Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Teaching Your Children About Geneology



We know in our religion that geneology is important! But how do you get your children excited about it? We decided to make it a year long school project. I told my kids we were getting ready to do some detective work! Of course they got excited! Detective work and spying are things my kids are really in to lol! So we went easy at first. We drew up a chart for our little family. That was easy. Then I told the kids that we were going to expand the chart and make it HUGE!! We were going to work all school year long and try to get as many names as possible in our family! I also made sure to express how important it was that they were OURS!! My kids know that when they turn twelve they may enter into the temple if they are worthy and do baptisms for the dead. So, this was also something that got them excited.

We went ahead and signed up for a free trial with an online geneology site that a good friend recommended, and so far it has been so fun! When you enter a name in, sometimes a little leaf will pop up, and the kids get really excited when they see the leaf waving, because that means there are some keys or hints that might help us in our search! It also put everything in a nice, organized pedigree chart for us. How do you teach your children about geneology? So far on my mothers  fathers side we are back to 1770! That’s exciting!  Give me some ideas! Share with your fellow LDS Parents how you make geneology fun and important in your child’s lives!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Memorization Rings

memorization rings

You can make these as simple or unique and intricate as you want. There are a few different ways you can do this too! You can use the 1.00 photo albums at walmart etc, or you can use index cards and use the rings to bind them. Now, to tell you what you can use it for!!!

Seminary Scriptures, Multiplication Tables, Books in the scriptures ( Genesis, Exodus, etc), Song lyrics for primary, Anything that has to do with anything!!! I love these things! You can take them in the car, etc. I started using them when my kids were little bitty, and I printed out little pictures and we did little quotes from primary songs, etc and we also had one for little things like : brush teeth, make bed, fold pajamas, etc. Just a fun little activity. If your kiddo has a spelling test coming up, make one for the spelling words! Just buy index cards! You can turn index cards into basically anything! Recipe cards, flashcards, etc. Have fun! Don’t forget to encourage your kids to take them with them on car rides etc , it gives them extra time to memorize what they need to know!

The Back to School Carnival is… BACK ON!!!!

summer 2011 001

So the Kaylor Family is feeling alright again! In fact we started our official first day of school today! We have decided to go “virtual” with record keeping this year, so if you are interested in what we as a family do for school, you can check out  that just shows what we do for school each day. I really really need to update our family blog but time is crazy right now!

Without further ado… let’s get back to the carnival! The blog hop was pretty great to me, considering we’ve only been online for a couple months! I LOVE my guest bloggers and from what I’ve heard, you guys love them too!! I have a couple more articles on Back to School then we will get back into the awesome parenting stuff we do here at LDS Parenting! ENJOY!!! ( oh and leave us some comments! we want to know what you think!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Due to Illness ......

The back to school carnival will commence next week. sorry guys :( wish me luck as i get through this!!!! hope to be back monday and all chipper and ready to go go go!!!
Love you all for coming to the blog and supporting me as i try hard to make it a good resource for lds families.
love, jl

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Something To Love, TJEd Guest Post


By Tia- follow her here :


A couple of days ago I read this great article over at and I loved it so I wanted to share. It made me think about my oldest son, Captain.

This article is entitled “Something to Love“, and it is written by Oliver DeMille. He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, among other books. Here are a couple of great quotes from it:

“Give the student something to love. This is essential to helping them fall in love with learning and, later, hard study. The learning environment matters. . . .

Moreover, when a student is deeply in love with one thing—from a sport to a topic like math or Shakespeare, to a club or genre of books—it is easier to help inspire her to excellence in other arenas.”

Read the whole article. It’s great food for thought.

I don’t think Captain was even two years old when he first asked me to read St. George and the Dragon to him (the one by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman). Now, this is a long book for such a little guy to sit through. So, at first I just told him the story using the pictures rather than reading the actual text. However, Captain kept bringing me that book to read to him, over, and over, and over. Finally, I decided that I would just read him the full text in the book…yes, to be quite honest…in order to perhaps discourage him from picking this book so frequently. (Couldn’t he pick something a little more fun to read, like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss?)

But my plan to bore him with the book failed. He loved the whole story, and after that wouldn’t even let me get away with just telling it to him in my own words using the pictures. Pretty soon I had a little two-year-old who would tell me, “Mommy, I’m fighting a dragon, grim and horrible!”

Pretty soon he discovered swords. Then armor. Then knights in shining armor. For his third birthday, we got him a play suit of armor and matching weaponry, as well as a homemade shield crafted by a good friend. And we kept reading that book to him, and he never got tired of it.

Boy, did he have something to love. And this love has branched out, just as Dr. DeMille said that it would. As Captain got older, his interest led him to other books about knights, into medieval history, then ancient history, and then modern. He wants to know about all the wars, the strategies and weaponry used. He’s enthralled with samurais, revolutionary war heros, zulus, and the nations of Greece, Rome, and Britain—among others. Captain asks me to read him history stories every day. Tales of heros and warriors every day. I could go on.

Of course, he’s only scratched the surface of all of these. I mean, he’s only seven. But. He has something to love. And just so you know, it works, because it’s given him a whole world of things that he wants to learn.

It may start simple. But it works! If it’s a wholesome topic, don’t discourage them. They will branch out, and they will have a passion for learning.

What do you love to learn?

Back to School Shopping : Guest Post

By Julie Hess- follow her here:

Back to School Shopping

Today is payday. We only get one a month, so we have to pace ourselves a bit and budget pretty carefully. We decided, this morning, that today was going to be school shopping day. We had a BLAST!

We did things a wee bit differently this year. I sat down and figured out the budget and showed the kids what we had left for all of our extra spending for the month. We decided together how much would be budgeted and evenly split between six school kids. I think we were fair.

Before we left, we talked about what stores we wanted to shop at. We went to those stores online to see what they had special deals on. Old Navy has their jeans on sale for $10 for kids. Plus, they have a 25% coupon code that's good until today. If you order more than $50 worth of stuff, you get free shipping, so we ordered jeans and found two shirts that were $6 each.
On a piece of paper, we listed each child and the amount of money they started with. Those who ordered jeans and shirts, had those amounts subtracted from the original sum. We, then, headed to the bank. We figured out how much of each child's budget was left and put that amount in an envelope with the child's name on it. They were, then, each handed their own money.

We headed to Old Navy. #1 and #2 are at team camp for cross country, so they will shop next week, but #3 got a pair of jeans, a cami, a t-shirt, and a cardigan. #4 got a pair of jeans online, a polo a hoodie (1/2 price this weekend) and two t-shirts. #5 got a pair of jeans and a shirt online and two polos and a t-shirt at the store. #6 got a pair of jeans and a shirt online. He wasn't going to get anything more--long story, but he was so good at the store (no nagging, no whining. AMAZING!) that I bought him a surprise $5 t-shirt. Each child still has money left.

Everybody came home happy. The best part of the trip was that each child had to go to the checker by him/herself and pay from the money in his/her own envelope. I think they each felt very grown up and responsible. I love that they chose what they wanted within their own budgets, and I didn't have to comment on anything being too expensive. I think the only thing I'd change is that they each have their own calculator with them.

They did, thankfully, still ask my opinion on how things looked, so I did turn down a couple ugly shirts. I'm sure the day will come when they won't ask any more, but for now, life is good.

Now the challenge of holding them off until the first day of school. They'll have a fashion show tonight when the Warden gets home. I'll take some photos then, and then they'll have to wait for three weeks to wear them again.

Home Education: Our Journey. Guest Post

By Sarah Cooksley 
When our oldest child was just a tiny baby, I found a book in the
library entitled "Free Range Education." As I read it, the Spirit really
testified to me that this was the way we should raise our children. My
husband was in complete agreement, and we spent many hours talking about
how we would educate them and things we would do together as a family.
It was exciting!

Life seems simple when your oldest child is an infant, however. When she
was 18 months old, we had our son, and I experienced post partum
depression. My memories of those months after his birth are tinged with
a black cloud and I felt I couldn't cope with anything in my life, let
alone home education. I sadly shelved the idea and started looking into
local nursery schools when my daughter was turning three; I was pregnant
with our third baby, and I thought that no "break" from small children
would likely tip me over the edge. I was also very afraid of PPD
striking once more and wanted some forced structure in my day that would
require me to actually get dressed in the mornings....

The Lord was patient with my insecurities. Even as I enrolled my
children into school and began my life of shuffling them from one place
to the next, in the back of my mind I wished for a way to return to my
dream of home education. I still didn't feel confident, even amid my
misgivings of sending my sweet daughter to full-time school at
four-and-a-half years old. Thankfully, around this time, I was blessed
with a new friend; she and her family moved to the ward from America,
and this amazing, sweet woman has home educated her seven children from
the beginning. I learned at her knee what wonderful experiences could be
had with home educating your children. As I got to know her and told her
of my desires to home educate, she was so kind in answering my questions
and addressing my concerns.

My dream to home educate, re-awoken through meeting my friend, had
blossomed into a fervent prayer after two years of friendship among our
I also began to get angry about the pattern of our lives. Why was I
sending my children to school for 6.5 hours each day? Why were these
little ones coming home with so much homework? Why did I have to turn
into the "mean mother" just to get them out the door and then force them
into bed at night after only spending a few hours with them -- just so
they wouldn't be too tired for school the next day?

I thought about raising our family from an eternal perspective, and I
wondered how I could effectively raise my children in the gospel and
create a strong family bond if we never really spent time together.
Amid these thoughts forming in my mind, life continued apace. I gave
birth to our fourth child and my husband changed jobs. The job change
meant that we would move closer to his office, giving us the final
opportunity to literally change the pace of our entire lives and home
educate our children.

Looking back on these events in my life, I can see that I had a lack of
faith in many ways; with a stronger testimony and faith in the Lord, I
think we could have home educated from the beginning. Even so, our
family is benefiting  greatly from the Lords blessings now, even as we
do our best to follow His promptings.

We moved to our new house at the beginning of the year, and we started
home education at the same time. I expected it to be incredibly
stressful for our children and that they would be terribly sad about the
move. Instead, they have grown closer together as siblings, and
genuinely enjoy each other's company.

I am a better mother now than I ever was before. I have that most
precious of resources - time. Gone are the days of rushing around in the
morning trying to find school bags, permission slips and that lone shoe.
Gone are the afternoons of enforcing home work, cooking dinner and
tucking them into bed before it gets too late. We can read that extra
chapter of a bed time story now. We can spend all afternoon colouring or
walking in the park. We can chat, and talk, and converse, and discuss,
and shoot the breeze.

So many people this year have called me "super woman" or ask "How do you
do it?"

I don't feel like super woman. Just ask my kids! These days they have a
front and center show to The Imperfections of Mother. But I am so happy
living this life. I feel incredibly blessed to spend this time with my
children and guide their learning in all things - physical, temporal,
spiritual. My answer to the question of "How do you do it?" is: "How
could I not?"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School : Virtual Schooling

Guest Post By Heather Birdwell

virtual schooling


Well starting the 22nd, I am diving head first into home schooling. Let me back up a bit because my children who are school age are 8 and almost 7 years old. People ask how I got to where I am so I think that is what I plan to talk about in this blog.
With my daughter, I counted down the days until she was old enough to start school. I was ready to have her out of my hair. I put her in preschool where my friend put her children. After preschool and pre-K ... Adella started Kindergarten in a public school. We really loved her teacher and her school. She was WAY behind in reading but did great every where else ... well except her attitude and behavior. She came home with "green notes" all the time and in all actuality, that didn't change for the next two years either. We really worked on her reading and finally had her read to her brother for practice. I didn't think she was getting what she needed really though as she continued to struggle with her scholastics and was more intent on talking. I worked a lot with her at home but she would sit at her desk here and do as she was told. I started to wonder throughout the school last year whether or not she would do better being at home being taught by me.
With my son, I taught him preschool at home. I wasn't ready for him to be old enough to leave the house for school. I bawled when I took him to his first day of Kindergarten. He was torn between being happy about going to go to school with his sister and bummed that I wasn't his teacher anymore. We were torn about even putting him into public school for Kindergarten since it is optional. We went ahead and put him in though because we went with the flow.

So that brings us up to last year. Throughout the year, I felt prompted I should really be home schooling. My husband and I prayed and discussed the possibility of this "calling" from God and what it meant. I was, honestly, overwhelmed with the concept of being my kids' teacher. I had problems with the fact I really felt like I was being TOLD to home school and knowing that my daughter and I rarely see eye to eye. By Easter, we had come to the decision not to home school and just battle through. My daughter was seeing the social worker at the school regularly but still having a lot of problems. My son was going with the flow at school but was awfully bored. They both would do work sheets at home as a side enrichment. Then finally came the BIG push for home schooling ... again. I delivered my youngest daughter in August and while I was in labor (I HAD sent a note to the school saying my water had broke so the kids' grandparents were getting them from school), I received phone calls regarding my eldest. What in the world?! WHO calls a woman in labor?!?!?! Oh, and it was about inappropriate note passing. Is that not something they handle in school anymore? Does she not see the social worker who could talk to her about it? In any case, what in the WORLD did they think I could do about it while I am giving birth to a child! My husband and I dealt with the situation, which was not nearly as bad as we originally led to believe, and then re-discussed home school. I prayed and prayed about what I was supposed to do as I was still getting promptings.

Suddenly I started getting emails about virtual public schools and different activities. They were all free of charge and some extremely fun places so I decided to look into it. I was amazed. Adella resisted at first but quickly warmed up to the concept when she saw all the curriculum. It quickly came down to whether I was going to enroll them in K12 program or Maize Virtual Prep which uses Calvert Curriculum. After talking to several people and more prayers, I decided on Calvert because it is mostly text book and it was also what most of my friends either used or wished they had the money to use. We have been to many events and when the curriculum came, my children immediately wanted to get started. I think that was the confirmation I needed that this really was the right path. Sure, my kids are still TECHNICALLY in public school but I feel better using this method as I am not a teacher and don't even have a degree from college. I just don't feel qualified yet to do this on my own. I didn't have to really ponder about what books to chose and where to get them. When we get stuck, we have a certified teacher there to help us out. While I am not sure how long I will stay with Maize Virtual, I do know that I am following God's promptings and it is already starting to pay off. As far as what I say when other people say to me about "hurting them" by home schooling ... I simply tell them that I pray DAILY that I do right by my children and I follow the Lord's commandments for me. Each family is different and I firmly believe that what is right for my children, is for me, their mother and their provider, to teach them and guide them.

~My name is Heather and I am a mom of 3 children. I am a full time stay at home mom, but I like to call myself a chef, an accountant, a secretary, a maid, a chauffer, and a teacher. I am the world to my children and they are the world to me. I am far from perfect but striving to be what the Lord wants from me.

Back to School Special Things to do for your Kids!

      Here are a few cute ideas and special things to do for your kiddos for Back to School time! There's a few different sites to visit and each one of the blogs is so awesome in it's own way too! ~JL

TipJunkie's Back to School Tradition :

back to school traditions
All picture and idea’s are ‘s!!

I’m in love with this site, this lady is so talented! Here she has a bunch of cute ideas for special tips for first day of school ideas!

Here are a few of my favorite ideas ! Love, JL~

My favorite idea is a special back to school breakfast with a little gift for each child at their place at the table.
We always made french toast growing up. This year, since we homeschool, I haven’t decided yet what we will do since our first day isn’t until next monday!
I do know EXACTLY the best, most perfect gift though. My friends at the gave me such a great idea. Why not send your kids to school with a new ctr ring? That way while they are at school ( or home like my kiddos) they can look at it, remember to choose the right, and remember how special they are. Here is what my ctr ring looked like in my high school years ( I replaced it with a wedding ring )
ctr rings
pretty huh ? I wanted something different.
So go visit my friends at and see what they have to offer. You won’t be dissapointed and just think how cute those little boxes would look on the plates at your special breakfast!!!

Another great idea is to go visit my inspiration Stephanie Nielson.
First of all read her story, then go look in the archives at her special back to school dinner celebrations she throws her kids each year.
nienie button
What kind of special traditions do you do with your family???  Please share!!

Special Back to School FHE Monday

Welcome to the first official “post” on the Back to School Carnival here at LDS Parenting!! Hope you enjoy and I hope you join in! You can send anything school or learning related to !
This is the special Back to School FHE we will be doing tonight- even though my family homeschools, we still make it special!
Opening Prayer
Opening Song : your choice
Lesson:  Goals for the School Year
- Have family prayer daily before school
family prayer
- Understand and follow the the Gospel Standards, display them in your home!my gospel standards
-Here is a cute idea for keyring Gospel Standards they can carry in their backpack!
gospel standards keyring
-Make sure children know they can come to their parents with ANY problems they may have, school related or otherwise. Parents, talk to your children, most importantly though, LISTEN to them.
daughter and mother talking
- One of the most amazing gifts we have access to is the Priesthood. If you have a worthy father in your home who holds the Priesthood, have him give each child a father’s blessing , blessing the child for their school year. If you homeschool, make sure momma gets one too! If you do not have the Priesthood in your home, ask your home teachers, missionaries, or your Bishop.
fathers blessing
Closing song: your choice
Closing prayer
treat- have a fun school related treat- school bus shaped cake anyone? !!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to School Carnival 2011 !!

back to school chalkboard

This week we will be featuring some fun back to school ideas, tips and articles to help get us excited for back to school time! I will be adding to our blog roll also, which will help you to meet our readers and guest bloggers…. also, you will be introduced to me, the crazy lady who owns this blog!

Giveaways, blog hops, all kinds of things are coming this week, so check back each day!

WITH LOVE!!!!!!!! JL

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gravel Isn’t Good For You- Guest Post

gravel road

Gravel Isn't Good For You

My son and I needed to deliver something to a friend's house not far away. He suggested biking, but I hesitated. The place is on the edge of town, the road winds a bit, and the shoulder is narrow and made of gravel. One slip on the bike, and he'd be road kill.
So we walked. Not far. In no time, we were heading home when suddenly I paid a graceless tribute to gravity and landed with a slam in the gravel. I felt like a complete idiot. My stylish blingy flip-flops ripped, as did my skin.
Fortunately, my son did not take the opportunity to laugh at me. He helped me up and commented, "Wow, you weren't kidding. That gravel can be slick." Even walking.
It got me thinking (as pain often does) about the dangers of life. I'd been concerned that something wasn't safe for him. It hadn't occurred to me that I would be in danger. I would not be recklessly speeding along. My slow steadiness would assure that I got there in one unbloodied piece.
There are other dangers of life that worry me far more than twisted ankles, jammed wrists or rocks embedded in my calves. The spiritual dangers that wound the inside. It's easy, as an adult, to watch out for the kids. The boundaries of safety are clear. Stay away from this kind of movie or TV show, don't read that kind of book. You're too young. Avoid certain social situations where temptations abound. You're not mature enough for that yet. I can see that kind of gravel, and steer him away from it.
But then do I march right out there into the gravel myself, foolishly thinking that my older "steadier" self can hack it? I can fall just as fast, and generally twice as hard. Gravel is slick no matter how old you are. Temptation is slick, too.
I'm thinking it's a good general rule of thumb that if something is "inappropriate for younger audiences", it's probably inappropriate for me. Over-confidence in my own life experience or maturity might cause me to think I won't slip, but if I'm laxed that day and wearing blingy flip-flops instead of solid walking shoes with good tread....? Well, accidents happen. I'm a fool to think I'll never fall.
Naw, better to stick to the standards I stick on my kids.

Posted by lia london, author of "The Circle of Law" you can find her at  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teaching our Children about Sacred Music


music piano opening

D&C 25:12  “ For my soul delighteth in the song in the song of the heart; yea, the song of  the righteous is a prayer unto me and it shall be answered with a blessing upon your heads. “

How do we teach our children the importance of immersing their lives in sacred music?

* Have plenty of sacred music available in your home. Play it often, it will bring a sweet spirit into your home and help make your home a haven. Cd’s of hymns and the children’s songbook, classical music, LDS music available from deseret book etc. Use your judgement, if you would listen to it with the Savior, then it’s probably a good choice!

* You can also use music to teach your children values, scriptures, etc. One of my favorite sites is  it is truly amazing, songs that teach the seminary scriptures, songs that teach the articles of faith and more. My family personally owns a couple cd’s and we love them. Also look around the internet, for lds music.

* Have everyone in your family learn to play a musical instrument! Trust me on this one, I love the fact that my family can gather around the piano and sing, I also love playing the piano to put my babies to sleep. If it is possible, try to have a piano in your home. music piano gathered around.

* Great music brings a good Spirit into your home and makes it comfy and a haven from the world.

* Elder Boyd K. Packer teaches us:

“ Music, once….innocent, now is often used for wicked purposes. In our day music itself has been corrupted. Music can, by its tempo, by its beat, by its intensity ( and I would add by its lyrics), dull the spiritual sensitivity of men. Young people , you cannot afford to fill your mind with the unworthy hard music of our day. Instead, we encourage you to listen to uplifting music, both popular and classical, that builds the spirit. “ ( ensign, may 1986, 45)

* For the Strength of the Youth also is a big help to us as parents. The First Presidency makes this statement: “ Music is an important and powerful part of life. It can be an influence for good that helps you draw closer to your Heavenly Father. However, it can also be used for wicked purposes. Unworthy music may seem harmless, but it can have evil effects on your mind and spirit. Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit , encourages immorality, glorifies violences, uses foul or offensive language, or promotes Satanism or other evil practices.” Page 20 from For the Strength of the Youth Pamphlet.

* For those of you with older children- please get informed on what your kids and their friends are listening to. Be hip, lol, know what’s out there- but make sure that you take the time to lovingly teach your children about good and sacred music. Help them to realize that when a bad song comes on it’s ok to change the station, change the subject and say something fun like “ my ears are to precious for this “ in a fun manner. Peer pressure sucks, but your kids have choices, encourage them and teach them ways to stand up but still have fun!

* In the book “ 25 Mistakes LDS Parents Make and How to Avoid Them, by Randal A. Wright” it has a lot of good statements on music that are worth repeating.

“ RECOGNIZE IT’s POWER. Music has been called the universal language because it speaks directly to our emotions. Our feelings can, in turn, actually influence our behavior. Music has an  unique ability to inspire or to destroy. Realizing the power of music is nothing new. Over the ages many people have used it for various reasons. When Christ needed strength to face his terrible ordeal in the Garden of Gethsemane, he turned to music. The scriptures record, “ And when they had sung a hymn they went out into the Mount of Olives.” (Matthew 26:30). Joseph and Hyrum Smith also turned to music before facing their deaths. One of the last things Joseph and Hyrum did in the Carthage Jail was to request John Taylor sing “ A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” to comfort them. And in our day, music plays a very important role in our church services and activities. Can you imagine a sacrament meeting or a general conference without music?” end quote.

Link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “ A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”

Music has such an amazing and beautiful way of bringing the Spirit into our homes and our hearts.


Guided Journaling For Parents week three

guided journaling week three

Just in case you are new to this:

Week Three:

Write about your parents. Was there relationship a good one? What was something that you loved to do with your mom? Your dad? What are some of your favorite memories of your parents as a child? Don’t forget to include fun stories, and describe what they looked like . Add a picture of both of your parents to the journal to make it more real for your kids!

Reminder of all Things We Offer!!!!

blog button 2

Just a quick reminder of all the things we are offering right now, and all the amazing things we hope to offer soon!

Right now we have the LDS Penpal Program :

We have prayer requests: and click on prayer requests or email me at

We have fun articles and ideas coming in daily!

We offer you the chance to guest post and get a link back to your blog! Contact me at :

Coming up soon!   Back to School Carnival with articles, ideas, and giveaways!

FHE Packets and family learning downloads and mail options

Our store will be growing with lots of new things!

The ideas never stop rolling in my brain, and I know Heavenly Father is behind it! Let’s work together to be the best LDS Parents we can be!!! :)

Love, JL

Thursday, August 11, 2011

For the Momma's : Nursing your Children

By Heather Birdwell

This is a post that was written during World Breastfeeding Week which was August 1-7.


This week celebrated one of the most natural and beautiful things God graced MOST of us women with ... the ability to feed our child with breast milk. This week was World Breastfeeding Week. This whole week has been about bringing it national attention on how important it is to breast feed your child. The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in 120 countries and marks when the WHO and UNICEF signed a document showing all the benefits of nursing your baby. Breastfeeding doesn't only benefit the baby, but also the mother. WHO, World Health Organization, now says that the best way to get as many benefits as possible is to breastfeed no less than 6 months and at least up to 2 years. After 2 years is up to the mother and child.

I have always hoped to breast feed to at least 18 months and with the trials I had, I decided to make small goals and complete them. The trials in my breastfeeding started after the first 24 hours of my daughter's life. We had a GREAT first day, no troubles at all. But then she began to battle jaundice and by the time it was release day, I was a mess. A LC came in and visited with me when no one else was in the room so that I could cry and we could talk. We decided to take away the bottle unless she was sitting up right (supported obviously) and the bottle was at a 90 degree angle with her neck. I was given syringes to hook to a feeding tube and a ton of formula to put in them. That way she would get a treat every time she would latch on. It was a VERY long process to feed her but she stayed on the breast AND got past the jaundice. Hurdle one, complete. I went back to nursing her and went for her check-up.

This is when we ran into the BIGGEST hurdle I have dealt with, a TERRIBLE pediatrician who has firmly believes that the only way to have a healthy baby is to have one with rolls. :( My babies just aren't that way. In fact, all of my babies have been small, healthy ... but small. My first daughter was formula fed and was only in the 25% and dropped to the 10% in 3 years. My son who was both formula fed and nursed was in the 50% and is now in the 25%. Now, my youngest baby girl is in the 5% and staying there. So, since I have used this pediatrician for 8 years, I assumed he knew what he was talking about ... for a week or two. I had to give Chloe supplements, which supplements decrease your supply. So I decided I would do the supplements in a SNS. My supply had taken a hit but I was determined NOT to switch to formula. I fought for weeks and finally found a donor through a program called Human Milk 4 Human Babies. She has become one of my best friends. I am not 100% sure I would still be nursing if it wasn't for her. I have gotten hundreds of ounces from her and ideas for how to build my supply.

Chloe is no longer using the SNS and at age 4 months ... is ALMOST completely off supplements in bottle form. I am also able to pump anywhere from 4-6oz a day besides the nursing. So far, Chloe is the longest nursed child and so I am ready to go for my next goal ... make it to 6 months. I would love to say I have no doubts that I will make it but, I do. We are switching pediatricians so that should help. I have a lot of support, WHICH is something I STRONGLY suggest you find when you chose to breastfeed. It is NOT easy. For some reason, it just isn't natural for all babies. I don't care what you read and hear, breastfeeding is work. It does occasionally take sacrifice. Chloe is sensitive to chocolate, garlic, carbonation and high doses of dairy (no milk or ice cream). There are some babies that you have to go completely dairy free, some babies require certain foods to be eliminated. These are all things to think about

. Breastfeeding IS the best thing for your child and EVERY mother should at least attempt to feed as long as possible. For some moms, that is 3 months until they go back to work, while other moms ... it is 2 1/2 years or 3 years. There is nothing wrong with that. Breast milk is breast milk.

With all that said, today was a BIG day for World Breastfeeding Week ... and for me! Last year was the first year for the Big Latch-On to start in the United States and this year, it is national. The LLL set up spots in several cities in all the states for women to gather to nurse for 1 consecutive minute at 10:30am. Our group had just over 20 people in attendance. We had children from only a few weeks to just under 2 1/2 years old. I had a great time and more importantly, felt VERY comfortable nursing in public. One of the big reasons the Big Latch-On is held. Bring normalcy to breastfeeding in public. I relaxed for the first time feeding outside my car in public and Chloe crashed within a couple seconds so I sat and nursed her while gabbing with girls. It gave me the guts to breastfeeding at the roller rink at a party my daughter attended. There were no stares, no comments, no person to kick me out and Chloe crashed again.

I can testify to you that God gave women the BEST gift ever by allowing us to be the provider for our children. I know that no matter how fussy my child gets or how much she grows tired of seeing my face all day ... she ALWAYS wants me before nap and bedtime. She views me as an angel. She gets excited when my nursing bra unclasps and gives me the biggest grins while nursing. Like I said, it is not with out trials ... but thanks to ALL the support I have received from friends and family, I feel in my gut that I will be able to nurse baby Chloe to at least 18 months if not longer!


~My name is Heather and I am a mom of 3 children. I am a full time stay at home mom, but I like to call myself a chef, an accountant, a secretary, a maid, a chauffer, and a teacher. I am the world to my children and they are the world to me. I am far from perfect but striving to be what the Lord wants from me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Missionary MTC Boot Camp for Kids

missionary boot camp


* Invite the missionaries from your ward over to enjoy the fun!

* Invite children to come dressed in sunday best, so that they can really experience being a missionary!


This is a great sharing time that you can follow along with too, ( I love the missionary finger puppets!!!)

* Make Missionary Tags! Each person needs one! Tape them on ! There are a lot of neat templates online, or you can make your own!

* Have children write their testimony in a Book of Mormon that the missionaries can provide then give out to people who are investigating!

* Make sure to sing! “ I hope they call me on a mission” and “ called to serve”

i hope they call me colored

* Learn to say hello in some different languages, you never know where you are going to be sent! ( again, you can find this online, if you want to go a little more in depth, set up different “country” stations and have kids learn about that country, maybe with a dish from that country that they can sample, then learn to say hello in that language and have pictures of that country put up. )

* Have the children watch a movie that the missionaries provide.

* Suitcase activity, this is fun, you need construction paper , scissors, crayons, and tape :010

Girls Missionary Suitcase:

* big brown suitcase- large piece of construction paper, fold in half the cut out little handle

* heart- LOVE

* Book open- Books with the Truth of God

* rectangle- Ticket On Celestial Airlines

* Stockings- give Stockings full of testimony

* Skirt- Knees that bend in humility

* shirt- Willingness to work

* Shoe- Soul full of service


Boy’s Suitcase:

* Heart- Love

*Rectangle- Ticket on Celestial Airlines

* Book- Books with the Truth of God

* Suit jacket with pocket- Pocket full of charity

* suit pants- knees that bend in humility

*dress shirt- willing to work

* Tie- tie of lasting friendship

* Socks- sock it to them testimony

* shoes- soul full of service


Close the activity by holding a testimony meeting, where everyone who wants to has the opportunity to bear their testimony.

Closing prayer.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Holding Private Interviews with your Children

private interviews

In the Family Guidebook located at, it states that “many parents find that regular, private interviews with each child help them draw close to their children, encourage them, and teach them the gospel.” Isn’t that what we are trying to do as parents?

How do you hold a private interview with your child? An Ensign article gives us some good tips. ( Ensign June 1997, p 59)

“1. Hold interviews regularly. If children know an interview is coming up, they will be more likely to conduct themselves as to live up to parental expectations.

2. Remember that mothers and fathers can interview children jointly or take turns giving interviews separately. Either one can hold an interview in the absence of the other.

3. Pray beforehand for the Spirit to help you discern problems and know how to counsel your children.

4. Begin with a prayer. Heavenly Father cares about your interview and will help guide the process.

5. Be prepared to listen more than speak.

6. Don’t compare one child with another.

7.When behavior needs correcting, give a clear but loving explanation of what’s wrong and what need’s to change.

8. Agree together what words best describe each problem; then write the problem om a sheet of paper. Direct any criticism to the words on the paper, not the child.

9. Don’t compromise gospel standards “just this once” our of love for your children. Instead, use gospel standards to guide your decisions.

10. Don’t discuss one child’s problem with other children. Keep confidences.

11. Praise each child generously and cheerfully.

12. Bear your testimony often. “

(end quote)

These are great tips to go by and remember that Heavenly Father will guide you in raising your children in a way that He is pleased with. Use the alone time with your child to hear about school, friends, any problems they are having etc. It is a wonderful way to show your child how much you truly care about what goes on in their lives.

There is no set schedule for when and where to hold a private interview with a child. Use your discretion, you can have them as often as you want, or when you feel the Spirit prompting you. I like to personally spend a little time with each child before bedtime. This is something that I have done since they were babies, and now that I’ve learned more about private interviews, I know it’s time to get my husband involved etc, so that we can make sure that our children know they can come to us for anything and that we will listen. Also, I want my children to have the feeling that their parents really care about what’s going on in their lives and also that their parents will do their best to help solve problems! Do you hold private interviews with your children? Any tips to share??

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For the Momma’s : Whoopie! It’s Fun to Visit Teach!

whoopie pie visit teaching

By: Stephanie Buckner


It is always fun to receive a special treat from your visiting teachers!

Last week I made Whoopie Pies to share with the sisters we visit! I assembled the pies, put them in small cellophane bag, and added a cute little card that read: "Whoopie! We love being your visiting teachers!" It was a big hit!

Dad's Whoopie Pies
(makes 15 cookies)
1 C. Sugar
1 egg
1/2 C. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. butter
1 C. powdered sugar (sifted)
1 1/2 C. prepared marshmallow cream
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t salt

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. With an electric mixer, beat the sugar, egg, butter and vanilla until light and creamy. In another bowl mix the cocoa, baking soda, salt, and flour; then blend the buttermilk into the creamed mixter
3. Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto greased baking sheets and bake 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks. (Makes 30 mini-cakes)
4. To make the filling, mix together all ingredients well.
5. To assemble, sandwich a heaping tablespoon full of cream between two cakes, dividing cream evenly between the 15 whoopie pies.

They are scrumptious! Happy Visiting Teaching!

We love adoption! Check out our blog at:
to learn about our family

Always Learning

Shortly after I got married, we moved from the campus of UIUC where I had been studying Japanese, to Purdue, where I planned to get an elementary education degree while my husband finished his education in engineering. Before classes started we felt strongly that I should not attend the university at that time. I cried, and then canceled my registration. I loved school, I loved learning, and mourned that the Lord was directing me away from the only way I knew to "become educated."

“It is so important that you young men and you young women get all of the education that you can. The Lord has said very plainly that His people are to gain knowledge of countries and kingdoms and of things of the world through the process of education, even by study and by faith.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley, “Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, June 1999, 4.

Several years passed, and I visited the library regularly. I have always loved reading, but viewed it primarily as a pleasant way to pass a leisurely hour (or three or five). A lengthy struggle with infertility took me to back to the library, and this time to the non-fiction section. I checked out books on fertility, midwifery, and birth. I also began to browse the nonfiction shelves in a way I never had done before, and I noticed all the fascinating things there are to learn about and began to sample a few of them. After several years, a lot of study, many blessings of comfort and healing, and the unmistakable hand of Providence, we welcomed our first son into our family. ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

-Doctrine and Covenants 88:181

Not long after Monkey was born, we decided to homeschool. I combed the internet, learning everything I could about different philosophies of homeschooling, briefly flirted with the idea of unschooling, and then discovered The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, which outlines a Classical education. I also discovered Bauer's book The Well-Educated Mind, Charlotte Mason, commonplace books, and self-education. I read voraciously; the success of my children's education depended on my knowing what I was doing, and I felt so unequal to the task! As I developed ideas about what education ought to look like in our family, I realized that I had a lot to learn myself.

"We believe in education, and we spend a substantial part of our budget on the education of our young people. We expect them to think. We expect them to investigate. We expect them to use their minds and dig deeply for knowledge in all fields. If we have a motto, it is this: ‘The glory of God is intelligence.’ ”

-Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 127.

It was about that same time that I discovered the LDS Mother's Education group. It had grown out of conversations among mothers trying to implement the ideas of Charlotte Mason in their homeschool, and had been inspired by comments she made about the importance of Mother continuing to educate herself. The course of study was organized, in that the group's owner had suggestions for a number of topics: Divinity, Literature, and Education, as well as add-on topics that varied each year: History, Nature, Handicrafts, Poetry, and so on. I 'm not always perfectly consistent, but having a group to discuss things with is very useful, and I particularly love having someone to say, "This is what I've accomplished this month" and hear what the other members of the group are learning about in turn.and Man, of the Past and the Present.  That is one way in which we become greater persons, and the more a perso
n is, the better he will do

"It is our business to know all we can and to spend a part of our lives in increasing our knowledge of Nature and Art, of Literature and Man, of the Past and the Present. That is one way in which we become greater persons, and the more a person is, the better he will do whatever piece of special work falls to his share."

-Charlotte Mason

I thought, when the Lord counseled me to quit school, that my education was coming to an end. I should have know better; I still had so much to learn, especially about learning itself.  What was really happening was he was teaching me to study, ponder, and to lean on Him rather than expecting to be spoon-fed the way I always had been in school. He wanted me to stand, independent, on my own two feet, to organize my own education, and to be responsible for carrying out the plans I make. He wanted me to look to him, rather than a professor, for guidance. My education has really only just begun.

Autodidact: a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of... formal education; a self-taught person.

Ritsumei is married to her best friend, and the mother of two miracle babies. She is also the fascinated student of history, particularly the American Founding. She loves her family, freedom, photography, and especially being a mother. You'll find her blogging at Baby Steps whenever she can squeeze out a few minutes between the books, the boys, and homeschooling.

Monday, August 1, 2011

FHE Monday: The First Vision ( 8-11 yr old children)

1st vision


This FHE makes the requirements for the faith in god and duty to god requirements! So let them do it!! :)

Opening Prayer

Opening Song: Joseph Smith’s First Prayer page 26 in Hymnal


Child is to read verses 1-20 of Joseph Smith History to the family then tell the family how they feel when they pray and how Heavenly Father answers their prayers.     for extra ideas !! 

Activity : see sugardoodle link!

Closing Song : On a Golden Springtime, Children’s Songbook page 88 ( don’t forget you can go to and the interactive music feature will help you with the words and music )

Closing Prayer:


Pineapple Apricot Freezer Jam


apricot jam

By Michelle at

This jam is super yummy. It tastes like a mouthful of summer! And freezer jam is so easy to make! I found some apricots a neighbor was selling; it only cost me $1 for enough fruit to make 3 batches. Score!

This recipe is the amount of sugar I use, which is much less than the original recipe. Healthier, & a HUGE improvement in taste!

I wasn't planning on making jam that day, until I passed the apricots for sale. Luckily, I was prepared, & already had at home jars, pectin, & the other ingredients. This allowed me to snag the great deal & make the jam spur of the moment.

3 cups finely chopped apricots (my son doesn't like chunks, so I peeled the apricots and ran them through the blender. I heated them in boiling water so the peels would just fall off. But if you don't mind chunks you don't have to do that.)
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 small can crushed pineapple drained.
Mix fruit, pineapple & lemon juice. Gradually stir in 1 box pectin. Mix thoroughly. Set aside 30 min, stirring every 5 min. (while I'm waiting for this 30 min, I started on the next batch. I had 3 batches done & in jars in under an hour). Pour in corn syrup. Stir in sugar gradually. Stir until completely dissolved & no longer grainy. Pour into jars, leave 1/2" at top. Stand at room temp 24 hours. Freeze or put in fridge


Go visit Michelle over at , she is pretty close to supermom !!!

Choosing Adoption

adoption 2

Part Two in a series on adoption by Stephanie Buckner

In 2004, after several years of unsuccessfully conceiving a child, our hearts turned toward adoption. We were so grateful for the amount of resources available! When we started we had no idea that adoptive families banded together create a unique culture, complete with its own language. It was overwhelming to take such a big step but thankfully organizations such as Latter-Day Saint Family Services (LDSFS) was there to guide us through the complicated process. After 2 adoptions we have a better grasp on what to expect and a pretty decent understanding of the process. Of course, each adoption is unique and everyone's situation can vary.
About LDSFS:
LDS Family Services provides infant adoption services for couples residing in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Am I qualified?
Qualified adoptive applicants are:

  • Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sealed to each other in the temple, and have current temple recommends.
  • Married at least two years and have a stable marital relationship. If either partner has been involved in a divorce, agency director approval is needed.
  • In good physical health with a reasonable life expectancy. If either partner has a history of voluntary sterilization, agency director approval is needed.
  • Financially able to care for the child.
  • Able to clear criminal background and child abuse registry checks as required by government regulations.
  • Able to provide health insurance coverage for adopted children placed with them.

How much does it cost?
Fees range from $4,000 to $10,000 based on 10 percent of the couple’s combined gross annual income as reported on a couple's previous year’s tax return. The cost of each adoption is subsidized by a grant from the LDS Church.
What is required of me?
LDSFS prepares couples for domestic adoption by completing a home study which ensures that couples meet agency and government requirements. This typically includes 3–4 interviews and completing paperwork provided by the agency. The homestudy is extensive and involves backgrounds checks, fingerprinting and so forth. It took us about 4 weeks to complete (and that was working aggressively on it!)
In most offices, adoption classes and support groups are also offered. To complete your case study you will be required to take a couple of adoption classes, attend a seminar or something similar. Your LDSFS agency will give you options on how to get your required training. They are fun and informative! LDSFS also offers a support group called Families Supporting Adoption (FSA). Participating in FSA is a great way to get to know other adoptive families and ask questions! It is always helpful to have others who understand what you are going through.
How long will I wait?
Waiting time for a placement varies from couple to couple . Many factors influence selection, including the number of approved adoptive couples, children available for adoption, birth parents' preferences (yes - you will actually fill out an "order form"), and adoptive couples involvement in the process (networking helps!). We waited 2 years for our first placement. Only 1 for our second. (We took advantage of a LOT of networking options that I feel really sped up the process for us)

How do I know if adoption is right for me?

Educating and familiarizing yourself with the process and a lot of Prayer will help you have a better idea if this is the right choice for your family. We have always felt that God led us down this path to unite us with OUR children.
To learn more about LDS Family Services, visit It's About Love:

To learn more about the LDS Adoption Support Network, visit FSA's site:

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Thanks! :)
We love adoption! Check out our blog at:

Natural Parenting : Co-Sleeping and Nursing



By: Heather Birdwell

I am sitting here with my baby sound asleep on my lap and most moms would put their infant in the crib. Me, I would prefer to let Chloe crash in my arms. How long is it before she no longer wants to curl up in my arms? How long will it be before I have to drag her back to give her a kiss, only to have her roll her eyes at me? Moms with older kids know EXACTLY what fears I think of as she sleeps quietly. She is growing up so quickly and I am not sure I am ready for her to be solely in her crib to sleep. I do own a crib and she does sleep in it at night. At least for the first 5 hours, that is. After she wakes for the first time for feeding, she is back in bed with me.

See, co-sleeping has it's benefits. Several doctors are now saying that co-sleeping actually is starting to prevent SIDS. Think about this, when you sleep in bed with your spouse ... how long is it before you guys breathe in and out basically at the same time? It is the same thing with infants. Your breathing regulates their breathing. It helps teach their body how to breath. How long you co-sleep really depends on you and your baby. Some moms I know have to stop co-sleeping after only 4 months because their baby become violent in bed. Some moms only co-sleep until they go back to work. Then other moms co-sleep for the first 18 months of their child's life. I am not sure how long I will co-sleep. With my previous babies we co-slept for the first 6 months.

However, I never made it past 4 months of nursing with my previous two children. Adella I stopped nursing as soon as my milk came in because she stopped nursing. I think, though, if I had more local support and knowledge, I would have changed my diet and kept nursing. With my son, I made it to 4 months and then was given wrong information about meds and nursing. *sigh* SO, I made a pact that I would nurse Chloe for as long as I could. My ultimate goal is to nurse to 18 months but these past 3 1/2 months have been a REAL test. It is not for the faint of heart. The BEST times we have nursing though, are when she is half awake and is laying in bed with me. As long as she nurses at night, we will sleep together at night.


~ My name is Heather and I am a mom of 3 children. I am a full time stay at home mom, but I like to call myself a chef, an accountant, a secretary, a maid, a chauffer, and a teacher. I am the world to my children and they are the world to me. I am far from perfect but striving to be what the Lord wants from me.

Praying for your Children

parent praying


We, as parents, have so many sacred responsibilities to the little ones that our Father in Heaven has lovingly placed in our care. One of the greatest tools He has given us is prayer. We can’t raise these precious children alone, we need His guidance. A lot of time I will have my personal prayer time and  I will pray for my children’s health and safety, but in reality, I need to be praying for them specifically and individually. Heavenly Father knows exactly what each child needs at that time. We have been given many quotes and articles etc, from prophets and scriptures and people who have great knowledge in this area. The following are a few of those quotes to get us started.

President Thomas S. Monson:

“To you who are parents, I say, show love to your children. You know you love them, but make certain they know it as well. They are so precious. Let them know. Call upon your Heavenly Father for help as you care for their needs each day and as you deal with the challenges which inevitably come with parenthood. You need more than your own wisdom in rearing them.

(Italics added) ( ensign august 2011 p 4)

“ Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others. “

(ensign august 2011 p 4) ( end quotes)

As we pray for our children, we need to remember that like Christ did, we need to teach thru example. Pray by the side of your child. Let them “catch” you praying.

Howard W. Hunter stated:

“ The greatest training that can be given to a child is that which comes from the example of parents. Parents need to set the example for young people to follow. Great strength comes from the home where righteous principles are taught, where there is love and respect for each other, where prayer has been an influence in the family life, and where there is respect for those things that pertain to God.” ( The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter p 146)

There is a beautiful story that I would like to share for you, about a father who prayed for his son. It is found in the book “ Raising up a Family to the Lord, by Gene R Cook and it’s found on page 130 and it’s told from the father’s perspective.

“ I knew he was discouraged , so before I went to work I called to him in his bedroom. “Son, what do you say we pray together. Do you remember the day I was having such a hard day and you prayed for me five times during the day?”

He said he did.

I said, “ Well, I’m going to do that for you today. I’m going to pray my hardest that you’ll have an excellent day. Why don’t we start off with you praying right now, and then I’ll pray.” This approach totally softened his heart and changed his feelings about the day. The fact that he knew I was going to pray for him meant a lot to him.

I did pray for him six or seven times during the day. When I got home from work, the first thing I asked was, “ Son, how did your day go?” He answered, “Just great. It’s been one of the best days of my life.” ……….It gave me a chance to teach again the idea that the Lord really will help us if we will pray to Him. “ (end quote)

One of the things that is most important when we pray, is to be specific. Really talk to your Father in Heaven. He wants to hear specifically what your problems are and how He can help you.

“ Be sure to pray specifically for your family and attempt to receive direction from the Lord regularly about the needs of the individuals in your family and your family as a whole.”

( Raising up a Family to the Lord page 274)

“ Pray with your children alone-just father and son or daughter, or mother and son or daughter. “ ( Raising up a Family to the Lord page 274)

The scriptures teach us to pray without ceasing ( 1 Thess. 5:17). This should include prayers for our individual children. He hears our thoughts and prayers, even the ones we whisper in our heads as we go about our daily lives, raising our children. I want to share in closing a beautiful quote from President Thomas S. Monson, our living prophet. It is just what we need to hear!

“ Will you join me as we observe a typical Latter-Day Saint family offering prayers to the Lord? Father, mother, and each of the children kneel, bow their heads, and close their eyes. A sweet spirit of love, unity, and peace fills the home. As father hears his tiny son pray unto God that his dad will do the right things and be obedient to the Lord’s bidding , do you think that such a father would find it difficult to honor the prayer of his precious son? As a teenage daughter hears her sweet mother plead unto God that her daughter will be inspired in the selection of her companions, that she will prepare herself for a temple marriage, don’t you believe that such a daughter will seek to honor this humble, pleading petition of her mother whom she so dearly loves? When father, mother, and each of the children earnestly pray that the fine sons in the family will live worthily, that they may in due time receive a call to serve as ambassadors of the Lord in the mission field of the Church, don’t we begin to see how such sons grow to young manhood with an overwhelming desire to serve as missionaries? “ ( Heavenly Homes-Forever Families Ensign June 1986 p4-5)

Let us each remember to pray earnestly for our children, individually and specifically pray for our children, daily, and help us to remember that we can’t raise these precious gifts alone, we MUST ask our Father to help us!

Two Challenges for the Family Home


child with flag

By Shiloah Baker

“A nation is what its homes are. With these it rises and falls, and it can rise no higher than the level of its home life.” –Stephen Wise

There are two challenges today’s Christian families face, the first is how to enjoy modern conveniences and still maintain the spirit of the home.

The second is how to make a difference in our nation with our family. We can are making choices each day to either support our nation or not, but we are asked by our Heavenly Father to be involved. By choosing to ignore the happenings in our nation we are unsupportive by default. So, how can we as a family make a difference?

Let us begin with the first challenge of enjoying modern conveniences and still maintaining the spirit of the home. Today we enjoy luxuries that no one in history has enjoyed. Luxuries include but are not limited to the machines in our home that do the work for us such as the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, stoves, and the list goes on. Your great-great grandmother would have to light a fire, carry a large, heavy kettle to the river and back to heat the water to wash the laundry. Dinners were cooked over a fire. If any of our ancestors of old were to wake up in your place they would certainly think they woke up in an enchanted fairy land.

We are blessed not to have to work as hard as our ancestors, but what are we doing with all that saved time? Hard work is still a necessary part of physical and emotional health. We teach our family good healthy habits by continuing to work around the house and stay active and involved instead of sitting around watching hours of television or playing video games. Boredom is a state of mind. We can teach our families through example that when the work is done, you feel like enjoying leisure time and you deserve it. Leisure time is far more enjoyable when it is earned.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” {H. Jackson Brown Jr.} This really makes you think, if we don’t have enough “time” to do the important things in life, then maybe we are finding the time for the wrong things. Our children watch us very carefully and anyone one of them can give an accounting of what we do with our time better than we can.

With our time accounted for and a good schedule created for ourselves and family we can make sure that family teaching and together time becomes foremost in our lives. Sadly, this is not the priority of the average family of today and if it were there would be less crime, less emotional illness, less sadness, less teenage pregnancy, and the list goes on. While it may be a challenge to do, the modern family can still maintain the spirit of home and family.

The second challenge is how we as a family can make a difference in our nation. In our average daily lives we are running from here to there and are trying just to keep the basics of home and family afloat. There are ways, even with our busy schedule that we can support and make a difference in our nation.

James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution” stated in the Federalist Papers that there had to be “sufficient virtue among men for self-government.”

Dallin H. Oaks said, “It is part of our civic duty to be moral in our conduct toward all people. There is no place in responsible citizenship for dishonesty or deceit or for willful law breaking of any kind.

Citizens should also be practitioners of civic virtue in their conduct toward government. They should be ever willing to fulfill the duties of citizenship. This includes compulsory duties like military service and the numerous voluntary actions they must take if they are to preserve the principle of limited government through citizen self-reliance. For example, since U.S. citizens value the right of trial by jury, they must be willing to serve on juries, even those involving unsavory subject matter. Citizens who favor morality cannot leave the enforcement of moral laws to jurors who oppose them.”

Other ways we can support the nation in which we live are: voting, paying taxes, support local and national leaders, and be patriotic. What is patriotism? Patriotism is putting your country before yourself.

If we strive to meet these two challenges of today’s family home head on, we strengthen not only our families, but ourselves, our communities, and our country. Let us each set the example of a good, virtuous, loving family home and make a difference in our world.


Shiloah Baker is a mom of eight, married to the man she’s madly in love with. Exercise is her vice. She runs the Homemaking Cottage & Co. and homeschools. Lover of religion classic books, children, and beautiful home decor. Writer of homemaking articles and Relief Society activities

Things to Beat the Heat!!!!


Beat the Heat with these Yummy Root Beer Float Pudding Pops and Fruit Pudding Pops (both recipes are there on that page… just scroll down)

Make some Ice Cream in a Bag

Have some fun doing a little science with this Ice Breaker Experiment.

Make Tin Foil Dinners with these Yummy Recipes

Try this Watermelon Jello Bowl. Perfect for any party!

Quick Drying Pinata - Also great for Summer Parties

Make a Bird Feeder from plastic containers and hang them near a window to spy on nature!

Ice Cream Cake Variation – The super fast method and very yummy!

Make Your Own Chia Pet and add your own personal touch with creative face!

Yummy Fruit Smoothies sure to help you cool off and…. sshhhhh….it’s even healthy! Help get some greens in and no sugar added!


Go check out and Michelle the amazing author of this amazing fun site!!!!! Seriously, it has EVERYTHING!!!! Thanks Michelle for letting me steal this post! It was so fun I had to share it!!!!