Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution time (it's a start)

Tithing settlement was a beautiful way to end/start the year. The boys have both made New Year's resolutions to be full tithing payers. So we started a page for each in their journals where they keep track of their income (finding money.) Dylan turns 8 this year so it's really the age of accountability and we need to kick up our accounting around here. They both paid tithing last year, but we were not all on the same page as to what to do with tooth fairy money etc. They each declared that they were "part tithing payers" to the bishop. It wasn't devastating to them, it was just the truth. This is the first tithing settlement that they will remember. I'm sure I took Dylan when he was a baby, but two years ago I went by myself and last year I didn't even go.

I'm thankful for God's law of tithing and for church leaders, especially the one who took the time to talk to us as individuals even on his 20th wedding anniversary last Sunday. I love our last bishop, Bishop Schweikert, and I now love our new one, Bishop Patrick. I signed up last minute and took one of the last time slots of the day for tithing settlement. It was at 5:45pm on Sunday, which as it turns out, was his 20th wedding anniversary. The poor guy was running about an hour behind. Dylan and Isaac watched some "Mormon Messages" on YouTube on my phone while we waited. It was good. I wanted to be quick but he still took the full 15 minutes with us. He started out by asking each of us to tell a blessing we have noticed from paying tithing. He even pointed out two different blessings that Dylan and Isaac noticed. How amazing that he got that out of them! It was so sweet and he let Dylan pray to open the meeting then he said a beautiful prayer to close it. He prayed for each member of our family as individuals. I sure hope Dylan and Isaac listened as he spoke their names.

I'm a full tithe payer, and have been my whole life. It's easy for me because of the way I was brought up. My parents were/are good examples to me. My dad, in fact, thought that Federal Reserve Notes (normal paper money dollars) were not good enough for God so he somehow turned in gold and/or silver. They had me log every penny found into a log book. I had a piggy bang separated into 3 compartments. It was purple and was made out of cardboard. One slot for "self," one for "tithing" (the middle one so it would not get confused even if I put the top back on backwards), and the third was for "savings." Keeping track of my money was annoying. In fact, if I found a penny, I'd rather just leave it on the ground sometimes because it wasn't worth logging. I remember talking with my cousin Chrissy about not wanting to have to go chart a transaction so I didn't make it. I don't remember if she was giving me money for a birthday or if we wanted to go buy some candy or what it was. She thought I was nuts. But I was trained well and didn't cheat. I had to keep track of all of my money. I'm starting that with my kids. I'm not going to have them chart the outgoing money just yet, maybe when they turn 8. My dad said that's the age of Accountability, with the root word being "account" as in "accountant" etc.

I'm going to take a more active role in what my boys do.

Sometimes they play video games because I did not plan something else for them to do. Sometimes they read books or watch TV or whatever, not really all bad things to be doing, but idle things. If I do not plan, then life just happens and that's dull. I can blame the end of this past year on pregnancy/tiredness/laziness/stress etc, but I'm still the point at which change could have happened. So I'm going to plan more and will take responsibility. My kids are good kids, really, they are. I tell them my expectations of them, and they honor it, for the most part. Well, Tyler is the two-year-old, so I still have to pick my battles, but still, with planning and if they know what to expect, they play along. Kids thrive with structure. It's secure. It's safe.

I have not set out to do my own goals just yet, but am in the brainstorm process. I'll log on to my own blog/journal/personal family history here more than just putting things on Facebook. Those posts get lost. They seem so important at the time, but fall on deaf ears in the big picture.

More brainstorming:
meal planning > health, timing, convenience, new factored in some
physical > healthy pregnancy, post baby body, enough rest, active recreation
mental > read books to myself, listen to church general conferences instead of tv at night, read books to kids
social > play dates, individual play dates to cultivate deeper relationships instead of if I'm actually venturing out then I'll invite everyone I know, letters to missionaries/family
spiritual > memorize scriptures w/ kids, plan specific ones and type out and have in car, have the kids KNOW their articles of faith - they should by now, set some workable system for scripture study by myself and w/ the kids
dental > get a raise, I deserve it, but prove it every day to myself, to my boss, to my patients
photography > not sure what to do here, I feel like I didn't grow much this past year, I didn't push myself, I cut back a little. I said "No" more than "Yes." Steven still wants me to only do 2/month yet wants me to profit or quit. I can't do less work and expect to grow especially when I have so many repeat customers that I love. I didn't even take many portraits of my own kids. (This will change since I'll have my own newborn!) I'd maybe like to grow on Instagram or other social sites and do less with Facebook. I do a lot with Facebook on a personal basis and for my dental job, so I should be more consistent w/ blogging and Facebook. Maybe I should mentor somebody. But I'll have a baby of my own and a new babysitting job. I really am not sure what to do here. I don't want to jump to flash drives b/c the overhead is expensive, but I do... I bought the latest Photoshop just now. I thought I'd make people photo apps but they didn't appreciate them and they take a lot of time to do so I let that slide last year... I need to get some direction going here!
temple work > set dates on the calendar, get a friend to go with, do Steven's family history, do family trees w/ the kids
missionary work > talk about my Jonathan on a mission, let anyone come to church w/ me, don't be afraid to be churchy when I feel churchy

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