Thursday, March 6, 2014

Earth to Shannon......

The texts, emails and phone calls are wonderful and totally inviting!  It feels AMAZING to be missed and hearing my family and friends on the phone having a "real" conversation has been a change of pace and a flashback to a few years ago when I didn't live on the computer.

FACEBOOK took OVER my life!  I loved the red little tickers letting me know that I had a message, a notification or a friend request!  I would STOP whatever I was doing to check and clear those red tickers off my screen....even if that meant ignoring one of my children or half listening to a phone call with a friend. Before I knew hour (or two...or three) have passed by!

Wake UP moment.....I was doing some spiritual reading and came across this:  "Cyberspace technologies can help keep us in touch with loved ones far away....and isolate us from those in our own home!" -Elder Bednar.

So, I took control and deactivated my Facebook account!  Those that know me well know that I give 110% to everything I do (unless it's giving blood) and so as I take this cleansing journey and focus on my family and my relationship with my Heavenly me fill my time with meaningful relationships and heartfelt memories!

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 in Review it has been a few months since I've posted!  I'm still alive and I have tons to share with you!  I just didn't want 2013 to pass by without sharing a video of all that we did as a family.  Sit back, enjoy and see what "SHANNONigans" we got into this last year! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Time has Come......

After 14 years of selling one of the top selling kitchen brands, The Pampered Chef...I'm closing down my business.  I know this comes as a huge shock to those team members, hosts and customer that I have taken care of and KNOW how much I love this company.

Why?  The time is right!  The time is NOW for me to focus on others areas of my life, my children, church, school, my hobbies and just having more free time!

I never would have guessed 14 years ago that The Pampered Chef would be such a big piece of the puzzle of helping Eric and I get established.  It has helped us pay cash for vehicles, pay for my school, allow us to travel at all expenses paid vacations all over the world (our favorite was PARIS) and most of all....gave me the opportunity to be a stay at home mom with my little dudes.

Thank YOU for helping me these last 14 years!  Thank YOU for continuing to be there for me in the next chapter of our lives as our friendship continues to grow.

To end...if you need a local consultant in your area, please let me know!  I can connect you with many team members all over the world that would LOVE to be your new consultant.  And bonus....they are just as AWESOME as I was!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Surprise Cruise

Eric and I booked a cruise a few weeks ago and decided to take the three oldest boys and surprise them.  We told then that they were going with us to the beach house and to help us pack.  When we were 30 minutes away from the cruise port, we told them where we were actually going.  Here is the video: 

So I guess I joke around too much with my boys because they really didn't believe us!  I had to show them the paperwork before they really got it!  We did have a blast and I will post photos and more videos soon! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

YW New Beginnings

One of my favorite events of the year with the Young Women is New Beginnings.  New Beginnings is an event when we invite upcoming girls that will turn 12, Young Women with parents and all leaders to enjoy an evening together.  We review Personal Progress, present the logo/motto/theme, get to know the upcoming girls and a chance for us to express our love for the Young Women.  
Our theme for this year was the "Three White Dresses."  

We made invites for all the girls and parents.  I will put a picture here if I can find an extra invite!  
We asked all parents to bring dresses, pictures and accessories that went with blessing, baptism and wedding.  
We set up three tables, one for each dress and as items came in, we placed them on the tables.  
Here is the Blessing table will all the items brought.  

Here is the Baptism table.

The Wedding table was filled with all the wonderful dresses, invites, memory books and photos.  

Here is the program we handed out to each family as they came in.  

I don't know how to attach a document to my blog yet so if you would like the entire program with all the wording, please let me know and I can email it to you!  

Here is the Video Presentation:

Here are the frames with the YW Theme that we gave each of the upcoming Beehives and aren't they the cutest little things!  

We gave each YW a white hanger with the poem "My Three White Dresses" attached as a memento of the evening.  

For dessert we had Jello cakes with the value colors and strawberry lemonade.  

Here are some additional photos of the decorations in the Primary room:

And of course the dessert and our awesome Seminary teacher helping to serve!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Cruising 101

We LOVE cruising!  We have been on 7 cruises with 2 more booked and 3 more in the works for this year alone!  This post is full of the basics of cruising and tips that will help the first time cruise-goer or for those that haven't cruised in awhile!   

Selecting your cruise line is SUPER important!  There are many options and we always go back to the same cruise line...CARNIVAL! 
WHY?  They really are the FUN ship!  They have activities starting earlier than I get up and go later than I stay up!  From top notch shows, games, karaoke, dancing, contests, swimming, sports and even an arcade - you WILL stay as busy as you like and try things you might not in "real life."  Face won't see these people again so you can be as crazy as you want! 

So....go online, BOOK your cruise!  Then come back here and read up on what to pack and what to expect while cruising!  

Did you forget to bring a game or do you just like cards?  Carnival will give you a FREE deck of cards if you just ask!  I recommend going as soon as you are on the ship to the Guest Services desk to get them.  The Guest Services line is always long, so getting the cards first thing will save you time when you really want them!  
The rooms do NOT have a clock!  And since most of us turn off our cell phones to avoid crazy fees/charges, you will need to bring a clock for the room!  My favorite is The Pampered Chef Clock/Timer!  It has a magnet on the back so you can stick it near the vanity mirror or a stand so you can put it on your bedside table.  It even has a timer so if/when you do laundry, you can set the timer to switch or grab your clothes.  Another plus, it is small!  It won't take up suitcase room or an outlet in the room!  

You never know when you will need to do a load of laundry, even when you bring enough clothes for the week.  We always do a load of whites and a load of darks midway through our cruise!  There are about 4-6 laundry facilities on most ships and your cabin steward can help you find the closest one.  These are large washer and dryers (though not super large capacity).  The cost is $3.00 per wash and $3.00 per dry so $6.00 total for a load of laundry!  I considered the cost of a checked-in luggage bag at the airport at about $25.00 a bag, so by doing some laundry I save money; so just pack light and wash on the ship!  

You can purchase detergent or fabric softener in the laundry room at $2.00 a piece or you can bring your own.  Instead of worrying about bringing white powder into your suitcase and risk a drug dog, you can bring these instead.  These sheets pictured above are by Purex.  They have the detergent, fabric softener and static sheet all in one!  It goes from washer to dryer with your clothes and the Purex sheets fold up nicely in a sandwich bag!   You WILL need quarters!  Bring about $20.00 worth just in case you need it! 
Unless you LOVE your blowdryer, don't bring one!  All cabins have one in the top drawer in the vanity. 

Every bathroom will have shampoo and body wash (smells AMAZING) in the shower!  Keep yours at home and use theirs instead!  All you need is shaving cream, a razor and conditioner! 

Do you love a particular soda?  I LOVE the DEW and they don't offer that on the ship!  So, when you get to your port, stash a 12 pack (wrapped in two plastic bags in between your clothes) in your luggage or carry them on!  When you arrive to your room, just put your stash in the fridge that is offered. Now you can grab your favorite cold soda whenever you want (or when your body says it needs it) and save some money in the process! 

Every night you will get a "caper" that includes all the events, specials, and important information for the next day  (called the Fun Times).  Before I go to sleep, I tear out the side strip (that includes the schedule of events) and plan out all the fun activities that I don't want to miss the next day.  It is really important that when you go off the ship at a port, that you have that strip with you.  Reason: it includes important phone numbers relevant to the country/port you're in that can help if you get left or need help!  Don't leave the ship without those numbers! At night time, they will pull down your covers, make a towel animal and leave you with a few chocolates.   

These always make me sad when I see them laying on my bed.  This means that my cruise is almost over and I need to pack my bags and put these tags on.  You can do one of two things with your luggage on the last night.  If you booked a late flight, you can pack your bags, put on these tags and put your luggage in the hallway before midnight.  They will collect your bags and have them waiting for you off the ship when it is time to leave.  Your luggage will be kept by number so it is easy to find your luggage.  OR you can just throw these tags away and do a self-assist.  This means that you will keep all your bags with you and take all the luggage off by yourself when it is time to leave the ship in the morning.  You WILL get to leave the ship the earliest, but you will have NO help getting your luggage off.  

Now, aren't you excited now to cruise?  Leave me a comment and tell me what cruises you are going on, or planning to go on, and provide some tips that you think might help others!  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Young Women Lesson on Unity

I was asked in November to teach all the Young Women together for the first Sunday and the topic we chose as a Presidency was Unity.  Before the lesson started, I cut out and taped on the chalkboard in a "V" formation, 11 geese using this image:

Start off the lesson by playing the hands game (also called the human knot)

What did we learn? 

Each of you have your own special way of showing someone that you care, that is part of your INDIVIDUAL WORTH.  And, it may be different from the person you are sitting next to, which is good, because variety is what makes a group of young women working together so powerful and successful in following the Savior’s example; to love one another!

He commanded them that …"they should look forward with one eye, having … their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." (Mosiah 18:21)

This Fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in "V" formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.

FACT:  As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird immediately following.  By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON:  People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
FACT:  When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone.  It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of it. (move a taped bird out and then back into formation)

LESSON:  If we have as much common sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.  We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

What can each of you do to help and show that you care for each other? (write answers on chalkboard)
Say HI
Talk to her
Get to know her
Sit by her
Include in the group
Give a hug
Work together
Help her
Smile and make eye contact
Ask about them in a caring but non-invasive way
Show concern
Keep trust
Listen and keep confidences shared with you
Make or do something nice for someone
Call & talk on the phone
Remember birthdays & other important dates
Write uplifting notes or letters or text
Try to cheer someone up when they are down
Notice when someone has a new hairstyle or outfit
Look for something you have in common with one another
Refuse to gossip, but speak kindly of others
Look for ways to include others
Be prayerful & sensitive to the spirit
Show empathy & compassion
Visit at her house
Love her

FACT:  When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies to the point position. (move a taped geese up to the point)

LESSON:  It makes sense to take turns doing the hard tasks and share leadership.  As with geese, people are interdependent on each others skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.  

FACT:  The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON:  We need to make sure our honking is encouraging.  In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater.  The power of encouragement is the quality of honking we seek.

What things can we do that aren’t encouraging and might make someone feel unloved?
Grouping off, not mixing
Playing pranks
Dirty & mean looks
Purposely not inviting


We want our Young Women’s to be a soft place to land, a place where everyone including non-member friends feel welcome.  We want everyone to be able to feel and know how very special you each are.  We want the Spirit to be able to be here. 
FACT:  When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it.  They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly again.  Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with their flock. (take 2 taped geese down to the ground)

LESSON:  If we have as much sense as the geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong!
"Unity is a spiritual quality.  It’s the sweet feelings of peace and purpose that come from 
belonging to a family.…It’s wanting the best for others as much as you want it for yourself.… 
It’s knowing that no one is out to harm you.  It means you will never be lonely."  
- Mary N.Cook, "Remember Kindness Begins With Me", April 2011 General YW Conference

"I believe our Heavenly Father's everlasting purpose for His children is generally achieved by the small and simple things we do for one another." -Elder M. Russell Ballard

I hope we can all do extra, and be extra for each other!  The difference between an ordinary YW group and extraordinary YW group, is that little extra!
So this is similar to the handout (this one I made back in April of 2012) I gave to each of the girls and leaders but the saying were the words above the picture.  I guess I forgot to take a picture before I handed them all out.  Attach to a pack of EXTRA gum!