for a week or two at a time at least every month, sometimes more. It has been a challenge for us as a couple and as a family. Most of the time we haven’t lived near extended family members, so we have had to learn to rely on each other and the Lord.

For a long time I found myself feeling like I was “getting through” the times he was out of town. When I really sat down and calculated the time that we were apart, I realized I didn’t want to spend that amount of my life just “getting through”. I wanted to enjoy my blessings and family, and live life to its fullest. Over the years, we’ve figured out how to make this time in our lives enjoyable, to look at the positive side, and to be grateful for the time we have together as a family. Here are some things that have helped us (and me!) find the joy in this part of our journey.

-Use Technology: We bought a webcam for my computer and my husband’s laptop. This enables us to gather around the computer almost every night my husband is gone and talk as a family. We’ve had family home evenings this way; the kids can show their Dad a school assignment or a new dance move they learned; he can tell them their bedtime story. Even our baby starts smiling and reaching for the screen when she sees her Daddy. This small investment has really been a great way to feel more in touch.

-My Mom (who faced this same situation many times as a young mother) told me to treat myself during these long weeks. She said it was cheaper than a shrink, and I think she’s right. I don’t try to expect too much out of myself during these weeks. The house isn’t always spotless (not that it is when my husband’s home!) We will sometimes eat out, have an easy dinner at home (my kids will tell you that they’ve even eaten cold cereal for dinner, but I will deny this), or go get a treat together. I rent chick-flicks to watch after the kids go to bed. This is fun for me, and I know my husband doesn’t miss seeing those at all! I will start fun projects: once, when my husband left for China, our family room wall was white; when he came home it was red (ok, maybe it was actually a scary salmon pink color, but eventually it ended up red).

-During the summer, I’ve planned weeks of fun with the kids where we visit museums, the zoo, and the pool. Then we pick their favorite thing we did to do with Dad when he returns.

-Carry on traditions: I still try and hold family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study, as well as any other routines we have when Dad is home. They aren’t fancy, or long, but the kids seem to do the best with their routines and they know what to expect no matter who is home.

-Safety: My husband has set up rules for himself as he travels, to help him avoid temptations. He doesn’t turn the tv on after certain hours and is careful to pick only channels he knows aren’t going to have anything indecent on. He doesn’t turn the tv on at all in foreign countries. He takes his scriptures to read, keeps busy working, exercising, and trying to eat healthy. This helps us trust each other when we are apart.

I’m grateful for a husband who works hard for our family, and for the fact that he has a good job, even if it means time apart. For the time being I know we can work together to make this an opportunity to grow together as a family and couple, and start enjoying the journey of our life together.

I also found these articles in the Ensign really helpful:
Business Travelers: Return With Honor
Road Warriors


Melissa is a stay at home Mom with 4 kids that keep her happily busy. She is in the process of moving her family from Utah to Colorado. She loves photography, dancing, and all things messy and fun with her kids.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I’ll Forever Be Grateful I “Hearkened”

Melissa Olivia Since the birth of my baby I would nurse her at night in bed. One night last week I had fallen asleep while feeding her and was in a deep sleep. I was dreaming and remember smelling the sweetest smell I have ever known.  And in a split second that sweet smell was changed to a burning smell. Almost as if someone was holding smelling salts to my nose. It abruptly woke me out of my sleep and I noticed I was smothering my baby and her arm was under me so she couldn't move. I panicked and picked her up and started moving her around to make sure she was breathing. She moved and awoke. Then I knew she was okay. I burst into tears with the guilt of what I could have done within just minutes or even seconds. I know without a doubt it was the Holy Ghost working his wonders to wake me to protect my infant.
I was so shaken I went to the living room to rock my baby and I just sobbed.

While sitting there I said a thankful pray in my heart to my Heavenly Father for the Holy Ghost and the wondrous ways He works. As I sat there, I remembered the talk I had just listened to during General Conference that previous Sunday by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. This quote stood out in my mind. "Let us learn to hearken to the promptings of the Spirit and then be eager to heed them."

It is estimated that an average of 64 babies under two years old die each year while sleeping with parents. Since that night I get out of bed to nurse my baby. Us busy mom's especially with more than one child do all we can to get sleep. But this experience taught me sleep is not worth the risk of my baby's life. I will always be thankful I was able to hearken and heed to the Spirit’s command.

Melissa F

Melissa is a mother of six, with only one son, ages 17 to 4 months old. She grew up in Roy UT and moved to Eagle Mountain when she married her sweet husband 4 years ago. She enjoys doing crafts of any kind and photography. She currently does not hold a calling in her ward but gives service any time she can.
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