Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"S" is for Service

I don't really have a ton of time to talk today, because believe it or not, I've got a couple of important tasks to perform in Service Boot Camp yet for people both in and out of my family, before this month of service officially comes to a close.

It's been like this all month, but I'm happy to say that I've been too busy serving to talk about service on here.  I think that's probably a good thing.

I just want to take a second to say that one of the most wonderful blessings to come from my time in Service Boot Camp this month is the affect it has had on my relationship with my kids.  Especially this one whose name I drew to perform secret service for within my family:

Serving Scarlett instantly strengthened our relationship, because instead of being impatient with her when she whined or cried, I thought of my caring response as a way to serve her. 

And you know what?  I found that just the act of validating her feelings caused her to get upset less frequently.  And she showed more love to me.  I dare say she felt more free about expressing her love for me, because she trusted me with her feelings more.

Our relationship was fine before, but it is definitely stronger and more enjoyable now that I have made a greater effort to be more loving toward her requests.

The other day Scarlett made this little life-sized picture (?) of me.  Now I could be wrong, but that diamond-shaped thing on my shirt looks a lot like a Superwoman symbol!  No?

And the "S" on my neck...could it stand for Service???

Anyway, gotta run.  Thank you so much for joining me in Service Boot Camp this month!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"I like yow hol intir famle."

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As predicted, yesterday was a good way, for us anyway.

For FHE, we first talked to the kids (ages 3, 4, 6) about sex.  We taught them about this about a year ago, and it went well.  We used (again) the book recommended by Deilia during the first Family Proclamation Celebration called "The Way Your Body Works" by Bernard Stonehouse et al.  This was a follow up to the discussion that we had with the kids over the weekend about modesty and avoiding p*rnography, using my talking points "God Gave You a Body."  It facilitated a great discussion.  If you haven't used it yet, I recommend that you do so...soon!

The next thing we did was wrote letters to extended family.

I love what Guy wrote to a cousin, "I like yow hol intir famle."

Now yesterday was also a sad and tragic day for anyone watching or experiencing the school shooting in Chardon, Ohio, which is near where I grew up.  

As I watch world events unfold each day, I can see how Family Home Evening is such a protection from the storms of life.

We send our children out into a world that is filled with turmoil and spiritual & physical dangers.  But when they return home, especially on Monday nights, there is a safe place where we can experience and cultivate peace together.  

Thank goodness for FHE.

PS - Be sure to check out Catania's FHE from last night!
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Postcard from Mommy Preschool

We're having fun together in Mommy Preschool today.

There are so many resources to help us teach our children, it's amazing!

While working out this morning, I watched a Twilight Zone about a couple who finds a camera that takes pictures of the future.  If I could take a snapshot of this day, I'd predict that it's going to be quite eventful.  So I must run!  Have a great day everyone!

Book of Mormon Trio LDS Heroes Print--Nephi Ammon Samuel

I almost forgot:  The winner of these three lovely prints by Peuxican Designs is:

Stephanie of Diapers & Divinity who blogged about The Manner of Happiness described in the Book of Mormon.  
(Steph, email your mailing address to  me please!)

Thanks to everyone for linking up your posts about The Book of Mormon!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Book of Mormon Scripture Figures

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I finally took a moment to cut out and laminate our scripture figures from the Friend Magazine.  I love the depictions of Alma & Abinadi, however, as I was teaching the story to my daughter, I felt I needed a few more props to help tell the story.  So I added fire, a disguise, and a copy of the Ten Commandments, which was the gist of his sermon to the wicked King Noah.  Now I think we are ready to go.

If you want to go back and laminate the scripture figures from previous months but can't locate your copies of the Friend, you can easily go online and print them out.

Which is what I will be doing later today!

Have a great Sunday!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Read Your Scriptures

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I have said this before, but I'll say it again:

Blog posts are not scripture.

Scripture is scripture.


Inspired by my friend Marla, I have decided to read the entire Standard Works this year.

There just so happens to be a website that sells a very convenient guide to help you do this.

I found them while searching for a guide to help me reach my goal.  I bought the guide for $4 and so far it has been completely worth it. 

It directs me to read four readings per day that come from four different books of scripture.  What I love about it is that unlike other free reading schedules that I had seen online that tell you to read up to a certain page each day, this reading guide is very smart in that it directs you to read a full story or section of a story (down the the verse), so that you aren't left mid-thought when you reach your scheduled page requirement.  I love that.  

I also love reading in each book daily...It allows me to see how consistent the Lord is, what a big part the Abrahamic covenant and temple covenants play in the history of God's dealing with man, and ultimately the truthfulness of the gospel.  These are things that you will not get from any blog please...put your laptop down and READ YOUR SCRIPTURES!!!

You'll be so glad you did.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Family Proclamation Video: We Need YOU!

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Montserrat of Chocolate on my Cranium and I are gearing up for our Family Proclamation Celebration (already!)  

This year, we will be joining forces with YOU to bring the world a video presentation of The Family: A Proclamation to the World!

Watch my v-log above for more details on how to contribute a video clip for this special Family Proclamation video project. (Also check out Montserrat's v-log below with a lot of great detailed info or scroll down to read the details!)

How to participate:
Basically, we are asking you to take a video of yourself saying your favorite line from the Family Proclamation.  (It can be you, your family, alone or in a group.)  

Upload your video clip to  You'll need to create a free account.  

Then send an email to from that account with a link to your uploaded video.  Please indicate what section of the Proclamation you recorded.  

We will edit the clips together and present the finished product during our celebration in September.  

Here are a few other technical things to keep in mind:

1.  Eliminate background noise
2.  Don't shoot into the light, but shoot with natural light on your subject. (or on yourself)
3.  Wear colors that compliment you.  Brush your hair.  If you own lip gloss, women, use it.
4.  Be just slightly more animated than you are in real translates well on video.
5.  Leave a few seconds (about three) before and after you deliver your "lines."
6.  Speak slower than you normally do and enunciate (pronounce your words clearly and completely).
7.  Sit still...don't wiggle if you are doing a close-up....(like do the opposite of what I was doing with Guy behind me!)
8.  Keep your hands away from your face (unless you are signing.)
9.  Speak in your native tongue...We welcome and hope to receive videos from people of all  nationalities and countries.
10. Try, try again until you get a video that you are happy with.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but you might have to do a few takes to get it right! 

We will try to use as many videos as we can, but can't guarantee that we will use all of them!  
The deadline for submitting videos is March 31st.

The video used in this post was my first take and I did a lot of things wrong.  I tried a few other times, but in the end my first take was the best/most complete one!  Go figure!  You can watch some out-takes here and here!

For those reading in reader, you can watch the vlog of this post here.

Now get to work everybody!  We need you!!

Be the first to grab a Family Proclamation Celebration Blog Button:

The first button below links to Montserrat's Main Family Proclamation Page.
The second button will take you to my blog.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

30 Christ-Centered Easter Traditions & Crafts

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

20 Minutes, Every Monday, to a Better Life

Have you guys ever read my post 20 Minutes, Every Monday, to a Better Life?

Well, you should.  It explains my whole philosophy on FHE in a nutshell.

Speaking of nuts...This is what we ate for dinner last night: Thai Peanut Noodle Salad.

It pretty much ruled.  Can't have FHE on an empty stomach, now can we!

Now there is one thing that I didn't get a chance to explain in the aforementioned post.

And that is one core principle that I try to stick to:  Don't cheat yourself of the valuable experience of planning your own lessons for your kids.  I love that there are ideas galore online to help inspire us, however, when it comes right down to it, I have learned and grown exponentially in the last few years because of the process of preparing myself to teach my children.  The actual act of reading, praying, seeking the spirit, and then testifying, answering their questions, and completing the task is what has helped me to grow.

Don't get me wrong, I get plenty of ideas from others, but I take a craft or lesson suggestions and I say, "How does this apply to my family?  What will make this come alive for my kids?  How can I use a simple recipe or craft to teach a lesson that WE need to learn?"

I think that this is most certainly the example that the Savior set for us as he took everyday scenarios and applied them to the people he was teaching.

Now last night was a pretty special night.  I had the rare opportunity to see what my life would be like had I had children at the rate I had wanted to.  We had five kids, ages 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 in our house for FHE last night.  

It was loud.  It was rambunctious.  It lasted more than 20 minutes.  

It was a bit of a challenge for me to plan the lesson, because I had never even met the kids before, but let me tell you these were some of the sweetest boys I have ever had the privilege to interact with.  (Oh yeah, and I got a taste of what it'd be like if boys ruled the roost around here!)

Since I wasn't sure what type of gospel knowledge the kids had to start with, we reviewed what prophets have taught us using images from an FHE manual that someone had passed on to me.  Things like "respect your parents, Learn to work at home and do a good job, plant a garden, smile and be kind."  These pictures were hidden around the room and the kids had to find them and read and discuss them all together.

One of the admonitions from a prophet was to "be a friend to the friendless" and to "choose good friends."  Tonight, we had a chance to do just that.  And I was reminded that sometimes FHE isn't so much about the lesson, and sometimes FHE isn't just about your family...but about serving others by sharing your blessings of family with them.

Remember to check out Catania's FHE post today!

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