Sunday, March 30, 2008

An American in Paris

I am so excited because this summer I will be taking a trip to Paris and London! My Mom and Dad take college students over as a part of the International Business Seminar tour and I will be meeting them for the last week of their trip. My good hubby will be staying home with the kids while I am gone for the 9 days. Of course, I have been to London (served my mission there), but I have never been to Paris. The only problem will be trying to see everything I want to see in the limited number of days I will be there, including, but not limited to:
and (pretend this is me in front of Versaille :-)
Any comments about the best stuff to do in Paris would be very welcome!
Scripture of the Day: Hel. 13:19

Friday, March 28, 2008

Foolin' Around

I generally look forward to April Fool's Day--but have yet to play any serious tricks. As a kid my grandfather used to make pancakes for us on April Fools and sneak a few shreds of newspaper into them! We laughed and loved his willingness to joke around. This year I think I will take a cue from him and play this food joke on my kids that I found: Meatloaf cupcakes!!!

The "cake" part is just regular meatloaf baked in small cupcake size rounds (do not bake in the cupcake foils because there will be too much grease--place in foils afterward), and the "frosting part" is mashed potatoes with some food coloring mixed in.

And in addition to the fake cupcakes for dinner, I will use some of these scripture "jokes" for our morning scripture study:
- The longest Sacrament meeting on record: Acts 19:8
- Men should date women from Utah:
Lamentations 5:18
- Proof the Word of Wisdom was not followed in the Old Testament:
Genesis 24:64
- Proof God is a woman and her name is Shirley: Amos 3:7
- God commanded Solomon to bring basketball to the people: 1 Chron. 28:6

Have fun foolin' around!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cakes Too Cute To Eat!

Check out these cute cakes I saw in this month's Family Fun magazine:
Kitty says she wants the iCake for her birthday next month, and since it does not look too difficult I will attempt it. Making cakes is not my strong suit--once I made one of those Barbie cakes where the cake is the skirt. The skirt part came out too short--it hit the Barbie at about crotch height. I had to use frosting to fill in the rest at the top! As a result the Barbie leaned to one side. Ultimately it looked okay, but since then I have generally preferred to buy a store-made cake to eliminate the stress of cake-making!

Speaking of food, here is the Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 55:1

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Picnic Party

Yesterday morning my mom brought a large basket to our house. It was full of left over party supplies she had from a get-together at her house the night before. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, sodas, chips, water bottles, potato salad, and beans. When I saw the basket I thought, "Here is a picnic waiting to happen." So we decided to use if for dinner THAT night.

But then I remembered that Steve and I needed to get our temple recommends signed by the stake presidency, which is from 6 to 7 pm at the stake center. We did not want to give up our picnic, so instead we held it on the lawn behind the stake center and Steve and I took turns going in for our interviews.

It was lots of fun and the kids loved it. The weather was perfect and we had a great time. Many thanks to Mimi for the inspiration and the food!

Scripture of the Day: Deut. 28:12 (I love rain, but I was glad it did not rain on our picnic!)

I also bought a new camera--here is my first test shot with it--a bird of paradise flower in our front yard. Seems to work well, but the photographer needs a little practice with it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Book of Mormon Reading Challenge

Sometimes for family scripture study we are challenged to read entire books of scripture. This was the case several years ago with President Hinckley's challenge to read the Book of Mormon. And if you ward is like mine, your bishop occasionally gives reading challenges--last summer it was to read the Book of Alma. Currently our stake leaders have challenged us to read the Book of Mormon again by the end of the year. Here are a few tips to involve kids in this process:

1. Take turns reading -- let each family member have a turn. I have found that about 5 verses is good for each person's turn.

2. If you have kids that do not read yet, involve them by whispering a few words into their ears and having them repeat the words out loud. Do this for one or two verses and then have another family member read.

3. If you have kids who read, but who still stumble over scripture verbiage, limit the number of verses they have to read to 2 or 3 to help minimize their frustration. You will notice their reading skills will greatly improve the more they practice.

4. Some days try using the scriptures on CD--especially if you find your family has fallen behind schedule. Have family members try to follow along in their own books. Try randomly stopping the CD at one point and then reward those who can point to where the reader was when it stopped. You may also try asking a reading comprehension type question to make sure they are listening.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 6:27

Monday, March 24, 2008

10 Things I Have to Do Today

This past weekend was like a marathon of activities--and now I need to catch up on the home front. Here is my Have To Do list for the day:

1. Fold laundry (6 loads piled on the couch)
2. Put away plastic Easter eggs (scattered all over the house)
3. Go to Phoenix for work photo shoot
4. Run carpool
5. Enter data into CUSD report
6. Exercise
7. Prepare FHE lesson
8. Weed/water garden
9. Help Kitty prepare FHE treat
10. As many other cleaning chores as I can get to

I guess I had better pray for some help and then get busy! Which leads me to the Scripture of the Day: D&C 19:38 -- pray for that Heavenly Treasure!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Pics

Yesterday we went to a friend's house and had the kids pictures taken for Easter. Here is one of the shots taken--so cute! Click here if you would like to see more of my friend's work. She did all of these in her garage with a backdrop she put together herself. She is amazing!

This morning is the Easter egg hunt and then egg coloring this afternoon. And then tomorrow we have Easter baskets, more egg hunting, and Easter dinner with all of the family (both sides of the family). Should be a very busy weekend!

Scripture of the Day: Heb. 11:26. Despite all fun the Easter activities, don't forget to focus on the real "treasure" Easter celebrates!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cool New Chairs

Check out these chairs we get to babysit for the next few years for my brother James. For those of you who are not familiar with my brother, he is a talented designer. He did not have room to store these chairs, but did not want to get rid of them. End result: we get to enjoy them until he needs them again. The fabric will likely be ruined by then (kids + spaghetti sauce = STAINS!!), but James said he did not mind that. Of course, you may have noticed there are only 4 chairs, but 5 people in our family. The first night I had to sit on the bench by the window to eliminate fighting--since then we have instituted a kid/chair rotation system. I guess every blessing has its drawback!

Scripture of the day: Matt. 6:19-20 -- a classic "treasure" scripture for you to enjoy!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Turned Hearts

The past few days have been extra busy. My Aunt Kay has been visiting. She is down from Southern Utah to tend one of her granddaughters, Alexis. Kitty and Sweetie Peach have been playing with Alexis pretty much non-stop since Sunday evening--and loving every minute of it! Here is a picture of the three of them I took on St. Patrick's Day. They have become BFFs in addition to being second cousins. It is wonderful to watch these three girls and see their relationship grow into something more.

While the girls were playing Sunday evening at my mom's house, Mom, Aunt Kay and I were watching a DVD of home movies made in the 1950s when they were children. Tears flowed freely as they looked back at the close family relationships, laughed at forgotten fun times, and remembered how things were. It was a great experience that has made me appreciate family relationship more fully. Aren't families great!?!

Scripture of the Day: Malachi 4:5-6 -- families are definitely Heavenly Treasure!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A bit of solemn advice...

Today's Heavenly Treasure scripture is one of my favorites: D&C 43:34. The wording of this verse is beautiful, and I especially like the phrase "let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds." However, "solemnities" is not a word kids are familiar with, so it requires a bit of discussion. Here is what I have learned in helping kids to understand hard scripture words:

First, explain the meaning by giving a synonym they have heard before. Today I said that solemnities comes from the word solemn, which means serious and steady.

Second, reread the part of the scripture with the challenging word, replacing the hard word with the easier synonym (i.e., "let the serious things of eternity rest upon your minds"). This way they can hear the context and understand the meaning of the verse more fully.

Third, ask for them to give examples of gospel things that fit the definition. Be flexible with their responses. For example, today Kitty's example was reading the scriptures. My response was, "Right, obeying the commandments like reading our scriptures is something we should take seriously."

Fourth, give lots of praise!!! Tell them how smart they are for thinking up such good examples. The more times they have positive reinforcement during scripture time, the more they will enjoy the experience.

Have you had luck with other strategies? I would love to hear your successes!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Hubby!

To my sweetheart: I hope your special day is fun and relaxing (as much as was the day pictured above)! I appreciate how hard you work for our family and how great a father you are to our children. You are wonderful! Love, Betty

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Easter Morning Scripture Study

Easter Sunday is next week, so I thought I would post this fun and memorable scripture study idea now since it requires a bit of preparation.

Place the following items and scriptures in 7 plastic Easter eggs:
Egg 1: leaf or flower (Matt. 25:36-39)
Egg 2: thorn (Mark 15:16-19)
Egg 3: nail (John 19:16-18)
Egg 4: small piece of white cloth (Luke 23:50-53)
Egg 5: clove spice (Luke 23:55-56)
Egg 6: stone (Matt. 27:60)
Egg 7: place only the scripture Luke 24:1-6 (ending at the word "risen")

On Easter morning gather your children around and open each egg in order, reading the scriptures and explaining the Easter story. Let the children take turns holding, feeling, and smelling the items in the eggs. For egg 7, explain that the egg is empty because the tomb was empty; Jesus had been resurrected. End by reading John 20:31 out loud and sharing your testimony of the Savior and the resurrection.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Montana Morning (Hannah, that is)

Confession: I am a Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan! It started when Kitty and Sweetie Peach became fans and watched her DVD about 6 times in one afternoon. We ended up lipsyncing and dancing around the family room. After that I had to upload some of the songs to Kitty's iPod (which is just a copy of what I have on my iPod). And then I found I love working out to her music. This morning I went walking and it was so nice to be outside seeing the sun rise and feeling coolness of the season. I power-walked to Nobody's Perfect, I Can't Wait to See You Again, and several other catchy tunes. It was a great Montana morning!

Scripture of the Day: Col. 3:16 (Hannah Montana is not exactly hymn-like, but music is still a Heavenly Treasure)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Anne Fan

I was re-watching a few clips of Anne of Green Gables today ( I am a big chick-flick fan--can't get enough! You Tube is one of my favorite procrastination helps!). Anyway, I thought the quote in this scene fit so nicely with the Heavenly Treasure theme this month. So I just had to post it. Anne says, "It was a long lesson to learn... I learned that it is not what the world holds for you, it is what you bring to it. The things dearest to my heart are right here." And then Gilbert proposes and they kiss {collective sigh} and they all live happily ever after!

Click here if you want to watch the clip on You Tube.

Scripture of the day: Isaiah 45:3

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Brave Little Kitty

On Tuesday Kitty came home from school and told me she had invited a friend to church! I was surprised with how brave she is for second grade. And her bravery goes right along with today's Heavenly Treasure scripture in D&C 6:3. I am proud of you, Kitty!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Victory Garden

This past week and wonderful weather has had me in the garden a lot. I have planted some zucchini, cucumbers, tomato, and lettuce plants. I still need to put in some beans and I already have some bell peppers growing from last year. I even picked up some great ideas from this website about preparing soil and using above ground planters to grow.

I love the process of planting and seeing the seeds begin to grow and then eventually being able to harvest. Scripture study with my kids is a lot like planting seeds and then watching them grow and learn. The process is more drawn out, but the harvest is more bountiful. It is the true victory garden!

Scripture of the day: Alma 32:42-43

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Treasure Hunt

Here's a fun scripture study time activity to do on St. Patrick's Day with your kids. My kids love these picture treasure hunts and run from one location to the next so fast that I always wish it weren't over so quickly! Even the youngest ones can participate because they do not have to read to know where to go next. Give it a try and let me know how it works!


Collect about 8 to 10 pictures of household objects/locations (i.e., the dryer, doorbell, pillow, television, bathroom sink, etc.) from the internet or by using your digital camera. Make sure one picture is of the scriptures. Print out the pictures and glue them to shamrocks. Number the back of each shamrock lightly for reference purposes and make a list of each place by number. Make sure the shamrock with the picture of the scriptures is the last number on the list.

The night before St. Patrick's Day (or early that morning) leave shamrock number 1 out as the starting point of the treasure hunt; you may want to place it prominently at the breakfast table to catch your children's attention. The picture on shamrock 1 will serve as a clue as to where the kids will go for their next shamrock in the treasure hunt. "Hide" shamrock 2 in the location depicted on shamrock 1 (not too hard to see if your children are preschool age). Hide shamrock 3 in the location depicted on shamrock 2. Use your list to help you remember where each location is to hide them. Continue hiding all of the remaining shamrocks in this manner until all of the clues are in place. The last clue should direct the children to the scriptures.

Place a picture of a pot of gold in the scriptures as a bookmark in Proverbs 2:3-5. This will serve as the treasure, which you will read together and then briefly discuss.

When scripture time comes, announce that today you will be searching for treasure. Show them the first clue and help them follow it to the next clue location as shown in the picture. Soon they will be sprinting from clue to clue until they have reached the scriptures. When you are done reading the treasure, reward the kids with a fun treat or an extra big hug as a reward for being such great treasure hunters!

Happy treasure hunting!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yum-O Muffins!

Last Saturday I made some yummy, yet healthy, muffins that I have fallen in love with. The flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin were so good (not to mention the smell :-). I can't take credit for the recipe--that goes to (one of my favorite sites of all time). But no matter where the yumminess comes from, I say to all: ENJOY!

Take one Fiber One Apple Cinnamon muffin mix.
Ignore the box instructions for getting the batter ready.
Add to the mix: 1 cup of canned pumpkin, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters
Mix until combined.
Bake as per package instructions (400 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes).
This makes 18 muffins--rather than the 12 it says on the box.
For those of you on Weight Watchers, these muffins only have 1 point each!

So, eating healthy has its rewards: more heavenly treasure! Scripture for the day is D&C 89:18-19.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

12 years down, Eternity to go!

Today is our 12th anniversary! Looks like we've both lost hair and gained weight! But we are still hanging in there and have been blessed with the three best kids ever. So the scripture for today has to be D&C 25:14! It doesn't use the word "treasure," but I think you get the point!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The love of money...

Today's scripture was 1 Tim. 6:10, which has that famous quote "For the love of money is the root of all evil." This scripture coin discusses something we should not treasure. I had Patrick read this one out loud and then we talked about the plant comparison made here: evil being the plant and the love of money being its roots. Since the roots are responsible for taking up nourishment to keep a plant alive, I tried to help the kids understand that evil or bad things are often kept alive because someone "loves" money too much.

Oh, and don't forget to explain that the word "coveted" in this scripture means jealous or wanted. That's definitely a word that is not used very often, so kids will not know what it means.

Patrick put the coin up at the end of the rainbow and said it was "escaping" out of the "Heavenly Treasure" pot. A bit of silliness in the morning is always fun :-)!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


This is a new beginning for me, writing this blog of my experiences making scripture study work for my family of five. I must admit, getting scripture study in every day is still a challenge (probably always will be), and is definitely not always fun. But the rewards--both immediate and promised--are too great to pass up. So we trudge onward and I keep trying to find fun new ways to help my kids learn to love the scriptures and gain a testimony of the Savior.

As a disclaimer, I should mention I have a book being published this year with ideas for families and scripture study (Adventures with the Word of God: Making Scripture Study Fun for the Whole Family). It is a book of monthly, sometimes holiday, based themes to go along with scripture study. I have some new ideas, not in the book, that I am currently testing and would love feedback (if you feel so inclined).

So, this month's theme for my family is Heavenly Treasure. We are reading scriptures about things we should--or should not--place value on in this life. The scriptures are on the back of gold coins called Celestial Cents and we are placing them into a pot-o-gold.

Scripture of the Day: 2 Chron. 1:11-12 (treasure up wisdom and knowledge)