Summer was fast approaching, and I didn’t want it wasted. My four girls always wanted to play with their cousins up the street, but I wanted there to be some learning and productivity along the way. My sister-in-law and I decided to join forces and create “Summer School for Cousins.”
One afternoon each week we took turns hosting and teaching. On her week my sister-in-law taught the girls sewing. They came home with homemade purses and rice bags they treasure. On my week, armed with my skills from BYU elementary-education classes and two years of Spanish, I attempted to teach some basic Spanish. With eight girls, there was a lot of giggling; however, there was actual learning as well. They felt very clever as they greeted each other with “Hola, prima” (Hello, cousin) or asked, “¿Cómo estás?” (How are you?). But their favorite question was always an eager “Do we have summer school today?”
—Shawnie Satterfield Sutorius (BS ’95), Pocatello, Idaho
Since graduating I have used my accounting degree to benefit my family. I categorize all our expenses and set goals to live as frugally as possible. We maintain a nine-month emergency savings, collect food storage and supplies, trade babysitting with friends, shop yard sales, and pay tithing and fast offerings.
I recently taught a finance and tax class to both the Relief Society sisters and the young women in my ward. And we are starting young with our son and daughter: we have a chart where they have to fill in each circle with a coin to save enough money for a family outing, like mini golf or visiting an inflatable play center. The visual of full and blank circles really helps them see how much they have earned compared to what they still need.
—Brittney Taylor Fairbourn (BS ’08, MAcc ’08), St. George, Utah
Tip: The Purpose of Any Task
While earning a degree in family science, I took a class from Bill C. Marshall (BS ’71, MS ’74, PhD ’84), who repeated this mantra: “The purpose of any task is to strengthen the relationship.” My husband and I remember this in raising our four sons. It is easy to be impatient and want to get things done, but when we remember that each experience can be an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with our children, it gives us a new perspective. We can find a way to make homework or chores a pleasant, bonding experience.
—Genevieve Smith Nichols (BS ’99), Santaquin, Utah