Friday, October 4, 2019

Apostles Stickers & Vision Boards

Good morning, friends!

It's Friday morning of General Conference week, and I'm exhausted from running around yesterday trying to "get stuff done", so that means it's time for me to slow down and rest so I can be re-energized for Conference this weekend.

I am happy that the spirit guided me to these two activities for my kids to do before, during, and after General Conference.

The first activity is to be started BEFORE CONFERENCE.  

I made stickers of the apostles (and the three female auxilliary presidents) for the kids to use in their notetaking notebooks this time around.  However, I want them to do a little work beforehand so I left off the names.  This activity requires them to use our Apostles name board (pictured above) to write the correct names on each sticker. That's it!  Then they can use their prepared stickers during the sessions and not have to ask "what's his name??"  And they'll hopefully be better prepared.

I shared the apostle stickers HEREHERE.  There are two pages.  You can print them on 2x4 mailing labels OR just print them on regular paper or card stock to cut out and glue or tape on.

The booklet is a "bare book" that I bought at Target in the $3 aisle.

And the second activity is from the new Child & Youth program.  As I was wandering around Walmart yesterday, the image from the videos we saw on Sunday popped into my mind of children creating "vision posters" of ways they want to grow physically, spiritually, socially, and intellectually.

So I thought let's listen for promptings on how we can each grow in those areas while we watch General Conference this time around.

I asked them to just "start" their posters, so they could fill them out during conference, but Honor's excitement for writing just could not be contained.  She promised me that she still has room to write this weekend!

She also told me, "Mom, I just love drawing a picture of it (my goals) because I don't have to use my imagination about it anymore, it's like it's real!"

Every time we do General Conference, our approach to it looks a little different.  It makes things fresh & fun and useful as we can immediately start applying the things of General Conference to our lives NOW!


Fall is here.  General Conference is almost here.

My floors are not clean and probably will not get cleaned, but the things I think are most important are done.

So, let's go!

If you're looking for some last-minute ways to engage your kids this weekend during Conference, please check out my General Conference Ideas Page!

Have fun!

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

General Conference Warm-up!

As I mentioned on my FB page, I quickly made a little open-book quiz for my family to do as a review of the last General Conference/warm-up for this Conference.  Half of the questions are fill-in-the-blank and half are fill-in-the-name-of-the-speaker.  I wasn't planning on sharing it, but someone asked for it!  So enjoy and let me know how it goes...It's tailored to my family and probably full of typos, but good luck!

I plan on gathering some tiny, fun little prizes to put in a prize box, so they can pick something for every correct answer. :)  I've copied it in the body of this post for quick access, but a more printer-friendly version is linked HERE
This is an open-book activity.  These are all quotes from General Conference April 2019.
For each correct answer, you can choose a prize from my treasure box.  These truths are treasures!  Search for them, live them, and put them in your heart!

Fill in the Blank:

“The best teacher is a good  __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __ __.” -Ulisses Soares

“There is a __ __ __ __ __ __ __ way and a casual way to do everything, including living the gospel.  As we consider our commitment to the Savior, are we __ __ __ __ __ __ __  or casual?” – Becky S. Craven

“We can know the things of God as we seek them spiritually.  We see the spiritual things of God through the perspective of an __ __ __ of __ __ __ __ __.” -Neil L. Andersen

“All Heavenly Father asks of us is to do the __ __ __ __      __ __ __ __ we can each day…Do the best you can do day after day, and before you know it, you will come to realize that He loves will be filled with joy and peace.” -President Ballard

“…families can become sacred sanctuaries only as we repent early and sincerely…and when [in family prayer] the person who prays mentions those who are kneeling in that circle __ __   __ __ __ __ , and all can feel love for them and for each family member.”
 -President Eyring (not an exact quote)

“Nothing is more crucial to our individual progression than is a regular, daily focus on __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ .”
Brethren, we need to do __ __ __ __ __ __ and be __ __ __ __ __ __ , because we are in a battle.  The battle with sin is real.  The adversary is quadrupling his efforts to disrupt testimonies and impede the work of the Lord.  He is arming his minions with potent weapons to keep us from partaking of the joy and love of the Lord.
__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ is the key to avoiding misery inflicted by the traps of the adversary.
The Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point in our eternal progression.  But He does expect us to become increasingly __ __ __ __.”
 – Russell M. Nelson

“Sharing the gospel is based on a great ___ ___ ___ ___ for all of Heavenly Father’s children.”
“All members can show our love for the Savior and our brothers and sisters through out the world by making __ __ __ __ __ __  invitations.” - Quentin L. Cook

“The gathering of Israel is the most __ __ __ __ __ __ ­­__ __ __ ­­­­­­ thing taking place on earth today.  Nothing else compares in magnitude, importance, or majesty.” – D. Todd Christofferson

“Our homes are fortresses against the evils of the world.  In our homes, we come unto Christ by learning to follow His commandments, by studying the scriptures, and praying together, and by helping one another stay on the covenant path.
We are at war with Satan for the souls of men.  Your testimony of Jesus Christ is your
 __ __ __ __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __ __ __ __, the security for your soul.”
– Ronald A. Rasband.

Who said it?:

“We are to remember in as personal a way as possible that Christ died from a heart broken by shouldering entirely alone the sins and sorrows of the whole human family.  In as much as we contributed to that fatal burden, such a moment demands our respect.  Thus, we are encouraged to come to our [Sunday] services early and reverently, dressed appropriately for participation, in a sacred ordinance.”
 ______________ __ _______________

“You are bearers of the holy priesthood of God.  Your commitment to hold firmly the iron rod will transform you into the eternal being who you were created to become.”  ___________ __ ______________________

“We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best…Take the long view.  What is the effect on our future of the decisions we make in the present?  Remember the importance of getting and education, studying the gospel, renewing our covenants by partaking of the sacrament, and attending the temple.”   _______________ _ ________

“You do not ‘earn’ blessings – that notion is false – but you do have to qualify for it.”  “…small acts of faith are required to ignite God’s promises.”  ________ __ __________.

“Making our homes sanctuaries where in we can ‘stand in holy places’ is essential in these latter days.  And as important as home-centered and church-supported learning is for our spiritual strength and protection today, it will be even more vital in the future.” ____________ ___  ___________

“Our Good Shepherd rejoices when we exercise individual moral agency with intention and faith.  Those in His fold look to our Savior in gratitude for His atoning sacrifice.  We covenant to follow Him, not passively, blindly, or “sheepishly,” but instead desiring with all our hearts and minds to love God and our neighbor….”  _____________ _ _________

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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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