Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Best Baby Board Books: Sandra Boynton

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When it comes to baby board books, the best books are written by Sandra Boynton. She has a playful writing style, and her animal illustrations are adorable. These great titles are members of our permanent family library collection:

But Not The Hippopotamus, Pajama Time!, Doggies, The Going to Bed Book, and Moo, Baa, La La La!

This book used to be on our shelf, until sadly, it was ruined by a cup of milk:


These two have been frequent checkouts on our library card:


Her books are well-loved in our home, by all ages.

Who can resist those cute singing pigs?!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life has its seasons

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"Women today are being encouraged by some to have it all--generally, all simultaneously: money, travel, marriage, motherhood, and separate careers in the world...Doing things sequentially--filling roles one at a time at different times--is not always possible, as we know, but it gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life...A woman may fit more than one career into the various seasons of her life. She need not try to sing all the verses of her song at the same time."

James E. Faust, “A Message to My Granddaughters: Becoming ‘Great Women’,” Ensign, Sep 1986, 16


"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Friday, November 21, 2008

Write a letter. Encourage a mother.

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While doing my nightly reading one of my favorite blogs, I discovered something wonderful.

The Mother Letter Project

A husband and wife who are fed up with the materialism of the Christmas season decided to forgo spending money for gifts this year and donate the money saved to a small village in Africa. They are making gifts for each other that don't cost a dime, and this husband has come up with a truly heartfelt gift. In his words:

"I am creating my wife’s Christmas present-the Mother Letter Project. Simply stated, I am collecting a series of “open letters” from mothers, to mothers. Share your stories—no matter how raw or difficult. Share you concerns—no matter how foolish they may seem. Share your wisdom—no matter how you came by it. Share your mother story."

Will you write a letter? I'll be composing one in my mind tonight as I rock my baby in the wee hours.

Visit the Mother Letter Project blog for all the details. And if you choose to submit a letter, you'll even receive your own copy of the compilation.

So...Share your story. Write a letter. Encourage a mother.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parenting 101

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For today's parenting lesson, we're going back to the basics. Here are some helpful do's and don'ts when it comes to taking care of infants.
















(Don't worry, I know my readers are way beyond this level when it comes to taking care of babies. I just thought these were pretty funny and worth a laugh.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

"You have children who will be yours forever."

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"To you young women with small children, yours is a tremendous challenge. So often there is not enough money. You must scrimp and save. You must be wise and careful in your expenditures. You must be strong and bold and brave and march forward with gladness in your eye and love in your heart. How blessed you are, my dear young mothers. You have children who will be yours forever. I hope that you have been sealed in the house of the Lord and that your family will be an everlasting family in the kingdom of our Father.

May you be given strength to carry your heavy load, to meet every obligation, to walk side by side with a good and faithful and caring man, and together with him rear and nurture and bring up your children in righteousness and truth. Nothing else you will ever own, no worldly thing you will ever acquire will be worth so much as the love of your children. God bless you, my dear, dear young mothers."

Gordon B. Hinckley, “To the Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 113

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are you "in the box"?

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During my senior year at BYU, I enrolled in a wonderful class that shaped my persepective and gave me a lot to think about. The class was MFHD 480: Moral Foundations of Family Life, taught by Dr. Terrance Olson. Our class sessions were full of thought-provoking discussions centered on the concept of a moral way of being.

One of the key readings for the class was a book by The Arbinger Institute, entitled Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the Box.

While this book is not directly about mothering, it is appropriate to mention here because it has everything to do with interpersonal relationships. I recently re-read the book and have been thinking alot about how I am "in the box" toward my children and my husband.

What does "in the box" mean? Read this great review of the book by my amazing husband, and then go put Leadership and Self-Deception on hold at your local library. Read it, it's a book that will change how you think and help you strengthen your relationships.

Monday, November 10, 2008

To the Mothers in Zion: Truly Love Your Children

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This is part ten, which concludes my ongoing feature of President Benson's address to mothers.

Truly Love Your Children. Tenth and finally, mothers, take the time to truly love your children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christlike love.

Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, address given at a fireside for parents, 22 February 1987.


Would you like a recap? In the wise words of a wonderful latter-day prophet, here are ten ways that mothers can spend effective time with their children:
  1. Be at the crossroads.
  2. Be a real friend.
  3. Read to your children.
  4. Pray with your children.
  5. Have weekly home evenings.
  6. Be together at mealtimes.
  7. Read scriptures daily.
  8. Do things as a family.
  9. Teach your children.
  10. Truly love your children.
You can read the entire talk by clicking on the citation above. (Scroll down, it's below the excellent talk by Elder Holland.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful Turkey

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I saw this adorable paper turkey and knew we had to have one for our family. I thought it would be fun to use our turkey as a daily record of the things we are thankful for.

We worked our turkey craft into a Family Home Evening lesson on gratitude. Using information from For the Strength of Youth we talked about how the Lord wants us to have a spirit of gratitude always. "Live with a spirit of thanksgiving and you will have greater happiness and satisfaction in life." Then we discussed the story of the ten lepers and how only one leper turned back and gave thanks.

We sang Count Your Many Blessings:

"When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done..."

Then we made our adorable turkey and talked about the importance of this scripture:

"Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you." (Alma 34:38)


Each evening we will add one feather to the turkey, describing something we are thankful for that day.

And while we're on the topic of thanks, remember this post? Thanks to Kiwimommy, I now have audio for the song that I grew up listening to as a child. Here for your listening pleasure: I want to be a mother. Thanks for sharing the link!

Monday, November 3, 2008

To the Mothers in Zion: Teach Your Children

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This is part nine of my ongoing feature of President Benson's address to mothers.

Teach Your Children. Ninth, mothers, take time to teach your children. Catch the teaching moments. This can be done anytime during the day—at mealtime, in casual settings, or at special sit-down times together, at the foot of the bed at the end of the day, or during an early morning walk together. Mothers, you are your children’s best teacher. Don’t shift this precious responsibility to day-care centers or baby-sitters. A mother’s love and prayerful concern for her children are her most important ingredients in teaching her own.

Teach children gospel principles. Teach them it pays to be good. Teach them there is no safety in sin. Teach them a love for the gospel of Jesus Christ and a testimony of its divinity.

Teach your sons and daughters modesty, and teach them to respect manhood and womanhood. Teach your children sexual purity, proper dating standards, temple marriage, missionary service, and the importance of accepting and magnifying Church callings.

Teach them a love for work and the value of a good education.

Teach them the importance of the right kind of entertainment, including appropriate movies and videos and music and books and magazines. Discuss the evils of pornography and drugs, and teach them the value of living the clean life.

Yes, mothers, teach your children the gospel in your own home, at your own fireside. This is the most effective teaching that your children will ever receive. This is the Lord’s way of teaching. The Church cannot teach like you can. The school cannot. The day-care center cannot. But you can, and the Lord will sustain you. Your children will remember your teachings forever, and when they are old, they will not depart from them. They will call you blessed—their truly angel mother.

Mothers, this kind of heavenly, motherly teaching takes time—lots of time. It cannot be done effectively part-time. It must be done all the time in order to save and exalt your children. This is your divine calling.

Ezra Taft Benson, To the Mothers in Zion, address given at a fireside for parents, 22 February 1987.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Preserving Marriage: Vote for it!

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The Family: A Proclamation to the World clearly states that

"marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children".

Marriage is between a man and a woman. That's it.

This election is significant when it comes to the definition of marriage. Three states (Florida, Arizona, California) have propositions on the ballot that will amend the constitution to define marriage as only between one man and one woman.

"The best arrangement for children is to have both a married mother and a father. Single parents do the best job they can but a vast body of social science research clearly tells us that children are always happier, healthier and better adjusted when raised by a married mother and father." (http://www.yes2marriage.org/mediafiles/fact-sheet.pdf)

If you live in one of these three states, visit the websites below for more information. Most importantly, please vote to support marriage!

California

Florida

Arizona
 

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