Tuesday, September 23, 2014

General Conference Is Almost Here!!

Sooo...I love General Conference like I love Christmas!!! Excited to wake up on Saturday morning and get mentally ready to hear from all of the general authorities and listen to their wise counsel!

We love getting together with our family! But with 4 boys 13 and under and 1 girl, sometimes we struggle with concentration! 

Our favorite thing to do is buy some small candies to play general conference bingo! The kids listen to hear the words on the card and then place a candy! They are not allowed to eat the candy until a bingo is called. It's nice because it actually takes a while before someone actually gets a bingo!
I printed my bingo cards from this wonderful blog: Bits of Everything

On Saturday evening, I roll out a prepare cinnamon rolls. I make them and before they have a chance to rise, I freeze them. Then, the next morning all I do is thaw, bake and put icing on them! SOOOOOO good!

There are soooo many great ideas for General Conference, both for small children, and even big children, like me!!! 

Here's a list of some of my favorite places to go for ideas:

I am sure there TONS more out there to be had, but these are my go to's! 

Whatever I do this year, I know I am blessed, and so is my family, with the wise counsel from our leaders!

"Every time we are obedient to the words of the prophets and apostles we reap great blessings. We receive more blessings than we can understand at the time, and we continue to receive blessings long after our initial decision to be obedient." -Elder Paul V. Johnson

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family Home Evening

"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.”
-President Thomas S. Monson

In our church, Monday nights are set aside from other activities to spend time with our families and to learn more about the gospel. We call it Family Home Evening, or F.H.E. 

Our family loves it!! We have two young boys with a very tiny attention span, so we keep our lessons simple. 

I also have lessons ready...you know, for those nights when I can't get it together! (Which happens more often than I would like to admit!!)
I keep them, in alphabetical order, in a file box with a handle. 

LOVE it! So easy to find a topic we want to work on!

Then, we always do something together! Whether it's playing a board game or feeding the ducks!

It's such a treasured night and the blessings that it brings is worth all the greatest efforts!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To Be a Mother

" Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us." -Sheri L. Dew 

I love being a mom...

and an aunt...

(we were rednecking in these two pictures!!)

and a sister, daughter and friend.

I love teaching the children at our ward through song. 
Motherhood encompasses SO many different roles. I know some amazing women who have treated me like one of their own. They've sat with me, cried with me, laughed with me and loved me. 

Motherhood rocks!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dare to Stand Alone

Last week, my son Michael, who is at a very curious age, asked what 9/11 was about. I thought about it all day and decided to show him a picture, like the one below, and explain what happened on that very tragic day.

(image source) http://www.freeallimages.com/911-pictures/

He was completely saddened and mortified. You could see it on his face.

He asked why things like this happen and why would anyone want to do something like that. 

I explained to him that there are people who don't believe in what we believe and that they have agency to choose what they want to do in their own lives.

He apparently didn't think that was an acceptable answer!!! He then asked,"Are we the only ones who believe in God?" I assured him that we are not the only ones!!

But it made me think of the counsel given to us by our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. 

"As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? "

I explained this to my nine year old in the very best way that I knew how, wondering how much he understood. But I already know that he DOES understand. He has the courage to tell a man older than his mother that he doesn't like when he swears because it makes him feel bad. He has the courage to tell his peers that what they are watching is not what he should be watching. 

We have great influence over how our kids act and react to different situations. We as their parents have the courage, they know that, and in turn they demonstrate the same courage!! 

"As parents we can be examples of the positive effects of living with honesty and integrity in all we do. Even in the face of disappointment or betrayal by others - especially in those cases - we can look to gospel truths for hope. It is by holding to eternal truths that we can be an example of hope for a brighter future." -Margaret D. Nadauld

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Linky Linky!

Linking up over here today!

You Never Know

Ever have one of those days?? A what-am-I-doing-how-can-I-get-it-all-done-days?? I've been having a lot of those lately. My to-do list keeps growing and growing and growing! Isn't the point of to-do lists to make things easier??

Never doubt your role in Heavenly Father's plan. Never doubt that all you could do was give a friendly smile. Never doubt that all you can do is take a meal to someone in need. Never doubt that all you can do is make your family dinner. 

We are here for a purpose.

Life is full of changing seasons. For right now, the season may be to raise healthy, productive, God-fearing children. And to that I say, do your very best. Your season might me to provide for a family and watch every penny spent. And to that I say, do your very best.

“Do your duty; that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.” - President Thomas S. Monson

We need to do our very best and look at what our season is. Don't compare your season to some else's! It may seem warm and sunny there and it may seem like a blizzard where you are!! Live for know!!

I saw this video and had to share!!! You really never know!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Servant's Heart

"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." - Mosiah 2:17

The lovely ladies in the Primary Presidency at church, gave my boys these super neat Service Scavenger Hunt's on Sunday. I love that they are small ways to teach them how to serve. Service doesn't have to be something big, that everyone can see. The best kinds of service are the kind that go unnoticed! 

Below are pictures of Michael and Aaron making their beds! Oh so willing to help! 
(It doesn't hurt that they will be getting a treat on Sunday if they get enough points! ;) )

Treats and points aside, I hope that they have the feelings of goodness that comes with serving others unselfishly! That in the future, they will do unto others, without the hopes of getting something back in return!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Family: Wholesome Recreational Activities

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." 
The Family: A Proclamation to the World

I love planning things to do with my family. I love seeing all of us together and having fun. One of our favorite activities to do is play baseball. Every Memorial Day and Labor Day, we've made a tradition of going to the nearest ball field and playing until we can't play anymore! 

We even made fun t-shirts! My family is so large that we are able to split into two teams! One of the teams is fluorescent yellow and the other is fluorescent orange!!! We seriously have the best time and our family looks forward to it sooo very much!    

Below is my brother Bill, getting ready to hit his third or fourth home run! Some of the spectators think we are some kind of pro-team! Haha! We all wish!

Below is my "little" brother Joe, helping my almost-niece Tori hit the ball!

Here's my Aaron, who I think may be the BIGGEST baseball enthusiast! He loves it!

And then there's Mike...he'd rather play basketball!!!! ;)

Then there's my momma! She is the kid wrangler, and one of the best players on the team!!! She has my sweet niece Saiya with her! 

My niece Kara is pretty good herself! Though she isn't keen on sweating!! 

Finding something for our family to do is rough. We don't all have the same values or even the same religious beliefs (My mom and I along with two of my nephews and one niece are the only members of the church in our family of about 20!!) but we love to be together, which is the absolute most important thing!! So finding something that we are all willing to do is awesome! I love spending time with them!! Makes my heart smile and I know it is important to Heavenly Father! Double bonus!!

Can't wait for Memorial Day! It's too far away! Maybe football for Thanksgiving?!?! Maybe we'll give it a shot! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The best is yet to come

13 years have passed since we were married and I can't believe it!! Happy Anniversary to my hubs! And I honestly believe that the best is yet to come!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Don't Blink

While I have been busy lately being "busy", this little guy grew up.

I was awaken this morning to a beaming, six year old little man saying,
"Mom, look, I lost a tooth!" 

With the sleepies still stuck to my eyes, I hugged him, shed a tear (or maybe two) and said,
"I love you, bud." And under my breath, I whispered a prayer of gratefulness and sadness. Grateful that I am home to witness these things but sad that it seems like yesterday that this guy was born. 

I just have to remember to keep my eyes on what's important and to not blink so much...maybe time will slow a bit!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Life Happens

Life has been happening lately and my hope is to get back to blogging. We finished up our school year and let me tell you...it was a long year! Teaching 2 children is a lot different than just one!!! They did well and I am so proud. Been bus, busy, busy and hope to get back in the swing of things!