Monday, May 20, 2013

FHE Lesson {Temples}

Opening Prayer:

Music Time:
I love to see the Temple #95

Families Can Be Together Forever #188

How Beautiful Thy Temples Lord Hymn #288

Article of Faith: Number Four

Discussion 1:

Show the short Church Video: Christ Child presented at the Temple

Why did Jesus’s Parents take him to the temple when he was very young?

(Answers in Luke 2:22-38)

What is a Temple? (House of the Lord)

Who can go to the temple? (Everyone that meets the requirements for entry)

What are some of the things we do there?  [Think of the 4th article of faith]?
(Ordinances such as: Baptisms, Confirmations, Washings and Anointing’s, Endowments and Sealing’s)

Discussion 2: Why do we build Temples?

For saving ordinances, eternal marriages, families to be sealed forever.

The Temple is a place of learning, quiet reflection.

see : why we build Temples

Discussion 3: What makes a temple special?

Show the Short Church Video : Christ Cleanses the Temple

Why did Jesus send everyone away?
(Jesus taught us that the temple is special that we leave the world outside of the temple)

How should we behave in the temple? (Reverent, Quiet, whisper)

When can we go to the temple? (After we turn 12 and met the requirements for entry)

How often should we go to the temple? (Regularly, as often as we can)

How should we dress when we go to the temple?

The Temple is a place of learning, quiet reflection, for marriage.

Preparing to go to the Temple is just as important as being in the Temple.

Show this wonderful!! youth video : Standing in Holy Places  



 Have a parent or older sibling share a special temple experience.


Activity: Temple Slide Show

Show a Temple Slide Show: (Down load or view the temple pictures from the website.)

How many temples are there? (141) (in May 2013)

How many temples are built every year. (Current approximately 3 per year)

(we made our own Temple slideshow many years ago for a youth activity. Its fun to watch all the beautiful Temples and try to guess which country they are. Everyone always enjoys it. We add the extra Temples as they a built. (warning it could take a while to make a slideshow from scratch - I wish I knew how to share ours online)

Where does the money come from to pay for the Temples?
(From donations to tithing. Every temple is paid for in full before construction begins.)

Closing Prayer:

Treat:  Build a Temple from Sugar Cubes

Closing Prayer

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Family Photos

I received the most wonderful gift on Mothers Day

a CD of our family photos we had taken

{and lets not forget the lindt chocolates, $20 target voucher, hairbrush, magnifying mirror (to look at my wrinkles), and worlds sweetest mum mug from the darling childrens.}

Thanks be to my wonderful sister in law and photographer Elizabeth Hawthorne.
Find her here on  facebook or here via Photoplan

Thanks to my sister for my wonderful make up

Thanks to Emma at Nest Hairdressing for cute hair.

Without them photos would never have worked out.

Photos are important to me and I try to take quiet a few.
Of course mine are nowhere near as gorgeous as professional ones.
We were very blessed to be able to get some.

It was a struggle to get a good photo of our family considering a little one who is camera shy and likes to hide behind her hands and lick her fingers and not look at a camera and run away and not sit still for long periods of time smiling preferring to chuck a sulk. It's hard to get everyone looking straight at the same time. Photos can be a bit of work, but you'll always be grateful you did it.

Ready for photo overload :)




Photo shoot tips:

Do have other adults around to round up the kids, keep them smiling, someone to look at, someone to babysit while you have photos with your significant other, just a plain extra set of hands.

Do try for a colour story. Not matching clothes but matching tones, or a colour to tie it all together (think red shoes on one, a red hairbow on another, a bit of red in dad's tie etc)
I may have had to make several trips to several different stores to gather ours but I'm glad I did!

Best light is at the end of the day. Make sure you have your 'poses' written in a list so you can accomplish it all in the short amount of time before the sun sets. {with as big a group as ours we ran out of time. I'm making a list for our next shoot - kids in trees, wrestling with dad etc}

Bribery? Ours were rewarded with a play in the park after they had their photos. Not sure if it worked, but we got managed some good photos.

JUST DO IT! Don't wait for kids to behave, you to lose weight etc. I was talking about our upcoming shoot and a mum said to me she had NO photos of her with her kids as she was single parent, wanted to lose weight, no money etc. The kids will be gone and grown before we know it!

Can't afford a professional? Ask a friend, do a swap with another family, find a student or beginner.

Love your photos. I get really uptight because there is ALWAYS someone not looking right, eyes closed, flashing, wrinkly clothes, frowns, picking their nose etc. It's funny how strangers and others say how beautiful the photos are, yet we are our own worst critics. Love the photos even if the people in it are flawed.

Expect to see these photos ALOT on the blog :) They're just sooo purty!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

There was a day... take 2

One of my children gave me a Mothers Day Card that said:

I love you mummy
I like your cookies
That was it. I thought how sweet.. except I don't really make biscuits very often. Oh no perhaps I should. I better find out which biscuits she loves so much! She answered 'those chocolate ones with sprinkles'. Then I remembered her sister made some the Sunday before (a packet mix which no one really liked and we even threw some away!)
I instantly thought of my previous post and I felt better. In writing a mothers day card the child couldn't even think of anything from further than a week ago?
It reminded me of the when at the end of the Easter Holidays on the first day back at school the teacher asked them to write in their journals what fun things they did on the holidays. She wrote about how her Aunty had moved into the building near her school (a work building).  I think it was because we pointed out which office was her aunties that morning on the way to school.
All those wonderful things we did on the Easter holidays? nope not recorded.
I was right in my previous post.
There was a day.. but all days seem to blend into... a day.
Children often live in the here and now and it's a beautiful reminder to make each day count.
What they remember is usually what happened recently.
Some ways to help me combat this as not every day is perfect and we all experience trials. How to help children know in hard times (or when mum is having a bad day/week) that they are loved and live a blessed life.
One of the best examples I've seen in our family, is the very first year we played a slideshow of all the pictures we took for the year. It was Grandparents Christmas Dinner and we thought it would be a nice activity to keep them calm and give them something to do. They spent about 40 mins ooohhhing and ahhhing... Oh remember that!? I remember! Can we do that again? Mum, mum remember this?
They had not remembered before the slideshow.
It bought back a remembrance of all the fun things they got to do that year.
I'm trying to include more stories of them and family members into our Family Home Evenings or when we are driving in the car seems to be a good time to chat.
As I seem to have a bad memory myself I'm trying harder to write the small things down.

I have been asking my grandparents to recall some stories they know so I can pass them on.
Our older girls keep journals. They need reminding to write in them and don't do as often as they should but I did see one of them reading theirs the other day and saying I don't remember that lol.
Have a family statement to say often. Something that includes how much you love them. We have a family motto/statement that we wrote many many years ago however I don't think we say or look at it enough. Might have to include that back into daily, weekly rotation. We might not do that (yet) but we do say I love you each day and go to school with a kiss and hug. And the Mr off to work with a kiss too. Parents often say things like 'remember who you are!'  'Be Kind' etc and I really think they do matter and are a sweet thing to include in family life.

Maybe EVERYDAY counts. And as time goes on we can't put our finger on the EXACT DAY.

Just the fact that there was a day.

There was a day. Many days. Where my mum loved me and I loved her.

Please leave any tips or suggestions on how you combat this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

FHE Lesson {Being like the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's}

Our family has done this lesson before, but as we are up to this exact story in our morning scripture reading I thought it would be great to revisit it. They really enjoyed this one previously and liked going out the back yard in the dark to dig a hole ;) Object lessons always seem to remembered.

Opening Song:   Kindness Begins With Me #145

Opening Prayer: Child


Talk about the story of the Anti Nephi Lehi's
Story and Picture found here

Give each child a piece of paper. On the small paper write down bad words that they know they should not use. {ours included things such as stupid, idiot, poop head, I hate..., etc} Talk about how these are not good words and we don't want them in our family anymore. We are going to get rid of them.

Roll up or scrunch the paper and head to the back yard and choose a spot to bury the bad words.

Dig down and have each child lay their words in the hole. Cover hole.

Now we have buried our bad words we are going to try very hard not to use them anymore.

Bad words are just like weapons as they can hurt people.

We want to make a promise like the Anti Nephi Lehi's to put down our weapons and never to hurt anyone.

Read out  Alma 24:17-18

**Alternatively use any behaviours or things you would like to change in your family as what you write down on the piece of paper. This lesson can be tailored however you wish.

 Closing Song: Jesus Said Love Everyone Jesus Said Love Everyone #61

Closing Prayer: Child


Friday, May 10, 2013

There was a day...

We did this lesson on Monday night.

I asked each family member to recall a favourite/special memory with their mother
{me and the Mr included}

*crickets chirping*

hmmm ....  well  ....  ummmm  ..... at first no one could come up with ANYTHING!

My heart literally dropped.

I started to scan my own memories so I could provide some prompts so they could recall all the amazing tender moments we've had together.

except I couldn't really come up with much either.

oh my goodness.

I thought:
I know I'm a good mum.
I know I serve these darling children daily.
I know I have provided them with wonderful life experiences.
I know I try really hard!

BUT could I THINK of individual life defining moments with each of them {and with my own mother} for an example?!?

No. I was devastated.

Surely I'm NOT wasting my time, why bother if no one can remember anything!?!

I used to the gap to extoll the virtues of keeping a journal because apparently we all obviously have BAD MEMORIES! {That's it you will keep a journal and read it weekly to remind you what a wonderful life you have!!! - I didn't really say that}

A child did kindly pipe up that everyday was a wonderful time with mum and that I did nice things all the time for them {bless her heart}. After thinking really really hard we did come up with a few nice memories. BUT it was sooo hard.

I was devastated.

But as with anytime we hear reality pierce our hearts, the pin prick of pain is there to remind us.

Remind us to try harder, fix what's wrong, that sadness can be turned into happiness.

So I'm trolling my journals and this here blog to find those moments.
I'm going to try  harder to spend an individual time with each child weekly.
{and perhaps verbally remind them of how special it is so they remember}
I'm going to recall family moments more and share stories so they become our family narrative.
I'll try harder to write the seemingly simple moments down.

Maybe life is made up of tiny moments that don't recall as anything special but accumulate to form a mass so special its hard to describe/pinpoint. Maybe everyday IS wonderful with mum in a loving family. As sad as it may seem maybe their aren't very many life defining moments that can be attributed to me as a mother to make me feel better about myself.

Maybe EVERYDAY counts. And as time goes on we can't put our finger on the EXACT DAY.

Just the fact that there was a day.

There was a day. Many days. Where my mum loved me and I loved her.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers Day 2

Leading up to Mothers Day I thought it might be fun to share some of my previous pieces regarding this most wonderful day of the year. A bit of preparation to prepare us to the realities of it all :)

The tale of two Mothers Day:

The Snarky Mothers Day:

How can it be Mothers Day when woken up at 6am 
Children begging you to eat breakfast in bed even when it is the worst thing in the world
Forced to eat a cold breakfast that's been repeatedly touched
Copious amounts of handmade cards and presents which you are required to love and admire when perhaps you think they should be destined for the bin.
The 5 Ferrero rocher flowers you were given at church were eaten by said kids
Chocolates are a must give present only because the children know that they will get some
Begging children to get themselves ready for church, clean up around the place, go to bed early, ----- insert any prefered behaviour ----- as gift to you.

The holiday itself makes you depressed because it is far from the serene, kind, full of willing helpers to do your work while you laze the day away dreaming of just how perfect motherhood is. When in fact the best mothers day would be one where you are no where near your children. We do that mothering thing 365 days a year... how about a No Mothering Day...

The Sentimental Mothers Day:

Little ones climbing into bed early with squeals over making you breakfast in bed
Happy breakfast laid table sitting around it together 
Beautiful handmade cards with heart melting sentiments with ' If I could wish for just one present it would be you' 'You are the best mum in the world' 'My mum is special because she makes me my favourite chocolate and strawberry cake' (this made me laugh because 1- I didnt know they had a favourite cake and 2- I don't think I've ever cooked said cake ever) 
Presents from the heart, funny things they think you've always wanted, some surprising insightful. Handwritten signs welcoming those into our house on mothers day.
Tears shed at church from wonderful talks about motherhood
Afternoon tea shared with family.
Lots of kisses and cuddle

A child composes their own song for you and your heart melts. {to tune of this song }

I want this to be a good mothers day
I really really love you and I just want to say

I would not be here if it wasn’t for you

I really love you to
So I want you to love me as much you do

I don’t care about anything but you

I don’t want anything but love from you

If I had to choose a present it would be nothing

But to see you all the time
I want you to be happy because you’re  very lucky to have me

Please love me, please care for me,  Please care for me A lot because I love you
I want love from you, from me to you

I give you my love from me

Perhaps each Mothers Day is  a little combination of both. Too Snarky is just plain sad {and disrespectful}. Too sentimental can feel so far removed from reality it seems a lie. Some years full on snark, some years full on sentimental with tears and all. Some Mothers Days are hard, some easy and blissful. An emotional rollercoaster - Just like motherhood really!

As I gather my cards {to be stored in a special file I keep all my cards from my kids}
I see pure love and innocence, kindness and wanting.

The act of me as their mother will be to turn their words into actions.

Low key expectations, some food, and a little family love are keys to a successful Mothers Day in my book. Extra helpful Daddy and Kids makes a day. Don't really expect a day off.
And early bedtime certainly helps too! {please a gift you can give me.. go to bed early!}

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mothers Day

Leading up to Mothers Day I thought it might be fun to share some of my previous pieces regarding this most wonderful day of the year. A bit of preparation to prepare us to the realities of it all :)

I nursed the baby at 4am.
I shared my bed with 2 little kids {and the Mr in there somewhere too}
They left to make breakfast and set the table, only to come back 10 mins later {6:25am}to beg me to come and open presents. So much for a sleep alone - 10 mins it is!

A breakfast of burnt pancakes and bubbly maison, my lovely presents displayed on the table.

 Then a child informs me they wet the bed. Deal with that.

The Mr leaves for early morning church meetings.

Two older girls have a fight, I yell that they are NOT ALLOWED TO FIGHT on Mothers Day. There is ONLY ONE DAY OF THE YEAR  you have to be good I say! ONE DAY! and that day is TODAY!! Please!?!

I almost drive off to church minus a few kids, I don't know what was taking them so long but they weren't in the car!! Then we participate in my self imposed torture of keeping four kids still in church alone in the 3rd row.


But as I held a sleeping baby, kissing her on the head, and had a 7 year old nuzzle into my side, while patting a 3 year old on the back as she sat upside down on the chair, and looked over to a 9 year old who had the 3 year old on her, I felt joy. Tear sprung to my eyes. I kept my head bowed , emotions getting the best. Listening to the speakers expound on the importance of mothers. A few breaths and I thought I had it together...

But then I had to watch The MR deliver a 20 min talk on Mothers and women in the gospel. He may have started his talk with " A happy wife is a happy Life!....This week I upset my wife" but he won me over in the end with  talk of how much he loved us, and all his crying!

And then I saw it. I knew it to be true.

My family all right there. Four little ones nestled into my side. My husband 3 metres away straight ahead, looking right at me, talking about the sanctity of motherhood.

And I look down to my short bitten fingernails and see chipped ugly 'Barbie pink' nail polish
{polish they chose for my gift and asked me to wear}

The polish reminded me that my Mothers Day might not be perfect {or nice or attractive} but it's mine and they gave it to me. All day I looked at that polish and thought of them. For without those beautiful girls I would not be a mother.

I might leave it on for a few more days.

PS  Mothers day went really uphill after I fell out the door wearing heels and carrying 3 bags of rubbish. I've twisted my ankle bad and had to be carried everywhere the rest of the night :) Well atleast I got a bit of guilt induced obedience. "Get this, Do this, Go to bed, mummy can't come etc as I lay down in agony for half the night.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

FHE Lesson {Mothers}

Mothers Day is coming up and I think we can all do with a little reminder to love our mothers more.

Opening Song: Mother Dear #206

Opening Prayer: Mommy

Lesson: Daddy

And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying:
We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma 56:48)

Have your family take turns sharing favourite memories about their mother or grandmother.
What do you love most about your mum?
If you have them, look at photos of the women in your family.

Why do we have mothers?
Why are mothers so special?
Did Jesus have a mother? (Show gospel Art picture kit picture 242)
How did he treat his mother?
How can you (child) show your mother you love her?

What special day is happening in one week?
Go through ideas or plans on how you plan to celebrate.
How can we act like it is Mothers Day all year round?

Write/draw on a heart shape something child/husband will do for mother this coming week.

Closing Song:  The Dearest Names #208

Closing Prayer: Mommy

Heart shaped cookies or MUM letter cookies
Mum's favourite dessert
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