Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Calendar

We made these last night in young women's.
  I found the numbers {here} and the idea from this website

Basic instructions:
~You will need: a cookie sheet,  Mod Podge, sponge brushes, spray paint, scrap-book paper, one bottle-cap, and one circle magnet 

~ spray paint the back side of your cookie sheet

~Print out your numbers onto card stock and cut them out

~Select your scrap-book paper for your background and cut it to fit your cookie sheet

Using Mod Podge

1. Mod Podge is not Elmer's glue.  It looks like Elmer's glue, is used like Elmer's glue in some ways, but it is not the same thing and must be respected.

2. Cover your surfaces.  Mod Podge is unforgiving and will not come off of your wooden kitchen table.(personal experience)  It is more of a sealer than a glue. It does come off of ceramic dishes and laminate counters.
3.  It dries fast, so you have to work fast.

4. Using a roller really helps alleviate all the bubbles that can form when working with Mod Podge.  I used my Pampered Chef roller and it worked perfectly.  (Mod Podge did come off of the roller.)
5. Mod Podge each layer  and let it dry between coats.  Don't be tempted to go the easy route and use a glue stick for part of your project. You will not like the results. It will bubble up and drive you crazy.
6. Mod Podge gives an oil-painted vintage look to your project.  It is OK to use your fingers to smooth out wrinkles or bubbles. It adds to the look. 
~Paint Mod Podge onto your painted cookie sheet.  Add your background scrap-book paper and smooth it on

~Place your numbers and "December" on your project to see how you want to it lay before you Mod Podge them on.  When you have it how you want it, start Mod Podging.

~Mod Podge over the whole project letting it dry before adding the next layer.  I have noticed it will bubble-up more if it doesn't  dry between coats.

~Add Mod Podge to the inside of your bottle cap.  Add your circle piece and press down inside firmly. Add more Mod Podge to the top.

~Last, add you circle shaped magnet to the bottom of your bottle cap.  One note about the magnet: make sure it is a strong enough magnet to go through 2 layers of card stock and still adhere to the cookie sheet.

We had a lot of fun and the girls loved making these advent calendars.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

In the Strength of the Lord

This whole concept of grace is fairly new to me.

For years I have heard the word "grace"in church and while reading my scriptures,  and had no idea what it meant. I am not totally embarrassed to admit that because we all learn line upon line, precept upon precept. We all seem to hear, see, and understand what we are ready to and we all do it at our own pace.

What a powerful principle this is.  I know I have not used "this divine means of help and strength, this enabling power,"  like I should have, because I didn't even understand what it was.

I think we may get confused and think the Atonement is for sins only, and do not understand it is for good people trying to be better. It also covers all of our emotional pain--all of it. The Lord never intended for us to do it all ourselves and to try to get through life through sheer grit, will power, discipline, and with our many limitations.  

The power of the Atonement is there for all of us to use, and I think because we don't fully understand certain principles of it, we do not have access to it's full power in our lives.

Elder Bednar uses the example of Nephi from I Nephi 7 and how he understood and used the enabling power of the Savior.  In this story Laman and Lemuel, have bound Nephi with cords and left him to die in the wilderness.  In verse 17 it says:
 "17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound."
Elder Bednar also points out that Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances changed (get me out of this mess), but instead he prayed for "the power to change his circumstances"   He did this because he understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement (grace) in his life.

"I do not personally believe that the bands magically loosened.  Rather I believe he was blessed with both persistence and personal strength, beyond his natural capacity that in the strength of the Lord he was ultimately enabled to break the bands" -Elder Bednar
Isn't that how the Lord works in our lives as well?

Now, that I know what grace is: that it enables us, strengthens us, gives us the power to change our circumstances if need be; it is like a brand new best friend, and it is written in the front pages of my scriptures, highlighted and underlined.  I see it everywhere and notice, how much I need this enabling  power in my life on a daily basis.

I love grace and am grateful for the blessings of the Atonement.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Proclamation FHE Chart


I really wanted a Family Proclamation FHE Chart
and to make that the focus of our family home evenings.

To read my Proclamation Series go {here}
Our previous Family Home Evening board was out-dated and was needing a face-lift.

I am not the most creative crafter out there by any means. I am not a scrap-booker, although I have a thing for buying scrap-book paper. The desire is there, I just don't know what to do with it all.

I knew I wanted the Proclamation on our chart, front and center.
I grabbed my scrapbook paper and pretty much let the creative juices flow.

I used my same FHE board and painted it black.
You will notice my previous hook holes, which I will need to use again.

Grab some Mod Podge and sponge paint brushes. You will notice that I have something under my board. Don't forget this. Mod Podge is not Elmer's Glue, and will not come off of your wood table if you get it on there. I did find that it does come off of the counter a little better, but why risk d give yourself another job?  If you keep your surfaces covered you are safe.

Your next step, if you haven't already done this, is to pick out the scrapbook paper you want to use on your board.  This is the pack I used.  I bought it at Wal-Mart for $5.

 After you have selected your paper, cut your bottom piece to the right size and set it aside.  You want to have it ready.  Paint Mod Podge on your board.  Work fast because it dries quickly. 
Adhere (not a word I use everyday) your bottom piece of paper to your board.

I think I actually did mine the hard way and cut my paper after I "adhered" it. 
 Craftiness to me is living and learning as I go along. 

Mod Podge has a way of bubbling-up.  This roller worked extremely well with the bubbles.  Mod Podge did get on the roller part, but it came off easily. 

Select your contrasting paper and cut your Proclamation into parts.

You will need to cut your contrasting piece in half

I like the torn edge look, so next I tore my edges and Mod Podged it (that is a verb) to my paper.

Next you need to decide how you want it to look, so play around with different layouts, then Mod Podge that layer.

You will need to cut some paper for the names of your family. 
 This is how I did mine.  Add those to your board along the bottom edge, and
Mod Podge those before you write on them.

When you are done, sand the edges down a little.  This gives it a cool antique look and also gets rid of any messy paper edges you may have

Screw small cup hooks in and add your FHE pieces and you are done!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Handbook for our Dad

AS  most of you know, my husband is a little out-numbered in our family.    The first inclination for most of you, is to immediately feel sorry for him.  He has heard the comment about going to the mountains once a month-more times than we can count.  I am pretty sure he feels rather special to be the only man in the house and relishes in having 8 daughters.

He always has someone to scratch his back, rub his feet, get him a drink....etc.  So don't feel sorry for him. On the other side, he is not a passive father sitting on the couch.  He does plenty for them and is very involved in their lives. He is a great spiritual leader in our home and the biggest kid in the house.

 He also has had a lot of great ideas in raising our girls, that have been special things he has done just for them. One example is when they turn 16, he takes them on their first date.  It is a big one.  He buys them plane tickets and they fly in an airplane for their first time, to Washinton DC.  We have family there, so it works out well.  They have a great Daddy-daughter date touring DC for a few days.   I have to say, he is a great father and is very protective of his daughters.

There have been times, however, when things haven't gone so smoothly.   The  emotional levels at our house can get a little high.  Richard has been trying very hard for the past 20 years to figure out what to say and what not to say to the girls.  Unfortuntely, there have been a few train wreck experiences on that journey. Little comments like, "is that your hair for today?"  or "so, you are going to wear THAT dress?"  don't go ever very well, and he doesn't know why or how to say it differently. Of coarse, given the right set of circumstances, he could say "you look nice" when they feel their ugliest, and he still loses. He has learned sometimes it is best not to say anything.

 Our oldest daughter, no doubt, has had the most experiences since she has been around the longest out of all her sisters.

So in order to help him out, she made him a hand-book in dealing with his daughters.  This was for his birthday about 3 years ago.   It still  remains one of his most treasured gifts that he still refers to.  I thought it was great so I decided to share it with you.  Here it is:


The Good and Correct Way to Deal With Emotional Girls
For all men who just don't know what to do when a girl starts crying

Written By Amber Rust
with help from her sisters

What is the correct and proper way to approach a crying girl?

A. Yell at them and tell them to stop
B. Coos and cuddles them and talks to them like they are 2
C. Run for the hills
D. It really matters on the situation

The best answer it probably D.  You never know how a girl is going to act so just always be on your guard


If a girl is angry and it looks like she can not be stopped, what is the good and proper way to handle this?

A. Yell at her and tell her to grow-up.
B. Give her "the eye"
C. Back away very slowly and get out of there as quickly as possible
D. Let her yell and get out it out because if she doesn't it will just build up.

In this circumstance many would want to choose C, but the answer is D.
When girls are angry they just want to get it out so let them.

When a girl is giggling and can't be stopped,
 what is the good and proper way to handle this?

A. Yell at her and tell her to stop
B.  Back away slowly and pretend that she is not giggling
C.  Giggle with her and joke around with her
D. Leave her alone, she's probably "in love"

The correct answer for this would be C or D.  She is in a good mood, don't put her in a bad one.  It is common nature for a girl to giggle.  We don't know why we just do.

What is the good and proper way to deal with a sad girl

A. Yell at her and tell her to be happy
B. Ignore her and pretend that absolutely nothing is wrong
C. Leave the room as quickly as possible without making too much noise
D. Ask her what is wrong, and listen to her

The answer is D. 
When a girl is sad she just wants someone to care enough to ask.  She might say no at first, but she just wants to see if you really care.

What is the good and proper way to deal with happy girls?

Well Dad you already know this answer because you do it everyday! 
We all love you and appreciate everything you do for us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mothers Who Know

Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to have been one of the mothers of the 2,000 Stripling Warriors described in the Book of Mormon, Alma Chapter 56.
Like Queen Esther, they were the right mothers, at the right time in history, with the right preparation to do what the Lord needed them to do.

The Book of Mormon and the Bible are Both Good Fruit

When I was serving as a missionary in Chile over 20 years ago, one of the main issues, questions, and interests we had with our potential investigators was  THE BOOK of MORMON.   Many of them had never heard of The Book of Mormon before.  We as missionaries shared, taught, and testified daily about the truthfulness of this scripture.

A common concern for someone unfamiliar with The Book of Mormon or our church is that we have replaced The Bible.

 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” 2 Corinthians 13:1 
Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of Jesus Christ and  teach the principles of His gospel.
 Let me share with you a quote found on
"Some people think that because we read the Book of Mormon, we don't read the Bible. That's just not true. It's like saying that we don't eat oranges because we eat apples. Both are good fruit! The Book of Mormon is not a replacement for the Bible. In fact, because the Book of Mormon and the Bible both contain the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was revealed to different civilizations, studying them together can clarify some concepts that are difficult to understand. The Book of Mormon tells us to read the Bible and affirms that its message is true (Mormon 7:8-10). And in the Bible, Jesus told His apostles, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd”
"(John 10:16). Christ visited these “other sheep” in the Americas after He was resurrected, teaching the same message to the Nephites that He taught to the people of Israel. The Book of Mormon makes it clear that Jesus Christ's message and His atonement are not for one group of people at one time. They are for everyone, everywhere, from the beginning of the earth to the end. Having the Book of Mormon as another testament of Jesus Christ reminds us that He is mindful of every one of us."

A popular scripture we would read to our investigators from the Book of Mormon was  2 Nephi 29

6 ... A aBible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
7 Know ye not that there are more anations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the bisles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the cearth beneath; and I bring forth my dword unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the atestimony of btwo nations is a cwitness unto you that I am God, that I remember one dnation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two enations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my awords; neither bneed ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command aall men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall bwrite the words which I speak unto them; for out of the cbooks which shall be written I will djudge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the aJews and they shall bwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall cwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto dall nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the aJews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the blost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. "

One of the main Articles of Faith (13 beliefs about our church) states:

 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
   Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that “scriptural witnesses authenticate each other"
Mormon 7:9 "For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe [the Bible]; and if ye believe [the Bible] ye will believe [the Book of Mormon] also; and if ye believe [the Book of Mormon] ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them."
"...but you don't have to take my word for it"

The Book with a Promise

And finally, we as missionaries would always share the promise found at the end of the Book of Mormon in Moroni 10:4,5:

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Each person can find out for themselves if the Book of Mormon is true by praying and asking God.  By the power of the Holy Ghost [which can be felt in the heart and mind], we can know the truth of ALL things.


This week I am participating in a Book of Mormon forum where several of us bloggers are linking up together to share our testimonies of The Book of Mormon. If you are interested in joining go {here}

 to read more on this subject go to: The Book of Mormon: A Witness for the Bible

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Book of Mormon Testifies of Christ

"Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all things which the Lord can comprehend.
Mosiah 4:9

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Packets of Light: YW Lesson

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high."  [Elder Richard G. Scott, The Power of Scripture,] photo found {here}

Young Women lesson
The Power of Scripture
[Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2011 General Conference)

Ask the YW to describe the qualities of a best friend.  Here are some possible answers they may come up with:
1. They help me with my problems
2. I can trust them, they tell me the truth
3. They make me happy
4. I am better when I am around them
5. They are "always there for me"
6. We have a lot in common
7. The listen to me
 "Throughout the ages, Father in Heaven has inspired select men and women to find, through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, solutions to life’s most perplexing problems. He has inspired those authorized servants to record those solutions as a type of handbook for those of His children who have faith in His plan of happiness and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. We have ready access to this guidance through the treasure we call the standard works—that is, the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price."
  1. The scriptures help me with my problems

"Because scriptures are generated from inspired communication through the Holy Ghost, they are pure truth. We need not be concerned about the validity of concepts contained in the standard works since the Holy Ghost has been the instrument which has motivated and inspired those individuals who have recorded the scriptures."
2. Because the scriptures are written by the power of the Holy Ghost (whose role is to testify of truth) through the Lord's chosen prophets, you can trust them. Scriptures tell the truth.

"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ."

3. Like "packets of light", the scriptures inspire us to be better and are like instant messages from the Lord.  I asked a YW to tell the story of the Brother of Jared. We then discussed how the stones the Jaredites used to the promised land can be compared to the scriptures illuminating our mind on our journey back to our Heavenly Father.

"The scriptures provide the strength of authority to our declarations when they are cited correctly.
4. The scriptures strengthen us when we read them
"They can become stalwart friends that are not limited by geography or calendar. They are always available when needed. Their use provides a foundation of truth that can be awakened by the Holy Ghost. "
5. The scriptures can be our truest friend and are "always there for us"

Learning, pondering, searching, and memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world."
6. Having many favorite scriptures is like having a lot of [instead of just one] best friends
"Great power can come from memorizing scriptures. To memorize a scripture is to forge a new friendship. It is like discovering a new individual who can help in time of need, give inspiration and comfort, and be a source of motivation for needed change."
"Pondering a scripture like that gives great direction to life. The scriptures can form a foundation of support. They can provide an incredibly large resource of willing friends who can help us. A memorized scripture becomes an enduring friend that is not weakened with the passage of time.
Pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost."

Lesson Application
Then, separating into small groups, we had each group memorize a small and simple scripture, ponder its meaning, using the footnotes if needed. 

We emphasized that EVERYONE in the group memorizes.  They all know how to memorize.  They have MANY song lyrics and movie lines memorized.  They all know how. This took away any one saying I can't do it!

 We gave them about 15 minutes to do this.  At the end of class each group came up and quoted their memorized scripture and told us what it meant to them.  They seemed to have fun doing this and it was interesting to see each groups method of memorizing.  Some came up with hand gestures and chants, and others just did it line by line.  Bottom line, they applied Richard G. Scott's talk into their own life. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Young Women Who Know

Teaching our young women to be Young Women Who Know

Using Julie B. Beck's landmark talk, Mothers Who Know, the same principles that were taught to us as mothers, can be used and applied in teaching our young women to be strong in who they are right now, and prepare them for their future roles as righteous wives and mothers.
Throughout the talk, where ever you see the word "mother", you can insert the words "young women"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nurturing Our Family Through Food

"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children"

That one simple declaration has made me reflect over and over again on my role in our home as a "nurturer"

I will admit, many years ago, I felt a little gypped that our only declared role was to nurture.  It is such a short one-liner.  Wasn't there more to be had as a mother?  Did we get the short end of the stick?

To nurture means: to promote and sustain the growth and development of something, to feed or support, educate or train, nourish, raise, inspire with confidence, give hope or courage to, care for,  rear,bring up from infancy,help develop, help grow...etc
Basically it encompasses all we do as mothers, and what we do best.  We have the natural innate tendencies to nurture.  Through nurturing we come to find ourselves and fulfill God's purposes.

I have a picture on my wall that is a great reminder to me everyday

We can't underestimate our value and worth in the nurturing of our children.

One of the greatest ways we nurture our family is through food
 Children are born associating mom with food.  Sometimes we try to separate ourselves as mothers from the constant need to be the food person. 
But we are it. 

I have noticed that there is little else that can bring a feeling of home, comfort, warmth, and family bond more than mom baking, cooking, being there in the kitchen doing her thing.

I have also noticed, because I am not a perfect mother and am crazy- busy like the rest of you, that there is really no homey feeling of comfort, warmth, or family bond when we as mothers, are not there providing meals and food for our families in a nurturing way.

When we are standing up around the counter, everyone "fending for themselves", and eating on their own. Besides feeling chaos, you will definitely notice that 

something is missing!

...and it will effect the spirit of your home and the cohesiveness of our family. 

There is something to sitting down together, with every one's feet under the table, eating a meal, and talking about the day.  It is worth sacrificing to make happen.

Dallin H. Oaks in his landmark talk Good, Better, Best  said this:

 "The number of those who report that their “whole family usually eats dinner together” has declined 33 percent. This is most concerning because the time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.”3 Family mealtimes have also been shown to be a strong bulwark against children’s smoking, drinking, or using drugs.4 There is inspired wisdom in this advice to parents:
 What your children really want for dinner is you."

Nurturing our family through food, in one of those small and simple things...
for which great things are brought to pass.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Abraham wanted

Have you ever stopped to think about Abraham?

It may sound a little strange, but I actually do. 

I really like interesting and powerful people and trying to understand what is behind their *greatness* 

Abraham was one of the greatest  to ever live.

I read this scripture the other day.  I don't ever remember really understanding this verse before, but the other day...all the dots started crossing....and it-made-sense!  {my own thoughts are in red}

Abraham 1:2 "And, finding there was greater ahappiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers[Abraham's fathers were Adam, Seth, Moses,etc]  and the right [the priesthood] whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same [ to have the sealing power] having been myself a follower of brighteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great cknowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many dnations

["That blessing only comes to those who have a temple sealing and marriage. You cannot be a father of many nations without a wife that you are sealed to. He could not hold the right belonging to the fathers without a wife who had the rights belonging to the mothers."Julie Beck , Teaching the Doctrine of the Family]
a prince of peace, and edesiring to receive instructions,[temples] and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a fHigh Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers."[the sealing power that binds families together forever]

This is getting kind of deep, stay with me for a minute....
You cannot be "a father of many nations" without a righteous wife who also wants those blessings-who seeks for the blessings that Eve wanted, the formation of an eternal family.

The family is central to the Creator’s plan.

The Family a Proclamation to the World

 Without the  family, there is no plan and there is no purpose.

Elder Robert D. Hales said this about marriage:“The family is not an accident of mortality. It existed as an organizational unit in the heavens before the world was formed; historically, it started on earth with Adam and Eve, as recorded in Genesis. Adam and Eve were married and sealed for time and all eternity by the Lord, and as a result their family will exist  eternally”

Back to Abraham and Isaac...

Interesting fact: Abraham had two sons literally, but only one son, Isaac,  that had the birthright to the "blessing of Abraham" Ishmael was the son of Abraham's servant/wife, Hagar, and there is no birthright blessing attached to him.

I wonder if Abraham layed in bed at night and wondered 'how am I supposed to be "the father of many nations with only one son??

Because Isaac had the birthright, how important was his choice of wife?

It was VITAL

He had to choose the right one.  He had to choose someone who understood the plan and would willingly take part in becoming a mother and desire to form an eternal family with him.

In essence, isn't that what we should all desire?

I love the story of Isaac and Rebekah.

  Isaac sent his servant to go, with the help of the Lord  and find his wife. His servant went with prayer and saught the Spirit in helping him to recognize who she was. When he recognized her as "the one", she also must have felt that this was her call, because she willingly went.

Rebekah was blessed by her brothers and father, to be the mother of "thousands of millions" (see Genesis 24 )

I think to my own life, and realize these are the blessing I have always  saught for.  This is all I have ever wanted-a righteous eternal family.  I had 8 children because I wanted what Abraham, Isaac, and Rebekah wanted.  I have always dreamed of having a large righteous posterity.

Becoming a mother has been the best decision I have ever made besides of coarse...
who I married.