Friday, October 9, 2015

The Keeper's Program

I wanted to share a program that we as a ward primary presidency have recently implemented into our primary.  
 
I heard of something similar to this being done in a youth group in another ward elsewhere.  I adapted it some to fit our situation, but the whole concept was just awesome to me, and I felt that the children in our ward would benefit from it considering the size of our primary (over 100 children).    
 
I put this letter together and sent it out to all of our primary teachers via e-mail.  There have been a few quirks to iron out here & there (each class has such different needs), but all in all, it seems to be having a positive reception. 

In an effort to more fully teach our primary children the pure love of Christ, we have felt impressed to introduce a new program into our primary.  Although we are not aware of any bullying happening among our primary children, it can often go unnoticed in less obvious forms, especially considering the size of our primary.  Most of us know someone who struggles to feel welcome or has a hard time making friends at church.  

The Keeper’s Program is our way of looking out for “the one” and teaching these children what it means to be their “brother’s keeper.”   

Similar to home and visiting teaching, the idea is to give each child the assignment to look after another member of the class.  We are asking that you as the teacher make and distribute these specific assignments to your class members.  Please take the class time you’ll need to introduce this program ASAP.

Through this program every boy or girl would have someone to watch over, yet in turn, would have someone watching over them.  What does it mean to watch over someone at this age? 

1) Say “HI” whenever they see that person, make sure he/she is included, look out for him/her!  Simply put, be a friend!    

2) If they see that person being bullied (at church or at school), help them and report mistreatment ASAP.  

Swapping who’s responsible for who on a regular basis will allow each child the opportunity to love and serve more members of their class.  In addition, we ask that you take the time to teach all active members different ways in which they can fellowship newcomers or less active members until everyone is fully integrated into the class.  

Brothers and Sisters, thank you so much for your diligent efforts as primary workers!  Please prayerfully consider the best way to approach this program in your class.  Consider notifying parents of their child's new assignment in order to help this program be successful.  Just teaching these kids to be nice is not sufficient in helping them truly understand what it means to love one another as Christ would have us do.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

that week in July when my entire family was here

I know summer is over, but I wanted to share a few more photos from that week in July when my whole family was here...grandparents and in-laws, too.  AnnMarie’s baptism was right in the middle of it, but there were many other things happening surrounding her big day. 

We had the annual Wolfley Family Reunion (which started about four years ago or so) since the majority of us would be here anyway!  My mother-in-law had these cute yellow shirts made for all the grandkids that said, “Happiness is a 2015 Wolfley Family Reunion.”   Jared and I put together a schedule of events (starting on a Friday evening thru the following Wednesday morning) comprising meal organization (to designate location and the couple in charge) and daily activities.  We were in charge of the Friday night barbecue that we held at our community park, and wow, let me just say that it turned out to be one of the windiest nights I’ve ever experienced!  I was a little disappointed about that, but it made for some good memories.  

My father-in-law was in charge of the main activities - boating, tubing, and water skiing - that we enjoyed on Monday and Tuesday.  We had a special Family Home Evening on Tuesday night which is where I took these pictures.  Once again, my mother-in-law knocked it out of the ballpark with the games she prepared.  She had marshmallow shooters made out of PVC pipe, Giant Jenga, and a ball toss using a tarp with holes and specified points just to name a few out of about 15 that we didn’t have time for!  She takes games very seriously.  Notice the megaphone, haha!

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We had a special lesson on happiness and the importance of laughing.  Here’s my mother & father-in-law showing us how to laugh!  

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Here’s our reaction:

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LOL!  Just kidding.  Those two pictures back-to-back gave me a good laugh.

After the Saturday baptism we took some much needed down time and headed off to the Hermiston Aquatic Center.  I took this picture of my mom and her dad (Grandpa Rex).  I love this picture for so many reasons: the Diet Coke, the churro, the hat (one of my dad’s), Luke chewing on a napkin.      

Since my dad’s passing, Grandpa has become even more of a hero in my eyes.  I imagine it’s very difficult for any father to see his daughter become a widow.  Often times my mom will discover him outside in her yard, trimming trees on a high ladder or pruning bushes in the early morning hours. 

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His wife, my Grandma Elaine, brought me this beautiful flower chain quilt that she’s been working on for the past three years…complete with pillows and shams.  She has been doing this for all of her granddaughters and granddaughters-in-law over the past ten years!  What a treasure.  She's truly a pro in my eyes...and she started quilting when she was 70!  A few weeks later I boxed it up and mailed it back to her in order for her to enter it in the quilt contest at the Eastern Idaho State Fair, and no kidding - she ended up winning 1st Place in the large quilt category!  I cried a few happy tears on the phone when she told me.  The bottom hem is quilted to represent music notes.   

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My dear friend, Stacey, calligraphed and framed this statement for me as a gift and sent it to me around the year mark of my dad’s passing.  Stacey has lifted me to higher ground with her consistent outreach.  We have been friends for over 25 years, and her character continues to shine through.  Our enduring friendship, along with that of her twin sister, Michelle, means a great deal to me!  The feeling they give me (as do many of you) that we are all in this together has been Heaven’s gentle reminder that “Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands” (D&C 121:9).  

Thank you, all of you, for believing in me and supporting me and just being here.  

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