Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finding the Silver Lining

This past Sunday, the main theme I went home with was Happiness. I am so glad that I am able to find happiness in my daily life. This has not always been the case. I heard so many great things I wanted to share, that we decided to have our FHE on this topic. Here is what we did:

1st I read from the True to theFaith manual.

Testifying of God’s “eternal purposes,” the prophet Lehi taught, “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:15, 25).

Heavenly Father desires that we find true, lasting happiness. Our happiness is the design of all the blessings He gives us—gospel teachings, commandments, priesthood ordinances, family relationships, prophets, temples, the beauties of creation, and even the opportunity to experience adversity. His plan for our salvation is often called “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). He sent His Beloved Son to carry out the Atonement so we can be happy in this life and receive a fulness of joy in the eternities.

Many people try to find happiness and fulfillment in activities that are contrary to the Lord’s commandments. Ignoring God’s plan for them, they reject the only source of real happiness. They give in to the devil, who “seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). Eventually they learn the truth of Alma’s warning to his son Corianton: “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10).

Others seek only to have fun in life. With this as their main goal, they allow temporary pleasure to distract them from lasting happiness. They rob themselves of the enduring joys of spiritual growth, service, and hard work.

As you seek to be happy, remember that the only way to real happiness is to live the gospel. You will find peaceful, eternal happiness as you strive to keep the commandments, pray for strength, repent of your sins, participate in wholesome activities, and give meaningful service. You will learn to have fun within the limits set by a loving Father in Heaven.

Your happiness can be contagious. As others observe you, they may desire to know the source of your joy. Then they can also experience the happiness that comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then I shared some things I heard in sacrament meeting that rang true. First of all, happiness is based on our attitude. We have to want to be happy, in order to BE happy. Serving will bring us happiness. Reading the scriptures, expecially the Book of Mormon, will bring us happiness. Saying our prayers and listening to the Holy Ghost will make us happy. Also, happiness is a consequence.

Then a story was told about traveling and in heavy traffic seeing a vehical full of a family with a lot of kids. On a bumper sticker were the words: Are we having fun yet? The speaker asked us if we were having fun yet in our journey.
Happiness will remind us of heaven. If we are choosing the right, we will be truely happy no matter what is happening. But if we are not choosing the right, we will not be truely happy.

In Relief Society, the lesson was based on the conference talk by President Uchtdorf, The Infinite Power of Hope. The main points that I took home are: Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness.The things we hope for are usually future events. The things we hope in sustain us through our daily lives. And, we learn to cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk, one step at a time.

We have had someone sick in our house for the past three weeks. This has taken a toll on all of us. When Emma ended up in the hospital, I felt bad. I needed to take care of all the children, but didn't want to leave her alone. I decided to stay with her and return home for short periods of time. I would go home to help get the kids to bed, or to have lunch with them. I used this time to spend great one-on-one time with Emma. I held her quite a bit. Then when she would be awake and feeling a little better, we would sing songs and do finger plays/stories. We had a lot of fun. She now will come up to me and do a hand motion to a song or play and want us to do this together.
Then last week when we were all sick again with colds and stomach flu, it was also TV free week. I was so wanting to give up (and finally did on Friday when three little girls and I were sick). But I decided that I could read books to them. So we would sit on the couch surrounded by books and kids, and we would read. Then when they were feeling more happy, I would quickly go re-start the laundry or pick up really quick. I also decided that since I don't watch TV, I would give up the computer. I did balance my checkbook and check my e-mail and facebook a few times, but I didn't go to any blogs (until Saturday when we were rechecking how to do Elyse's hair for prom, but I'll tell more about that later).
I did let Jayden play the wii one day with is friends, but just until Ari got home, as he is the only one who was really participating.
So basically, my house is still quite behind in the clean department, but I did get to spend some great one-on-one time with the kids. I do still want all this sickness to leave us. And now it is hard with the little ones being a bit too needy, but we did have fun reading and singing. Pin It

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Learning Fun

This week we have preschool at our house. Jayden loves when it's here. So does Katia because she gets to participate. It is work, but fun. This has helped me not miss teaching school so much. Plus it's almost free preschool. The only cost is the supplies needed for the week we are in charge, plus the workbook and the preschool curriculum book. Then the time put into coming up with fun ideas.
Lately Jayden has said that it is boring. We have been doing more seat work this year to get them ready for Kindergarten. This has been hard for some of the kids. I decided that I would go online and find some fun learning activities for the kids to do that would make learning more fun.
The first thing I found was for a game to reinforce what is being taught and to review. You get flash cards and as you show the kids each card and they shout out what it is (such as alphabet cards or number cards) after 5 or so correct answers, you say "Jolly Jump" and the kids jump until you say stop. Then you do some more until you are through the cards. They actually liked this game and were able to get through all the letters in the alphabet. I used the Fridge Phonics and Crayola Number Cards for this.
After that, we sorted the letters into big and little letters (as this was the theme for today). Then we matched up the upper and lower case letters.
After that we took a bucket full of stuffed animals and sorted them by size. Then we discussed which ones were big in real life and which were small.
We also talked about Earth Day and what we/they could do to make a difference. I printed out these color books. Then we walked to the end of the block and picked up trash. We came home and washed our hands, had snack, then played the next game.
Bug in the rug is played by having 1 child leave the room. While they are gone, another child hides under the "rug". Then the child returns and tries to guess who is missing. This was an easy game, but all enjoyed it and tried to make it more fun by hiding more than one child under the "rug". Pin It

Friday, April 17, 2009

April showers bring croopy coughs

I'm not sure if this is right, but it seems to be this way. I was so cautious for the first year of the girls' life, and now that the weather is improving, they get sick.

Emma and I returned yesterday from the hospital. She was admitted tuesday with what they thought was RSV. It turned out to be parainfluenza 3. She is doing much better today. She even slept well last night. At the hospital she would start coughing and wake herself up. Last night she didn't cough much at all. She did come home on oxygen and she has to have breathing treatments, but the doctor thinks she will be better in about a week. We call him today and take her in on Monday.
Delta does have a cough and slight fever, but she is doing quite well.
Katia, Tony and I started coughing yesterday, but I'm hoping we get over it now that we can sleep again.
Tony took off work and stayed home with everyone. He is so awesome. He got less sleep than Emma and I because Delta was missing her sister and Mom. He then had to wake the older girls up to get to seminary and school. Plus make breakfast, get Ari off to school, and take care of the other three left at home. He did this cheerfully and lovingly. He even helped the kids get their homework done and tried to keep up on the housework. I appreciate all he does for me and our family. I definitely lucked out with him. Pin It

Early Spring Pictures

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Early Spring Pictures

We went to Salt Lake City and went to Temple Square and the Aquarium. The Temple was wonderful. We watched some fun video commercials about family. We saw the Christus which is a large statue of Jesus and it's surrounded by a blue wall that looked like heaven. We also saw all the things that the church is involved in. Like helping people in other countries who don't have food or clothes. Julia likes the reflecting pool in front of the temple that is so calm you can see the temple in it. We went to the top of the conference center and saw all the art work inside. On the roof is a garden and water falls and inside was a cool statue called a snowflake fountain. It was so awesome. Elyse's favorite thing was the flowers. It has so many flowers and trees. It is just lovely. Jayden's favorite thing was the water fountains. He likes to throw pennies in it and make a wish. Katia liked all of it. The water, elevators, the flowers, and just seeing everything. Tony's favorite part was Christus and seeing all the different languages the Book of Mormon was in. He also liked seeing Jayden and Katia climb the stairs; and Katia try to catch the bird that were there.
At the aquarium we saw all kinds of awesome fish. We jaw jellifish, octopus, manta ray, sharks, sea horses, clown (Nemo) fish, sea turtles... Lots of fish. Julia liked the piranhas. Elyse liked the ...ummm...Jelly fish. Delta liked the tropical fish with bright colors. Jayden liked the sharks. Katia just liked everything and wants to go back tomorrow. Too bad it's so far away.
Easter was fun. The Easter Bunny hides our baskets, so we have to search for them. Mine was hidden in the entertainment center behind the game controllers. Julia's was behind the couch, Katia's was in the bathroom in the cupboard, Jayden's was in the kitchen cupboard, Ari's was in the family home evening box, Elyse's was in the art supply cupboard, Tony's was above the computer behind the paper. Emma's and Delta's were in the front room behind their toys. Everyone found their baskets before church except Ari, Julia, Tony, and me. Pin It

Monday, April 13, 2009

Kindness FHE

Like most families, our kids are not always kind to each other.


- To help kids think of ways they can be kind in situations where other people aren't.
- To foster compassion and responsibility

- One piece of chart paper, markers
- On a sign write the words, "The one gift we can all give to each other is kindness."
- On another sign, write: "I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." Helen Keller.


- Hold up the sign, "The one gift we can all give to each other is kindness." Read it together. Ask your kids to give examples of ways others have been kind to them, and ways they've been kind to others.

- Ask your kids if they have ever chosen to be kind in situations where they were the only one doing it. Discuss.

- Read aloud the Helen Keller quote:

"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."

- Let your kids know that often the "something we can do" is to choose to be kind when others are doing the opposite. Sometimes being kind takes courage.

- Ask your kids what they think is the kind thing to do in the following situations:

1. Brian gives the wrong answer to a question the teacher asks. Other kids start to snicker and make faces.

2. Mindy comes to school wearing a shirt with a big stain on it. Her hair is all tangled and looks like it hasn't been washed in awhile. A few kids hold their noses as she walks by.

3. Jason has trouble reading. He stumbles over some simple words that most of the class can read with ease. Someone makes a joke about this at Jason's expense. A few kids start to laugh.

4. Jessie tends to be awkward around other kids. Sometimes she talks too loud. People find her annoying. She always ends up sitting alone at lunch time.

- Afterward, on chart paper have your kids come up with "Kind Choices I Can Make."

- Guide your kids to include the following:

*Choose not to join in when people are laughing at someone.

*Speak out against unkind words or actions

*Say something reassuring to the person who is being picked on or laughed at.

*Ask those making fun how it would feel if they were the ones being laughed at.

*Ask the person who's being picked on or excluded to join you in an activity.

*Let an adult know what's going on if they are unaware.

Remind your kids that being kind is one of the most important things we can do in life. Acknowledge them for any kindnesses you have observed. Pin It

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

This talk was one I felt the spirit so strongly during. I think it sums up for me what a blessing the Atonement is and how I feel celebrating Easter. I love this time of year. Hope you had a great day.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Why so behind?

Well, I have felt so behind lately. I couldn't figure out why I can't get things done. One reason is being on the computer too much. But here is the other reason:

Both Delta Tae and Emma Beth are great at going up and down the stairs. They get stuck on bigger things, like stools in the bathroom, and the box of paper by the computer. But for the most part, they are really good at this new skill. The older kids don't always like it. Last night Ari and Jayden brought them up several times because they would get into what they were doing downstairs. Oh, well. I love it, and they did the same thing when they were their age. Pin It

Easter FHE

For FHE tonight we are doing what we do every year at Easter time. Elyse made this FHE at activity days about 4 years ago. I was able to find this link so I didn't have to type it all up myself. We will also watch The Testaments for rest time or after school veg time. jayden is giving the lesson this year. Elyse has dessert, so we'll see what she comes up with. Her current favorite is no bake oatmeal cookies. She made these in chemistry last week and they ended up not turning out that well. Someone his a wire and set off the fire alarm, so they had to leave them and when they got back in they were kinda crumbly. Oh well, she has made up for it in the last few days by making them for us twice and both times they turned out great. Pin It

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I saw this commercial on Sunday and was so happy I was able to find it. So Awesome. Makes me think of Tony and Ari and Jayden. Pin It


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