Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Careful vs. Casual by Becky Craven

Becky Craven's talk from General Conference was one of those talks that just speaks profound truth in such a simple and straightforward way that it sticks with you well after Conference is over.

And you can almost hear nothing else.  "Careful vs. Casual" says it all.  All that I hope for them.  Yes, I want them to be brave and courageous, but when it comes to making choices about living the gospel, I want them to do so carefully.  Not timidly, but with great care.

I need to go listen to her talk about five million more times right now, but I just wanted to share this image that I created to hang on my wall.

While talking with my good friend Melissa during our General Conference Book Club, I just felt inspired to make sure that the walls of my home were working for me in getting the messages that I want into my children's heads and heart!

So, after listening to this talk again, I latched on to this quick phrase she used: "As covenant people, we are not meant to blend in with the world." 

This is just another way of saying, 'you were born to stand out', which is what I expect my children to do, perhaps, in these last days, even among their church peers.  They need to get comfortable with this and learn to love this, even though it will sometimes be hard.  They will never be alone when they're on the covenant path.

I'm having this image printed in poster size.  If you're interested in accessing it, shoot me an email, and I'll send you the link for printing it in poster size. (Printing was $6 and free shipping!)

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Becoming a New Creature Through Jesus Christ

I'm so grateful that the Come Follow Me method of teaching allows for the input of every member of the family...nay, it depends on it!

This morning, I was just kind of winging it. I opened the manual to our next study topic which calls us to ponder what it means to become "a new creature" through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

I was getting "crickets" at first, so I asked my six-year-old daughter Honor what creature she might know that undergoes a change.

She immediately said that caterpillars change into butterflies, something I hadn't even thought of.

Inspired by her comment, we quickly printed out coloring pages of butterflies.  And while we colored, we discussed the process by which caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies and compared it to the processes through which we become new creatures through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Some parts of that "becoming" include baptism, repentance, and so on.

We then took that idea of becoming a new creature and dovetailed into President Eyring's talk where he gives us great insight into how we can become new creatures as a family.

In the talk "A Home Where the of the Lord Spirit Dwells", President Eyring taught that the underlying cause of contention in a family is the influence of Satan who is trying to cause us to sin and lose the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Wise parents will focus not merely on the symptoms or individual undesirable bad behaviors of each child, but instead will lead each child (by personal example) to the Savior.  He said the best thing we can do to "reverse spiritual decline" in our families is to help each child grown their faith in Jesus Christ.

He listed some specific things we can do to help reverse this spiritual slide and boot out contention.  They are:

1. Lead by example
2. Grow in faith together
3. Pray in love for each member of the family
4. Apologize quickly and sincerely
5. Experience forgiveness together
6. Cultivate a spirit of sharing the gospel
7. Visit the temple together often

As a family, the things we can easily impliment immediately is prayer.  We are going to start a habit of praying over every member of our family in every prayer that we say together.

I'm excited to try this out, to try the words of President Eyring and see how it affect everyone in our home.  And I'm so happy that my little girl...who LOVES bugs...could use her knowledge of butterflies to help us all better understand how Christ can help us become "new creatures."

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Monday, September 9, 2019

Eye of Faith by Elder Andersen

So, life has been rough for me the last two years with my oldest son being diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder.  We're trying to work with him and love him, and keep him safe while simultaneously still creating a loving home for all of our other children to enjoy.

It's been rough.  I'm not going to sugar-coat it.  And I'm only sharing, because I think maybe it would help other people to know even in seemingly "perfect homes" there are trials, very difficult, depressing, overwhelming trials that we just don't see coming and can't always prepare for.

But I have faith, and I have realized more and more recently that the Lord is giving me a gift through my son, allowing him his agency and ME my agency to choose to grow through the process and to develop spiritual gifts that I have not previously focused on.

We pray for Guy every day.  It is a roller coaster ride, every day.

But just know that I continue to do my best over here in my personal life, and if you don't hear lots of joyous updates from me, that's because, I'm just in the thick of it.  Just doing my best, just like all of you!

One thing that sometimes happens when your world is rocked is you start to fall out of routines.  The changes that Come Follow Me brought were good HOWEVER, for me, they knocked me out of other good routines that I have previously loved and relied up0n.  So I'm working on bringing those routines back....such as actively studying General Conference with my children.

Studying General Conference has always brought me such strength, and I feel we're in a good place whenever the words of the prophet are taught in my home.

So this morning, we started by discussing Elder Neil L. Andersen's talk "The Eye of Faith".

I had studied it the night before and knew my children would enjoy the imagery of eyes & seeing with spiritual eyes to understand the words of the prophets.

They also love any reason to wear glasses, so I printed off these free glasses coloring pages and we colored and assembled them together this morning while we discussed how spiritual things are understood...with an eye of faith.

I used a slightly scary example that if I asked my older daughter to run out and get my youngest son Coy out of the road...if she delayed action and instead demanded to know why instead of just trusting me that I needed her to act immediately, there could be dire consequences for our family.  

However, if we act with an eye of faith, we obey quickly, and trust that even if we don't understand right now, answers and understanding will come in due time, we will enjoy a much happier outcome.

The same is true for us as we follow the prophet (or as Elder Andersen uses as an example in his we uphold and live the truths of the Family Proclamation), we can really only do so successfully through an eye of faith.

I loved this quote/promise from his talk:

"Prior to being the President of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson said: "Prophets see ahead.  They see the harrowing dangers the adversary has placed or will yet place in our path. Prophets also foresee the grand possibilities and privileges awaiting those who listen with the intent to obey." (I love that!)  Let's teach our children to listen to General Conference "with the intent to obey"!  Happiness will follow!

I also like this one:

"Should we really be surprised when the Lord's prophets declare His will and, for some, questions remain?  Of course, some reject the voice of the prophets immediately, but others prayerfully ponder their honest questions--questions that will be settled with patience and an eye of faith...One purpose of prophets is to help us in resolving sincere questions."

Twice in the talk, Elder Andersen gives us five keys to obtaining spiritual/absolute truth:

"The scriptures, our prayers, our own experiences, modern prophets, and the gift of the Holy Ghost bring us the spiritual perspective of truth necessary for our journey here on earth."

I am seeking that spiritual perspective to make it through my current challenges as a mother, and I wish it for all of you as well.

May we all find it as we seek with an eye of faith!

Thank you, Kate at Picklebums!  I've used this printable before and my kids have really enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your talents.  

And anyone looking to start General Conference prep, check out my General Conference Ideas Page for some inspiration.

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Monday, July 29, 2019

Little Boys

It's so fun having two little boys to bring up the rear of our family.  Even my husband said so recently.

And boy are they getting to be adventurous.

I love that Val is so snuggly, loves the "do work", and curious about the world.

We have a small ladder that was part of our bunk beds.  He likes to bring this Val-sized ladder outside and see what he can climb with it.  He can climb the small tree we have next to our house.  He can scale the house too...but only as high as a 3 foot ladder can go.

He is always barefoot, and always "working" on something.  I love that he wants me to sit with him when he's tired and read to him.  He loves this book that I used to read as a child called 'Big Max' who is supposedly the world's greatest detective.

The other evening, we were all cleaning up the dishes from dinner when I realized Val wasn't with us.  I went outside and found him clipping the bushes.  He had hacked up a nice bush in from of our porch and started in on the flowering tree.  Luckily, he clipped just the right branch off of the tree.

The next night, we had decided to settle in and watch a movie as a family.  Five minutes into the movie, my daughter is gasping and can hardly get the words out to tell us what's the matter.  We all turn around to find Val holding a flaming fly-swatter high in the air.  He had held it over a lit candle and suddenly found himself with a home-made torch that he didn't quite know what to do with.

We all jumped up, and Scarlett grabbed the kitchen sink sprayer shooting in his general direction, however the flame went out quickly by itself after Val dropped it on the kitchen floor.

A few minutes later, we were nervously laughing it off, grateful nothing bad came of it when Scarlett said, "I can't wait to be a Mother!"

Her reaction to the incident will go down in history for me as just as memorable as the actual event.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

4th of July Parade 2019

Can you believe that I almost didn't do our annual Fourth of July Parade this year?

Let's not even speak of such things!  This parade is 41 years in the making as a family tradition.  And eventhough this is the summer of No for me, that was unacceptable for Honor who just mastered riding a two-wheeled bike this summer and wouldn't hear of any change in our yearly tradition.

So, believe it or not, we threw this thing together the night before.

And I'm so glad we did, because it was a really nice gathering of all of our neighbors.  So, these are my buddies!

I'm just going to share a bunch of photos from the event, mostly from the photobooth.

The wooden US flag sign was made for me by my friend Rachel and the "Life is Good" sign I first try at a new little hobby.

The last photo you'll see was the sunset from July 3rd...Is it just me or does the sky look like it's flying "stars & stripes!?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Flag Tshirt Craft

It's been a while since I posted a craft on here.  This US flag tshirt was so fun, because all six kids could do it, it's patriotic AND a sweet keepsake!

First, pick up a plain white tee at Michael's or wherever.

Using acrylic paint, place your handprint in the top left corner (to represent the blue field of stars).

When that's dry, use everyday masking tape to create a stencil for the red and white this:

Do as many stripes as looks good to you and fits on the tshirt, but remember there are 13!

 I removed the tape before it was dry and then set the shirt out to dry.

We made these on July 3rd and were styling on the 4th!

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