Sunday, July 19, 2015

Family Matters

For my family foundations ( I like to refer to it as marriage and family 101 plus a million) class at BYU-Idaho this semester we have a final project (yesssssss the end is in sight) called the family citizenship capstone project. Basically it’s just a wrap up project of the things that you took away from that semester. You could either pick one of the teacher's suggestions of projects or you could come up with your own idea. Pretty obvious decision. I came up with my own idea for this project. I decided to interview different people like a single person, an engaged couple, a newly-wed couple and a couple that's been married for basically ever (thanks mom!). I asked them questions about their children (future and now), their goals, dreams, advice and what's so great about being married and having a family with the one that you love most in this world. WHY do we get married? WHY is family so important? Being an LDS woman (in Rexburg Idaho, of all places) these two things have come to mean so much more to me over the last couple of years. I wanted to find out what they mean to others. I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God. And I believe that that law will never change. Don’t forget what your family means to you. The family you have now and the one that you someday will have. Prepare now to be the kind of person that God knows you can become. If you're not married, work on being the person that your future companion/children need and the right person will come along. Just remember to be happy! If you are married, resolve to work on being a better wife/husband, father/mother. There is always time for improvement within the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

                                                                       THE SINGLE LIFE: MEET MEG (watch out boys;))

1. What are your goals for your future family? Have you thought about any?
Yes, I want to establish spiritual patterns early on in my family so that we can continue to build off of that foundation throughout our lives. I want to establish a home where the spirit can dwell and where evil influences won’t be allowed to enter.

2.What goals do you want for you and your future husband?
 I want to strive to ALWAYS have open communication with my husband, I want us each to encourage us to be better in all aspects of our lives, I really want us to be a team (equally yoked), TRUST, always put God first.

3. Is it important to you to have regular family home evening? Why?
 I remember in my family growing up we weren’t always amazing at having family home evening but I do remember that we had it enough that I was this pattern and I want that. I feel like sometimes the littlest things can give the greatest spiritual strength. It’s something I want to start even when it’s just me and my husband even before we have kids because then it will already be a habit.

4. What are some family traditions that you want to have?
I think it would be fun to go on a road trip together once a year. In our family we would have family movie night every Friday so growing up that would be something we would look forward to so that's something that I want to implement in my future family because it’s something really simple but it’s a great way to bond and create memories.

5. Growing up, what have you experienced that would help your family? What wouldn’t work?
I’ve always believed very strongly that the best thing a mother and father can give their children is to love each other. Taking the time to talk about hard things is a worthy investment otherwise problems just get shoved under the rug and are never dealt with and that allows things to fester. You can’t be afraid of communication.

6. Family dinners? Yes or no and why?
YES. Some of my favorite memories were Sunday dinners. We would go around the table and share the best part of our day with each other.  It was a way that we could let steam off and laugh. I look forward to making those memories with my family someday.

7. How do you want to raise your future family? Discipline your children?
I’ve heard it say that “the best teachers let their students teach themselves.” So in my future family I really want to instill gospel principles in children’s lives but as they grow grant them freedom in increments to make their own decisions and learn from those consequences, whether they be good or bad. I also want my children to know that they can come to for anything. I want to be the first person that they go to when they are hurt or confused or alone. I want to teach them about the royal heritage that they come from.

8. What do you look for in an eternal companion?
I want him to put God before anything else (and then me… ha ha!) I think you can tell a lot about a guy by the way he treats his mother and I would hope that he knows his standards and never justifies lowering them under any circumstances. This is important. I want someone that can make me laugh. I feel like laughter keeps you young. I’m a sucker for guys who love children. That’s a huge deal breaker for me.

9. What do you look forward to most in your eternal marriage?
Sex! (just being honest), living with my best friend, experiencing pregnancy, the ups and downs of motherhood, seeing my posterity prosper, flirting in old age *I think that’s cute ;)

10. Why is obtaining an eternal marriage important to you?
It’s everything that I’ve looked forward to since I was five years old, I remember doing the temple in a can activity in young women’s just dreaming about the day that I could find someone who would be mine forever. I love the concept of forever I don’t think that there’s anything more divine. I think that level of commitment scares a lot of people in the world but for me I think the idea of being able to spend eternity with someone that I love is everything that I’ve ever wanted. There’s nothing more romantic. 

                                                                                          THE ENGAGED COUPLE: MEET KYLE & VAL

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1. What are your goals for your future family?
I want to be a stay at home mother for the first couple years for my child’s life because Kyle and I realized that’s important. Give my children what I didn’t have. Make sure they get to go to every activity, they are part of clubs. I have a goal of being sealed in the temple so that my children can be born in the covenant.

2. Do you have any goals for you and your future husband?
We want to travel. We have a goal of scripture study together every night. Listen to each other more. Making communication a priority. Be as a debt free as possible.

3. What are some family traditions that you want to have?
Mother goose tradition that Kyle’s family does. You give each other gifts on New Year’s Day. It’s unique to his family so I want to keep that going. Since being best friends our sophomore year in high school we have gone to warehouse beach in Oregon. In my family growing up we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve and then open our stockings on Christmas day.

4. Is it important to you to have regular family home evening? Why?
It’s extremely important to me and mainly for the fact that I didn’t have it. I really enjoyed doing family home evening with others on my mission and I thought “I want to do this with my family”.

5. Growing up, what have you experienced that would help you with your future family? What things did you see that you don’t want to do?
I don’t want to get divorced! Definitely not. I really like how my grandparents have always, always been loyal to each other. I heard in life that you should always be loyal to your spouse first. Even when my grandpa was wrong, my grandma would back him up and of course apologize later… haha.
I want to be affectionate in front of my children. My family is not like that but Kyle’s family is and I really like that.

6. Family dinners? Yes or no and why?
Oh! Definitely! That was one thing that was constant when I was at my grandparents and they were the best!

7. How do you want to raise your future family? Discipline your children?
I want to raise them a home where they can be totally honest. I want to raise them where they are not afraid to say them wrong thing. I want them to feel safe and loved.
I would never hit my kids but I want to explain why things are wrong. I want my kids to understand why they are in trouble and not just tell them they are in trouble because that happened to me growing up.

8. What do you most look forward to for your marriage together?
Can I answer that honestly?  … Sex!
Having a best friend forever. Someone that I will see every day. I will always have a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, to watch movies with. I don’t have to worry about “Oh what if we break up or what are we going to do next year” I’m just excited to have a companion… a forever companion.

9.  How’d you know that you wanted to be together forever?
He’s been my best friend since sophomore year. We have known each other since seventh grade and I’ve always wanted to marry my best friend. We were sitting in the temple and he and I just knew. He had called me up and said “Hey I want to marry you!” and I was a little skeptical and he and I just knew that next weekend that it was right.

10.   What’s the best advice that anyone has given you as you prepare for marriage?
Sacrifice and compromise. My grandma told me that and I was like that’s so right!

                THE NEWLYWEDS: MEET CJ & CORTNEY (Fun fact: They got married on my birthday. How perfect.)

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1. What are your goals for your future family?
To have all of our children endowed and in the temple with us at least once! (And to have children!)

2. What are some goals that you two have together as a couple? 
Currently, we attend the temple weekly. We rotate through the ordinances. 
We pray and read scriptures together daily. We also try to always eat dinner together and go for a walk or something together at night. 
We also want to go on as many missions as we can later in life (especially CoCo ;))

3. Is it important to you to have regular family home evening? Why?
It is super important! It's also really hard as a married couple because you kind of just stare at each other. We have used it as a tool to get to know others in our ward. But we know it will be an important tool in our future family because it will be where our children learn the foundations of the gospel.

4. What are some family traditions that you want to have? Or that you have already started. 
We definitely want to have family prayer every morning. 
Cortney- I was from a family where my mom would wake up the older kids (high school started later) to make sure we always had family prayer. I always appreciated that. 
Of course we have other traditions for Christmas and stuff that I love as well.

5. Growing up, what have you experienced that would help your family to be better? What wouldn’t work? 
I loved that my parents instilled the knowledge of who I was. I knew I was a daughter of God my whole life. That defined every choice I made and gave me confidence before the Lord and the world. I want to continue that. 
More individualized parenting for each child

6. Family dinners? Yes or no and why?
We love family dinners and both came from a home where they were important! It was great and is great to reconnect at the end of each day. It's also important for us to have the opportunity to remember Heavenly Father. It's not a coincidence that we pray over food.

7. How do you want to raise your future family? Discipline your children?
Come back to us in a few years Hahahahaha. We have no idea. 

8. How would you describe “the honeymoon phase”? Myth or reality? 
Cortney- We were both trying to be realists before we got married, but we still had a slight honeymoon phase where we were totally obsessed with one another. It's a special time, but its better when you're out of it. That's when you really get to choose to love each other. And you stop thinking "Ohhh they're so perfect". You get to have a real shot at a real marriage and getting better together. 
 CJ- I think its truth. It's a period of time where you have no worries. All of your attention is focused on your spouse. 

9. What surprised you the most about being married?
CJ- All of it!  
Cortney- I think just how different it is living with a boy who isn't your brother haha.

10. What’s the best part about marriage?
Cortney- going to bed and waking up with your best buddy. 
CJ- getting to wake up next to Cortney every morning. 
Cortney- that's what I said!!!!! 

THE BEEN TOGETHER FOR THIRTY TWO YEARS COUPLE: MEET JORDAN & ADRIENNE (The greatest parents that ever existed... do I get money for saying that?)


1.  What were some of your goals for your family when you were newly married?
Raise children in the church, my husband to have good paying jobs to provide for our children, my children to have a good education, live in a good neighborhood, and be raised in a happy family, good experiences with family.

2. Why is family so important?
Side note: *started singing families can be together forever*(more like an outburst). “We need people in our lives that love us and that we can love”

3. What were goals that you had for you and your husband together as a couple?
Be financially stable, Stay healthy (exercise and eat healthy), always stay close and stay friends through communication and living the gospel.

4. What’s the importance of family home evening to you?
Time to spend together as a family. Night set aside specifically to us. I remember when one of my daughters was older, she moved out and came home every Monday night for family night and that is when I really realized how important it is.

5. What are some family traditions that you had when your children were growing up?
Christmas breakfast for neighbors/friends and watching Scrooge on Christmas Eve, visiting family every year (we don't mess around with family reunions), watch general conference together, Christmas time in Philly, fourth of July fireworks at a park.

6. Why are traditions important?
It brings us closer together. They are HAPPY TIMES (for the most part). 
7. Family dinners? Yes or no and why?
YES. Expectation to sit down and eat together. A chance to talk and communicate every night. 

8. How did you discipline your children?
Sometimes we did time-outs but not really
Jordan would take our children into the den and talk to them one on one, lose privileges; we didn't ground our kids (I had to remind her that that is totally false because I was grounded all.the.time. OOPS)

9. What advice would you give about the married life?
Make sure you pray together, have family home evening, and go to church together. Have common values and morals, communicate- talk to each other often, be best friends. Put that person first. Think about what would make that person happy. Do things together. Talk (its super important) look at them as your family. “Don’t look at them like oh, I can get rid of them someday” they are family.

10.   What’s the best part about being married?

You have someone to be with. You’re not alone. You have someone to talk to, cry with, do things with, and raise your children with. When your babies are crying you have someone when you can’t do it anymore hehe.


                                                                                  REMEMBER WHAT MATTERS MOST