Daughters of My Kingdom

>> Saturday, March 31, 2012

About a week ago I was contacted by the Stake Relief Society. Here is what the letter said: 

Sister Kitch,
On March 29, 2012 our stake is having a Relief Society Birthday Celebration. You have been prayerfully chosen to participate in the program. We are having three sisters read and study about a particular sister from the "Daughters of My Kingdom" book. We are asking you to tell a story from your own life that relates in some way to the sisters story in the book."

As you can imagine I was shocked and not expecting this at all. Things have been really crazy around here lately and I have to admit my spirituality has been lacking. However, Sister Layton confirmed to me that each of the sisters that were asked to participate were not chosen lightly. She said it has been several months of prayer, fasting, and temple attendance over the names they felt should be apart of this event. 

No pressure right!?! LOL!

She told me it was confirmed not only to her, but to all of the women on the committee. 
I accepted the invitation and immediately began to pray. This experience was nerve wracking yet peaceful at the same time. I'm not a great public speaker. I get EXTREMELY nervous! However, I was not nervous over what I was going to say. Sure I went through about 10 drafts before I felt it was the way the Lord wanted it, but I knew this message was His, and I was at complete peace with it. 

The entire night was beautiful!!! The food, music, messages, speakers, everything from beginning to end was Spirit filled. I felt blessed to be apart of such an amazing evening.

Below is the talk I gave:

When the prophet called Sis. Louise Y. Robison to serve in the General Relief Society President, she felt very inadequate. She lived her life on a simple farm-working, sewing, cooking and living cheerfully on very little. She did not have wealth, a large position of influence, or formal education. She thought that Pres. Grant had been misinformed about her abilities. She even told him, “I am just a humble woman.”

The prophet’s reply to her was, “Sister Louisy, 85% of the women of our church are humble women. We are calling you to be the leader of them.”

She served with her full heart. Looking back, she was the perfect leader to guide women through the Great Depression.”

I had a very similar experience as Sister Louisy. I am a convert to the Church. I was baptized when I was 11 years old and I’m the only active member in my family. A couple of years ago I was called to the Relief Society Presidency. When I was offered the calling I too was in disbelief. I hadn’t had much experience with Relief Society, I wasn’t one of the lucky girls that had a mother to show me what Relief Society was all about or talk to if I had a question about something. In fact, by the time I was of age to attend Relief Society I became inactive for about 5 years. Relief Society actually scared me. I didn’t feel like I fit in and so I stopped coming to church. So when I go this calling, I really didn’t know what was expected of me, and more than that, what qualified me to lead, watch over, and be an ‘example’ to the women in our ward. I struggled with feelings of inadequacy and worry. I felt I had bigger shoes to fill than I was capable of. I would pray, occasionally express my concern to my patient husband, and pray some more.

During this time I found this scripture to be of great comfort and help to me:
D&C 123:17 “ Therefore, dearly beloved brethren (sisters), let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

Looking back I can see through serving in that calling I gained a strength that I wouldn’t have otherwise. The Lord saw something in me that I did not. His purposes aren’t always clear to us, but if we do everything in our power, having faith in His will, He will bless and edify us to rise up to His mission for us. By serving the women in my ward, my testimony of Relief Society grew tremendously as I observed acts of kindness, love, and compassion. On one occasion our Relief Society came to find out about a non-member woman who lived in our ward boundaries that they didn't know, but were informed her mother passed away. Without question or hesitation they rallied around her and jumped at the chance to do whatever they could to help. There were countless meals brought to families in need without even being asked, visiting teachers that were stellar examples of unconditional love, and forgiveness towards a stumbling 2nd counselor who was trying to find her way.

I feel so fortunate and grateful to be a part of this amazing organization. Heavenly Father knew in 1842 what his daughters needed when he authorized the Prophet Joseph Smith to organize the Relief Society. We are the Lord’s hands on this earth...... I LOVE Relief Society....
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


"The Encounter"

As you may already know, Walker joined drama club this year. He did a great job with the production they put on a few months ago. About a month or two after they wrapped up their performance, one of the mothers of another drama club member, informed the drama club teacher, she had a friend who was casting for a film she was making. The film was actually being made as an entry for a competition put on by Child's Play Theater here in Phoenix. 

The drama club teacher sent out an email to all the students in the club and Walker jumped at the chance to take part in it!

The name of the film was "The Encounter", by Laurie A. Bell. 

We contacted Laurie and after getting a photo of Walker with his name, age, height, etc. she gave us the good news, and told us she would be happy to have him be apart of her movie! :)

She had all of the cast members meet at a park near her home in Glendale where she and her team shot the film. It was a LOOONG day of shooting. Each movie for the competition  had to be 5 min. long from black to black. I had no idea it took so long to get 5 min. of film! LOL!

It was really neat to see the process of how a movie is made. Walker absolutely LOVED every minute of it! 

Thursday night the films were played at the Pollack Theater in Tempe. Tickets were $10.00 and $1.00 from each ticket sale went to The Phoenix Children's Hospital. 

The reaction from the audience was fantastic! Everyone thought it was funny and entertaining. The film took 2nd place!!!! We are so proud of Walker and everyone that was apart of this production. It was certainly a memorable experience! :D


Off to the Races!

>> Friday, March 30, 2012

It's that time of year again! Pinewood Derby time baby!!!

This was Eli's 1st Pinewood Derby. He was soooo jazzed about it! He went through several brainstorming sessions before he decided on the car he really wanted. One of them was to make The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I was stoked about that idea...however, Jared reminded us how hard that would be to make. Especially since we pretty much have no tools! LOL!

So he chose to make Lightening McQueen from The Cars movie. :D

It's so fun to see them working hard together. Eli loves projects. He lit up every time Jared told him it was time to work on it. It took about 2 weeks to make.

All sanded down and ready for some paint! :D Doesn't it look great already!?!

I thought this was VERY clever. They built a little stand so they could spray paint the whole thing all at once! :)

Get ready for your close up!

The finished product!

I love the attention to detail!!!

One very excited kid! :P

The BIG night!

We rented a new track this year. It was all electronic. It was sweeeeet! Brother Krahn (a.k.a. Dr. Krahn...my foot dr....lol!) set up the cars for each race. Eli's is there in the middle!

Lightening McQueen was a fighter!

Eli's car won the "Fast Like Lightening" Award! 

He placed 17th out of 22 racers. It was ok though. He had a great attitude and had a ton of fun! He's a really good sport and that is better than winning in my book! :D


Alayna's Squishy, Messy, Sticky Art Class

>> Friday, March 23, 2012

It was Alayna's 1st day at her Squishy, Messy, Sticky Art Class.! :D 

Eli took this class when he was her age and he loved it. Alayna just LOVES art so I thought it would be a good fit for her as well! I had no idea how much she really was going to enjoy it. She couldn't stop telling me how much fun she was having! :)

 They couldn't just use regular play-doh, for this class it has to have glitter poured all over it! :P She made a Snowman and a pond with a butterfly, fish & a birthday cake of course! LOL!

 Next they got out the shaving cream. 

 Again..not 'just' shaving cream, shaving cream and squirt bottles filled with different colored dyed water to spray on the shaving cream!

She can't wait to go back next week! Ya I pretty much feel like a Rock-Star Mom! :D



We had a strange weather pattern come through on Sunday. It snowed up north and it hailed here in the valley! 

The kids loved running outside getting pummeled by it! :P LOL! 


The Renaissance Festival

Over Spring Break we took the family to the Renaissance Festival out in Apache Junction. Jared used to take me every year when we first started dating. It has been 'years' since we've gone back. We thought the kids would have a great time...and they did! :P 

 I think Jared was better at getting the angle of his head lined up...I look a little decapitated! LOL!

Alayna was dying to ride the ENORMOUS rocking horse. 

By the looks of it...I'd say she loved it! :P

We saw a few shows, shopped around, ate some tasty treats, and called it a day. My foot gave out from all the walking so we weren't able to get to everything. I guess that just means we'll have to go back again some time! :)


Gilbert Historical Museum

A few weeks ago we took the kids, and Walker's friend Chase, to the Gilbert Historical Museum in Downtown Gilbert.

My mom had told me that there were pictures of our relatives in the museum. I'm embarrassed to say I've lived in Gilbert since I was 5 and I've never been down there.

The Museum used to be the Gilbert Mexican School built in 1927. Gilbert Schools started out as an integrated district, but in the 1920's became segregated. For nearly 25 years, Hispanic students attended the school (now the museum) on the southwest corner of Gilbert and Elliot Roads. Integrated in 1949 and used for shop classes after. My mom and dad both attended school here.

The kids were pretty excited to see what it was all about! :)

 Jared was surprised to find out that REO Speed Wagons were actual firetrucks! Not just a name of a band! :P

 Both of my parents attended High School here. It looks pretty much the same today. It's now used for Gilbert School District offices.

 Liberty Market Then.... 
Ben and Mae Hoo Ong owned and operated Liberty Market from 1943 to 1987. Mae, who passed away on Jan. 30, 2012, designed the market's iconic sign, which is still there today. My mom and dad went to school with their children Terry and Billy.

Liberty Market Now...
It is now a restaurant owned and operated by Joe Johnston who also owns Joe's Real BBQ across the street and Joe's Farm Grill off of Ray, just west of Higley Rd. in Gilbert.

  I also remember going to the Liberty Market as a little girl with my mom and Grandma Donher Bernal to pick up my grandma's asthma medicine every week. Where this car is parked in the picture above, we used to park there, but back then it was just a dirt lot. :) 

My Grandma Donher's second husband was Eugene Bernal. The museum had lots of pictures of his family.

They had lots of artifacts from the past. Dresses, suitcases, school desks, etc. In one of the displays they had this mustache cup. It was too funny to not take a picture of. It's a little hard to see but it's a regular cup however, it has a piece of the cup about 1/4 of the way from the bottom that would cover a man's mustache as he drank out of the cup. Awesome! :P

They had several different rooms. Home Life, Generations, Occupations, School, Town, Old West, Military, Model Train Exhibit. In the Old West Room we took advantage of this cute photo-op. 

 Jared looks like one bad Hombre. :P

In the Military Room they had authentic helmets from the War. We tried them on...boy those things are seriously heavy and uncomfortable. I have no idea how those men wore those all the time.

 It was a fun day. I absolutely LOVE history and even more so, family history. It was so neat to see all of the changes our town has gone through over the years. Even in the 30 years I've lived here it's grown and changed so much!


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