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


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