Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gospel Study in March 2010

Among other things my gospel study in March included the following:
2010 Outline for Sharing Time
March Theme (and weekly gospel principles): God speaks through prophets.

March Scripture: "He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began" (Luke 1:70).

Ch. 5: The Creation
Ch. 6: The Fall of Adam and Eve

General Conference Addresses, October 2009
Boyd K. Packer, “Prayer and Promptings,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 43–46
That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind. The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions. We may feel the words of spiritual communication more than hear them and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes.

You can know the things you need to know. Pray that you will learn to receive that inspiration and remain worthy to receive it. Keep that channel—your mind—clean and free from the clutter of the world.

Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And I have learned to conclude all my prayers with “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; see also Luke 11:2; 3 Nephi 13:10).

Do not expect to be free entirely from trouble and disappointment and pain and discouragement, for these are the things that we were sent to earth to endure.

L. Tom Perry, “The Past Way of Facing the Future,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 73–76

May we all learn both of the important lessons taught by the shipbuilders from Norway who constructed the roof of the Manti Temple. First is the lesson of using the principles and truths of the past to help us face the future. Second, we learn from their desire to share what they knew with others to help build the kingdom of God. This second lesson, if we learn it well, will help many others of our brothers and sisters, fellow sons and daughters of God, face an uncertain future with the same eternal assurances we have.

Michael T. Ringwood, “An Easiness and Willingness to Believe,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 100–102
Indeed, the daily living of the gospel brings a softness of heart needed to have an easiness and willingness to believe the word of God. My testimony is that the teachings from our prophet and apostles in this conference, if followed, will lead to an easiness and willingness to believe in the word of God. We have been counseled to worship in the temple; to strengthen families through consistent family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening; to serve diligently in priesthood and Church callings; to pay tithes and offerings; to have faith and to pray for guidance; and to live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Thomas S. Monson, “Closing Remarks,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 109–10
We remind you that the messages we have heard during this conference will be printed in the November issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines. As we read and study them, we will be additionally taught and inspired. May we incorporate into our daily lives the truths found therein.

The Ensign, March 2010

The Friend, March 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

FHE: Easter Lesson

Scripture of the Week:
"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay."
Matt 28:6

My ideas for this were adapted from the following sources:
FHE Ideas for Easter and Passover at Family Home Evening Planner
An Easter Activity for Family Home Evening at Times and Seasons

Lesson Plan
Fill 9 plastic Easter eggs each with one of the following items and scripture reference. Hide the eggs for the children to find. Open the eggs in order, read the scripture and discuss the item, then match to the appropriate Gospel Art Kit (GAK) picture. Simplified explanations of the events are included with each statement below.

Watch the following Mormon Message (An Apostle's Easter Thoughts on Christ) by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

1. a leaf–real or plastic (if it vaguely resembles a palm branch, all the better)
“And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11:8-9).
(When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people waved branches because that’s what people used to do when a king walked by.)
GAK: 223

2. a piece of a tortilla, pita, or bread or white clay shaped to look like flat bread
“And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body” (Mark 14:22).
(The next day, Jesus had another special meal with his friends. We call this The Last Supper. This is when the sacrament began, because Jesus said that people who followed Him should have bread and wine or water to help them remember Him.)
GAK: 225

3. a picture of Jesus in the Garden
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; but if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit”and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink”nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men”(D & C 19:16-19).
( Jesus went to a garden to pray. Here, he suffered for our sins. Because He did this for us, we can repent and live in heaven again.)
GAK: 227

4. three dimes
“And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him” (Mark 14:10-11).
(Judas was supposed to be one of Jesus special helpers, but instead he helped other men arrest Jesus. He did this because those men paid him money.)
GAK: 228

5. a cross made out of wood, toothpicks, popsicle sticks, paper, or brown clay
“And it was the third hour, and they crucified him” (Mark 15:25).
(Jesus was crucified.)
GAK: 230

6. a nail
“Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen” (D & C 6:37).
(When the soldiers put Jesus on the cross, they pounded nails into His hands and feet.)

7. a little bundle (wrapped in fabric, a baggie, plastic wrap, etc.) of spices–cloves would be nice
“And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him” (Mark 16:1).
(After Jesus died, His friends put his body in a tomb. Later, some of the women who followed Him came to the tomb to put spices on His body. That was something they did back then when someone died.)
GAK: 231

8. a stone–rounded would be best
“And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great” (Mark 16:3-4).
(The tomb had a rock that could roll over the opening to seal it. While the women were walking to the tomb, they wondered how they would get the stone out of the way.)
GAK: 232

9. leave empty
“And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him”(Mark 16:6).
( When they got to the tomb, they were amazed to find that the stone had been rolled out of the way and Jesus body was gone! Then an angel came and told them, “He is risen; he is not here”(Mark 16:6). This egg is empty because Jesus’s tomb was empty. Jesus’s tomb was empty because He was resurrected!)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Divine roles of father, mother, and children.

We must recognize that the family is the cornerstone of civilization and that no nation will rise above the caliber of its homes. The family is the rock foundation of the Church. We therefore call on the head of every household to strengthen the family.

We believe marriage was ordained by God for a wise, eternal purpose. The family is the basis of the righteous life. Divinely prescribed roles of father, mother, and children were given from the very beginning.

God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, love, teach, and direct.

A mother’s role is also God-ordained. Mothers are to conceive, bear, nourish, love, and train. They are to be helpmates and are to counsel with their husbands.

There is no inequality between the sexes in God’s plan. It is a matter of division of responsibility.

Children are likewise counseled in holy writ in their duty to parents:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

“Honour thy father and mother; [which is the first commandment with promise;]

“That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:1–3), said the Apostle Paul.

When parents, in companionship, love, and unity, fulfill their heaven-imposed responsibility and children respond with love and obedience, great joy is the result.

Ezra Taft Benson, “Counsel to the Saints,” Ensign, May 1984, 6

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My favorite resources for a General Conference weekend

"Decide now to make general conference a priority in your life. Decide to listen carefully and follow the teachings that are given. Listen to or read the talks more than once to better understand and follow the counsel" (source).

One of the greatest blessings of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being able to hear living prophets and apostles speak. Our family has a tradition of watching all four sessions of General Conference at home, but we make use of a lot of activities to keep our children interested and occupied for the eight hours.
A General Conference weekend scene, October 2009.

Be sure to check out the 2010 General Conference Packets from Melanie at She puts a lot of effort into her work, and her packets are always excellent. She has different versions for junior primary and senior primary and youth.

The 2010 Apostle Cards are available here, along with suggestions on how to use them. You could use the cards to play Don't Eat the Prophet, or play the game with the original prophet cards.'s General Conference packet
is a great resource for older children to take notes on the talks.

Fun with stickers: Remove the poster from the most recent conference Ensign. Hang it on the wall, and then the children get to put a sticker on the picture of whoever is speaking.

A few years ago we had a lot of success teaching the Ant Bug the names of the Apostles by singing their last names to the tune of 10 Little Indians. Unfortunately, with the changes in the last few years the names don't have quite the same flow. Here are a few other tune suggestions that you might like to try for Family Home Evening.

There are quite a few variations available when it comes to coloring books. This Conference Coloring Booklet is great, but I also like these versions that fit two pictures per page ( packet by Erin and packet by Debbie).

Here is a link to an LDS Bingo game. You could use this during conference sessions and have your children mark off the words as they hear them mentioned. We like to use M&Ms or skittles for game pieces.

A Little Tipsy put together a General Conference themed Easter egg hunt coloring and cutting activity. A great way to combine both special events in the weekend.

And a session of General Conference would not be complete without coloring the General Authorities ties!
The Ant Bug's completed ties from October, 2009.

Be sure to visit the General Conference page on for more ideas. This is a wonderful resource, thanks to the contributions of so many people.

Our activity packets for April 2010. Each child has her own folder, and then I have a general folder for the whole family with additional coloring pages and games and the apostle cards. Add in crayons, scissors and glue and we are ready to go!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

FHE: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Scripture of the Week:
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies.”
2 Nephi 25:26

Lesson Plan
The Ant Bug selected to teach Lesson 10 from this packet on We sang "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" (CS, 57), then each of us shared a story about Jesus. We used the Gospel Art Kit as a visual aid to help tell the stories.

Note: This FHE was a day late, since I spent Monday evening with the Ant Bug at the after hours doctors office getting her treated for an ear infection. Sometimes you have to be a little flexible with FHE.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Be a selfless parent

To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.

James E. Faust, “The Greatest Challenge in the World—Good Parenting,” Ensign, Nov 1990, 32

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Date Nights for Kids and Parents

Last month I mentioned that I have been working to build more positive relationships with my children. I want to be an intentional mother, and I'm striving to make sure that my children and my husband are my priority.

So our latest experiment has been scheduling weekly date nights. Date nights for the kids, as well as date nights for mom and dad. Here is a breakdown of how each type of date night is working for us.

Kid Date Nights
Friday night is either date night or family fun night. The first week all four of us had a game night at home. We taught the girls how to play Uno (which they loved) and had a treat for dessert. The next week I had a date with the Sweet Bee out, while Dad had a date night with the Ant Bug at home. Each child got one-on-one time with a parent. Then the next week we had another family fun night with all four of us at home--this was the weekend of Valentine's Day so we had some theme activities including this Valentine's day scavenger hunt. The next week after that, I had a date night with the Ant Bug out, while Dad had a date night with the Sweet Bee at home. Are you seeing the pattern here?! Family fun all together one week, alternating with individual parent and child dates.

Our date nights are pretty simple and low-cost. On our "out" evenings both girls have wanted to visit the animals at the pet store and then go out for an ice cream treat. Now that it stays light for longer in the evenings I imagine that we'll be having some excursions to the park. The important thing is to do something that the child enjoys. Our dates are generally about an hour long, tucked in the window of time between dinnertime and bedtime (preserving the 8pm bedtime is essential to my sanity!).

I think our family fun nights are also important for strengthening family unity with all four of us. We try to chose something that everyone will enjoy, but again, our activities are pretty simple and low-cost. Game night, movie night, dinner out, etc.

It doesn't take a lot of planning and effort, but our girls are realizing that Friday's are family fun days, and they know that mom and dad want to spend time with them.

Husband and Wife Date Nights
On this blog I focus a lot on my children: activities I do with them, books I read with them, projects I make for them, etc. I hope my husband doesn't feel neglected! Just as it is important for children to have special time with mom and dad, mom and dad need special time for each other!

My husband and I decided that we also need to be more committed about a weekly date night with each other. For quite awhile we have basically had Friday evening as our unofficial date night, but we kind of fell into the rut of just watching a movie or tv shows. We have legitimate excuses, of course: husband in graduate school, no money for a babysitter, we're TIRED!, etc. But when I came across Project 52: Date Nights at Simply Modern Mom I knew we needed to commit ourselves and make dating a priority in our marriage.

Friday night is also our couple date night. We put the kids to bed at 8pm, take a little time to ourselves to unwind or get ready, and then it's our time for the rest of the evening. We alternate weeks to decide who is in charge of planning the date. So far all of our dates have been at home (and that's a trend that is likely to continue), but we are still having fun. We've played games, swapped massages, played games with neighbors (group dates are allowed!), and relaxed and made plans for the impending delivery of our baby boy (in 2-3 weeks!).

Again, the planning and effort it takes to have our weekly date night has been minimal, but we're strengthening our marriage and reaping the benefits.

If you're interested in making date nights with your husband a weekly priority, be sure to check in with Project 52: Date Nights. Tiffany posts weekly about her dates and opens it up for her readers to do the same, so you have access to a lot of creative date ideas.

I would love to hear your ideas. Do you have a regular date night? How has it strengthened your family relationships?

Here are a few places that might inspire some creative dates for you and your husband:
16 Creative Dates at Home at The Mother Huddle.
Love, Actually

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FHE: God speaks through prophets part 2

Scripture of the Week:
"He spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began."
Luke 1:70

Lesson Plan
Complete the March page of our Scripture Journal, using activities from the March 2010 Friend magazine. We talked about some of the teachings of President Monson, from this article in the magazine. Then we sang our favorite verses from Follow the Prophet (CS 110-111) and looked at the pictures in the magazine on p. 25.

Our FHE tonight was a little different. We needed to go to the store to look at infant car seats (Baby #3 is due to arrive in 3 weeks!), so we did our lesson in the car as we drove. I know that's not really ideal, but it actually made our lesson go smoother than usual. We had a captive audience since the kids were strapped in their car seats! When we got home the kids colored their scripture journal page while we got the treat ready.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Motherhood: The Ideal Opportunity for Lifelong Learning

Motherhood is the ideal opportunity for lifelong learning. A mother’s learning grows as she nurtures the child in his or her development years. They are both learning and maturing together at a remarkable pace. It’s exponential, not linear. Just think of the learning process of a mother throughout the lifetime of her children. Each child brings an added dimension to her learning because their needs are so varied and far-reaching.

For example, in the process of rearing her children, a mother studies such topics as child development; nutrition; health care; physiology; psychology; nursing with medical research and care; and educational tutoring in many diverse fields such as math, science, geography, literature, English, and foreign languages. She develops gifts such as music, athletics, dance, and public speaking. The learning examples could continue endlessly. Just think of the spiritual learning that is required as a mother teaches about gospel principles and prepares for teaching family home evening and auxiliary lessons in Primary, Relief Society, Young Women, and Sunday School.

My point is, my dear sisters—as well as for the brethren, who I hope are listening carefully—a mother’s opportunity for lifelong learning and teaching is universal in nature. My dear sisters, don’t ever sell yourself short as a woman or as a mother.

It never ceases to amaze me that the world would state that a woman is in a form of servitude that does not allow her to develop her gifts and talents. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could be further from the truth. Do not let the world define, denigrate, or limit your feelings of lifelong learning and the values of motherhood in the home—both here mortally and in the eternal learning and benefits you give to your children and to your companion.

Robert D. Hales, "The Journey of Lifelong Learning". Speech given at Brigham Young University, August 19, 2008.

Friday, March 12, 2010

MikaRose Giveaway Winner

It has been a fun week hosting a MikaRose giveaway. I loved reading all of your comments and seeing which dresses got the top votes. My votes would go with the Emily and the Ariana. Thanks for participating!

And the winner, generated by is #24 Louise who said "I love the dresses. Nice! I would think that the Emily or the Lindsey dress would look better on me. Thanks Kristi!"

Congratulations Louise! Please send me (nurturemama2{at}gmail{dot}com) your email address before Tuesday and a representative from MikaRose will send you the gift certificate.

For the rest of you (and me!), take advantage of the 15% off deal by entering NURTUREMAMA15 when you do your online shopping at MikaRose.

As you browsed the MikaRose site, you might have noticed that they also launched a Mother's Day Giveaway. You can nominate a "Marvelous Mother" to win an awesome cruise vacation package. View all the details of the contest here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Best of the Caldecott Winners

Have you entered the giveaway to win a free dress from MikaRose? Click here to leave a comment and enter. Don't forget! The contest closes at midnight on Friday.

"The Caldecott Medal shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text."

In my continuing search to find quality literature to share with my children, I set a goal to read all of the Caldecott Medal winning books. I read a few each month, and finally finished the list (71 books in total) during the month of February. I read most of them with the Ant Bug, but there were quite a few that were a little too old for her to enjoy right now. I was surprised to find how many winners were books about customs from other countries or folk tales or fables.

I didn't like all of the books, but it is important to remember that the award is for the illustrations and not necessarily for the best text.

So if you are looking for recommendations of picture books, here is my short list of the best of the Caldecott Winners. The titles below are all books we have read multiply times and always enjoy getting from the library.

1941: They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
1957: A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry
1963: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1965: May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor; text: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
1968: Drummer Hoff, illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley
1986: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
1989: Song and Dance Man, illustrated by Stephen Gammell; text: Karen Ackerman
1992: Tuesday by David Wiesner
1993: Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
1996: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
2000: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
2002: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
2003: My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
2004: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
2005: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

The 2010 Caldecott Medal was recently announced: The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney. So I guess I have one more to read!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FHE: God speaks through prophets

Scripture of the Week:
"For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith."
D&C 21:5

On Sunday the Ant Bug brought home a "CTR Tag Along Bag" from her Primary class. Her awesome primary teachers put together a binder with a few FHE lessons and corresponding coloring/activity pages, and the students in the class rotate through who gets to bring the bag home. I thought this was a wonderful idea, and the Ant Bug was very excited to choose and teach our FHE lesson.

As I looked through the lessons, I realized that I had seen them before on Sugardoodle. Angie put together FHE lessons for a year that correspond to the Primary weekly themes and they are available here. Tonight, we did Lesson 12.

For the activity we did a round of Where's the Prophet?, and then played Don't Eat the Prophet.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Giveaway: A Free Dress from Mikarose

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to #24, Louise!

I am really excited to announce a giveaway this week!
I was recently contacted by a representative of MikaRose, who wants to give one of my readers a $60 gift certificate to their store, enough to cover a stylish dress and shipping costs. I checked out their site and immediately fell in love with their dresses, so I'm thrilled to offer one to you! MikaRose features incredibly cute, modest dresses at great prices. Now is the perfect time to treat yourself to a new spring dress!
To enter the giveaway, just visit the MikaRose website and browse the dresses, then come back here and leave me a comment letting me know which dress you like best. Pretty simple, eh?

The giveaway will close at midnight on Friday, March 12th, and I'll announce the winner chosen from random on Saturday. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.

For additional entries (please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry):
-Blog about this giveaway
-Become a fan of MikaRose on Facebook

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So go get shopping!

Note: I am doing this giveaway because I was contacted by MikaRose, and although I have never purchased anything from their site, I liked what I saw and wanted to offer my readers a chance to win a gift certificate.

Evaluate your activities

Some years ago, in her parting words to the Relief Society sisters, Sister Belle Spafford said, “The average woman today, I believe, would do well to appraise her interests, evaluate the activities in which she is engaged, and then take steps to simplify her life, putting things of first importance first, placing emphasis where the rewards will be greatest and most enduring, and ridding herself of the less rewarding activities.”

Mary Ellen W. Smoot, “Steadfast and Immovable,” Ensign, Nov 2001, 91

Friday, March 5, 2010

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: My book notes

Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey

This book was my latest read in my quest to improve my parenting skills. I've read quite a few parenting books by now and at first this one took me a little while to get into. The author really likes the number seven! She had the Seven Powers for Self-Control, The Seven Basic Discipline Skills, and the Seven Values for Living; I had a hard time keeping it all straight!

But the more I read I realized that this book had quite a few good, helpful ideas. I've been working on applying some of them, and it's been nice to have a few new tools in my belt.

The biggest lesson I learned from the book has been this: "This moment is as it is". You can get upset and angry or yell, or you can take a deep breath and relax. You have control and you have a choice. I have been repeating that phrase to myself multiple times each day, and it's really helping my perspective. I think it will be my new mantra, with a little addition:

This moment is as it is. Learn from it. Enjoy it. Live it and love it.

What do you think?

Another lesson that I learned (or was reminded of?) is the importance of labeling. Children are in the process of learning about their world, and they often don't understand their emotions or the tantrums they are throwing. Help them by labeling their feelings as anger, sadness, happiness, etc. I've been applying this tip universally as I try to label everything I can to assist my two-year old in developing her language skills.

Here are some of my other notes from the book:

"Be patient with yourself". It takes time to learn new skills.

"Own your own upset". Take ownership for your own feelings. Notice how often you say, "Don't make me...." or "You made me.....". Instead say "I feel..." or "I'm going to..."

"What I focus on, I get more of". Pay attention: are you focusing on what you want, or on what you don't want?

Attribute positive intent: this basically means to look for the good and assume positive intentions in those around you. For example, your child didn't spill the milk on the floor just to spite you. Or, perhaps the car driver who cut you off is on his way to the hospital with a wife in labor!

Teach your children how to get what they want and respect the rights of others by saying to the aggressor:
1) "You wanted_____"
2) "You may not_____. _____ hurts (or, is not safe)."
3) "When you want______, say (or do) _______."
4) "Do it now! Practice."

Give children two positive choices as a way of setting limits.
1) "You may _______, or ______."
2) "What is your choice?"
3) "You chose_____!

Encourage your child by describing what you see.
1) State your child's name or "Look at you" or "You did it!"
2) Describe exactly what you see (or noticed).
3) Add a tag (optional). "That was helpful" or "Good job" or "Good for you".

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Gospel Study in February 2010

Among other things my gospel study in February included the following:
2010 Outline for Sharing Time
February Theme (and weekly gospel principles): Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.

February Scripture: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Ch. 3: Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior
Ch. 4: Freedom to Choose

General Conference Addresses, October 2009

Russell M. Nelson, “Ask, Seek, Knock,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 81–84
Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven, without hardware, software, or monthly service fees. It is one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to mortals. It is His generous invitation to “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

To access information from heaven, one must first have a firm faith and a deep desire. One needs to “ask with a sincere heart [and] real intent, having faith in [Jesus] Christ.”2 “Real intent” means that one really intends to follow the divine direction given.

The next requirement is to study the matter diligently. This concept was taught to leaders of this restored Church when they were first learning how to gain personal revelation. The Lord instructed them, “I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.

Julie B. Beck, “Relief Society: A Sacred Work,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 110–14
We know that the purpose of Relief Society as established by the Lord is to prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them:
  • 1. Increase their faith and personal righteousness.

  • 2. Strengthen their families and homes.

  • 3. Serve the Lord and His children.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught: “A wise man once distinguished between ‘the noble art of getting things done’ and ‘a nobler art of leaving things undone.’ True ‘wisdom in life,’ he taught, consists of ‘the elimination of non-essentials.’” President Uchtdorf then asked: “What are the nonessential things that clutter your days and steal your time? What are the habits you may have developed that do not serve a useful purpose? What are the unfinished or unstarted things that could add vigor, meaning, and joy to your life?”

Silvia H. Allred, “Every Woman Needs Relief Society,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 115–17

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Safety for the Soul,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 88–90
I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days.

The Friend, February 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Caldecott Books in February

1940: Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
1945: Prayer for a Child, illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones; text: Rachel Field
1952: Finders Keepers, illustrated by Nicolas, pseud. (Nicholas Mordvinoff); text: Will, pseud. [William Lipkind]
1974: Duffy and the Devil, illustrated by Margot Zemach
1981: Fables by Arnold Lobel
1990: Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young
1995: Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz; text: Eve Bunting

And that's it! I've read all of the Caldecott Medal winners from 1938 to 2009. Most of them I read with the Ant Bug, but there were quite a few that didn't hold her interest. I'll post a list of my favorites soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chicken Stuffing in a Pot

When I heard about the Over-used Recipe Swap at Simply Modern Mom, I knew I wanted to participate. Tiffany's goal is to collect 365 family staple recipes, the kind of recipes that you use and over.

Trouble is, I'm having trouble deciding what to post! The recipes I use the most (so much that I don't actually need the recipe) are tacos and spaghetti, but I don't think anyone else really needs those recipes. We also eat a lot of pancakes and waffles.

I asked my husband what our best Over-used recipe is and he promptly replied "Peanut Butter Sandwiches".

If I asked the Ant Bug, she would likely say Corn Dog Casserole (but I'm not a huge fan of that one). Lately she has really been loving this potato soup recipe I posted a few months ago. She asks me to make it nearly every week.

The Sweet Bee would probably suggest cheese. Or fruit snacks.

But today, I'll share something we like to call Chicken Stuffing in a Pot.

1-2 chicken breasts, frozen
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 Tb. orange juice
1 cup dressing mix (ie. Stove Top)
1/4 cup butter

Mix cream of chicken soup with sour cream. Add orange juice. Pour over frozen chicken in crock pot. Sprinkle dressing mix on top. Melt and drizzle butter on top. Cook on high for 3 hours. Serve with rice.

It's simple and quick and I haven't ever heard any complaints about it, so it's a winner at our house!

For more great recipes, be sure to check out the swap at Simply Modern Mom.

Over-used Recipes Swap

FHE: The Living Christ

Scripture of the Week:
“We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”
The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

Lesson Plan
This lesson was inspired by a lesson I found at The Family Home Evening Spot.
Introduce The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles. Discuss what it is, what it is about, who wrote it, etc. Show the poster from the February 2010 Friend magazine and read the excerpts from The Living Christ included there.

Make a collage about Christ. Using old Ensign magazines, cut out and glue pictures of Jesus Christ.

While preparing this lesson I came upon a special topic website by The Church, focusing on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There are a number of articles and videos related to the Savior (faith, his teachings, testimonies of him, and others). This is a wonderful resource for anyone looking to strengthen their testimony of Jesus Christ.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Be Consistent


"Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.

Being consistent in our homes is important for another reason. Many of the Savior’s harshest rebukes were directed to hypocrites. Jesus warned His disciples concerning the scribes and Pharisees: “Do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3). This strong admonition is sobering given the counsel to “express love—and show it,” to “bear testimony—and live it,” and to “be consistent.”

As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."

David A. Bednar, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 17–20


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