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Family Trifecta

The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.

Our Heavenly Father has given us a very special gift.  That gift is something that will warn us when we are in danger or will direct us when we are lost.  Before we are baptized, this gift will be with us when we need it.  Once we are baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we are given this gift to have with us as a constant companion.

What is that special gift?

I’d like you to listen to a few sounds and tell me what the sound is and what it means is going to happening.

Car, train, siren, blender, telephone, shower etc.

(Hang up the pictures on the chalkboard when they guess them right).

You know what these sounds are because you have listened to them before and you have learned what they are through experiences.

Just like how you have learned these sounds, you can learn the sound of the Holy Ghost.

Here is a gift, and inside it are phrases that you might hear from the Holy Ghost.  We are going to see what we can do to learn how to listen.

**Inside the box have several warning strips that they can pick out from the box.  Have them whisper what the strip says.  Ask the other children if they were able to hear what the child said.  Have the child whisper it again.  Do this a few times until you notice that the room is super quiet for the children to hear.  Do this with 3-4 word strips.  On the last word strip, clang around with the chairs, try and have a conversation with the other leaders so that it is harder to listen.  (Idea from Sugardoodle.net)

Junior:

  • Stop.
  •  Don’t go there.
  • Don’t touch that pan.
  • Put your shoes on.
  • Don’t run.

Senior:

  • Don’t run.
  • Look both ways.
  • Look up.
  • Call your mom.
  • Don’t go alone.

In our lives it isn’t always going to be quiet when we need to hear the Holy Ghost.  So it is important that we learn during some quiet moments what he sounds like.  And we also need to understand that sometimes the Holy Ghost will direct people differently.

When I was a little girl, maybe 4 years old, my family had gone camping with our best friends.  My friend and I had wandered off of the path and somehow got lost.  I curled up in a ball and cried while I said a prayer that our families would find us.  Tara stood up tall and screamed at the top of her lungs! Our parents found us because we both did what we felt like we needed to do.

Sometimes we will feel a very strong prompting and we will never know why we felt it or what would have happened.  When I was a teenager and I was out with my friends for a drive, we had planned on going up the canyon.  But as we got closer to the turnoff, several of us felt like we shouldn’t go up the canyon.  We brushed it off until the prompting was so strong we all agreed to turn around.  To this day we have no idea why we couldn’t go up the canyon but we also know that we were safe.

Other times we will be prompted to do something but do it more carefully than we would otherwise.  A couple of years ago my family was up at a cabin by Sundance.  It had snowed lightly that night and I had to get Ivy down to a birthday party in Lehi.  My husband said, “be careful.  Are you sure you want to take her down?”  It was her cousin’s birthday so I said yes, I’ll take her but I also paid attention to the strong feeling to be careful.  While I was driving, my mom called me.  I told my friend, I don’t feel like I should answer the phone.  I need to be extra careful.  The next thing I knew, we were sliding off of the canyon road.  We rolled several times down the mountain and stopped on our side in the river.  No one was hurt.  We were watched over because we made choices to be extra careful and to listen to the prompting not to answer the phone.   The accident could have been much worse if I was distracted at all.

The Holy Ghost is a very special gift: one that we need to learn how to hear and take the time to heed his warnings.

How do we learn how to hear the Holy Ghost?

If you learn to listen to the Holy Ghost, you will gain blessings and experiences that will build your testimony and help you be a better missionary, friend, child, parent and person.

I am so grateful for this special gift from my Heavenly Father.  I hope that each one of you will take some time to pray and pause to learn how he will speak to you.

 In closing would anyone else like to share a time that the Holy Ghost helped you?

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

 

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I Can Show Love to Each Member of My Family

Family Love

Junior and Senior Primary –

Over the past few weeks we have talked about how important family is to the plan of our Heavenly Father.  We know that family is the most important part of His plan.

Last week we talked about what our jobs are in the family.  Mom and Dad are here to help you become the best you that you can be.  They are here to help you learn the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His plan.  Your role as the child is to learn how to be obedient.

This week we want to talk about how we can show love to each member of your family.

Last week was Easter and we remembered the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Who can tell me about when Christ was crucified?

When Christ was taken and put upon the cross He didn’t focus on Himself and that He was hung to wait for His death.  Instead He focused on His family…

 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

While Christ was suffering on the cross, He took the time to take care of His mother.  He made sure she was well take care of by a good friend.  What better way for Him to show His mother that He loved her?

Jesus Christ is our big brother.  He loves us and showed us His love by dying and then He rose again.

So now it is up to us to show our family that we love them.

Each of us has a family but our families are all different.

Raise your hand if you have a mother. A father. An aunt. An uncle. A grandma. A grandpa. A brother. A sister.

We need to figure out ways that we can show each member of our family that we love them.

We are going to read a few short stories and decide whether they go on the side that shows love or the side that doesn’t show love.

(Take each of these scenarios and put them on the backs of clipart that you can find on Google images)

Write -  “DOES show LOVE” and “DOESN’T show LOVE”

My mom asked me to do the dishes, but I saw this show on the television that looked like it was going to be really funny.  I watched the show and then my brother asked me to play a game.  Then I went to my friend’s house to play.  I came home for dinner and then went to bed.

I stayed over night at my grandma’s house for the weekend.  It was so much fun.  She had lots of fun activities for all of my cousins.  When it was time to go home, I left the room a mess and gave her a great big hug and said thank you.

My dad taught me to always look for things to do to help make others’ lives easier.  I know that my dad always has to take out the trash early in the morning or the night before the trash man comes.  When I came home from soccer, I took the trash out for my dad.

My little sister has a hard time going to sleep without being read to.  My mom was sick and she lost her voice so she couldn’t read to her.  I had a fun book that I read for school, so I told my mom that I would read to my little sister.  It was fun to read to her while she fell asleep.

It was my aunt’s birthday and I wanted to do something special for her.  I had my mom help me make her a very special cake.  She was so excited when she saw it.

My family went on vacation to visit my uncle.   He has a beautiful garden.  We were playing basketball on his driveway and the ball kept going into his flowers.  My uncle had told us to be careful.  But every time I dropped the ball I would run through his flowers to get it.  After the game, I realized that I had torn up several of his flowers.  I tried to make it look like I hadn’t and I didn’t tell him that I’d done it.

My grandpa lives far away and I don’t get to see him very often.  But every Sunday, I draw him a picture of what we did during the week.  On Monday my mom sends him the picture in the mail.

My big brother does a lot for me but I don’t do very much for him.  I decided that I needed to do more to help him and he had a lot of studying to do for his tests in school.  So every morning for a week, I would make his bed while he was in the shower.

Senior Primary

With the older children, ask them each to come up with some of their own ways that they can show their mom, dad, brother, sister or grandparents.

In closing, I want you to know that there are wonderful little ways that we can show our family members that we love them.  And there are little things that we do that make them feel like we don’t love them.  We need to make sure that we are doing more things that show our love.  Just like we learned last week that we each have jobs to do in our family, we also have the responsibility to show our family members that we love them.  We should tell them that we love them any chance we get.  We should give them hugs all the time.  And we should try to show them that we love them by our actions all day every day.  I love my family with all my heart and I am so grateful for their love and support.  I am grateful that I will be with them for time and all eternity through the plan of our Heavenly Father.

I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Family is Central to God's Plan

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Family is Central to God’s Plan

“Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and … the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”).

Junior Primary:

How many people are in your family?

Every one of you is part of a family.

Why do you think it is so important to have a family?  There are lots of ways it is important during our lives here on earth.  Let’s make a list on the board.

(Some examples are safety, comfort, friendships, love, learning, etc.).

Those are all great reasons.

Heavenly Father gave us a family.  Not only did He give us a family but also he made family “CENTRAL” to his plan.

Who can tell me what CENTRAL means?

Have 8 kids come to the front and stand in a circle – then take one of the kids and put them in the middle of the circle.  Explain that everyone in the circle is looking at that one person in the middle.  That means that they are the center of the circle.

Most of you are looking at the circle, some of you have looked for a minute and some of you haven’t looked at all.  That circle is just like the plan of our Heavenly Father.  It should be every one’s focus, but some times we get distracted or we don’t realize it is there.

So we have Heavenly Father’s plan that is Central to our existence.  And then we have Family right in the middle of it.

So let’s talk a little more about “Central” and what it means to us.

According to Elder Cook (from an article in the Ensign),

“The family is the most important unit in time and in eternity and is ordained of God. Living in loving family relationships not only brings us great happiness, but it also helps us learn correct principles and prepares us for eternal life. In addition, family relationships help us know, love, and understand the Father.”

When one of Heavenly Father’s apostles states that it is “THE MOST IMPORTANT UNIT” what do you think that means?

It means that everything that we do, we should be to strengthen our family.

What are some things that we can do to make our family better?  We’re going to write this list next to the list of why we have family.

(Some examples are play together, read the scriptures, pray together, help one another, etc.).

All of these things are really important.  And all of these things help us better live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to talk more about our roles in the family, our parents’ roles in the family and how to show love to our family.

Close with testimony

Senior Primary:

How many people are in your family?

Every one of you is part of a family.

Why do you think it is so important to have a family?  There are lots of ways it is important during our lives here on earth.  Let’s make a list on the board.

(Some examples are safety, comfort, friendships, love, learning, etc.).

Those are all great reasons.

On the Mormon.org site, we can read more about the importance of family.

It’s no stretch to say that a person has a serious advantage in life if they come from a loving, supportive home. Many people still succeed though they come from less-than-ideal family situations, but having our basic needs met, knowing that our parents love us and learning life lessons at home make all the challenges of day-to-day living that much easier to face.
 
God organizes us into families so that we can grow up in happiness and safety, and so that we can learn to love others selflessly—the key to true joy. Within the family is the best place to learn to love others the way Heavenly Father loves each one of us.

I really like that a supportive and loving home gives us an advantage in life, but even those of us that may not have an “ideal” situation at home we are still being able to have our basic needs met and that alone makes life easier.

Even when we have a less than perfect situation at home, we are learning important lessons about how to love and how to be loved.

Heavenly Father felt families are so important.  So much so that He made family “CENTRAL” to His plan.

Who can tell me what CENTRAL means?

Have 8 kids come to the front and stand in a circle – then take one of the kids and put them in the middle of the circle.  Explain that everyone in the circle is looking at that one person in the middle.  That means that they are the center of the circle.

Most of you are looking at the circle, some of you have looked for a minute and some of you haven’t looked at all.  That circle is just like the plan of our Heavenly Father.  It should be every one’s focus, but some times we get distracted or we don’t realize it is there.

So we have Heavenly Father’s plan that is Central to our existence.  And then we have Family right in the middle of it.

So let’s talk a little more about “Central” and what it means to us.

According to Elder Cook (from an article in the Ensign),

“The family is the most important unit in time and in eternity and is ordained of God. Living in loving family relationships not only brings us great happiness, but it also helps us learn correct principles and prepares us for eternal life. In addition, family relationships help us know, love, and understand the Father.”

When one of Heavenly Father’s apostles states that it is “THE MOST IMPORTANT UNIT” what do you think that means?

Do we sometimes forget that family is more important than anything else?

Have you ever picked spending time with friends over spending time with your family? Have you ever yelled at your siblings?  Have you teased them and laughed when they cried?  Have you gotten upset when your younger siblings have copied you?  Do you ever tell your siblings or your parents to just go away and leave you alone?  Do you ever ignore your mom and dad when they ask you to do something?  Do you separate yourself from the family when you are doing something with them because you would rather be playing with your friends?

Raise your hand if any one of the things I just listed is something you do.

Family is the most important part of Heavenly Father’s plan.  So if we aren’t working our hardest to make those relationships the best they can be, how do you think we are making Heavenly Father feel?

What are some things that we can do today and every day to help make our family stronger?  What can we do to help make our siblings our best friends for now and forever?  What can we do to have our parents be the first person we think of when there is something great in our lives and the first person we think of when we need help?

(Some examples are play together, read the scriptures, pray together, help one another, etc.).

Not only will each of these items help us have a closer family but all of these things help us better live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Do you think that is a coincidence or is it part of Heavenly Father’s plan?

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to talk more about our roles in the family, our parents’ roles in the family and how to show love to our family.

Close with testimony

_________________________

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father decided to make family such an important part of His plan.  While we may get frustrated with our family and we may at times argue, I know that they love me and I love them unconditionally.  It is challenging being a mom and seeing our children make choices that may not line up perfectly with what we wish they would do, so I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for God to see each one of us, daily, make choices that may or may not align perfectly with His Plan.  I am eternally grateful for the example that my parents have set for me within my own little family.  I’m grateful for the example that Scott’s parents have provided us.  And know that the choices that both sets of parents made were to strengthen their family and build eternal relationships.

I pray that Jade and Ivy will always be close and will always be comfortable turning to me and Scott with any struggles and triumphs that they have throughout their lives.  I also pray that they will always know that no matter what choices they make or direction their lives take them that Scott and I will love them with all our hearts.  Always and forever.

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Winter Fun

For Christmas this year, we found a great deal on a cabin in Bear Lake.  So that is what we decided to give our siblings and parents.  So far we’ve redeemed one of the weekends and couldn’t be happier about how things turned out.

The cabin was much better than we expected (based on the deal we got).  It had granite countertops and plenty of space for us all to spread out and enjoy our time together.  Plus it was clean!

My favorite part of the weekend was the perfect day to go sledding.  There was fresh snow but the sun was shining.

Climbing Up

I love getting to see the kids work their way up to the top of a hill and in some cases work to get up the nerve to head down the hill.

But there is nothing better than catching that moment of pure joy!  That moment when they realize they are okay and that it is actually really fun.  Of course that moment is often followed by tears because the snow sprayed into their faces or they toppled over and rolled through the fresh powder.  Luckily no one got hurt, despite the occasional tears.

Jade and Harry were the dare devils that climbed the hill twice as high as the rest.  The two of them figured out how to lean back and pull the front of the sled up just enough to get them flying.  That also meant that their wrecks were the best of everyone’s.  But each time one of them bailed they came up smiling and got right back on.

After spending the weekend with my family up in Bear Lake, I am hungry for us to have our very own cabin.  Now to get me and Scott to agree upon where we want it to be so that we can start dreaming in color.  After all, you only have one life to live and love your family so you may as well do everything you can to make it fun.

If you were to get a cabin, how far from home would you want it?  

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Cake Boss Birthday Party

Ivy is eight years old.  And in our family we get to have a friend birthday party every even year and a family party on the odd years.  Lucky for me it means that I only have to plan a birthday party once a year.

Invitations

This year Ivy picked a “Cake Boss”  theme.  She has loved that show and will choose to watch it whenever she gets the chance.  After the hurricane hit the set she was so excited to tell me all about it and all that they did to recover from the damage.  For a while I think she thought she was part of their family.  I’m not sure if she likes the show for Buddy or for the cake decorating.  But either way, she loves it.

So here are some pics from the party.

January 2014 - Edited

It wins for the party that required the most prep time of any party we have done.  For her tenth we’ll be bowling for strikes!  That is way easier.

The kids all decorated their own aprons (purchased them at Hobby Lobby) with fabric pens.  It was fun getting to see the personalities of her little friends while they decorated their aprons.  The only instructions I gave them was that they had to put their names up on the top.

My mom made a great big cupcake that they had to pin the cherry on.  Since the cherry had to go on the tip of the cupcake, the kids used the border of the poster board to their advantage.  We ended up spinning them and making them do somersaults before they could walk towards the cupcake.  Even then they were all pretty darn close to the tip.

Cupcake

After the cupcake game we moved on to the fun and oh so messy part of the night.  Each of the kids had a two tiered 6 inch cake to decorate.  I made several different kinds of frosting – some of which didn’t really turn out so well.  Luckily some of them were delicious and worked for the kids.  It was hilarious to see how they kids expressed their creativity.  The boys piled on the frosting and candy while the girls were far more meticulous.  (We learned during the party that Jade has quite the natural talent for cake decorating.  I’m thinking she and I will be going to Orson Gygi for a butter cream class one of these days).

We ended the night watching a “Cake Boss” and then some family home movies of little 2-year-old Ivy.

Ivy was thrilled with the party.  And I was so grateful to have my mom’s help through the whole thing.  And equally grateful to a wonderful husband who had them all giggling uncontrollably.

Three years ago I shared photos from Ivy’s first friend birthday party (that’s what you get when you turn five).  It was a “Bubble Gum Princess” party.  And from Jade’s “Alice in Wonderland” party for her eighth birthday.

What has been your favorite birthday party theme?

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