Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Month, New Theme Time

I am still sick with a sinus infection that has really laid me out flat, but am hopefully on the mend now that I am on antibiotics. But with the beginning of a new month I wanted to post the new scripture theme I will be testing on my kids, which is about reverence. There is a poster of a chapel I drew and the scriptures are on the back of snowflakes. As with previous study themes, there are enough snowflakes to read one per day of the month and I will be letting the kids place them on the chapel poster, which reads, "I can be as reverent as a snowflake!" Maybe using snowflakes in August is just wishful thinking on my part, but when I proposed the idea of using "quiet as a mouse" my mom said it would then look like the chapel had a mouse infestation. I was never able to get that gross comment out of my head, so snowflakes it is! Here is what the chapel looks like:
The snowflakes I made and then saved from this fun website (you may recall I blogged about it several months back). I actually made six different ones to use.
Note: I woke up in the wee morning hours after posting this with the thought that it would be so cute to do it as a mobile! Love it when I have new ways to make scripture study fun and creative for my kids to enjoy.

Each of the scriptures of the day this month will be about reverence, too. Here is the first one: Hebrews 12:9

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Love Truman Madsen

Yes, I do! I have to admit I just love his work and his wonderful insights. During this convalescent time I have been re-listening to his audio series "Jesus of Nazareth" and was reminded of his commentary on the parable of the mustard seed. I transcribed it for you to enjoy as well.

"Still in or near Jerusalem there are trees growing, most prominently olive trees, but there are also mustard trees. One can take the pod of a mustard tree and press it before his fingers into his palm, and when he has done so the seeds will be in the middle of the palm. And their size is about the same as if he had taken a pepper shaker and now had pepper in his hand. They are tiny diminutive seeds-- not the smallest, but among the smallest in the world. What does one do with seeds? He plants them. Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye can say unto yonder mountain, ‘Remove,’ and it will remove.” As a child I thought the lesson is that if you have just that little itsy bitsy faith you can move mountains. That is not the message. The message is that if you have growing faith it will have such power--growing, dynamic, increasing faith. And in this instance the tiny mustard seed, if it is planted in good soil by a pure stream will grow to a tree. Not simply a flower or a bush, but a tree large enough that the birds can come build their nests and dwell or abide. What is the meaning of the birds and the nests? We have a glimpse from modern revelation. He was really saying that the living tree (that is the person) that is to bring forth precious fruit can, once it grows to its full measure, have communion with the angels. He was saying that it is the privilege of the Saints to have communion with the “general assembly” (so called, Paul’s phrase) and with the Church of the First Born. It is saying that we live in the presence of heavenly beings. That’s the deeper meaning of the elementary parable of the mustard seed. Is there more? I can bear witness there is always more."

Scripture of the Day: Genesis 2:16

Out of Commission

I am sick and can hardly think straight, so please excuse my lack of posting. Hopefully I will be back to the land of the living in a day or two.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My First Book Review

"Rebecca Irvine's book, "Adventures with the Word of God," made me wish my grown children were babies again. What a wonderful tool to keep the spirit of the lord in our homes and to keep the lines of communication opened. The fun and creative activities are simple, powerful and just right for use in incorporating important memorable lessons into our busy lives."
Donna M. Brown

Year of Miracles #14

Last Saturday we were out to my sweet mother-in-law's house and in her backyard, poking up from various patches of ground, were a ton of yellow onions. Now, you may recall that last April (the day before my father-in-law, John, passed away) I posted about the beautiful green onions he had grown. Apparently shortly before he died he had planted yellow onions in about five different places in the backyard, all outside the "typical" garden area. And somehow--despite all the 110+ degree weather we have been having this summer--despite not being watered regularly--despite not being tended--a whole bunch of delicious onions grew. I dug up a grocery sack full of them with the help of Sweetie Peach and then chopped them up for the freezer. It yielded two gallon-size freezer bags full. And as I have thought about these onions, I have decided that they are kind of symbolic of the many good things John has left behind him that are still blessing his family and friends. We miss him and are grateful for the many ways his life blessed ours.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 88:86

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kid Conversation

Conversation with my girls in the car yesterday:

Kitty: "Mom, were we brainwashed when we were born?"

Me: "No. Heavenly Father made our spirits forget everything so this life would be a test, but that's not what's called brainwashing."

Sweetie Peach: "How did Heavenly Father make us forget?"

Me: "I don't know, but that's a trick I'd like to learn."

Kitty: "Me too! Then I could make Daddy forget to put the walnuts in the brownies."

Sweetie Peach: "I would make Daddy forget to put the chocolate chips in the cookies."

Kitty: "I would make Daddy forget to go to work."

Sweetie Peach: "Yeah, then he would stay home and PLAY with us all day!"

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 1:7

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What to do?

So what's my washing machine doing sitting on the back porch?
Especially when there is all this laundry is piling up in the house? {this is only about half of it, too!}

Yes, my washing machine is broken again! This is the second time this year alone. And earlier this year I went an entire MONTH without a working dryer. My husband has ordered the part for the washing machine and will get it fixed on Saturday, but the piles are growing too big. Here is the debate in my head: drive 18 miles (round trip) to my parents' house to spend 3 to 4 hours doing laundry (their washing machine takes 50 minutes per load-yuck!) -- OR -- drive 4 miles round trip and spend about $10 to use the laundromat? This would only take 1 hour of my time and I could bring the clothes home to dry in my own dryer. I am having a hard time deciding.
What do you think?

Scripture of the Day: James 2:12

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Arrival!

Look what arrived at my house! A box of my books!

The publisher Horizon/Cedar Fort sent me a box of 10 of my books and 1 of the CD version of it too! And it is so beautiful I can hardly stand it. Two weeks to go before it is in stores, but it is already advertised/for sale on the Cedar Fort website. Or you can buy it for 30% off at this website instead.

Scripture of the Day: James 1:25

Monday, July 21, 2008

Working in Phoenix Today

My boss, Ted Apostol, is really great!

Yep, that's what I am doing (shhh! Don't tell my boss I am blogging!) Actually, I am on break. For those of you who may not be aware, I work part time as a market research analyst. 99.9% of the time I do this from home so I can be there for my kids. The company I work for (WestGroup Research) e-mails me data from completed phone surveys or focus group studies and then I write a report and e-mail it back. {They are big fans of telecommuting and helping the environment here.} Of course there are times I wish I did not have to work, but being able to make ends meet is important. Especially the past few months. Doesn't it just seem to keep getting harder and harder? I hope I do not have to up my work hours as a result.

A quick shout out to Trulee and Kathya who are helping me with Sweetie Peach today while I am slaving away. Thanks tons and tons!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 51:7

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Learning by Heart

Susan W. Tanner spoke at the BYU-Idaho graduation ceremony last December and gave a wonderful speech about learning things by heart. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of memorization--maybe I burned out on memorizing after all those years of college. But after reading this I am going to work with my children this week on memorizing a scripture.

Here are two great excerpts from Sister Tanner's speech:

"I have learned that there are many benefits to memorizing. For me, personally, it deepens my understanding of the passage and fixes it in my heart. As you go over and over a passage in your mind, you think about it again and again. The richness of the words, the way they are put together, the possible symbolisms, the clever use of literary devices, and new meanings that you may never have noticed or understood before—all become apparent in the process of memorizing. Memorizing can put words in our hearts as well as in our minds. Learning by heart—which may be somewhat of a dying tradition—means to learn something so deeply that it becomes part of our core: it fills us; it changes us…

"Learning by heart is a rich phrase. Think about the word heart. We all know that our hearts are central to life. Physically the heart is the life-sustaining organ of our bodies. Likewise, heart is used to describe the essential, most vital part of our spiritual being—one’s innermost character, feelings, or inclinations. In a gospel sense the heart is our spiritual core. Hence the scriptures teach that “as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7; emphasis added) and that “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21; emphasis added). The gospel must be “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3; emphasis added). Over and over in the scriptures prophets remind us, as Alma told his son, to “let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever” (Alma 37:36; emphasis added). Learning by heart in its richest sense is a gospel duty. It is a twin commandment to remembering. We are to learn spiritual truth by heart and then retain in remembrance what we have placed deep in our hearts."

Do you want to play along? Here are five easy (i.e., short) scriptures that are worth memorizing:

Amos 3:7
Matthew 7:7
2 Nephi 2:25
D&C 8:2
Moses 1:39

How can you help your kids memorize something? 1. Try making a sign or poster of the scripture and gradually cover up some of the words during the week. 2. Try singing the words to a nursery rhyme tune or Primary song tune. 3. Try using small rewards for motivation. 4. Be positive in all your comments; if you start to get frustrated with the lack of progress of your children, move on to a different activity and come back to the memorization later in the day. 5. Repetition is a key to learning! Review the verse at each meal or several times during the day. Once a child has a verse memorized, have them present it at FHE.

Good luck!

Scripture of the Day: 2 Corinthians 3:17 (another short one worth memorizing! :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Year of Miracles #13

My miracle this week is another answer to prayer and personal revelation for me: I learned why I had plateaued in my weight loss for three months. I have been working for the past year on getting to a healthier weight. Things had been going pretty well (my body does NOT like to lose weight) and I was able to lose about 25 pounds. But then a plateau. It seemed like nothing I tried could break through it. I began praying for help because I could tell divine intervention was required. Then one day a few weeks ago my Weight Watchers coach made the comment that her experience has been that many of those on a plateau are there because they are eating too many grams of sugar--even if they are eating the right number of points. She noted that the recommended daily allowance of sugar is around 40 to 45 grams per day. After hearing this I decided to track my sugar intake and discovered that at least half of the days out of the week I was likely to be going over the 45 grams (if I had not been tracking it and making better food choices). In the two weeks since I have been tracking I have dropped two more pounds and it looks like the plateau days are behind me (for now).

Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 61:1

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Countdown is On!

I just had an e-mail from my publisher that my book, Adventures with the Word of God, should be on store shelves in 2 to 3 weeks! Yahoo! I am sooo excited!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Banana Popsicles

Aren't these popsicle molds cute? My kids love the ones we have, but they aren't this cute. I was given a popsicle recipe at Weight Watchers last week and have already made it twice (it's that good). I like to buy healthier-alternative popsicles, especially fruity kinds, but they are getting way expensive. And double bonus for me is that I often have bananas that need to be used quickly and making banana bread in the summer in Arizona just has NO appeal to me (350 degree oven + 115 degree weather = small fortune in air conditioning). So without further adieu, here is the recipe:

Banana Popsicles
2 bananas (I prefer to use overly ripe ones that my kids won't eat)
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1/2 cup of skim milk
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp Splenda or 1 packet of Sweet 'n Low

Place all ingredients in a blender and liquefy until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid. Makes 6. And for anyone who might be counting Weight Watchers points, they are 1 each.

I am guessing (but have not yet personally tried it yet) that one could use 2 cups of strawberries or other fruit as a substitution and the recipe would still be pretty yummy.

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 29:32

Monday, July 14, 2008


Today my Sweetie Peach and I were playing Hang Man. Now, Sweetie Peach is just learning to read and spell, so this was somewhat of a challenge for me. Her first word was elufint (meaning elephant). I lost the game on this one. I had EL_ _ _ NT. I guessed "P" wondering if she was misspelling elephant... but I did not take the idea far enough. She is so cute!

Scripture of the Day: Mosiah 23:13

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pioneer Day Scriptures and Fun

Patch, Kitty, and Sweetie Peach pretend to be pioneers in a covered wagon (2006).

We have started making plans to celebrate Pioneer Day on July 24th this year. Steve wants to hold a big neighborhood water fight with his giant sling shots (to be held on the 21st, actually; anyone is invited!). On Pioneer Day itself we will tell the stories of our own pioneer ancestors, play pioneer games, and have a semi-authentic pioneer dinner. I really wish there were more Days of '47 celebrations around here... but we will make do on our own.

Here are some scriptures I plan to use for our daily scripture study that day. Did you know the word pioneer only occurs once in the scriptures? These verses are mostly about the establishment of Zion and enduring through trials (as the pioneers had to do crossing the plains).

Jeremiah 40:11
Isaiah 2:2-3
2 Cor. 1:6
James 5:11
1 Ne. 13:37
2 Ne. 31:20
D&C 64:33-34
D&C 64:41-42
D&C 103:13
D&C 136:7

And here are a few great websites that give all sorts of resources for pioneer-related activities.
Pratt's Pioneer Resources
Celebrate Pioneer Day

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Year of Miracles #12

Last Wednesday I was calling around town to try and find a copy of Agatha Christie's Curtain, which I needed to read for my book club meeting this upcoming week. I had had some e-mails from other club attendees who were also looking for the book, but had been unable to find a copy. I was able to locate one copy at a Barnes and Noble, but would have had to drive over 12 miles across town to get it. I decided to keep on calling and tried some used bookstores here in town. Finally (after a number of unsuccessful tries), a downtown Mesa bookstore confirmed they had a used copy. And as this was only 6 miles away, so I loaded the kids in the car and went to go pick it up. This would save me time, gas money, and the used copy was only $3, versus the $10 version at Barnes and Noble. I was feeling pretty blessed {anytime I can save both time and money I count it miraculous}. But it got even better. When I got to the store, the clerk showed me there was a bit of page stains (nothing serious whatsoever), and said he would let me have it for $1! When I went to pay with my debit card {do I ever have cash on me? No!} he said I could take it for FREE and pay an extra dollar the next time I came in. Well, it turned out I had enough dimes, nickels and pennies in my coin purse to pay the dollar. But still, I found it miraculous to meet such an honest and trusting man. And I have decided I will shop there more often.

And by the way, Curtain was great! Love those Agatha Christie mysteries!

Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:1

Friday, July 11, 2008

Scripture Book Memorization

Does anyone remember singing the songs in seminary that were about the books of the various Standard Works? Try teaching these songs to your kids to help them learn their scripture books earlier. If you can't remember how the songs go, you can download them from this site. These versions are sung by the Sons of Ammon and are free! Another fun game for FHE can help to teach kids where the books are--nothing better than a little friendly competition to encourage learning! For younger kids, give them each separate copies of the Bible and Triple Combination. Call out the name of a book of scripture and the first child to hold up the correct book wins a point. The first one to 10 points wins. For older kids, have them actually open their scriptures to the correct book location. Anywhere in that specific book of scripture counts.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 98:5

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Secretary Benson in Russia

I read the following article on another blog a few days ago and LOVED it! Just had to include it again here... it is worth the repeat. It was written in 1959. Please note the congregation Secretary Benson speaks to is not LDS; there were no LDS congregations in Russia at that time. Enjoy!

An office memo from Grant Salisbury and Warren K. Leffler, the writer-photographer team for “U.S. News & World Report” that accompanied Secretary of Agriculture Ezra T. Benson to Russia.

The night we left Moscow to fly down to Kiev, Secretary Benson literally took us to church.

Many of the reporters laughed about it on the way, because Mr. Benson, who is a leading Mormon, had arranged for us earlier to attend a service at the Latter-Day Saints Church in West Berlin, but all the newsmen found one excuse or another for not going. In Moscow, we had no choice because the cars picked us up at the hotel and stopped at the church on the way to the airport. It was around 7:30 o’clock on the chilly, rainy evening of October 1.

As the cavalcade of cars arrived at the Central Baptist Church, on a narrow side street not far from Red Square, somebody wisecracked, “Well, boys, you’re going to get to church whether you like it or not.”

It turned out to be one of the most moving experiences in the lifetime of many of us. One newsman, a former marine, ranked it with the sight of the American flag rising over the old American compound in Tientsin, China, at the end of World War II.The small church was packed, with people standing wherever they could find room.

Secretary Benson and his family were ushered to the rostrum. After a hymn, sung beautifully by the congregation, Mr. Benson began to talk, drawing on his experiences as one of the leaders of the Mormon Church in America. Watching the Russian congregation, you could see tears welling up in the eyes of people as the Secretary’s words were relayed to them through a translator.

“It was very kind of your minister to ask me to extend greetings to you,” Mr. Benson began. “I bring you greetings from the millions and millions of church people in America and around the world.”

A soft, fervent “amen” came from the congregation. The Secretary continued, “Our Heavenly father is not far away. He can be very close to us. I know that God lives. He is our Father. Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World, watches over this earth. He will direct all things. Be unafraid, keep His commandments, love one another, pray for peace and all will be well.”

By now there was scarcely a dry eye in the church. Even the few young people were weeping openly.

“This life is only a part of eternity,” Mr. Benson went on. “We lived before we came here as spiritual children of God. We will live again after we leave this life. Christ broke the bonds of death and was resurrected. We will all be resurrected.”

At the mention of the promise of life hereafter, muffled sobs could be heard in the small church. These people, after all, were sacrificing their chances of participating in the gains of the Communist society of Russia. Though worshiping God no longer is forbidden in the Soviet Union, those who do so usually find themselves cut off from advancement.

Communism in Russia remains avowedly atheistic. In Moscow there is one other Baptist church; there are 23 Greek Orthodox churches, two synagogues and one Moslem temple. In a city of 5.4 million people, it’s a comparatively tiny crack in the godless society. The dedicated Communists, when talking to visitors about religion, usually claim that those Russians who do go to the few churches in the city do so out of curiosity – much as they would visit a museum – and not because of their devotion.

“I leave you my witness as a church servant for many years that the truth will endure,” Mr. Benson concluded. “Time is always on our side. God bless you and keep you all the days of your life, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.”

As the Secretary returned to his seat the congregation broke into the familiar hymn, “God Be With You Till We Meet Again.” They were still singing and waving their handkerchiefs as we followed Mr. Benson out of the church. All the way along the crowded aisle, hands were outstretched to shake our hands.

On the drive to the airport one of the interpreters – a young Russian girl who has never known any life save that under Communism – said, “I felt like crying.”

[“A Church Service in Soviet Russia,” U.S. News & World Report 47:17 (Oct. 26, 1959), p. 76-77]

Scripture of the Day: Alma 51:17

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Summer Reading Update

I have finished reading Blink by Malcom Gladwell and found it to be very interesting--his style involves the use of a lot of story telling, so it is very easy to follow. And the examples really solidify the points he tries to make. The main premise of the book is (as it says on the cover of my book), "The power of thinking without thinking." In other words, humans have the ability to make amazingly accurate snap judgments (aka, "rapid recognition"), especially in reading faces and in other cases where our eye/mind becomes trained. I found the most interesting part of the book was about the number of muscle movements the human face makes and how we learn as infants to read the meaning behind these movements. I also loved the discussion near the end about how our snap judgments can be negatively influenced by extenuating circumstances.

I have to admit, that although I really liked Blink, I liked The Tipping Point a bit more... maybe because I connected with the story examples in it better (particularly the one about Paul Revere, which I loved). And maybe because I majored in marketing/advertising in college. Still, I highly recommend both books.

Next book on my list is Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts. But first I need to reread Agatha Christie's Curtain for my book club.

Scripture of the Day: Jeremiah 34:8

Monday, July 7, 2008

What's for Dinner? Turkey Enchilada Casserole

Mondays are usually Mexican food night around here, and this is what's on the menu for dinner tonight.

Turkey Enchilada Casserole
(Adapted for my family from a Sunset recipe)

1 lb ground turkey
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. taco seasoning
1 29 ounce can red enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas (6 inch diameter)
2 cups fat free shredded cheese
1 green onion, chopped

Brown the ground turkey in a frying pan with the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Add the beans, oregano, taco seasoning and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Dip 3 of the tortillas in the remaining enchilada sauce and then arrange in the bottom of a casserole dish (cut to fit as needed). Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over the tortillas. Layer one third of the turkey-bean mixture over the cheese and tortillas. Repeat these layers two more times. Top with another layer of tortillas dipped in the enchilada sauce and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Scripture of the Day: Alma 46:10

Sunday, July 6, 2008

An Arnold Friberg Study Session

I just stumbled on a fun scripture study idea using the Arnold Friberg display at this website. Just a reminder, Friberg is the painter well known to the LDS community for his work Prayer at Valley Forge (see above picture) and his series of Book of Mormon paintings with muscular Nephites. The site has a "book" with Friberg's series of Book of Mormon paintings accompanied by the scriptural text for the story that each painting is drawn from. You could gather around the computer and read one of the scripture stories while looking at the painting. Since there are about 6 of them this would take care of nearly a week's worth scripture study sessions. Or you could go through the whole series of stories and paintings for a family home evening about the Book of Mormon. And while reading and looking at the paintings there is lovely hymn/Primary song piano music in the background.

Or, if you have a paperback copy of the Book of Mormon with Friberg's paintings in it, you can use this blog entry to learn how to teach what the basic plot of the Book of Mormon is by using the pictures. (Scroll down to the 6/16/08 entry.) This is a good basic introduction you can use for your children, as well as for missionary purposes.

You may also want to take the time when on this site to vote to get the current display of Friberg's works to come to your area. Right now the display is in Bountiful, Utah. But I would love to have it come here!

Scripture of the Day: D&C 38:22

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Irvine's Independence Day

The Irvines had a fun and busy Fourth of July! The kids and I got up early (Steve slept in) and went to a neighborhood pancake breakfast where the kids paraded up and down the street on their bikes and scooters that they had decorated for the special day. I took a picture of each of my cuties before we headed off to the fun:
They loved decorating their scooters/bike so much! In fact, Kitty drew up her plan the Monday before the Fourth and then revamped it several times during the week in anticipation of being able to put it all together. I love seeing her creativity!

Above is a picture of Kitty and two of her friends in line for pancakes after the parade. Even though it was early in the morning, it was still quite warm. Sweetie Peach got very flushed after riding her bike up and down the street four times. But after I sat her down in the shade and got some cold water into her she was fine. It was nice to be able to visit with friends and neighbors to help celebrate the day.
After the parade and pancake fun we headed home and went swimming in the new pool in our backyard. My husband would be appalled that I am posting this picture, so please don't mention it to him!

Afterward got ready to go to the movies. Who can survive the Fourth of July without going to the movies?!? We went and saw Kit Kittredge: An American Girl {an appropriate title for the day, right?}. It was a really cute movie and even educational in an historical kinda way. The kids had lots of questions about hobos vs. homeless people after it was over, so the conversation on the way home was definitely on the serious side. Still, there were lots of funny parts to the movie and we give it a thumbs up.

After having steak for dinner and rootbeer floats for dessert {YUM!}, we climbed up on our roof to watch the fireworks. I have to admit the view did not turn out all that great, but we were able to see some and the weather was quite cool up there considering how hot the day had been. After the show we could see seemed to end we got down and watched a few more fireworks on the television. But by then it was nearly 10 pm and it was definitely time for bed.
I hope you all had a wonderful, family filled Fourth of July! God bless America!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 61:15

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Year of Miracles #11

This week's miracle is certainly not one to razzle-dazzle you. I was hoping it might be since it is the fourth of July and razzle-dazzle is kind of the theme for the day. Instead it is kind of a string of coincidences, more like a sparkler than firecracker kind of miracle. Or maybe one of those worm glow thingies. But here we go anyway...

I had been trying to think of an inexpensive treat idea for my three visiting teaching ladies. It is way too hot to bake here, so I was trying hard to rule out anything involving the oven. But it was looking like cupcakes until I stopped by Michael's to get bike decorating supplies for a neighborhood parade. While perusing in the dollar section {totally my favorite section there} I noticed that they had these cute round tins in a great shade of blue. I bought three thinking I could maybe put some candy in them. After Michael's we headed to my good friend Heather's house for a swim. I showed her my find and she said she just happened to have some cute red and white star mints that I was welcome to have {thanks so much Heather!}. Later I typed up some red stars with one of my new favorite freedom scriptures and taped it to the top of each tin. After dinner I decided to go deliver the tins. I walked outside just in time to deliver one to one of my VT ladies who was driving by at the time. I was really glad to catch her as she is normally very busy {works two jobs and has an active social life} and was leaving for the evening. I caught another one of my sisters at home too and had a nice, quick chat with her.

And there it is... Bang! Pop! Sparkle! {smell of acrid smoke}

Happy Independence Day!

Scripture of the Day: Alma 48:11

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Two New Great LDS Blog Sites

I found this fun new blog this morning to get good ideas for Family Home Evening, especially for families with younger kids. Loved the recent ideas posted on it about making temples from play dough or learning about the story of Lehi leaving Jerusalem by holding FHE in the family tent. Lots of creative, great ways to make FHE memorable!
Another great blog is Feast Upon the Word, which gives lots of lesson planning helps for LDS teachers. There are also tons of great scripture study helps, thought provoking study tips, and links to other terrific resources. Need to put together your lesson for Sunday? This site is a great help!

Scripture of the Day: 2 Nephi 3:5

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Great Quote

Read this this morning and it really spoke to me. It puts a lot in the right perspective!

"Some of our struggles involve making decisions, while others are a result of the decisions we have made. Some of our struggles result from choices others make that affect our lives. We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations."

--L. Lionel Kendrick, "Strength During Struggles", Ensign, Oct 2001, 24

New Month, New Theme

The new theme for the month of July is freedom and liberty. I have created a flag-like poster without the stars. Each day a star with a scripture about freedom is added to the poster. The kids take turns placing the stars on it. Of course there are only 31 days in July, so there will only be 31 stars instead of 50. But the kids seem to like the idea anyway! I took a picture of the poster, but it turned out lousy--so I will use a clip art flag for the sidebar instead. Here's the picture. Scripture of the Day: Alma 43:49-50