Posts Tagged ‘Download Day’

It’s been months and months since I was able to do a Download Day around here but thanks to our Favorite Things Party, this one is easy to share with you.  Check my previous post for details on how we used this quote for a party favor at each place setting.  A ribbon tied across the bottom of a folded piece of cardstock created an “easel” format for this simple but meaningful gift to share with each person at our party.

This quote is especially perfect for this time of year because finding “a favorite little something” each day is really all about taking the time to be grateful for something – big or little – every day.  A daily dose of gratitude is the key ingredient of a happy life.  So, find a little something to be grateful for today, and tomorrow, and the next day…

…and while you’re wallowing in gratitude, share the Download with a friend!



Please click on image to download quote

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A warm spring day.  Bubbles full of light.  Chubby hands chasing something new.  Enjoy the sweet, simple things of today.

Have a wonderful week.

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I promised in my last post to give you our cute tag and recipe for Taco Soup in our next Download Day so here they are.  I simply used the same frame as our “Birthday Girl” tags and changed the artwork inside to apply to our pantry meal kits that we compiled at our activity (click here for more info).

You can see how easily this idea can be adapted to any recipe and for any purpose.  All you need is a paper bag, a hole punch, some ribbon and the recipe.  Oh, and the ingredients to make a delicious, easy meal, of course.  And just because this particular recipe is all typed out and cute, that doesn’t have to be the case.  Just write it on a card and include it with your ingredients.  Simple.  I think you’ll agree that it is easy to have some grocery sacks and ribbon on hand to be able to compile an instant meal for a friend in need – the possibilities are lovely and tasty and endless.

Happy sharing!

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One of the most growth-enhancing periods of my life was just a few years ago.  Many things happened during that time period – many changes and miracles and blessings.  My life hardly even looks the same as it did before then.  But amid all of the changes to our circumstances, I attribute the majority of my personal growth to the fact that I kept a journal during that time.

The older I get, the more I can’t remember even the most simple things.  Before Jason’s car accident I could remember everything.  I didn’t need a planner because I could always keep track of what I needed to do, where I needed to go and details rarely escaped me.  After his car accident, I shut down.  I was in survival mode.  I only stored the information that was absolutely necessary and relied on lists and post-it notes to remember the rest.

I assumed that once Jason was in a better place physically that I would regain my ability to remember things but it seems like it has become a lost art to me.  I have never been as good at remembering as I was before his accident.  I still find myself standing in the middle of the next room wondering why I had gone in there in the first place.  Age does this, I know, but I think that it was also a survival mechanism in dealing with Jason’s accident that will forever be a part of me.

I’m convinced that this is why that journal became so significant.  As we were working toward many goals and our lives were in a constant state of change, I wrote about my feelings and experiences and the things that I was learning.  I know that it helped me to better process the things that were happening.  Writing gave me direction and purpose.  Recording my experiences amplified them so that I was able to more maximize the learning and growth that happened because of my circumstances.

You have probably noticed that I am not “a venter.”  I admit that I have an aversion to the very word.  To me, venting is synonymous with complaining so I try to avoid both altogether.  Therefore, the journal that I created was not a venting journal – although it was entirely honest.  It contains true feelings – hopes and fears, heartaches and joys.  There’s a difference between being honest and simply complaining.  My children could read my journal and hopefully find strength from knowing that their mother had hard days and feelings of discouragement but she was able to learn from them and they did not consume who she was becoming.

I am different because of my experiences.  We all are.  But I believe that the fact that I kept a journal magnified who I became during that particular time.  And I am convinced that it all came down to allowing myself to remember.

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Jason and I recently went to the Michael Buble’ concert and loved every second of it except the 45 minutes it took to get off the freeway.  However, in spite of the gridlock and honking and trying to get more than one car through the green light each time, he was actually able to pull off the seemingly impossible combination of old-time crooner sounding contemporary.

I always think of his song, “Everything” as being Cole’s song because it is the first track on the DVD slideshow I made of all of Cole’s photos from his first year of life.  He knows that when he hears that song that his movie is on and heads over to the television to watch it.

Listening to MB perform it made me want to create a label for Download Day.  It can be used as a tag or on a card or just cut it out and place it in between the keys on someone’s computer keyboard, attach it to their mirror or tuck it in their briefcase.  “Everything” is a message that can be used everywhere and for anyone that you want to pass a smile on to.

Enjoy a little bit of “Everything” today.

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Did I not tell you that we had a lot of info to give out having to do with our Organization Fair?  It’s taken five days to pass it all along to you!  Well, last but not least, I’ve saved the monthly quote for Download Day.  It is a quote by Lin Yutang and added to by Dieter Uchtdorf.  It certainly sums up the overall idea that we were trying to teach both with our “Planning With a Purpose” time management lesson as well as the organization ideas in the displays.

Whether it’s what we’re doing or what we’re thinking or what we have or what we want….it’s all about eliminating the non-essentials.


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First of all, I know I didn’t get these downloads for you last week – it ended up being a crazy week and so something had to go and in this case…it was blogging about our activity.  Which actually brings me to our lesson on Time Management!  I’m going to divide it up into parts because I think it will be too long for one post.  Today, as you can see, is Part I.  We’ll see how many parts it actually ends up being once I add the Organization Fair report as well.  By the way – that was so fun and fabulous!  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  I will talk more about that later – let’s get back to our Time Management lesson.

When Jason and I were in college, we met while in the student government program.  There were 4,000 student volunteers who ran all of the activities and service programs at BYU at that time.  It was unheard of to have so many students involved in the student government program, but Jason and I both count ourselves lucky to have been a part of that experience because it taught us something.  Even in our volunteer positions, every event, every service program, every experience that came out of BYUSA was planned with a model called “Planning With a Purpose.”  You might say that by the time our years were finished at BYU (including our last one where Jason was Student Body President), we had practiced this model of planning dozens and dozens of times.  It became a part of us and it has influenced our lives in ways we never imagined or even thought about back in our college days.

our BYU days - only 17 years ago!

“Planning With a Purpose,” to me, is the ultimate time management skill.  When we talked about time management at our neighborhood ENT activity, we did not assess the latest “Busy Mom Calendars,” or determine how to use our clocks more effectively.  We taught how to use “Planning With a Purpose” because, and you’ll find this out once I explain it, it helps us all determine what is truly needful in terms of how we spend our time and then helps us get from Point A to Point B in that effort.  You will find that it is similar to methods of planning taught by Franklin Covey and other groups because the principles work.  This “Planning With a Purpose” model was taught to us like you see it here – but with my own tweaks that I have learned throughout the 20 years I have been using it.

The “Planning With a Purpose” model works in every situation and for every problem, issue, concern, or event you are trying to make happen.  If you are trying to figure out how to get your kids to do their chores?  Go through “Planning With a Purpose.”  If you are planning your family vacation….go through “Planning With a Purpose.”  If you are trying to change a personal habit that you have?  Use “Planning With a Purpose.”  Whatever the situation, this works.  And once you figure out how to use it, you will see that it can help you sift through how you are spending your time so that the important things (the things you truly value) rise to the top and the unimportant things get left behind.

I’d like you to download this handout and follow along with me as we go through learning about “Planning With a Purpose.”  Just click on it and you can print it out and work from it very easily.  Notice how it also can be cut in half and inserted into your ENT notebooks as two pages.

Determine What You Value

The first thing we have to establish when we plan with purpose is determining what we value.  Ask yourself what you value and write it down on your worksheet.  This can be anything – big or small.  Just identify the things that are truly important to YOU.  You can also do this as a family, as a couple, as a team at work….whatever.  I have things that I value personally but then Jason and I have things that we value as a family.  When we had our first committee meeting for our Every Needful Thing program, we determined what we valued and now, for every activity, we go back and make sure that what we are planning is in line with what we value.  It keeps us focused on the right things.

part of our "Organization Fair" displays

Some of the values that we had when we listed them as a group during our activity last week were: family, quiet time, one-on-one time with each child, date night, a clean house, God, etc.  You can see that this was a group of mothers making this list, can’t you!  I know that before I became a mother, the things that I valued looked a little different than they do now.  That’s the beauty of creating a list of values – it is what YOU value.  Not what your neighbor values or your mother or your friend.  It’s for you to decide.

Now, after you have your values determined, we can move on to steps 1-3.  The important part about deciding what you value FIRST, is that everything you decide after that should come back to those values.  It is a simple way to make sure that how you are actually spending your time coincides with what you value because you have already established a list of those values.

Steps 1-3 will be in our next post – the continuation of our time management lesson.  Over the next couple of days, I want you to think about these values more and refine your list so that it truly reflects what is important to you.

I’ll see you next time, with your value lists in hand!

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