Monday, 22 October 2012

Consider the Blessings

I loved General Conference, and where better to start than with the prophet's talk entitled 'Consider the Blessings' for our FHE tonight.

We started by singing the obvious choice of song, 'Count your Many Blessings' (Hymns #241).

I asked the children to listen carefully as two verses from the scriptures were read and to share with us which verse showed someone who was counting their blessings and someone who was not.

First we read 1 Nephi 2:11

11 Now this he spake because of the astiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did bmurmur in many things against their cfather, because he was a dvisionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.

Followed by 1 Nephi 2:13

 16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the amysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did bvisit me, and did csoften my heart that I did dbelieve all the words which had been spoken by my efather; wherefore, I did not frebel against him like unto my brothers.

We discussed theses verses and decided that Laman and Lemuel were doing alot murmuring and complaining whilst Nephi who was also in the same situation chose to pray and gained a grateful heart for the situation they were in.

Then we read the following quote from President Monson's talk -

My beloved brothers and sisters, this conference marks 49 years since I was sustained, on October 4, 1963, as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Forty-nine years is a long time. In many ways, however, the time seems very short since I stood at the pulpit in the Tabernacle and gave my very first general conference address.
Much has changed since October 4, 1963. We live in a unique time in the world’s history. We are blessed with so very much. And yet it is sometimes difficult to view the problems and permissiveness around us and not become discouraged. I have found that, rather than dwelling on the negative, if we will take a step back and consider the blessings in our lives, including seemingly small, sometimes overlooked blessings, we can find greater happiness.
I then showed them the poster with the title of the talk on and an outline of a body (that is somewhat misshaped, haha!!), and we took turns writing in the body how we would feel if we didn't see, notice or consider any of the blessings in our lives.  We had answers like, grumpy, unhappy, unthankful etc.

I told them that the 49 colourful circles around the edge of the paper represented each year that our prophet has served as in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency...and that from today each FHE till next General Conference we would decide on 2 specific blessings that had happened during the week to place in our empty body, so that by the time April comes it would be full of lots of colourful blessings.

The children chose coats (as two of the children had just got new ones) and Sister Win (who is a lovely lady in our ward) and wrote them on 2 circles and stuck them inside the outline.

A bit of cheese now, but I'm so grateful for General Conference and for the spiritual uplift that I receive from listening to the General Authorities of the Church that helps me and my family, and I'm also grateful for this blog, it's helped me in so many ways especially being more confident on the computer...I know I still have a long, long way to go yet but I'm getting there post by post xx

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Keep Calm and Enjoy Christmas

I designed this last night....sometimes with all the hustle and bustle leading up to and during Christmas we can forget the true meaning of it all.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Christmas songs from the New Era Magazine

Christmas will soon be upon us so I've been looking through the December issues of LDS Church magazine the 'New Era' for some festive songs for our ward to sing.  

Two of the songs below aren't particularly 'Christmassy', but I have included them anyway (I've put ** next to them to make them stand out). 

Thank Goodness for Christmas! - Watkins (1977)
In Bethlehem - Tietjen (1978)
Shining Star - Madsen/Rasmuson (1979)

To My Saviour (Duet) - Newman/Carter (1980)**
What Does Christmas Mean - Carter (1981)
Carol to a King - Larsen (1983)
Carol for Christmas Morning - Sowby (1984)
Learn Wisdom in Thy Youth - Jorgensen (1985)**
Little One (1986)
When Love Came Down - Gabbott/Moody (1987)
A New Star Shines Tonight - Cahoon (1988)
Room in the Inn - Gardner/Watkins (1989)

A Gift of Love - Francis (1990)
The First Christmas - Wolford/Wolford (1991)
In a Stable - Jones (1992)
And Mary Pondered - Gardner/Watkins (1993)
Hope Was Born - Romney (1994)
This Is Christmas - Gabbott/Moody (1995)
As with Gladness -Carter/Dix (1996)
Christmas Time Is Here  - Rix/Ferre (1997)
Little Child - Wright (1998)
Christmas Bells Are Ringing - Manookin(1999)

Let It Come Quietly - Gabbott/Moody (2000)
Arise and Sing This Christmas Morn - Gardner/Watkins (2002)
Would I Know My Saviour?  - DeFord (2005)
Soft and Pure - Cook (2006)
From Father's Arms To Mother's Arms - Pearson/Perry (2007)
Little Baby - Law (2008)
Mary, Sweet and Tender Maiden - Staheli/Kasen (2009)
Christmas Comes Again - Staheli (2010..the hyperlink for this sheet music is not available)

Softly Falls the Evening Light - Hatch/Perry (2011)

Can't wait to print off some of these and get singing, I love this time of the year!! :)

I have also compiled a list of 50 songs from the 1970 Friends...enjoy.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Preparing for General Conference #2

I had every intention of posting this before General Conference, but didn't get around to it!! least it will be ready for the next one or for when you watch sessions you missed this time :)  So here it is....

It's that wonderful time of the year again, and so I thought I better whip up something different for my children to do during General Conference.  For all the sessions we are still using our Conference Journals but with a twist this year for the kids.

I thought I'd give my kids journals a little tweak this year and make some photo stickers of the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles including names so that they can stick them in their books....I don't know why we didn't think of this one earlier!!

I don't know if it's the same in anybody else's house, but in ours it's usually a frantic rush when the name of the speaker comes on the TV screen as all the kids scramble to get it written down correctly before it disappears...except more often than not, one or more of the kids doesn't get it down on paper, so we end up with lots of questions (and sometimes tears) until we have helped them by spelling it out, or writing it down for them, which results in us missing the beginning of the talks...sound familiar??!?

I copied the pictures from the Conference Ensign April 2012 and just added the names of all the Prophets and Apostles and printed them on sticker paper (you could just use paper and glue)...if you would like a copy of my outlay, just let me know and I will get one to you via email.

My kids have really enjoyed the stickers so far, they used the centre page of the last Conference Ensign to sort their stickers in order with the right name and then put in their books...I'm hoping this activity will also help my children to become more familiar with the General Authorities names and faces.

**And because I'm late posting this I can tell you that this idea worked really well in their journals :) ...and don't stop reading when you see the conference jars below, because I tweaked that too!!!  It was really, really lovely and would definitely recommend it to everyone that has younger children to do for a session or two**

To change things up a bit, during one of the latter sessions, we are going to use the idea of the key word treats, mmmmmm!!  I'm looking forward to this one :)  I used old jam jars and my DIY Mod Podge to stick the images on, and included an image to help my 2 and 4 yr old remember the key words.

As I was doing the shopping for the treats I suddenly thought I'd try to link the treat with the theme of the jar....some are very loosely connected, but hey, you get the idea.

"I am that bread of life" John 6:48 = breadsticks

 When we serve, we generally use our hands which have....fingers :)

I really wanted something that was seed like, but unfortunately my kids don't like pumpkin seeds :( ...and poppy and sesame biscuits were too big to fit in the jar, so I went for....pistachio nuts, huh!!!

I was let down by my local supermarket as they had no jelly babies, so instead, I bought.....goldbears (they kinda look like little people)

There were lots of things I could have chosen for the 'love' jar, but I decided to go with these = jammie dodgers mini

And finally, for the 'Obedience' jar (aka Choose the Right), I chose.....chewits!!  Do you get it, chew the right.....I don't know if my kids will either, but they will understand the whole listen for these key words/principles during Conference and when you hear them you get a treat.  Wahooooo!!!

Because of the time difference where we live, we watched some of the sessions later on, so we could pause the session...this came in handy for these jars.  We all continued to take notes, but after EVERY talk we would pause it and get one jar down at a time and discuss whether we had heard this word or principle being taught in the was really lovely as we shared and heard each others experiences, and were all strengthened from it.....and of course we got to get a treat from the jar too :)

Hope you enjoy(ed) your Conference weekend.