Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent story dec. 18

Read with me, The Offering and ponder on what you can offer of yourself. How can we share that most precious gift of all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Dec. 18

Something a little different for tonight. I f0und THIS in an old Friend and I thought it would be fun for the kids tonight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I had fun reading The Fairy Christmas to the kids. Even the littlest ones can find ways to help others. You don't have to be all grown up to serve others.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 14

This story seems to embody so much that IS Christmas. Working to find just the RIGHT gift for someone you love. Saving, Sacrificing and giving of yourself to make someone else happy is so much a part of that Christmas Spirit that makes this time of year so special. When you add to that the love and helpfulness of a whole family coming together to make someones Christmas extra-special it seems to bring added joy and closeness to the whole season. A Gift of Love is about just that-- a whole family working and sacrificing together to be able to see the joy lighten the eyes of one they love.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 13

The Spirit of Christmas is sometimes very thin and seems to slip from our reach. It is true, we don't always feel jolly and happy inside. How do we get that Spirit back? How do we find the peace and joy that we talk about at Christmastime. This story tells us one way which is almost guarranteed to work.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 12

How I love my mother. She would do anything for anyone. I have seen her sacrifice immeasurably for her children and husband. She has always done so with cheerfulness and enthusiasm. We never had a lot of money growing up and I'll admit, I did feel it sometimes. But I was always aware of the sacrifice that my parents made for me. That made such a deep impression upon me. The sacrifice of parents is never-ending. Love-Sacrifice. The two are indelibley intertwined. Sit down, relax and enjoy this story of the love of a mother for her family and the unforgettable impression she makes on her two young boys.

Advent Story Dec. 11

This story is for anyone who has ever felt self-conscious about themselves, whether it be their singing voice, their artistic talents or any other feature pertaining to their talents or personality traits. I think we have all felt the "sting" of not being "good-enough" at one time or another. What if we all stopped worrying about what the world thought and just consentrated on pleasing the Lord. What would it be like?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 10

It is a known fact---The giver always gets more than the receiver. Enjoy the Santa From Snowflake.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 9

This is a fictionalized story based on events which took place on the American Continent at the time of Christ's birth. For anyone not of the LDS faith, this might be unfamiliar territory so I'll try to give you a quick rundown. The Book of Mormon gives an account of the people who were led out of Jerusalem and across the ocean to the American Continent about 600 years before Christ was born. It talks about what happens to them and testifies that they were not only aware of Christ and his doctrines but also eventually saw him after he was resurrected. This particular Christmas story takes place during the period of time right before Christ was born when many of the people who had once believed that Christ would come had fallen away from their faith or had given up. They had become wicked and were persecuting those who still believed. You can read the real chapters out of the Book of Mormon here if you would like. Then click on The New Star to read about what happens when two friends are caught in the middle of two different ideologies. How do they work it out? How can Christ heal old hurts?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 8

Chaos reigned. A little laughter mixed with a little fighting was echoing off the walls of our home. A little scolding competed with a little loving before we all gathered around our kitchen bar to read this story. The moment we started reading The Treetop Tradition however, all was calm--all was still. It was beautiful. Of course after we finished, it only took about 30 seconds for the spell to wear off and the chaos to return but for those few precious minutes, the peace was golden.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 7

Today's story is wimsical and cute. It is the story of the Golden Cobwebs. How differently our viewpoints can be from one another. Sometimes we all are blessed when we look at something from a new vantage.---Paradigm shift.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 6

Today's story is called The Miracle Tree. I think we underestimate the power that Christ has to change peoples hearts and eventually their lives. Way too often we take for granted the power of simple truths. The fact remains however, that Christ is real. His birth was real. His sacrifice was real and the atonement is real. He did all of that for us. The simple truth is that He loves us. What a difference that can make in our lives--if we'll let it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent story Dec. 5

My father served a mission to Germany and he brought home many of the German Christmas traditions. I still light the candles on the tree every Christmas Eve and I remember making marzipan a few times when I was a girl. It is not an easy thing to do. My ultra creative sister always made the most beautiful creations. They were gorgeous. Click HERE to read this sweet story about kindness to others--even if they are different. We all need reminders to reach out to others. We bring happiness to others, true, but ultimately the biggest blessing is returned again to us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 4

I thought today's story was really sweet. It is one of the fundamental principles that we try to teach our kids each year. It inspired some fun conversation afterwards as well. Click HERE to read this beautiful Christmas story.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 3

Just to bring a little culture into our Christmas traditions. Click HERE to read today's story. Sometimes the blended traditions that we bring from other countries add so much more color and depth to our celebrations.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Story Dec. 2

The advent story for today is a pretty, wonderful, classic sort of Christmas story. Hope you enjoy! Click HERE for the advent story for Dec. 2.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Advent Stories

My family and I are starting our very first Christmas Story Advent. I'm so excited. We read our first one tonight after we got home from walking in the Light up the Night parade. It set the perfect tone for winding up a very busy day and climbing into beds with happy hearts and contented smiles.

I first came upon this idea while browsing the fun blog of my good friend Aimee. She puts songs inside her little pockets and so every night they sing one Christmas song together. I loved the idea right from the start and last year I decided to sew them together so that we could put them into action for this year. Anyone who knows me, knows that I L*O*V*E reading Christmas stories as a family. So I thought that instead of songs, I would put a story inside each one.

I sewed little envelopes out of red felt with Christmasy fabric on the top flap. Then I printed up one Christmas story for each envelope. Each night before bed one of the kids picks out an envelope and we read that story together, as a family. I found most of my stories at THIS SITE for the Friend Childrens Magazine. It has hundreds of Wonderful Christmas stories from past issues. We should have new stories to read for years to come.

If you would like to "read-along", I'll post a link for the stories that we read each day. You may not have time to make the envelopes but you could at least enjoy the stories with us.
Click HERE for today's wonderful story.

I hope that this might help the upcoming Holidays become a special and memorable time for you and your family.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Just a couple "funnies" to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SLC Town (part 1)

First stop on the Salt Lake City Express Tour: The Capital
I started off the day searching for a parking spot and wound up on top of the hill staring straight at the capital building. I found that directly across the street is a travelers info center with FREE parking--yay! Since we had the whole day to kill and since this is such a beautiful building we decided to check it out. Turned out to be a fun stop.
Kyle decided that he needed a little nap before heading to the conference center.

I have always Loved this fountain--inside and outside. The kids were as entranced as I was. We took a short tour of this amazing building. The kids thought it was so cool to be in the same building where they watch General conference. The Sister missionary also told us some neat stories about the inspiration which helped guide the building of this building. Such as the one where the master architect was told by Pres. Hinkley that each person that he hired would be entitled to personal inspiration over their particular projects. A non-member was hired to do some work on the project. He was speaking with, I think the architect, and he mentioned that he thought it would be really great if they could make an alpine meadow and gardens on the roof. The architect told him that the cost of something like that would be too prohibitive and so the idea was dropped. Later on the architect was reading Brigham Youngs original journal writings and he came across an entry describing his vision of SLC. He talked about seeing a very large building with gardens and fountains on top directly across the street from the temple. Of course there wasn't anything to discuss after that.
We met up with some of our favorite people after that. What a fun day we had. I'm pretty sure that if these kids knew what they were standing in there would have been at least a few red faces. Do any of you have wedding pictures taken in here?
This is one of my favorite exhibits. It is in the South visitor center. It is a full model of the inside of the temple. The interactive computers allow you to touch a room and it will tell you about what that room is used for. It's also kind of neat for some of us who have been inside but have never seen some of these rooms.

These are all ways that we can be more like the Savior. I told the kids to point to one thing that they could try to be more like the Savior themselves. If you look close you'll see that little Le'e is pointing to "Teach someone a job skill" and Drew is pointing to "help out at a local school."

I absolutely love this picture of the two little ones together at the feet of Christ. What a special moment--what a special place.
We had to take a break to eat lunch. We had heard that the "Red Iguana" had some of the BEST mexican food in SLC. It did not disappoint--although the kids might beg to differ. We had their Killer nacho's and everyone shared.
We made it just in time to see the movie about the Life of Joseph Smith at the Joseph Smith Memorial building. That was such a great movie depicting his turbulent, yet inspiring life story. Poor Addy and Elsie were bawling at the end. It was hard to see him treated so badly. At least now he is at peace. I guess that the price we pay to come to know our Lord is different for each one of us.
I think that this is one of my favorite viewpoints of the temple. It is pretty spectacular with the reflection in the pool and the spires rising high.After coming out of the Joseph Smith movie we were just kind of hanging out, letting the kids run a bit. Andrew had been climbing on the planter walls and walking the rails, generally having a pretty good time of it. We called the kids and said that it was time to go and so he came running over--only to find that one of the long trough-type fountains was in his way. He had stepped right into it before he had even realized that it was there. Poor boy was soaked up to his thighs. Consequently, in the picture he was pouting, just a bit, and refused to turn around for a picture. He was pretty embarrassed. I however thought it was the cutest thing ever and couldn't help snapping this shot of him stomping away.

Kaylee wanted to go through the Beehive house so we did. I'm glad that we did, it was quite fun. As we came out of the Beehive house and walked around the corner, this is the sight that we beheld.
The sky was cobalt blue with the last rays of sunshine gleaming pink and yellow in the background. The temple was lit up and it was a moment that sort of took my breath away.

This is a day that I will never forget. To be able to show my children sacred places, teach them about special people and watch them as they are exposed to uplifting ideas was a day that I will cherish forever. I only hope that they will too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sampling of Beautiful Yosemite

I have wanted to post some pictures from our Yosemite trip this past July but the shear number of pictures has intimidated me. Trying to pick only the very best ones has proven a monumental task. That's not to say that the ones that I do finally post will overwhelm you as masterful pieces of artwork. Andsel Adams I am not. Although I really do want to portray at least a little of the overwhelmingly beautiful scenery that we experienced. I just know that my lack of abilities in the photography department does not do the area justice. Therefore, imagine if you will, that each one of these pictures is about 20 times more beautiful than they seem and you can begin to understand what it is really like in this incredibly gorgeous spot of ground. Also forgive the length of the post. As I said, it was hard to edit. These are some of my favorites though. I'll save most of the personal-family pictures for some other time. You can click on any of the pictures to view them separately and in greater detail. So, without any further commentary, I'll leave you to enjoy the sampling of Yosemite.

El Capitan!
(just ignore the date. This was taken with a brand new camera. I hadn't turned the date-stamp off yet.

"Old Grizzly"
Each of these branches is bigger than a regular tree. It was monstrous.Estimated to be about 2700 years old.
The Three Sisters
View of Yosemite Valley--El Capitan on the left and Half Dome on the right in the distance with Bridalveil falls on the right forefront.
/Yosemite Falls

Bridalveil Falls

El Capitan!

The Merced River

Half Dome on Left with the Nevada and Vernal falls center stage.

On top of Sentinal Dome (Where the famous Jeffrey Pine of Andsel Adams fame is--it finally fell over in 2003.)
Hopefully you can see that when I say that Yosemite is truly one of God's finest creations, I do not exagerate at all. It is a feast for the eyes! No matter which direction you look, there is always something delicious to look at! Truly Inspiring!