Monday, February 29, 2016

The Family: A Proclamation to the World - Post #3

10 Steps to Happiness
Post #3

      2. Faith

A great way to teach our children about faith is to teach them the law of the fast. Four years ago one of my friends had a baby who was born very premature. She posted his story on Facebook with a cute picture of him and his yellow stuffed ducky. I sat my kids down and showed them this teeny tiny baby and explained to them about fasting and prayer. I explained that our added fast could help that baby and comfort his family. That Saturday night after dinner we started our fast together and prayed for that baby and his family. Today, years later we still like to check in on that family and that adorable baby boy who is four now and growing up nicely with his little duck.

(Here is baby Logan's Grandma's blog post if you want to see him growing...)

Our ward is doing a 40 day fast right now for missionary work. This is another great way to show our kids faith.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Family: A Proclamation to the World - Post #2

10 Steps to Happiness
Post #2

I would like to break the points from my last post down and discuss how they can help with family happiness.

  1. A key for us is in this sentence: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

President Eyring said, “What could make it more likely that people in a family would love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and obey the law? It is not simply teaching them the gospel. It is in their hearing the word of God and then trying it in faith. If they do, their natures will be changed in a way that produces the happiness we seek.”

A great way that the church has provided families to hear the word of God is a semi-annual General Conference. Have you ever tried to wrangle seven children into the living room on a Saturday to watch conference? I have. It doesn’t work. I tried those cute printable handouts that kids can fill out with coloring pages and matching games, I tried yelling, I tried whining, I even tried duct taping them to the floor, okay, I didn’t really try that. One year I finally remembered that I have boys, so I decided to appeal to their adventure side and told them we were going to try General Conference King Benjamin style, with an added feast. We built a tent using blankets and our couches. Then I baked and baked and baked and we had snacks in our tent while listening to the speakers. Our kids get to eat as many snacks as they want as long as they are in the living room listening quietly. This will be our fifth year watching conference King Benjamin style! It is a fun tradition that the kids make sure we carry on every year.

Another way for families to hear the word of God is in daily scripture study. The church has produced scriptures for kids that have fun pictures. They break it down into small lessons for young families. Older kids love to take their turns reading from the scriptures. That’s actually how my younger brothers learned to read!

Kids, make sure you are helping your family remember to read scriptures every night, and don’t forget to read them on your own as well. This will help your testimony grow.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Family: A Proclamation to the World - Post #1

10 Steps to Happiness
Post #1

Last Tuesday I went to the dentist where one of the dental assistants asked me, “So, how many kids are you up to now?” I told her seven and her mouth dropped open in the usual response. She recovered and said, “Well, I struggle with my two, I don’t know how you do it!” This is also the usual response.

On Friday I took all seven of those kids to the dollar store, to be honest I was really nervous about this trip. Seven kids in the dollar store? Ya, that’s for crazy people! Before we went I reminded them that we were shopping for Nana’s birthday party this time, not for themselves. At the door I hushed them all and in we went. I quickly ushered them all to the “hair and beauty” aisle where I told them that I would give them a tour of the store so they could find the perfect gift for Nana. After the first round we walked through again and they all picked their perfect present for her. When we went to the front of the store to pay I jokingly said to the cashier, “Sorry to disturb your peace!” Her eyes went wide and she said, “Oh no! No you didn’t! Your kids are so well behaved! I don’t know how you kept them so quiet!

Later on Friday I was watching the Deacon’s basketball tournament when someone from our ward sat beside me. In the midst of our conversation he said, “Well, you two have one of the nicest families in Cardston, I don’t know how you do it!”

I bet you are starting to see a theme in my conversations with people about my family. “How do you do it?”

Most of us want to know ways to make our family relationships healthier and stronger. Lucky for us we have been given some guidance in that area. Some great information on how to have a happy family life comes directly from The Family: A Proclamation to the World.

In President Henry B. Eyring’s BYU Address about the Family Proclamation he said, “the title tells us something about how to prepare. We can expect that God won’t just tell us a few interesting things about the family; he will tell us what a family ought to be and why. And we know at the outset that we could be easily overwhelmed with such thoughts as “This is so high a standard, and I am so weak that I can never hope for such a family.” That feeling can come because what our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ want for us is to become like them so that we can dwell with them forever, in families. We know that from this simple statement of their intent: “This is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).”

In the middle of the seventh paragraph of that sacred document it reads, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.”

Check back tomorrow to see these main points broken down to see how they can help with family happiness...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentines Day!

Bill and I had our awesome date yesterday but because V-day was on a Sunday we had a family birthday party for Joe and Ezra...

 which meant they both finally got the cake they've been waiting for! Ice cream cake from Dairy Queen of course!

These two are the best of best friends, and they sometimes get on each others nerves too. But what's a best friend without a spat or two?! Roman and Rosena are four months apart and they love each other to pieces!

Jedi is finally starting to walk for real! Honestly, he would still rather crawl though.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I love to see the temple...

I was just sitting here doing my school work and I was reminded of how awesome it is to live so close to the temple. I took a picture to share in one of my discussion boards but it wouldn't work so I'll just share it with you.

Here are the words to one of my favorite primary songs too.

These pictures are from Liam's first time to the temple. We got to go with him. We didn't know that we were supposed to schedule a time so we didn't get to do baptisms with him but we did get to watch. It was amazing.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy 11th Birthday Ezra!

So Ezra got this gorgeous dinner yesterday at Red Lobster and then he got to spend the day playing in Calgary. We went to Chuck E. Cheese where at first Rosena was terrified of Chuck E. Cheese. Ezra opened his presents there. By the end of our three or so hours there Rosena had renamed Chuck E. He is now Lucky Cheese and she wants to go there every day. Every. Single. Day.

 We went shopping at the mall where the three oldest boys finally spent their Christmas money from Uncle Troy. Mosiah threw in a couple extra dollars from his own Piggy Bank and got this giganitic Hulk Tsum Tsum. Wow!

We also visited the Bass Pro Shop.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Lougheed House and Red Lobster

Our family tradition is to take our kids on a Mommy and Daddy date with just them to any restaurant they want on their birthday. Ezra's favorite restaurant of all time is Red Lobster, which is funny because neither Bill or I enjoy seafood... at all. For Ezra's birthday this year it just so happened that Bill had a seminar in Calgary so Ez got his birthday wish. He did have to bring all his siblings, but he was willing to compromise.

We also got to visit the Lougheed house. For an explanation of that awesomeness click here. The short explanation from the website is:

Lougheed House, also known as Beaulieu, was home to Senator James Alexander Lougheed, Lady Isabella Hardisty Lougheed, their six children and staff. This grand sandstone prairie mansion was built in 1891 and enlarged in 1907; the impressive scale and the high quality of the design, materials and interior furnishings of the house reflected the wealth and prestige of the Lougheeds.

This is my favorite picture taken at the Lougheed house because if you look closely you can see Bill and I in the reflection of the window.

They had a fun Instagram station set up so we snapped a few pics. It was a really fun day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Big Reveal

Bill and I have been making some changes in life. We've started to eat healthier. We run on the treadmill and do workout videos together. One of the funnest things about taking on a healthier lifestyle is watching our appearance change.

We are getting closer and closer to looking on the outside how powerful we are on the inside!

The numbers on Bill's picture here is how much he weighed when we took each picture.

We started in November, went right through Christmas, and now we are loving how we feel!

Our next step is to keep eating healthy and working out. We hope to tone up and be buff the next time you all see us!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Uncle Calvin

Sometimes life is tough. Plain and simple.

Sometimes babies make you feel better.

We invited Uncle Calvin for dinner tonight and Jedi reminded him that he should be his favorite.

We love you Uncle Calvin! Thanks for sharing dinner with us!