Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Talk - Follow the Prophet

One of my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series is Dumbledore. He is wise, calm and often times can be found encouraging and counseling the Hogwarts students, especially Harry. On one occasion he says, “dark and difficult times lie ahead, soon we must all face the choice, between what is right and what is easy.”

We know and have seen many dark and difficult times during our life. Perhaps it was last week with terror acts, perhaps it was yesterday with a family member, perhaps it was over the past few years with wars and natural disasters. And what Dumbledore said was key, because we all have the choice to choose between what is right and what is easy.

It has never been entirely easy to follow the Prophet but we know it is right. Let’s take for example a few stories from the scriptures. Noah, a Prophet called of God to preach repentance to the people was met with ridicule, death threats and mockery. God, using his Prophet tried to preserve not only the temporal life but spiritual life of the people, but they would not listen. Why? Was it just plain easier to follow the crowd rather than follow the right? And, I have to wonder if there were times when Noah thought that too? But rather than giving into the easy, he put his complete trust in God and built the ark and gathered the animals and provisions even on the driest of days. And this is the best part – he and his family were blessed because they put their trust in God and in the Prophet. President Eyring teaches, “The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.

Lamen and Lemuel, who many of us are familiar with, happen to be another example of choosing the easiness of the way through rebellion, murmuring and not taking time to seek answers from God asking if what their father, Lehi – the Prophet, was telling them was truth. Often times, some may follow Lamen and Lemuel’s path and not seek a testimony for themselves if what the Prophet has counseled us to do is right. Joseph Smith taught us that if we lack wisdom, seek God and He will answer us. President Monson has reminded us, “such a personal testimony, is essential if we are to safely navigate the sometimes treacherous paths through life with the adversary attempting to deceive us at every turn. The Prophet is the one sure thing we can anchor ourselves to as temptations and deceptions come our way.”

President Eying said, “Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before” (“Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).

I love President’s Eyring’s formula for following the Prophet –

#1-listen to his counsel
#2-through prayer seek for confirmation if what the Prophet said was true
#3-after receiving confirmation – follow the Prophet

Our modern day Prophet, President Monson illustrates this perfectly by sharing the following story of his own life in this month’s Ensign. He says, I served in the United States Navy toward the end of World War II. I was a seaman, the lowest possible rank in the navy. After WWar II ended, and I was later discharged. But I made a decision that if ever I went back into the military, I wanted to serve as a commissioned officer. I thought, “No more mess kitchens for me, no more scrubbing the decks, if I can avoid it.”

After I was discharged, I joined the United States Naval Reserve. I went to drill every Monday night. I studied hard that I might qualify academically. I took every kind of examination imaginable: mental, physical, and emotional. Finally, there came the beautiful news: “You have been accepted to receive the commission of an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve.”

I gleefully showed it to my wife, Frances, and said, “I made it! I made it!” She hugged me and said, “You’ve worked hard enough to achieve it.”

But then something happened. I was called to be a counselor in my ward bishopric. The bishop’s council meeting was on the same evening as my navy drill meeting. I knew there was a terrible conflict. I knew that I didn’t have the time to pursue the Naval Reserve and my bishopric duties. What was I to do? A decision had to be made.

I prayed about it. Then I went to see the man who was my stake president when I was a boy, Elder Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I sat down across the table from him. I told him how much I valued that commission. In fact, I showed him the copy of the letter I had received.

After pondering the matter for a moment, he said to me, “Here’s what you should do, Brother Monson. You write a letter to the Bureau of Naval Affairs and tell them that because of your call as a member of the bishopric, you can’t accept that commission in the United States Naval Reserve.”

My heart sank. He added, “Then write to the commandant of the Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco indicating that you would like to be discharged from the reserve.”

I said, “Elder Lee, you don’t understand the military. Of course they will decline to give me that commission if I refuse to accept it, but the Twelfth Naval District isn’t going to let me off. With a war brewing in Korea, a noncommissioned officer will surely be called up. If called back, I would rather go back as a commissioned officer, but I won’t if I don’t accept this commission. Are you sure this is the counsel you want me to receive?”

Elder Lee put his hand on my shoulder and in a fatherly way said, “Brother Monson, have more faith. The military is not for you.”

I went home. I placed a tear-stained commission back in its envelope with its accompanying letter and declined to accept it. Then I wrote a letter to the Twelfth Naval District and requested a discharge from the Naval Reserve.

My discharge from the Naval Reserve was in the last group processed before the outbreak of the Korean War. My headquarters outfit was activated. Six weeks after I was called to be a counselor in the bishopric, I was called to be the bishop of my ward.

I would not hold the position in the Church I hold today had I not followed the counsel of a prophet, had I not prayed about that decision, had I not come to an appreciation of an important truth: the wisdom of God oft times appears as foolishness to men.1 But the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and His children obey, they will always be right.

I absolutely love how he sought council, listened to Elder Lee, received counsel, prayed seeking confirmation from God and then going forth with faith, even though it wasn’t what path he would have necessarily chosen at that time.

Following the Prophet is complete action. There is no easiness or laziness about it. It is completely a get-up and do sort of lifestyle. Choose to follow the Prophet and you choose the right. Choose to follow the Prophet and you choose safety and guidance. Choose the Prophet and you stand with power, faith, and with an everlasting confidence that comes only from God.

YM when you choose to follow the Prophet and stay away from pornography, serve a full time honorable hard working mission, and become educated in a profession to provide for your future family and yourself, you choose to see miracles in your life and be protected and guided by the Savior and Heavenly Father, you choose power over Satan. You choose control over your life.

YW when you choose to follow the Prophet and prepare for education or mission or becoming a wife and mother you choose to stand on holy ground and be armed against the chains Satan has to ensnare you with. Primary children, when you choose to follow the prophet and are honest and kind, saying your prayers and reading scriptures, obeying your parents, you are protected and guided and are a great example to the other children at school or home or in your extra-curricular activities.

Parents, grandparents and adults, when you choose to remain morally clean, keep your temple covenants, serve in your callings with joy and inspiration, listen and follow the promptings of the spirit, you choose to be inspired, protected and guided by our Heavenly Father, the Savior and the Holy Ghost.

Elder Cook shares an experience and the blessing he received while following the prophet and keeping the Word of Wisdom. He says, “after finishing my education at Stanford Law School, I sought employment at a particular law firm. No members of the Church were associated with the firm, but the firm was made up of lawyers of character and ability. After a morning of interviews, the senior partner and two other partners invited me to lunch. The senior partner inquired if I would like a prelunch alcoholic drink and later if I would like wine. In both cases, I declined. The second time, I informed him that I was an active Latter-day Saint and did not drink alcoholic beverages.

I received an offer of employment from the firm. A few months later, the senior partner told me the offer of the alcoholic beverages was a test. He noted that my résumé made it clear that I had served an LDS mission. He had determined that he would hire me only if I was true to the teachings of my own church. He considered it a significant matter of character and integrity.”

Sister Carol McConkie, during the October 2014 General Conference instructed and testified of the blessings and protection that come from living according to the words of the Prophets.

She says, “We heed prophetic word even when it may seem unreasonable, inconvenient, and uncomfortable. According to the world’s standards, following the prophet may be unpopular, politically incorrect, or socially unacceptable. But following the prophet is always right. The Lord honors and favors those who will heed prophetic direction.”

And we see that with President Monson’s and Elder Cook’s experiences.

I add my own testimony of the blessings both temporal and spiritual that come from following the Prophet. Years ago while living in Albuquerque I began to heed the council of the Prophet to attend the temple regularly. I was prompted by the Spirit one day after attending a midnight movie release, getting home around 3 am and rising at 7 to help my kids prepare for school. The Spirit prompted me by giving me the following thought, “Tammy, if you can go to your favorite midnight movie release and still get up early the next morning, you can certainly get up and attend the temple.” I began formulating a temple plan because those words were powerful and piercing. It was the first Saturday of the New Year and I had set my alarm early to rise and prepare to attend the first session of the day. Unfortunately, I have a really bad habit of pressing the snooze button and did that several times until I realized I would have to really hurry to make it to the temple for that early morning session or perhaps not go that day after all. I almost talked myself out of it but remembered I had made a promise to God, so I rushed out the door with only minutes to spare and arrived at the temple a little hurried. As I walked into the temple I was greeted by a sweet sister who informed me that this particular morning was a great morning to be at the temple. Feeling so good about being there, I said, “I know, I’m so happy to be here.” She followed by saying, “you know sister, Elder Russell M. Nelson will be in the session this morning.” Wow, that was a wonderful surprise. As I took my seat in the Endowment room, with only a handful of people, I saw Elder Nelson, not far from me. I thought, “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m in the same session as Elder Nelson.” And as soon as I thought that thought, came this response, “no, Tammy – you are in the same session as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Wow, that was a powerful spiritual moment and changed the entire session for me that day and my temple service since then. I cannot express to you how grateful I am for heeding the counsel of the Prophet and the guidance of the Holy Ghost and getting myself to the temple that morning and having that profound experience. I know without a doubt that every time we heed the counsel of the Prophet we are blessed.

Sister McConkie says, “When we heed the words of the prophets, we build our homes and our lives upon an eternally sure foundation, ‘the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, . . . that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to . . . misery and endless wo.’ We have a choice. We may choose to ignore, trifle with, trample upon, or rebel against the words of Christ spoken by His ordained servants or we can choose to follow the Prophet and be protected, guided, inspired and blessed.”

Remember, dark and difficult times lie ahead, soon we must all face the choice, between what is right and what is easy. It is my solemn prayer brothers and sisters that we listen to the words of the Prophet, seek confirmation from God and then follow him. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

(Note: This talk was given by my awesome friend Tammy on 1/18/15 in Arizona. I appreciate her willingness to share it on my blog.)







Saturday, December 20, 2014

Grammarly Study - People with Stronger Writing Skills Are Better at Their Jobs, Get Paid More

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love grammar, spelling, root words, vocab, etc.  I am a self-proclaimed Word Nerd.

When I substitute teach, I try to persuade students to understand that writing skills are crucial to all careers and that people are more successful when they can communicate effectively (both verbally and with the written word).  I bring language arts into all subject areas - science, social studies, and even math.  With the new "Common Core State Standards," students will be expected to have even stronger writing skills than ever before.

In the infographic below, Grammarly provides data and statistics to support my argument in this area.


In case you haven't heard of Grammarly, they claim to offer the "World's Best Grammar Checker." Their website says Grammarly "improves your emails, social media posts, and document by checking for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes."

After editing a ton of 5th grade essays this week, I would have appreciated some help from Grammarly so the students could have found their own mistakes initially and then brought more of a finished writing product to me. Not every student can receive one on one attention from a teacher or parent for every project. Even my three sons, who are actually really awesome writers, could benefit from using this program.  If you want to check it out, click HERE.

As a side note, when I graduated from college with a B.A. in English, I was hired by a wonderful educational toy company in Northern California.  The position was in the purchasing department and involved extensive communication with foreign and domestic vendors, banks, expediting companies, shipping companies, U.S. Customs, and various departments in the office.  My starting salary was higher than others who had been in that same position before I was hired.  The reason?  Well, they said that since I had an English degree they knew I had critical thinking skills and could communicate effectively.  They knew they could train me on all the other aspects of the job since I had those essential skills.  Sweet!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Hersheys Candy Bar Wrappers

I consider myself a pretty thoughtful person but usually I feel overwhelmed during the holidays so my thoughtfulness doesn't always end up matching my actions... well at least not without a lot of sleep deprivation and stress.  I'm sure many people can relate.

So this year I decided that I would get on top of the teacher gifts earlier than in years past.  That means not staying up late the night before the last day of school to get them all put together.  

My kids switch classes so that means I have 18 teacher gifts to make.  Plus my cute hubby decided he wanted me to make them for his coworkers so that added another dozen or so.


I have compassion on those who are in the same boat as I am so I decided to share my super easy gift with others to spread the Christmas joy and ease some stress.  The bars listed above have my personalized wrappers but I created a generic one for others to use (after receiving requests from several of my friends around the country).

Here's how to do it.

1) Design a candy bar wrapper (I already did this so you can use mine if you'd like). Click HERE to download my PDF file.  Or you can design your own by downloading free chalkboard fonts on this blog and a free chalkboard background at this website.  I used PowerPoint to design mine. If you create your own, be sure to save it as a PDF file as well.

2) Download the PDF file on to a flash drive and take it to a copy shop like Staples.  They can pull the file up from your flash drive to print.  Ask them to print it on regular copy paper.  There are 4 wrappers per page so just figure out how many you need to print. Note: You really don't want to print even one of these out at home because it will use A TON of ink.  I am way too frugal for that.

3) Buy your candy bars.  I bought a box of 36 normal sized Hershey bars at Costco for a little over $20.  I'm sure you could buy them individually someplace else if you wanted a smaller quantity.

4) Cut the copies so that you get 4 wrappers from each page.  Wrap the paper around each of the bars and tape on the back. The paper won't quite wrap around the entire bar (there will be a gap).  If they had wrapped all the way around, it would have involved twice as many copies.  I think I mentioned that I am frugal so I didn't want to do that.

5) The candy bars I made were personalized with my kids' names so the teacher would know who gave the gift.  You'll need to add a little tag or sticker to the back since these wrappers are more generic.  

If you want to spend some more money, you can attach something additional to the back of the candy bar.  For my high schooler, I attached a QT gift card to the back of the bar.  For my younger son, I attached movie ticket vouchers that I purchased at Costco.  My husband's coworkers were just given the candy bars.


Legal stuff: Please note that the fonts I used are free for personal and non-profit use.  If you decide to sell something using these fonts, you'll need to purchase them from the person who created them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kisses and Bear Hugs Handout

Here's a little fun handout I designed to go with one of my favorite sweet indulgences.  I am passing these out to the ladies that I visit each month.  This would also be great for a Valentine's Day treat or anniversary or wedding goodie.


Click HERE to get the PDF file to print from GoogleDocs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Black & White Wedding

I was honored to attend my brother's wedding this past weekend and it was awesome!  He married the love of his life and the "Happily Ever After" theme was quite fitting.

ENTRY AREA: 

The guests arrived and we had a table set up in the entry area of the yard.  The table served a few purposes - gift table, water station, and also sign-in area.  I didn't get a picture since I was the one greeting everyone.

This was the sign that we had attached to a folding easel that I painted white:


Here's what we put on the table:
- A glass water dispenser filled with water, lemon slices and strawberry slices (and clear cups on the side).  Surprisingly almost everyone wanted water as they entered.
- A picture of the bride and groom.
- A tall, antique looking lantern to put cards in.
- An area to place the gifts.
- A vase to sign (instead of a guest book).
- A basket full of wedding keepsake fans (framed with white cardstock and attached to a wooden handle; people loved them and used them).
Front of fan
Back of fan

WEDDING CEREMONY AREA:

They were married next to the pool in SoCal and there was a beautiful ocean view from the backyard of my aunt and uncle's home.  They used a simple metal arch and added flowers and off-white, sheer fabric to it to make it pretty.  We used white pipe cleaners to attach all the froofy stuff (is that even a word?).  The put urns filled with ferns at the bottom of the arches to secure the structure since there was a breeze.

TABLE SEATING SIGNS:

We had the table seating signs posted between the ceremony area and the reception area.  I designed these signs on the computer and printed them at Costco as 16" x 20" pictures.  I put them in frames that I spray painted white so they looked like chalkboards.  Believe it or not, people thought they were real chalkboards and were quite impressed. I 'fessed up that they were easy to make and I didn't have those awesome penmanship skills. You can get the chalkboard fonts for free on THIS WEBSITE.  You can also find free chalkboard backgrounds on Google.  I will do another post about how to make the signs.  (Note: names on the seating charts are fictional in case you were wondering ha ha).




BAR & APPETIZER AREAS:

We used my aunt's existing pool furniture to arrange a little area to hang out at near the bar.  It was a nice place for people to relax if they needed some space away from the crowd.


We had some fun photo props out in case people wanted to take pictures while they waited.  The wedding planner said sometimes she provides a photo booth area but we had a more casual approach and people could do their own thing.



Appetizers were served on a banquet table.  They served pulled pork, rolls, veggies and fruits.  There was also a cheese and cracker tray with fruit over by the lounge area.


Here are some close up pictures.  For those who struggle to make fruits or veggie platters look nice, you can look at these and get some ideas.


SERVING AREA:

We had the serving tables shaped like an "L" and a chalkboard style menu sign at the front of where the serving line would start.  My brother's friends did all the cooking (they are HUGE BBQ fans) and it was truly delicious and plentiful.












DINING AREA:

My sister-in-law found good deals on the glass plates, glasses and silverware so she bought them instead of renting.  I think she shopped at the dollar store and IKEA.  She's one smart cookie!


We made chalkboard style table numbers and put them in glass frames on the table.  Everyone loved how the chalkboard theme ran throughout the whole wedding (including the wedding announcement that is not pictured).  You can't really see it but there are tall glass things in the middle of each table and a fancy electric candle inside that we used at night.  There are also little battery-operated candles around the table.  They added white rose petals spread around the table at the last minute so they wouldn't blow away.


We had nine table with about 10 people per table.  I believe my aunt made a lot of the black table toppers out of black sheets which is a frugal idea, plus it looked great.  They rented all the tables and chairs and borrowed the white tablecloths.  What you can't see is all the lights on the trees and walls. Totally beautiful even if it did take my relatives about 10 hours to put them all up.



BRIDE & GROOM TABLE:

Aren't they such a cute couple!  We hung that sign on the tree as a whim but it sure looked great in this picture.  They had another arch with lights behind their table.







 MUSIC & DANCING:

This DJ did a great job.  He does lots of events in Orange County and if you would like his contact info, I can get it for you if you email me.  We had a dancing area near the food serving zone.  Not huge but it met our needs.  I'd post a picture of my brother dancing but then he might kill me so I won't.


My sister-in-law saw this concept on Pinterest so I copied the theme and made a sign.  She bought the flip flops at the dollar store and people loved them.  She tied each pair together with black ribbon.


DESSERT BAR:

The candy bar was well-received.  They had cupcakes placed on tiered platters (I'd bought the platters at Costco a while back).  The glass jars all held different candies.  The glass cake platters held lemon cakes and mini-brownies from Costco.  They put candles in the white tins from IKEA and it looked great at night. You can't tell but there are white Christmas lights underneath the white tablecloth so the table was lit up at night.  It looked quite fancy. Unfortunately the dessert table ended up crashing down at the end of the wedding after most of the guests had left.  We suspect one of the legs wasn't locked in completely.  We'd cleared about half the stuff off the table but some of the jars were crushed and we lost the extra treats.  Thank goodness that didn't happen DURING the party!


 My brother doesn't eat sugar or white flour so they made a watermelon wedding cake instead and put a topper on that.  It was perfect for them.


Overall, this was an awesome wedding if I do say so myself.  Susan was the wedding planner and she did a fantastic job and I learned a lot from her.  I know my brother and his wife are grateful to her and all the others who helped out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recommended Movie - Field of Lost Shoes

I am a huge supporter of worthwhile movies.  In fact, I will often go see them in a movie theater and then later buy the DVD just to show my support with the hopes that others will be encouraged to make quality movies that mean something and are more than just mindless entertainment.


Last week, my dear friend was able to attend the red carpet premiere of such a movie called "Field of Lost Shoes." This movie will be released this Friday, 9/26 and she said she highly recommends it. The movie has great ratings and is a family-faith-based film.  The director is Sean McNamara who was also the director for the movie "Soul Surfer" (which was also a wonderful movie).

Here's a little bit about the movie:
"Based on a true story and In the midst of a prolonged and deadly American Civil War in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln appoints a very different kind of general, Ulysses S. Grant, Chief of Union Forces.  Grant acts decisively.  He brings total war to the pristine Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the South. The superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) volunteers to send the Corps of Cadets to protect the valley.  A group of 274 young cadets must confront the horrors of an adult world when they are called upon to defend the Shenandoah Valley and marched northward toward the strategic valley choke-point of New Market.  On the day of battle, Confederate General John C. Breckenridge, former Vice President of the United States, and commander of southern forces in Valley, is faced with a horrible decision.  When Southern forces are jeopardized, he orders these young cadets into battle, leaving behind their youth, making the grave decision of what they are truly fighting for."

The movie has some fabulous actors and actresses in it like the following:
Nolan Gould (from Modern Family)
Love this guy!

Lauren Holly
Tom Skerritt
David Arquette 

FYI - Around November 2015, another positive movie will be released called "Starting Over."  I will post more about that one next year.




Monday, September 1, 2014

Flecks of Gold = Great Wealth


This is a wonderful story about a young merchant who was caught up in the Gold Rush in the 1850's. He was discouraged when he didn't find large nuggets of gold as he panned and searched.  He overlooked the small flecks of gold that didn't seem worth his time.  He envied a nearby old prospector and his full pouch of gold.  Imagine the young man's surprise when the prospector showed him that his bag was full of small flecks, not nuggets.  He said, "The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth."

I love this analogy and  I agree that by small and simple things great blessings are brought to pass.

Elder M. Russell Ballard shares:
"The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wedding Reception - Coral & Gray Color Theme

Our family friend, Eryn, was married last weekend.  We've known Eryn since she was in elementary school and consider her (and her whole family) to be "Framily" - friends who are like family.

The reception was just beautiful so I thought I'd share pictures.  They had a wedding coordinator do all the decorations for the reception and she also worked with the caterer so Eryn's family could just relax and not worry about any planning, prep or clean up. I highly recommend that if you can afford it.  Her wedding coordinator and caterer were both fairly reasonably priced as well, especially if you consider the cost of all the time involved with planning a wedding.

Here are pictures of the entry area.  I didn't get a picture of the whole entry area, just some close-ups.  The lighting was dimmed and they had a DVD playing of the couple.  The movie had photos of the bride and groom as children, teens, and also when they were dating and engaged. People loved seeing that as they walked in.

At the bottom right corner of the picture below, you can see a "Project Life" book that the couple used instead of a traditional sign-in book.  Each guest wrote on a small card that would later be placed in the album mixed in with pictures.  What a great idea.  There was a small white metal cart-style table on the side for people to write their message on the cards and a cute box to put the notes in.  The display below was on a dresser that they brought to the site.


Love the cool chalkboard sign.  They used a chalk marker to write on there.  Also notice the cool metal card holder to house all the wedding cards that people brought in.  My job was to be in charge of the gifts and the sign-in notes.  It was really fun to greet people.  (Note: Never leave the gift area unattended because strangers have been known to run in and grab gifts/cards at receptions.) They also had two beautiful quilts displayed that were given to Eryn by grandparents.



Loved the popcorn bar that they had. This was also a big hit with the younger crowd. They also brought out 5 or 6 tin shakers with different seasonings after I took these pictures.






Here's a "big picture" of the whole scene.  I loved how they had the lights hanging from a pole in the middle and going out to poles on the edges of the area.  It really made it feel cozy and it was nice not to have to decorate the church walls since the focus was taken away from that area.


Next to the lights, they had twine hanging as well with doilies folded over and glued together.  Love it!



The tables were all decorated differently but coordinated overall with the theme.  Some of the tables were normal size and some were smaller.




The drink table was in the middle of the room.  The main pole for the hanging lights went up from the pole which was a good way to handle the pole without looking awkward.  They served water and punch (2 containers of each).


 The backdrop for the receiving line was simple but tasteful.  Note the darling bride Eryn in the picture (love that girl!).  She made her own bouquet.  I'll try to see if I can get an upclose picture of it.




Here are other decoration from around the room, mainly from the food area.  The food wasn't out when I took the pictures before the reception though.  They served foods that the couple liked - waffles and crepes with toppings.  The food was a hit although the caterer said it was hard to keep the waffles crisp.  The crepes were much easier to handle.


Love the tissue paper pom poms.  The darker ones were made from old sewing patterns that they found at a thrift shop. The bride made the heart garland of yarn.










Cake table was totally darling with another chalk sign.  They had a cake and mini cupcakes.







 

When I get the contact information, I will post the details about the wedding coordinator in case anyone in Mesa, Arizona area would like to hire her or the caterer.  It was a wonderful night.