Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nurture Mama has moved to

My husband convinced me of the merits of having my own domain and host for this blog, so is now Everything on the old site is now on the new site. I will no longer be posting here but this site will remain up as a resource.

If you have subscribed to my feed (thanks!), it should switch over to the new site automatically but please check to make sure you are receiving updates.

If you've linked to my site, please update your links to:

A big thanks to my awesome husband and all of his technical support. Nurture Mama wouldn't be here without him!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Teaching good habits

"My mother understood the value of teaching her children about standards, values, and doctrine while they were young. While she was grateful to others who taught her children outside the home at either school or church, she recognized that parents are entrusted with the education of their children and, ultimately, parents must ensure that their children are being taught what their Heavenly Father would have them learn" (L. Tom Perry, “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 29–31)
The responsibility that I have as a mother to teach my children weighs heavily on my mind. I have three sweet spirits that have been entrusted to my care, and I want to be sure that they grow and learn the important lessons to help them be successful and good people. I don't care if they grow up to be rich and famous, I just want them to be good and kind.

Children learn best by example, so of course I am trying my best to live my life as a good and kind person. But it is important to verbalize the essential life lessons as well. So lately I've been putting a little more thought into our Family Home Evening lessons, and teaching the attributes/skills that I most want my children to develop.

My first lesson along this theme was Hands are for Hugging, not Hurting (can you tell we sometimes have a hitting problem at our house?!). The lesson went really well and those words have become a common phrase heard in our home, when little hands need a reminder on how to behave.

The next lesson was Quickly Obey, followed soon after by Pray Always. Our Follow the Prophet lesson coincided with General Conference, but teaching our children that we follow the prophet is a year-long endeavor.

Each of these lessons was centered on a simple phrase that could be easily remembered and repeated. We talk about them at dinnertime, we mention them in family prayers, and whenever an appropriate opportunity arises. We're calling them our "Tanner Family Habits" and these are the words that I hope my children will remember and take to heart. I will be happy if when my children are grown they can look back and say "Yes, I know it's essential to follow the prophet, because we talked about it in our family and we did it". Or when troubles arise, my children know who to turn to for help (and in gratitude also), because we are a family who prays always. In a way, we are crafting our family mission statement through these lessons.

We'll keep adding to our list as we go along, working to develop good habits and strengthen our family.
"Maintaining good personal habits which are pleasing to our Heavenly Father will strengthen our character, increase our influence for good, improve our example, bless our loved ones and friends, enrich our lives, and enable us to accomplish those things that yield true personal satisfaction and build peace and happiness in our hearts. We will have joy eternally, possessing a treasure to be much desired and sought after, for the Lord gives this assurance: “Inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” (D&C 58:28.) (Delbert L. Stapley, “Good Habits Develop Good Character,” Ensign, Nov 1974, 20).

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On Hope and Mourning

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls.

"We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will “work together for [our] good” as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Infinite Power of Hope,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 21–24

The past week has been one of sadness and tender feelings in the lives of my extended family. We mourn the passing of my sweet niece who was tragically killed when she was hit by a car while riding her bike. Allison was a beloved daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter and friend and she will be missed by many. Though her life was cut short in just a moment, I find peace and hope in my faith. I am thankful for eternal families, and the knowledge that Allison can be reunited with her family again someday.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

My husband put his feelings into words here. Read the news article about the accident here. You can read Allison's obituary here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Pumpkin Party Weekend

After a fun trip to the pumpkin patch last week, we're planning a family fun night to carve our pumpkin. But with a little time to spare on a long weekend I decided to invite my girls to a Pumpkin Party Weekend. We'll be working on activities inspired by the following great ideas I've found in my Google Reader this week.

5 Little Pumpkins from The Activity Mom
Newspaper Ghosts from Serving Pink Lemonade
Bean Skeletons and Macaroni Spider Webs from The Activity Mom (but I think we will try outlining our spider webs with string)
My friend Emily brought some adorable Hot Dog Mummies to the Sweet Bee's preschool party. This is what we'll be having for dinner on Halloween night, along with the Spooky Jello-Jigglers, and some Halloween themed pasta if I can find it at the store (thanks Courtney for the idea).

I don't think we'll get to it this year, but some time I would like to try the Frozen Banana Ghost Treats from No Time for Flashcards.

What are your favorite pumpkin activities?

Monday, October 25, 2010

" family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening..."

"Teaching in the home is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread and he is attacking, attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society, even the family. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions, such as church and school, can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), ultimately this responsibility rests with parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is parents who are entrusted with the care and development of our Heavenly Father’s children. Our families are an integral part of His work and glory—“to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). On God’s eternal stage, it is usually intended that parents act as the central cast members in their children’s lives. Fortunately, there are understudies involved in the production who may step in when parents can’t. It, however, is parents who have been commanded by the Lord to bring up their children in light and truth (see D&C 93:40).

"Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time. They know that the influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world. The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.

L. Tom Perry, “Mothers Teaching Children in the Home,” Ensign, May 2010, 29–31

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Halloween Recipes

I'm looking for an easy snack to take to my daughter's preschool Halloween party. Preferably something on the healthier side, since there will be enough sugar floating around for the next week. Here are the best contenders I've found so far:

2-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Orange Flavor Gelatin
Make It

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.

REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm.

DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes, using 2-inch Halloween-shaped cookie cutters, making sure to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift gelatin shapes from pan. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.
Parsley, finely chopped
Deviled egg mixture
Red pepper
1 black olive and 2 asparagus tips

1. Stir chopped parsley into your favorite deviled egg mixture to give it a green tint; fill the cooked egg whites.
2. Use black-olive slices for pupils and a bit of red pepper pushed into the center for evil glint. Add asparagus tips for eyebrows.

Pumpkin Spice Cookies
This recipe is tried, tested and truly loved by me! It's a fall tradition at our house now!

1 box spice cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin (the small can)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional) or 1 cup chopped pecans (optional) or 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup cream cheese frosting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray cookie sheets lightly with vegetable spray (Pam).
3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and pumpkin with a fork or mixer until well blended; stir in nuts or raisins, if desired.
4. Drop by large rounded spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet; they don't flatten out much so however you place them on the sheet is pretty much how they'll look after baking.
5. Bake for 8 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for up to 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Frost, if desired

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"First School" Lesson Plans: Activities for 2-3 year olds

We've been "back-to-school" for almost two months now, and I finally feel like things are settling down as we have figured out our routine. Things have fallen into place so nicely, in fact, that I even had time to make a plan for the learning activities that I want to do with the Sweet Bee. She just turned three years old this week, so I'm calling it "First School". Here is the focus for each day at a glance:

Monday: Letter of the Week
Tuesday: Social-Preschool with friends
Wednesday: Number of the Week
Thursday: Color /Shape of the Week (alternate weeks)
Friday: Creative art, seasonal theme, playgroup

Here is a detailed breakdown of what I plan to do each day.

Letter of the Week
Introduce the letter: use a letter grab bag with the various letters we have in the house (foam letter, blocks, magnet letter).
Read a book that connects with the letter.
Create letter artwork, see No Time for Flashcards for inspiration.
Color a basic letter poster for the wall, add a letter sticker (the posters I use are the Uppercase A-Z Worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler).

Number of the Week
Introduce the number: use a number grab bag with the various numbers we have in the house (foam number, blocks, magnet letter).
Read a counting book.
Use the counting cups to count a snack (cheerios, crackers, grapes, etc).
Play a number/counting game.

Color of the Week
Create a color poster using crayon, colored pencil, marker, paper scrap, paint, etc.
Go on a color hunt and search the house to find the color.
Read a book and look for the color in the pages.
Free art using the color (and others, too).

Shape of the Week
Introduce the shape using the felt shapes. Play a matching game.
Create a shape poster by gluing small colored shapes on a larger shape.
Go on a shape hunt and search the house to find the shape.
Cut the shape out of play dough or cookie dough.

Creative and Fun
Create or play something fun. A good day to do seasonal projects (ex. Halloween or Christmas).
Playgroup with friends.

As we go along, I'll share the specifics of what we actually did in each lesson (ex. which books we read for letter X, the number game we played with number 3, the creative letter artwork we did for letter L, etc). Watch for the details in future posts. These activities would be fun (and educational) for most 2-3 year old children, and adaptable for other ages as needed. My five year old likes to join in whenever she can!

There are a lot of great resources available when it comes to planning a preschool lesson. These blogs are my favorites and first places I look for inspiration:

No Time for Flashcards
Confessions of a Homeschooler
The Activity Mom
Chasing Cheerios
Teach Mama

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Third Birthday

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Sweet Bee!
"The important thing about being Three is being ME.

Who is it that can open their eyes and see? ME!
Who knows the difference between a pig and a tree? ME!
Who runs around as busy as a bee? ME!
Who is funny and not a bunny? ME!

But the important thing about being Three is being ME."

Taken from Another Important Book, by Margaret Wise Brown.

FHE: Follow the Prophet

Scripture of the Week
"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."
D&C 1:38

Lesson Plan
(adapted from Lesson 37: Following the Prophet Helps Us Come Unto Christ from this packet on

Tell the children that we have a special leader to follow, our prophet. Explain that a prophet is a man who speaks with God—God tells the prophet what we should do. Tell the children that if we follow the prophet, we will be happy and Heavenly Father will bless us. Explain that to follow the prophet means to do the things he tells us to do.

Display the picture of the living prophet. Have the children stand and say, “(Name of the living prophet) is a prophet of God.”

Why do we need a living prophet? (So we can know what Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to do.)

Explain that the prophet teaches us by speaking at conferences. Conferences are big meetings attended by a lot of people. We might be able to listen to the prophet on television, radio, or recordings. His words are also written in Church magazines that our parents or others can read to us.

Watch President Monson's most recent General Conference address, The Divine Gift of Gratitude. The children can color a picture of President Monson while watching the video clip.

Follow the Prophet is one of our new family habits to go along with Pray Always, Hands are for Hugging, not Hurting, and Quickly Obey.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"Let all children know who they are, what they are to do, and who they can become."


"Are we teaching our children to know, feel, and rejoice in the beauty, power, and miracles of the gospel of Jesus Christ? President Gordon B. Hinckley has counseled: "Let us nurture our children concerning Him whom we call the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us teach our children the grand saving principles of the gospel." Children need to know that having faith in the Savior and following Him will help them receive peace in this troubled world.

"How do we teach our children? We can follow the example of the Savior. In the Book of Mormon we read of the resurrected Savior's appearance to those in the Western Hemisphere. While teaching the people, He gathered the children to Him. He knelt and prayed with the children and for them. He blessed the children one by one. He felt the joy of their presence and opened the heavens that the children might be taught from on high.

"As you include children at your family dinner table, as you involve them in daily family prayer and scripture study and in family home evening, you are following the example of the Savior by loving and teaching them. As you do this, let them know that together your family is striving to keep the commandments and to be worthy to be an eternal family. It may be during the informal one-on-one times that the Spirit will prompt us to ask just the right questions or to say just the right thing to help our children know and feel the light of the Lord. If we make the opportunities, the Spirit will guide us.

"We have wonderful, capable children in our midst. We can help them find peace in this life and in the life to come.

"Children need to be filled with the light of the gospel so when temptation comes they can say: "I know who I am. I am a child of God. I know what I am to do. I am to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and keep the commandments." Then children can say: "I know who I can become. I can become a righteous young woman," or, "I can become a righteous young man and receive the priesthood of God." Children filled with this knowledge and light can make the decision to reject darkness and turn to the light and peace of the gospel.

"It will take time and effort to teach children, but we must not become distracted or give up. Our children so need the fulfillment of the promise "and great shall be the peace of thy children." Let no child wonder if he or she is loved by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Let all children know who they are, what they are to do, and who they can become."

Coleen K. Menlove, “All Thy Children Shall Be Taught,” Ensign, May 2005, 13

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Glowing Faces in a Jar (and other Halloween Fun)

Last year, my Halloween Project To-Do List included making glowing jacks from Not So Idle Hands. It didn't happen last year, but the girls and I had fun making them last week.
glass jars
tissue paper
mod podge
black spray paint
Halloween face template (found here)

You can find the detailed tutorial here, but it's pretty simple. Cut your tissue paper into strips, apply mod podge to the jar, attach the strips, then attach the faces.

You can be pretty creative with these. I didn't have any orange paper for the traditional pumpkin look, so we used green, white and yellow for a more monster/ghost/creature theme. I just printed the faces off on regular white paper and regular black printer ink, but once the mod podge was applied they looked pretty good. I chose to spray paint the lids black for the finishing touch, but you could do green for pumpkins, or add some ribbon or tulle.

Don't forget the candles for the finishing touch! (Actually, I bought a cheap pack of the little tea-lights that you can turn on and off, so I don't have to worry about flames and little people).
Here are a few other seasonal Halloween activities I plan to try this year:

Monsters! Monster shapes from Little Page Turners
Bottle Cap Spiders from Silly Eagle Books
Building a Skeleton from Chasing Cheerios
Marshmallow Ghost from No Time for Flashcards
Festive Silhouettes from Serving Pink Lemonade

Here is a link to the fun Halloween projects we did last year.

As is our habit, we're reading books!

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White

10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman

What Halloween fun do you have planned?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FHE: Pray Always

Scripture of the Week
" must pray always, and not faint."
2 Nephi 32:9

Lesson Plan
Follow the lesson plan Prayer from A Year of FHE. This lesson covered exactly what I wanted to cover and teach my children about prayer, so I didn't have to make any adaptations. The Sweet Bee colored the 4 Parts of Prayer poster, and the Ant Bug did the maze and colored the pictures.

Pray Always is one of our new family habits, to go along with Hands are for Hugging, not Hurting and Quickly Obey.

(I promise I'll talk more about these family habits soon! I'm just giving you a little teaser now, but let it be known that I am very excited about our family habits plan and the direction they are giving to our family.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bring your children to know the Savior

"We have the account in 3 Nephi of a people who actually saw the face of the Savior in this life. And while we may not see Him now, perhaps we can learn from their experience. After the Savior’s death, He appeared to these people, taught them, and blessed them. And then “it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought” (3 Nephi 17:11).

"It is our sacred responsibility as parents and leaders of this rising generation of children to bring them to the Savior so that they might see His face and the face of our Father in Heaven as well. As we do so, we also bring ourselves.

"Now, I would ask you to look around you at those you love. This is what matters most—our families. I am sure that more than anything, you want this family to be yours eternally. The account in 3 Nephi can help us bring our children to Him because it gives us a pattern to follow. First, we must love the Lord with all our hearts, and we must love our children. Second, we must become a worthy example to them by continually seeking the Lord and striving to live the gospel. Third, we must teach our children the gospel and how to live its teachings.

"Brothers and sisters, we are the angels that Heavenly Father has sent today to bless the children, and we can help them to one day see the face of the Savior as we teach the principles of the gospel and fill our homes with the joy of living them. Together we can come to know Him. We can feel of His love and His blessings. And through Him we can return to the presence of the Father. We do this as we are willing to be obedient, faithful, and diligent in following His teachings.

Cheryl C. Lant, “That Our Children Might See the Face of the Savior,” Ensign, May 2010, 81–83

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Princess Hyacinth: A floating book review

At the library a few weeks ago, this book caught my eye.Princess Hyacinth: The surprising tale of a girl who floated by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Lane Smith

Since my girls love everything princess-like (and fancy and fairies and cats and...) I picked it up for a closer look. The inside cover reads
"Poor Princess Hyacinth! If only she could run and play with the other children on the Palace Grounds. Why can't she, you wonder? Well, because Princess Hyachinth has a problem...She floats!"
A floating princess? I was hooked, and my girls have been hooked too! And I don't think this is a book just for girls, but I don't have a boy old enough to try it out on.

This is a delightful story about a not-so-typical princess, a mis-adventure with balloons, a boy name Boy, and of course-floating. There is also a kite, and royal underwear, and fabulously expressive illustrations. It's definitely a keeper on our list.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

FHE: Quickly I'll Obey (and a great resource for FHE lessons)

Scripture of the Week
"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

"Children , obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right." Ephesians 6:1

Lesson Plan
Follow the lesson plan Honoring Your Parents from A Year of Family Home Evenings.

I decided to change things up a bit, and I gave my girls the coloring page to work on while we talked about the lesson. I think it helped them to listen a little bit more, and at least they weren't running around the room while we talked.

In addition, we also sang "Quickly I'll Obey" (CS, 197). We then played a game I called "Quickly Obey". Basically it was just a variation of Simon Says to teach the girls instant obedience in a fun way. We said things like "Quickly obey...touch your nose" or "Quickly obey...put your finger on your knee" or "Quickly obey...jump up and down 5 times". The girls thought it was pretty fun.

Quickly Obey is one of our new family habits, to go along with Hands are for Hugging, not Hurting.

I need to put a shout-out for for A Year of Family Home Evenings. I just discovered this blog, and it is a wonderful resource for parents of young children. Emilie has plans for an entire years worth of lessons, complete with a scripture and learning activities and songs. Her children are the same ages as mine (nearly 6 and nearly 3, plus a baby), so it's a really good match. Go check it out, and you might find your next FHE lesson planned out for you!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The reason I am tired

"In order to prioritize time wisely, I learned something from my father-in-law years ago. He was a steel-worker and spent his life working three different shifts. He either worked the day shift, the afternoon shift, or the night shift. As a young mother I realized one time that I was working all three shifts, and that’s why I was so tired. We can’t do all things all at once, and we have to be careful and safeguard our shifts. "

Julie B. Beck, Address Given at BYU Women's Conference, Thursday, April 29, 2010

That explains why I am so tired!

Sister Beck goes on in her talk to explain how she prioritized her life, organizing her tasks by "the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things." She shared a number of the essential things, and I found that many are the things that should be on my own essential list. I am still pondering about this talk, and pondering about the talks I heard during General Conference this weekend. I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who sends us messages that we need to hear--now I just need the faith to make the application in my life!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

General Conference Links

This General Conference Weekend has really crept up on me, I can't believe how fast the month of September has flown by. Actually, the six months since the last session of General Conference have flown by--our baby was just 2 days old then, and now he is sprouting 2 teeth!

Sadly, with a husband out of town on business this weekend, I'll be "attending" (read: watching at home) conference alone with 3 children under the age 5. So the following links are where I'm looking to keep the kids busy and somewhat quiet!

The first place to start is always She has links on her home page to the best resources for General Conference. I am excited about her most current packets, since you have four choices to find the one that best matches your child's interests. Be sure to visit her General Conference page for loads of ideas.

But if you don't have time to sort through her massive list, be sure to visit My Favorite Resources for a General Conference Weekend. I compiled all of my favorite ideas for April 2010 (including the General Authority tie coloring page), and the links are still good.

New this round, I'll be trying the temple lacing card from A Little Tipsy. I think that will be perfect for the nearly 3 year old Sweet Bee.

Edited to add: Saturday I discovered a few more activity and coloring pages on Prepared LDS Family. The Ant Bug loves mazes and dot-to-dots, so these links will help supplement our packet this weekend.

I hope these links and packets help your kids to stay busy and somewhat quiet. Enjoy your Conference weekend!

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Lionesses at the gate of the home."

"I have said lately that women are like lionesses at the gate of the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her. She guards that gate, and things matter to that family if they matter to her. For example, if the lioness at the gate believes in the law of tithing, tithing will be paid in that family. If that family has a humble little portion of ten pesos coming in, that lioness will safeguard the one peso if tithing is important to her. If that lioness at the gate knows about renewing her baptismal covenants with God, she will be in sacrament meeting on Sunday, and she will prepare her children to be there. They will be washed, cleaned, combed, and taught about that meeting and what happens there. It isn’t a casual event, but it is serious to her, and it will be serious to them. The lioness at the gate ensures that temple worship is taken care of in the family. She encourages that participation. She cares about seeking after her ancestors. If the lioness at the gate knows about and understands missions, missionaries, and the mission of the house of Israel, she will prepare future missionaries to go out from that home. It is very difficult to get a lion cub away from a lioness who doesn’t believe in missions, but if the lioness believes in a mission, she will devote her life to preparing the cub to go out and serve the Lord. That’s how important she is. Service happens if she cares about it.

"Sisters, you are each like the lioness at the gate."

Julie B. Beck, Address Given at BYU Women's Conference, Thursday, April 29, 2010.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Preschool Lesson Plan with a Dinosaur Theme

The Sweet Bee is participating in a co-op preschool this year, with 5 other children. She loves to go to school each week and play with her friends. Since the children are all 3 years old (or nearly so), the mothers of the group all agreed that focus of the group would be mostly fun and social, with some learning thrown in too. I was excited to host this week, and I thought I would share my lesson plan with you.

We focused on Letter D and Dinosaurs (I made sure to allow plenty of noisy roaring). Most of the items are pretty self-explanatory. I found the song lyrics and the coloring pages online doing a Google search. The craft project was mostly my creation; it went over really well and it was fun to see the variety in the finished products.

9:00-9:20 Play Time/Free Time
Puzzles, Blocks, Little People, Lacing shapes

9:20-9:30 Circle Time
Good Morning Song
Calendar—Talk about the day, the month, and the date.
Weather –look out the window and discuss what the weather is like.
ABC song-sing while doing something silly like jumping up and down, clapping hands, swimming our arms, etc.

Introduce letter D. Place letter D objects in a grab bag for the children to take turns choosing one. Use letter block, foam letters, magnet letter, D poster page and D sticker page.

Sharing Time-each child shares what they brought that starts with the letter D.
9:30-10:15 Lesson Time
Dinosaur Dig (outside)
Have a container of sand to dig through and find a hidden dinosaur. (Two beach buckets of sand, with 3 small dinosaurs hidden in each)

Song (to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Dinosaurs were very big
Very big
Very big
Dinosaurs were very big
Very, very big

Read a dinosaur book: Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

Song (to the tune of "Did You Ever See a Lassie?", have the children stand and move left and right)
Did you ever see a dinosaur, a dinosaur, a dinosaur?
Did you ever see a dinosaur go this way and that?
Go this way and that way
Go this way and that way
Did you ever see a dinosaur, go this way and that?

Song (to the tune of “This Old Man”, use actions and roaring)
This T-rex, this T-rex, he goes tromping all around,
With a stomp and a tromp and a (clap, clap, clap)
This T-rex is tromping on!

This T-rex, this T-rex, he goes roaring all around,
With a grump and growl and a great big (Rroarr!)
This T-rex is roaring now!

Craft Time
Color a dinosaur shape, glue on googly eyes and spikes.
Need: glue sticks, crayons, markers, googly eyes, triangle shaped colored paper for spikes, dinosaur shape (cut out of cardboard) for each child.

10:15-10:30 Snack Time
Meat eaters vs. Plant eaters
Hot dogs on a toothpick, dip in ketchup
Broccoli trees and baby carrots, dip in ranch
Cheese cubes
Water, juice to drink in sippy cups.

10:30-11:00 Free Play


Read books: How does a dinosaur...various by Jane Yolen, Oh My Dinosaur by Sandra Boynton
Color dinosaur pictures
Dance and sing to dinosaur songs, and fun wiggle songs from the preschool playlist

Monday, September 20, 2010

Understanding the full meaning of love

"The soul of the marriage is greatly enriched and the spiritual growing process is greatly strengthened when a couple become parents. For couples who can have children, parenthood should bring the greatest of all happiness. Men grow because as fathers they must take care of their families. Women blossom because as mothers they must forget themselves. We understand best the full meaning of love when we become parents. However, if children do not come, couples who are nevertheless prepared to receive them with love will be honored and blessed by the Lord for their faithfulness. Our homes should be among the most hallowed of all earthly sanctuaries.

"In the enriching of marriage, the big things are the little things. There must be constant appreciation for each other and thoughtful demonstration of gratitude. A couple must encourage and help each other grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful, and the divine."

James E. Faust, “Enriching Your Marriage,” Ensign, Apr 2007, 4–8

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Working my way back

It's September 15th. I had planned to take the month of August off from this blog to work on some other needed projects. But as life goes, the projects took longer, and I'm just coming back now in the middle of September.

Life with three kids is keeping me busy. Add to that a busy husband in graduate school, part-time work, church involvement, the many demands of home management, and it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. But...I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way!

So out of necessity, I may have to cut back my time spent on this blog. I have plenty of ideas that I want to record and share with you, but just not enough time in my day to write up all the posts. Some day (probably only in my dreams) I'll get to everything on my to do list.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. As a reader of this blog, what would you most like to read here? Have you ever enjoyed a book with your child that I've recommended? Discovered a great recipe? Or been inspired by the words of a prophet, encouraging you in your role as a mother?

Please take a minute and leave a comment (dare I say, vote?) on the following list of topics. Your votes will help me to prioritize and get to the most helpful or interesting posts first.

1. Activities (or crafts) to do with children
2. Home organizing and management
3. Parenting tips and helps
4. Recipes
5. Book recommendations for kids
6. LDS quotes on mothering, parenting, families
7. FHE lessons

This blog has always been about nurturing. Providing encouragement and tools for mothers, who will then go on and fulfill their most important role to nurture their children. But mostly it's a place for me to record and organize the lessons I am learning as a mother. This quote is a good reminder for me tonight

"Some of you sisters may feel inadequate because you can't seem to do all you want to do. Motherhood and parenting are most challenging roles. You also have Church callings that you fulfill so capably and conscientiously...In general you noble sisters are doing a much better job of holding it all together and making it work than you realize. May I suggest that you take your challenges one day at a time. Do the best you can. Look at everything through the lens of eternity. If you will do this, life will take on a different perspective."

"I fear you sisters do not realize in the smallest part the extent of your influence for good in your families, in the Church, and in society. Your influence for good is incalculable and indescribable."

"I truly believe you are instruments in the hands of God in your many roles, especially that of motherhood."

"In the work of the kingdom, men and women are equally important. God entrusts women to bear and nurture His children. No other work is more important. Motherhood is such an important role for women."

James E. Faust, “Instruments in the Hands of God,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 114

Monday, September 13, 2010

Devote your best effort

"We have been counseled strongly by the First Presidency to devote our best efforts to the strengthening of marriage and the home. Such instruction has never been more needed in the world than it is today, as the sanctity of marriage is attacked and the importance of the home is undermined.

"The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. Please notice how the Savior is positioned at the apex of this triangle, with a woman at the base of one corner and a man at the base of the other corner. Now consider what happens in the relationship between the man and the woman as they individually and steadily “come unto Christ” and strive to be “perfected in Him” (Moroni 10:32). Because of and through the Redeemer, the man and the woman come closer together.

"As a husband and wife are each drawn to the Lord (see 3 Nephi 27:14), as they learn to serve and cherish one another, as they share life experiences and grow together and become one, and as they are blessed through the uniting of their distinctive natures, they begin to realize the fulfillment that our Heavenly Father desires for His children. Ultimate happiness, which is the very object of the Father’s plan, is received through the making and honoring of eternal marriage covenants.

"As men and women, as husbands and wives, and as Church leaders, one of our paramount responsibilities is to help young men and women learn about and prepare for righteous marriage through our personal example. As young women and men observe worthiness, loyalty, sacrifice, and the honoring of covenants in our marriages, then those youth will seek to emulate the same principles in their courting and marriage relationships. As young people notice that we have made the comfort and convenience of our eternal companion our highest priority, then they will become less self-centered and more able to give, to serve, and to create an equal and enduring companionship. As young women and men perceive mutual respect, affection, trust, and love between a husband and a wife, then they will strive to cultivate the same characteristics in their lives. Our children and the youth of the Church will learn the most from what we do and what we are—even if they remember relatively little of what we say."

David A. Bednar, "Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan", World Leadership Training Meeting, June 2006.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Speak more frequently about Jesus Christ."

"We hold in our arms the rising generation. They come to this earth with important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. We cannot be casual in how we prepare them. Our challenge as parents and teachers is not to create a spiritual core in their souls but rather to fan the flame of their spiritual core already aglow with the fire of their premortal faith."

"The stories of Jesus can be like a rushing wind across the embers of faith in the hearts of our children. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”8 The stories of Jesus shared over and over bring faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strength to the foundation of testimony. Can you think of a more valuable gift for our children?"

"To fathers and mothers, to grandfathers and grandmothers, and to those without children of their own who lovingly nurture children and youth, my counsel is to speak more frequently about Jesus Christ. In His holy name is great spiritual power. “There [is] no other name given nor any other way … whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ.”

"As you reverently speak about the Savior—in the car, on the bus, at the dinner table, as you kneel in prayer, during scripture study, or in late-night conversations—the Spirit of the Lord will accompany your words."

Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Ensign, May 2010, 108–12

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gospel Study in August 2010

Among other things, my gospel study in August included the following:
The Book of Mormon: Mosiah 13-Alma 4

Ch. 15: The Lord's Covenant People
Ch. 16:The Church of Jesus Christ in Former Times

General Conference Addresses, April 2010

Donald L. Hallstrom, “Turn to the Lord,” Ensign, May 2010, 78–80

Quentin L. Cook, “We Follow Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2010, 83–86
"We live in a noisy, contentious world, where it is possible to be viewing or listening to information, music, or even pure nonsense virtually every waking hour. If we want to have the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we must find time to slow down, ponder, pray, and live so we are worthy to receive and act upon His promptings. We will avoid major mistakes if we heed His warnings. It is our privilege as members to receive light and knowledge from Him even to the perfect day."

Robert D. Hales, “Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation,” Ensign, May 2010, 95–98
This is as an awesome talk for all parents and leaders of youth to review. You can see the Mormon Message video, as well as text from the talk, here.

James B. Martino, “All Things Work Together for Good,” Ensign, May 2010, 101–3
"Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests. To some, our trials may not seem great, but to each of us who are passing through these experiences, the trials are real and require us to humble ourselves before God and learn from Him."

"In our last general conference, our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, stated: “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives."

Gregory A. Schwitzer, “Developing Good Judgment and Not Judging Others,” Ensign, May 2010, 103–5

Neil L. Andersen, “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus,” Ensign, May 2010, 108–12
Are I teaching my children about Jesus?????? This talk is a great place to start when it comes to lessons for FHE.

Thomas S. Monson, “A Word at Closing,” Ensign, May 2010, 112–13

"One brief scripture:

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

That has been the story of my life."

The Ensign, August 2010
The Friend, August 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

The ultimate career

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only--and that is to support this ultimate career. "
-C.S. Lewis

Thanks to Janene for sharing this quote with me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Understanding the hearts of the youth


"Mother, Father, are you in there? Grandpa, Grandma, are you there? Being there means understanding the hearts of our youth and connecting with them. And connecting with them means not just conversing with them but doing things with them too.""

"It is impossible to overestimate the influence of parents who understand the hearts of their children. Research shows that during the most important transitions of life—including those periods when youth are most likely to drift away from the Church—the greatest influence does not come from an interview with the bishop or some other leader but from the regular, warm, friendly, caring interaction with parents.

"When we sit down at the dinner table, is our whole family there? I remember as a young man asking permission to play baseball through dinnertime. “Just put my meal in the oven,” I said to my mother. She responded, “Robert, I really want you to take a break, come home, be with the family for dinner, and then you can go out and play baseball until dark.” She taught all of us that where family meals are concerned, it’s not the food but the family interaction that nourishes the soul. My mother taught that the greatest love we give is within our homes.

"Similarly, mothers and fathers, as you drive or walk children to school or their various activities, do you use the time to talk with them about their hopes and dreams and fears and joys? Do you take the time to have them take the earplugs from their MP3 players and all the other devices so that they can hear you and feel of your love?

"For our interactions with youth to truly touch their hearts, we have to pay attention to them just as we would pay attention to a trusted adult colleague or close friend. Most important is asking them questions, letting them talk, and then being willing to listen—yes, listen and listen some more—even hearken with spiritual ears!

"I ask the Lord’s blessings to be with the parents and with the youth who are brought up in faithful homes, that they will understand the joy it is to be in a home and family where they can be loved, directed, and guided. It is my prayer that we may have eternal families and be together forever in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."

Robert D. Hales, “Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation,” Ensign, May 2010, 95–98

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ready for School

Okay, I know I said I was going to take a break from this blog this month. But my oldest child is starting kindergarten in a week, and I'm a little anxious. I'm sure she'll be fine, but still, I'm sending my baby out in to the world! Will she be safe? Will she have a kind teacher and make nice friends? Have I taught her everything she needs to know?! Ack!

So of course, as is my habit, I've been doing some research to make sure I send my little girl off right. Today I'm sharing some of our preparations, and some of the interesting ideas I've found.

School Shopping
For clothes, shoes, supplies, etc. Our school district just implemented a uniform policy that requires shirts with collars and solid colored bottoms. My friend and I were resourceful and dyed our own pink polo shirts to appease our girly-girls and their need for pink!
The Ant Bug picked out her own cute backpack, with attachable lunch box.

Don't you love new art supplies? My cupboard is now stocked with 7 bottles of glue and 13 glue sticks to fill the Sweet Bee's need for glue throughout the year.

Making Lunch
We've got the lunch box, and we've got the containers. Most importantly, I've made sure the Ant Bug can open everything by herself.
Have you heard of Bento lunches? They seem to be all the rage now. You can get all the details on Bento Box Basics from the alphamom. Basically the gist of the idea is to make lunch cute and appealing to your kids. Use cookie cutters for shapes and cute little containers to section out the food.

I'm not a good enough mom to think that I can make some of these impressive cuties everyday, but I think I can handle a star shaped sandwich, some flower-shaped cheese slices, and a little cup of fruit on occasion.

Simply Modern Mom has a great post with lots of ideas for making kid lunches fun and healthy.

I like the idea of the Ant Bug finding a surprise little love note in her lunch box. Teach Mama has some great templates available to download here.

A few recipes that I would like to try:
Family Fun Peanut Butter Balls
Snackpicks After School Muffins

For the First Day (and the night before)
My husband grew up with the tradition of receiving a father's blessing with the start of each school year. We've done this in previous years before starting preschool, and it is an important tradition in our family now. I take notes on what is said to include in the Ant Bug's journal.

On the morning of the first day we'll have our camera in hand, ready to document the monumental occasion. I like the idea of having your child hold up a large cut-out letter showing what grade they are in (see an example here).

I'm thinking about holding a special "Back to School" dinner, either the day of or the night before. We'll serve "alphabet foods" like alphabet noodles or cereal. I like the idea of giving a little gift with a card wishing good luck in the new school year. There is a cute card template here at Sugardoodle, but I haven't decided what the gift should be yet. I like this Back to School bag idea, but it might be better for older kids.

Reading Books
I just picked up a stack of kindergarten prep books from the library today. There is a plethora of books available on the subject, but one that looks really fun is Miss Mingo and the First Day of School by Jamie Harper.

Routines for School
Once the excitement of the first day (or week) wears off, it's important to have routines in place to keep things running smoothly. I have plans for a morning check-off chart which will include things like get dressed, eat breakfast, make lunch, brush teeth. We will need to be out the door by 7:15 each morning, so there won't be much time for anything else.

I'll also be adjusting our daily schedule, making time for homework, piano practice, housework, and playing. Meck Mom has lots of helpful ideas for organizing your home and routines for back to school here.

Lastly, I was reassured with the Ant Bug's abilities when I read this article: What your child should know before starting kindergarten.

Now tell me, what back to school traditions do you have? What tips do you have for a first-time mother of a kindergartener?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Show unwavering dedication

“Oh, that every parent could understand that children come from a premortal experience and have possibilities that often are far beyond what we might expect. We should spare no effort to help our children reach their full potential. Is it any wonder that Jesus brought the little children unto himself to teach and bless them?

“To teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ and to protect them from the influences of a wicked world, love must abide in our homes. We should cherish and care for our children with unwavering dedication. The older we grow, the more precious our family becomes to us. We come to see more clearly that all of the wealth, honor, and positions of the world pale in significance when compared to the precious souls of our loved ones. You young parents who are beginning your families must guard against seeking financial gain, worldly comforts, or achievement at the expense of your children. You must guard against being so anxious to get to work or to a meeting that you do not have time for your family, especially time to listen to anxious little voices. Always remember this timeless counsel from a prophet of God, President David O. McKay: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” (Improvement Era, June 1964, p. 445.)

“We cannot and we must not allow the school, community, television, or even Church organizations to establish our children’s values. The Lord has placed this duty with mothers and fathers. It is one from which we cannot escape and one that cannot be delegated. Others may help, but parents remain accountable. Therefore, we must guard the sanctity of our homes because that is where children develop their values, attitudes, and habits for everyday living."

M. Russell Ballard, “Teach the Children,” Ensign, May 1991, 78

Monday, August 9, 2010

Make sure your children know you love them

"To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon our Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them."

Thomas S. Monson, “Abundantly Blessed,” Ensign, May 2008, 111–12

Friday, August 6, 2010

My August Projects (and a little break)

The list of projects on my "to do" list keeps growing longer and longer, and I haven't been making much headway on it lately.

Some of the projects on my August "to do" list include:

-get the Ant Bug ready for kindergarten (shopping for supplies and clothes--a good deal on uniform polos is proving to be a challenge!)

-revise our family budget for 2010-2011 (being graduate students, this is the fiscal calendar that works best for us)

-sort through our paper files

-prepare for a new year of teaching piano lessons

-a temporary contract job doing some design work

-clean my house regularly (this has been a little more difficult to accomplish with 5 people in our house now!)

-enjoy the last weeks of summer (swimming, splash park, beach-although in reality the heat will be with us in Florida for awhile yet)

-work on dejunking the living area and master bedroom

And spend some quality time with my three little cuties! And my awesome hubby too!

But if I'm going to get any of this done, I need to take some time away from this blog. So except for the regularly scheduled LDS quotes on mothering and parenting, you won't be hearing from me anymore this month. Feel free to browse back and read some of my older posts you might have missed.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I'll be back in September!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gospel Study in July 2010

Among other things, my gospel study in July included the following:
The Book of Mormon: Mosiah 3-Mosiah 12

Ch. 13: The Priesthood
Ch. 14: Priesthood Organization

General Conference Addresses, April 2010

Keith B. McMullin, “Our Path of Duty,” Ensign, May 2010, 13–15
"As men and women and boys and girls do their duty to God, they feel impelled to do their duty to one another, to their family, to their church and nation, to all things entrusted to their care. They are duty bound to magnify their talents and to be a law-abiding, good people. They become humble, submissive, and easily entreated. Temperance conquers indulgence; obedience guides their diligence. Peace distills upon them. Citizens become loyal, communities become benevolent, and neighbors become friends. The God of heaven is pleased, the earth is pacified, and this world becomes a better place."

Koichi Aoyagi, “Helping Hands, Saving Hands,” Ensign, May 2010, 36–37
"Sometimes we feel that we are weak and lack the strength to rescue others, but the Lord reminds us, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40)."

David A. Bednar, “Watching with All Perseverance,” Ensign, May 2010, 40–43
Early warning system for parents to be watchful of their children includes,
1) Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon
2) Bearing testimony spontaneously
3) Inviting children to act
Read his excellent talk for all the details!

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,” Ensign, May 2010, 44–46

"Why is lust such a deadly sin? Well, in addition to the completely Spirit-destroying impact it has upon our souls, I think it is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever. Someone said once that true love must include the idea of permanence. True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a pornographic page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by, male or female. True love we are absolutely giddy about—as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops. But lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine—the later and darker the hour the better, with a double-bolted door just in case. Love makes us instinctively reach out to God and other people. Lust, on the other hand, is anything but godly and celebrates self-indulgence. Love comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only an open appetite."

Refer to his talk for ways to guard against temptation.

The Ensign, July 2010

The Friend, July 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sweet Innocence

"Have you seen the future when you gazed through the hospital nursery window and saw the bassinet wheeled into your view? You see that beautiful newborn infant for the first time. A new spirit comes into your life as a son or daughter, grandchild, or child of a friend, and you know that your life will never be quite the same again. How often have you had to blink back the tears as you stood in awe and contemplated the miracle of a new life? This newly arrived spirit has come in sweet innocence from the presence of God.

"Every human being is a spirit child of God and lived with Heavenly Father before coming to earth. He entrusts his spirit children to earthly parents who provide a mortal body for them through the miracle of physical birth and gives to parents the sacred opportunity and responsibility to love, protect, teach, and to bring them up in light and truth so they may one day, through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, return to our Father’s presence.

"These precious souls come to us in purity and innocence. As parents, we assume an immense responsibility for their care and well-being. Parents share this sacred trust with brothers and sisters, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, and all who touch the lives and impress or influence the souls of these precious children. King Benjamin admonished parents many years ago, “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” (Mosiah 4:15.)

"The critical nature of the first tender formative years cannot be overstated. These little ones are like seedlings in a plant nursery. All look much the same in the beginning, but each one will grow to become independent and unique. Parents are to nourish, tend, and teach their children so they will grow to their full stature and potential."

M. Russell Ballard, “Teach the Children,” Ensign, May 1991, 78

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Children's Picture Book for Parents

I'm happy to be sharing another guest post from my sister-in-law Eliza. I had a chance to read this book while on vacation this month and I thought it was great. Especially enjoyable for any parent!

Quentin Blake has a great picture book called Zagazoo. Even though it is marketed as a children's book, it is really for parents. It starts out with George and Bella receiving a package with a strange pink creature inside. The label on the creature says it is "Zagazoo." George and Bella are happy with this creature, but then one day, it turns into something quite different. I won't tell you more, or I will spoil the book. You have to read it yourself (it is really short).

Eliza is the mother of two boys and one girl, with another boy on the way. She has a Ph.D. in journalism and taught at Brigham Young University for several years, but now cares for her children full-time. Of all her mothering duties, she especially enjoys helping her children learn to read. In her few spare hours during the week, she reads the news and attends a weightlifting class (so, as she says, she can keep up with her children).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fun Picture Books for Boys

This week I am happy to be sharing two guest posts from my sister-in-law Eliza. She has great taste when it comes to books for children, and I'm adding these to our library check-out list!

We enjoy reading books together, though we have discovered that boys sometimes like different picture books than do girls. Here are 10 fun picture book authors that our boys enjoy.

Jon Agee
Milo’s Hat Trick, Dimitri the Astronaut, Nothing, Terrific, The Retired Kid, and others

Doris Burns
Andrew Henry’s Meadow

Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
Katy and the Big Snow
The Little House

Dr. Seuss
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Fox in Socks
Green Eggs and Ham
Bartholomew Cubbins and the 500 Hats
The King’s Stilts

Munro Leaf
Wee Gillis

Robert McCloskey
Make Way for Ducklings
Blueberries for Sal
One Morning in Maine
Time of Wonder
(and others)

Peter Spiers
The Star Spangled Banner
Noah’s Ark
The Fox Went out on a Chilly Night

David Wiesner
Tuesday, Sector 7, The Three Pigs, and others

Audrey Wood
The Deep Blue Sea, Alphabet Adventure, Alphabet Mystery, and others

Andrea Zimmerman
Digger Man

Eliza is the mother of two boys and one girl, with another boy on the way. She has a Ph.D. in journalism and taught at Brigham Young University for several years, but now cares for her children full-time. Of all her mothering duties, she especially enjoys helping her children learn to read. In her few spare hours during the week, she reads the news and attends a weightlifting class (so, as she says, she can keep up with her children).

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