Nurturing Families Together
I couldn't decide between these two quotes so I decided to make them both! I love love love the idea of our homes being "Laboratories of God's Love." I like the analogy too because the things going on in labs are not always perfect! There is a lot of trial and error and learning from mistakes. Isn't that how our homes are? We are experimenting at times to figure out how to parent each child the best way we can.
The second quote from Sister Burton asks us to consider how often we INTENTIONALLY speak kind words to each other. I love this question. It inspires me to try harder. It inspires me to think about each of my family members individually and to think of something specific that they need to hear.
Enjoy your last month of summer!
What an appropriate topic for February's message. I tried to make it very Valentine's Day-ish :)
I heard the triangle analogy years ago in my college Institute class. It made sense to me then but now as a married woman it means so much more. I have a testimony that this concept is so true and so important.
As a committed covenant-making couple works diligently on their relationship with the Savior they move closer to each other. I would be willing to guess that most couples are not always directly across from each other on this triangle. We all move at our own pace and our testimonies are our own. I think it's important to recognize that part of having a strong marriage is learning patience, forgiveness and unconditional love.
I included this image of a couple because they are reaching for each other. They haven't turned their back on the other if their progression isn't the same. I believe that our relationship with the Savior is our first priority and our eternal families is a close, close second.
Due to our own life experiences all of us are in different spots on this triangle. I would suggest being conscientious of your sisters and their individual needs. I have lived as a married, divorced, single and re-married female in the LDS church. Throughout these different "marital titles" one thing remained the same and that was my focus on the Savior and my personal relationship with Him. No matter what that can be our constant.
Now being remarried I am again focused on both the apex of the triangle (The Savior) as well as my partner's journey across from me. We try to work together, we try to reach for each other and lift each other along the way. No two journeys are the same and we should love each other for our similarities and try to grow from our differences.
Happy Valentines Day to all of you. :)
August Lesson #2
This Power Point Covers:
Why Is Temple Marriage Important?
Another wonderful lesson on the importance of temple marriage and how it affects us eternally.
I found a New Era article from 2013 entitled "Why Temple Marriage?" I loved the language of the article. The author did a great job of talking to the youth on a level they can understand. I mixed information from this article with quotes from Russell M. Nelson's talk called "Celestial Marriage" from the lesson outline.
As I prepare lessons like this I always think about the sensitive topic that it is. Some of the youth may not have families who are sealed. They may have parents who are divorced. I just think its so important to be aware of these things and to make sure the young women leave feeling hopeful, not discouraged.
The handout idea came from a Mormon Ad from 2004 called "Dream Date." Such a great visual for the girls. Hopefully they can make this eternally important goal now!
Have a great lesson!
YW August Lesson #1 Importance of Family
This Power Point Covers:
"Why Is The Family Important?
"You can help change the world by standing up for what prophets have taught about the family."
How cool is that? This quote and the last portion of the slides comes from a March 2012 New Era article by Brittany Beattie. The beginning slides come directly from the "For The Strength of Youth" pamphlet. I also used "Teaching The Doctrine of the Family" by Julie Beck.
Of the three suggested videos in the outline, my favorite was the first "Families Can Be Together Forever." The video shows pictures of numerous different families and has sections where President Eyring talks.
It is pretty obvious that Satan is focused on destroying the family. His cunning tactics are taking down strong families all the time. It truly is a battle! We all must fight for families. That is why I loved the "Be a Defender of the Family" topic so much. I think letting the youth know this is a battle is so important. The youth are on the front lines for a reason!
Have a great lesson,
December: "Building The Kingdom of God" Outline
This Power Point Covers:
"How Can I Prepare to Establish a Christ-Centered Home?"
This Power Point only covers 1 topic but it's a topic we could go on and on about! I tried to keep it concise but there are a lot of slides with a lot of info. I have found the power points are a great tool to keep the girls focused. It works even better when I let the girls do the reading! If the slide has a lot to read I just go around the room and let each girl read a section or bullet point. This seems to keep them on their toes and listening!
I also utilized a couple of the awesome object lessons found on "Mormon Share." I have indicated on the power point slides at which point to do the object lesson. The first uses toothpicks...Have a girl come up and try to break one toothpick. She will be able to do it easily. This one toothpick represents us when we are on our own...however if we have a family we add more strength to the bundle. Add more toothpicks representing family members, and another representing Christ (we want to keep his influence in our homes) once the bundle is bigger wind an elastic around it to keep them together. Now have the girl try to break them. She won't be able to because the bigger bunch is much stronger...signifies that a strong family who sticks together (and with Christ) is much stronger than if we are on our own. A family sticks together and supports each other. :)
The second object lesson would work throughout the section of slides covering the scripture in D&C 88:119 that mentions a house of prayer, fasting, faith etc....Read the instructions here. In our YW group we have about 14 girls. I thought after each slide (prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, order, God) I would have two girls come up and each could place a block. You could adjust this for your YW group based on size. Once we have completed the house I would uncover my blocks and point out that without being able to see an example it is impossible for the girls to match my structure exactly. Christ is our perfect example and luckily he has given us clear guidelines of how to build a Christ Centered home where his Spirit can dwell.
I have added a place to show the video "Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God"
Lastly, for a handout I came up with a this little image (found at the top of this post) that reminds the girls to make a "commit-MINT" now to build a Christ Centered home. You can print this out and attach it to any type of mint. York, Andes, Starlight mint etc. Here is a PDF with 6 images to a page.
I hope this helps. :)
(Every few posts I like to restate that fonts and formatting can vary based on the version of Power Point you have..." I try to keep the fonts simple so you can adjust them as needed :)
It dawned on me about 3 years ago that I wanted my kids to have traditions! I wanted Thanksgiving to mean more than pigging out on food and laying around watching football (of course we still do that!;) I wanted them to have something to remember each holiday and special occasion by. I didn't want to do anything too elaborate that I would kick myself for for years to come! So I scoured the Internet and Pinterest for ideas... Here is my list of Super Simple Thanksgiving Traditions (that you won't cringe when you think about executing ;)
Super Super Easy (no supplies required)
1) I'm thankful for...For a set number of days before Thanksgiving (2 weeks, 1 week, whatever you choose) have each family member go around and say 1 thing they are thankful for during dinner. This might just start some pretty cool conversations ;)
2) Get moving...I avoid guilt at all costs. I know I'm going to eat WAY too much on Thanksgiving so if I can be active early before the actual feast I feel a bit less guilty when I eat my second dessert. Our city has a 5K race every Thanksgiving morning. It is also common protocol for the men (old and young) to gather for a Turkey Bowl. Turkey Bowl = Football played by very old and tired men who then complain all day and next that hey are SO sore. Super fun! ;) If running and football don't sound enticing, try going for a walk as a family or a bike ride.
3) 2 words, 5 syllables---Thanksgiving Charades...Nothing says Family Tradition like laughter and family-wide embarrassment. Acting out Thanksgiving words like Turkey, Indian, Pilgrim, Mayflower, Pumpkin Pie, Gobble, Blessings, etc....will make for lots of giggles and a chance for the kids to get out their wiggles (that rhymed ;) pre or post-dinner.
4) I wish I may, I wish I might...Drying the wishbone takes some times so this isn't technically going to happen ON Thanksgiving but it will still be something fun your kids look forward to. :) Who gets to pull the wishbone? Your family can decide...maybe the winner of the most Thanksgiving games (see posts below).
Super Easy (minimal prep required)
1) Are you Game?...Thanksgiving themed games. (We already mentioned Charades) My family LOVES Bingo. We play it for every holiday. The board changes based on which holiday we are celebrating. There are lots of printable Bingo boards ( lots of FREE options here) on the Internet and markers can be candy corns, or other thanksgiving candy. Pictionary is another game that is lots of fun, and super easy to adapt to holidays. Click here for a basic outline and some topic ideas. Board games are a big hit around here and they don't have to be themed. Our kids would love to sit and play a board game marathon. They love CLUE, Monopoly, Guess Who etc. Card games are also easy to play while food is cooking (or settling ;) Try this fun bowling game, for a less expensive version use, empty 2 liter bottles.
2) Thankful Garland...Take a long piece of yarn, string, twine etc. and string it across your mantle. Cut lots of leaves from construction paper. (good activity to keep kids busy) You can start this on November 1st or 1 week before Thanksgiving, whatever duration you prefer. Each day have family members write what they are thankful for on a leaf and clip it to the yarn (cute idea here) On the big day, as guests arrive have them write what they are thankful for on a leaf and add it to your family garland. (same idea but Turkeys & Feathers instead of leaves :)
3) Fill in the Blanks...Journals, such a great idea, so hard to actually follow through. Journals can be overwhelming...unless of course they aren't ;) Try this...buy each family member a notebook (I like the composition notebooks, bound edge for a cleaner look, usually about .98 cents) They can decorate it if they like or they can leave it. Each day have a sentence for them to complete. Mom can come up with these (lucky you ;) or each family member can take a turn. The sentence should bring out something they are grateful for...examples:
On a cold day I like...
When I'm sad I need...
If I'm lonely I call...
It makes me happy when...
I can't help but laugh when...
You get the idea...Sometimes a little prompt can help start a flood of ideas. If you find your family is experience more of a trickle instead of a flood. Don't lose heart, this will be worth it. ;)
4) Have your cake & eat it too...The best kind of crafts are the kind you can eat! I know my kids LOVE to make things. It's fun, they like to be creative, it keeps them busy...BUT...I have 4 kids and I can only store and hang so many things! Hence my love for edible crafts! Let the kids make as many as they want, they can even deliver extras to neighbors or friends! Here are some super cute, super easy, super yummy ideas!:
Turkey #1, Turkey #2, Turkey #3 Yummy! Enjoy! :)
Holidays shouldn't be overwhelming! What kids really, really want isn't some elaborate meal or detailed craft that they can't do themselves. They want our time! They want to sit with us and giggle and feel loved. Good luck to all of us as we try to put what's REALLY important first. :)
August: Marriage and Family Lesson Outline
This lesson was a little less pressure than the first! ;) Speaking and sharing about Motherhood is not quite as stressful as chastity. However, there are still some sensitive issues to think about. I know we are reminded of this but considering individual girl's needs is important! Single parent homes, parents not sealed in the temple, divorce, adoption, women who are not able to bear children...all of these things can be very painful and we should be sensitive to all the girls needs. Along with the PowerPoint I played the video "Mother and Daughters." narrated by M. Russell Ballard It was such a great visual!
"Mothers and Daughters"
At the end of the lesson I gave each girl a letter for their mom and a pen. We ran out of time so they had to take it home to complete it. I wanted the letter to have actual questions for them to answer instead of just a plain piece of paper for them to write a letter. I think sometimes the girls need a bit more structure to help them communicate their feelings. I have uploaded the document as a PDF at the bottom of this post. :)
*I want to give credit to the super talented Courtney Aitken for images in the PP. Check out her awesome blog! Link in the side column*
Please note this font is one you may or may not have in your operating system. If it isn't you will have to re-format the pages. I apologize for that. When I originally made this PP I didn't plan on sharing it and didn't think about the font issues ;)
**Please Note: Due to different versions of power point the slides may need to be adjusted after you download them. Please go through the power point before your lesson to make sure the pictures and the text are formatted correctly! I just opened a file I made using my laptop with my iPad and the font was different, colors were different and some of the pictures were in the wrong place. It may take a little tweeking! :)**
I'm a 36 year old Mom of 4 kiddos, 3 boys (12, 4 & 2 years old) and one little princess (9). I have an awesome hubby who puts up with my craziness...He supports me when I spend way too much time on my YW lessons. I started this blog for fun and have been so excited to watch it grow and watch others being able to use the Power Point lessons, handouts and other ideas I have posted. Thank you for stopping by!
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