Tuesday, May 30, 2017

bananas in pyjamas party

 

so because joseph woke up happy as larry on saturday, i made an executive decision and left him home with doug and took madeline to clackline for jacob's second birthday party... which was a bananas in pyjamas theme! jen is so talented it's actually ridiculous, she hand drew, then painted these bananas on wood, then cut them to size, to have them on display at the party,


i also loved these banana balloons she found online... a few "lucky" guests got to take one home and now there is one bobbing around the floors at my house haha


cutest little family! ♥


jen, as usual, did not disappoint, and busted out these banana cakes... she's so clever!


jacob loved them!


happy birthday little man! we were so happy to spend your day with you ♥

Saturday, May 27, 2017

emergency dental


being a parent is hard at the best of times... but sometimes you get an itty bitty taste of what it is like for those who live with ill children and constant hospital visits... mine was yesterday. in february (while madeline and i were in america and joseph was staying with my parents) joseph had a fall and landed on his mouth. he received a trauma to his two front teeth and mum and dad took him to the local hospital, who in turn sent him to princess margaret hospital in perth. it was pretty serious and they had originally had thought they would have to remove them then, but everything was looking good. at two follow up appointments all was still well, but the dentist showed me what to look for, as there was still a risk of infection.

thursday afternoon, joseph got a carrot from the fridge and bit it on the side, instead of with his front teeth. alarm bells rang, i checked his gums... and found an abscess above one of his front teeth, with a second fast developing. a quick call to the dentist confirmed what we already feared, they would have to come out via emergency dental surgery - and off to the hospital emergency department we went. the drs checked him out, the hospital dentist was called - and we were asked to come back the following morning with a referral to present to dental at 8am, to ensure the teeth were removed asap. on top of this, he would have to be fasting, with no idea of when it could be done!


the next morning arrives, his infection had already doubled in size (overnight!!!!) and off we raced to pmh. because he was not in a life threatening situation, we had to wait until all scheduled appointments had been seen, so it was past 1pm before we even saw the dentist. they said it was not as serious as it was made out to be, but that they certainly needed to be removed... and normally he would have been added to a waiting list (with a current wait time of a month!) but as he was already there, had already been fasting for 18 hours and was quite distressed, they would tack him onto the end of the scheduled surgeries for the day and we would just have to wait. in all honesty, i would have happily waited until midnight, without a complaint, as i was just so happy they were going to do it that day and not make him wait. i actually can't even imagine how bad the infection would have been in a month if it had spread that much overnight!

we were moved up to the ward, where we sat with all the other children awaiting surgery and waited and waited and waited as each of them went through... eventually as it hit after hours, they closed down all the theatres except for one, and the children started to go through one by one, instead of a few at a once. finally there were two of us... then just joseph, the final (because he was added!) surgery for the day. he was beyond done by then, even though he had truly been amazing, it was 7pm, we'd been fasting for more than 24 hours (with just 3 cups of apple juice for him that entire time!)... and the surgeon arrived. 7:15, we went into surgery and i held my brave little boy as they put him to sleep and then wheeled him in. 10 minutes later, the dr came out to tell me it was all done (such a simple procedure that the paperwork takes longer than actually pulling the teeth!) all had gone well, his teeth were out, the infection flushed and he was in recovery. 

another 15 minutes later i was called through, he was awake and sitting groggily on the lap of one of the nurses, but quickly held his arms up for me. he was given a icy pole, which he eagerly ate, plus some more juice... and then we were wheeled back to the ward. after a few more checks, blood pressure, walking unassisted and having the port in his hand removed, it was finally time for us to go home (around 8:30pm). 

he was asleep before we even made it home and the next morning woke up like nothing had ever happened! came barreling into our room singing away and got his toys out and proceeded to play with them and then ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast. it never, ever ceases to amaze me how quickly children bounce back!

i feel so beyond lucky living in this amazing country... where we walked into a hospital, were seen and attended to that day, and walked out without a bill. we are blessed beyond measure and i know that we have someone watching over us! ♥

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

the "joys" of home ownership


i remember when we lived in a rental and when there was an issue, we would contact the real estate and they would come and fix it. gone are those days... welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership! a few months ago, one of the kids dropped something behind one of the couches in our theatre room and couldn't get it out, so i got behind there to find it and what did i find? the wallpaper peeling off the wall because water was seeping through from the shower in our ensuite. insert big sad face here. long story short: the insurance company wouldn't pay out a cent because the waterproofing was found by the assessor to have not been done properly... the builder came and looked and said sorry your 6 years of new home warranty is out, but just for your information, we wouldn't have covered that anyway... and we were at a dead end. the wall in the theatre room will have to dry out for months before we can repair it, (thank goodness you can't tell whatsoever!!) and the shower had to be completely regrouted. (please imagine our money flying out the window here) 


ugh. at least it looks good and cost me less than $600, i was honestly picturing $1000+ here. but. to add to my joy, while he was here, our drying stopped working. it's pouring outside, i have no way to dry my clothes and bye bye dryer. $99 later... we have a repairman coming tomorrow to have a look. fingers crossed that's all for now, i don't think my credit card can take much more! :(

Sunday, May 21, 2017

keep the sabbath day holy


i stumbled across this fabulous printable on pinterest this week and i absolutely love it! part of the pacific region area goals for 2017 was sabbath day observance and i know it's definitely something that we as a family need to work on... we by all means don't do anything to dishonour the sabbath, but i am sure we could respect it a little more than we do.

so... i'm going to print this list and make sure that we do a little better here in the kendall house!




Thursday, May 18, 2017

conference challenge


i've just read the final talk for april 2017's general conference challenge (which you can find here) and oh my goodness do i feel good about it. i have always watched the sunday morning session and glanced at the ensign when it arrives the month after... but when i a friend introduced me to this challenge after october conference last year, i decided to give it a try. i really feel like i gained so much more from listening to one of the talks each day. it gave me a chance to focus on that one and take it in... i feel like i know so much more of what was said, that i can remember who said what and that i can use them in lessons, in gospel discussion and just in my own life!

do yourself a favour and look it up... i promise you won't regret it, (especially if you have children under the age of 10 who may or may not have been making noise for the entire conference!) as you'll truly have a greater conference experience and take it all in ♥

Monday, May 15, 2017

emma smith: an elect lady


 i was asked to speak in sacrament meeting on mother's day, with the topic of emma smith. there is so much to be found of her, much of it terribly sad... i read article after article to find what i thought was a good representation of her, without it being too miserable, it was mother's day after all. i have great admiration for emma and am truly grateful to follow in her footsteps and those of other latter-day saint women. ♥

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I’ve been asked to speak on Emma Smith, the wife of the prophet Joseph Smith, who was, as such, the “mother” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

More than 200 years have passed since Emma Hale was born in Pennsylvania. Emma is honoured as the first president of the Relief Society, remembered for her efforts in compiling the original Latter-day Saint hymn book, and revered as the wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith. But Emma’s role during the period of the establishment of the Church covered an even wider range of experiences.

Emma’s first act of support for Joseph Smith was marrying him in spite of her father’s firm opposition. Joseph, who had just turned twenty-one loved Emma Hale; her willingness to marry him under difficult circumstances affirmed her belief in his spiritual experiences. She was twenty-two at the time and a school teacher. Emma possessed a ready wit and a natural ease with other people. She became a valuable asset to Joseph as the events of his life demanded frequent social occasions.

When Joseph took his new bride home to Manchester to meet his family, she was welcomed warmly by the Smith Family. Emma soon discovered that life with Joseph was neither tranquil nor dull. She accompanied Joseph to the Hill Cumorah on that dark night when he received the gold plates, keeping a careful watch below as the young Prophet climbed the terrain to meet the angel Moroni. In the months that followed, as speculators and gold-seekers harassed the Smiths, Emma helped keep secret the places where the plates were hidden. One on occasion she even rode a stray horse, to Macedon, New York, where Joseph worked, to warn him of a gathering mob.

In the setting of Joseph’s boyhood home, a close and lasting friendship developed between Emma and her husband’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith. Lucy said of Emma: “She was then young and being naturally ambitious her whole heart was in the work of the Lord and she felt no interest except for the church and the cause of truth. Whatever Her hands found to do, she did with her might and did not ask the selfish question, “shall I be benefited any more than anyone else?” If Elders were sent away to preach she was the first to volunteer her services to assist in clothing them for their journey and let her own privations be what they might.” 

In the book the History of the Prophet Joseph Smith by His Mother, Lucy Mack Smith’s tribute to her daughter in law Emma can be found, and I quote: “I have never seen a woman in my life, who would endure every species of fatigue and hardship, from month to month, and from year to year, with that unflinching courage, zeal, and patience, which she has ever done; for I know that which she has had to endure—she has been tossed upon the ocean of uncertainty—she has breasted the storms of persecution, and buffeted the rage of men and devils, which would have borne down almost any other woman.”

When Joseph obtained the gold plates and continued his mission of being an instrument in the hands of God in restoring the gospel, Emma served as a scribe during his first efforts to translate the Book of Mormon. She was baptized on 28 June 1830, shortly after the Church was organized. In July 1830 the Lord outlined her mission, in a revelation found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 25: “Thou art an elect lady, whom I have called. … And the office of thy calling shall be for a comfort unto my servant, Joseph Smith, Junior, thy husband, in his afflictions.” She was also directed to compile a book of hymns for the Church, and she was warned to “continue in a spirit of meekness, and beware of pride.”

Emma’s patriarchal blessing, given on 9 December 1834 by her father-in-law, Joseph Smith, Sr., presents important information concerning Emma’s contribution to the Restoration, how the Lord viewed Emma, and what he promised her. “Emma … thou art blessed of the Lord, for thy faithfulness and truth, thou shalt be blessed with thy husband, and rejoice in the glory which shall come upon him. Thy soul has been afflicted because of the wickedness of men in seeking the destruction of thy companion, and thy whole soul has been drawn out in prayer for his deliverance; rejoice, for the Lord thy God has heard thy supplication. Thou hast grieved for the hardness of the hearts of thy father’s house, and thou hast longed for their salvation. The Lord will have respect to thy cries, and by his judgments he will cause some of them to see their folly and repent of their sins; but it will be by affliction that they will be saved. Thou shalt see many days, yea, the Lord will spare thee till thou art satisfied, for thou shalt see thy Redeemer. Thy heart shall rejoice in the great work of the Lord, and no one shall take thy rejoicing from thee. Thou shalt ever remember the great condescension of thy God in permitting thee to accompany my son Joseph when the angel delivered the record of the Nephites to his care. … Thou shalt be blessed with understanding, and have power to instruct thy sex, teach thy family righteousness, and thy little ones the way of life, and the holy angels shall watch over thee and thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, even so, Amen.”

As a mother, life for Emma must have been a heart wrenching experience, filled with much pain. During their seventeen-year marriage, nine children were born to Joseph and Emma, and they adopted two. Emma’s first three children died shortly after birth: Alvin in 1828 and twins in 1831. They adopted twins, Joseph and Julia Murdock, whose mother, had died just one day after the birth of Emma’s twins, leaving a bereaved husband quite unable to care for the infants. Little Joseph Murdock died in March 1832 as a result of exposure during an incident of mob violence. The following November, Emma gave birth to a healthy son, Joseph Smith III. Although Emma enjoyed little Julia and Joseph, she truly grieved over her lost babies.

The Lord comforted Emma once again in her patriarchal blessing: “Thou hast seen much sorrow because the Lord has taken from thee three of thy children. In this thou art not to be blamed, for he knows thy pure desires to raise up a family, that the name of my son Joseph Smith, Jr. might be blessed. And now, behold, I say unto thee, that thus says the Lord, if thou wilt believe, thou shalt yet be blessed … and thou shalt bring forth other children, to the joy and satisfaction of thy soul, and to the rejoicing of thy friends.” 

Emma’s faith was rewarded: Frederick was born in 1836, and Alexander in 1838. Don Carlos was born in 1840, dying just fourteen months later. An unnamed son was stillborn on 6 February 1842; and David Hyrum was born in 1844, four months after the death of his father.

Emma’s care for the untold numbers of ill and homeless Saints as well as her care for Joseph’s extended family—his parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews—is legend. Emma’s work in the Church naturally included attending to Joseph’s business in his absence and taking care of their children.

She manifested courage and intelligence, defending Joseph in her letter to Illinois Governor Carlin. In her office as the first general president of the Relief Society, she set an example of strong leadership. Her instructions on compassionate service set the tone for generations of Relief Society members under the theme she promoted: “Charity Never Faileth.”

Emmeline B. Wells wrote of her: “Sister Emma was benevolent and hospitable; she drew around her a large circle of friends, who were like good comrades. She was motherly in nature to young people, always had a houseful to entertain or be entertained. She was very high-spirited and the brethren and sisters paid her great respect. Emma was a great solace to her husband in all his persecutions and the severe ordeals through which he passed; she was always ready to encourage and comfort him, devoted to his interests, and was constantly by him whenever it was possible. She was queen in her home, so to speak, and beloved by the people, who were many of them indebted to her for favours and kindness.”

The Prophet wrote in his journal, reflecting on a visit from Emma while he was in great danger and difficulty in 1842: “With what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand, on that night, my beloved Emma—she that was my wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the reverberations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues and the toils, the sorrows and sufferings, and the joys and consolations, from time to time, which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble—undaunted, firm, and unwavering—unchangeable, affectionate Emma!”

Upon instruction from the Lord, the Relief Society was organized in March of 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was originally called the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, and Emma Smith, the wife of Joseph Smith, was selected as its first president. Joseph Smith taught, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” (Let’s be honest, we all know women are organised!)

Historical records of the Church in our dispensation describe the devotion of early Relief Society women as they bore testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and served the sick and poor among them to build up the kingdom of God. The Relief Society provided opportunities for Latter-day Saint women to expand their influence and to bless their families, wards, stakes, communities, and nations. Throughout its history, members of the organization have spoken up regarding relevant issues of their time. Relief Society continues to provide such opportunities for women today with around 6 million members throughout 170 countries.

What a blessing it is to have the Relief Society for women in the world today, to have a place of safety and refuge amongst so much evil. To know that it was formed in such a way, to ensure that it has lasted for us today, following in the footsteps of women such as the “elect lady” Emma Smith. How grateful I am to be a mother in Zion. How blessed I am to raise my children in the gospel and to watch them grow, both in body and in spirit, to see their faith and testimony grow as they get older. Although trying at times, I know there is no greater purpose in my life than to be a mother, to teach them, to guide them and help them develop a love for their Saviour. I am forever grateful to have been brought up by a wonderfully strong mother, who is everything I hope to be. For strong grandmothers who brought up my father and mother in the gospel, and for my bonus mother, my mother in law Oliveta for faithfully raising my husband in the gospel, so that we can do the same. What joy there is to be found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

I am forever grateful for the women of the church, who paved the way, for us to receive the blessings we do today. I know of the truth of the gospel. I know Joseph was a prophet who restored the gospel for all of us to find the joy we have. If you do not know of the truth, find out for yourself, you will never regret the decision to ask your Father in heaven to know.

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much of this information was taken from two wonderful articles, which you can read in full here and here

Sunday, May 14, 2017

mother's day


this photo is more than 30 years old now. it's of my mother and i, back in our fremantle days. i just love the way she is looking at me. she's probably only a year or two younger than i am now, yet onto her fourth kid. she is one heck of a mother, is good at everything, always knows the answers to my million questions, cooks amazing foods... and is the best nanna in town. i am so blessed to be hers and i am thankful every single day for eternal families ♥


then there are these two. they are still alive, with a collective 8 years between them, so obviously i am doing something right! i love them madly, regardless of how annoying they can be and wouldn't change life as a mum for anything. they are truly the light of my life. 

with help from dad, i was presented with three beautiful pandora charms for my bracelet, a million cuddles and many shouts of  "happy mother's day" throughout the day. 


and i bought maddie a little gift from me for mother's day. a necklace for her to have a piece of my heart. there is nothing like a bond between a mother and her daughter. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

pre-primary pamper morning


this morning i had the pleasure of attending the pre-primary pamper morning that madeline's class put on. it was adorable! we were escorted to our child's desk...


where a little beauty caddy had been set up (with a nail file, hand cream, a cotton pad and little chocolates), alongside a plate with warm water for us to dip our fingers in. 


madeline had me soak my fingers, then pretended to file my nails (because i don't have any!) before painting each one a different colour. 


i couldn't help but laugh, but she was so pleased to be doing it.


then it was off to the beauty salon photo booth to have our pictures taken.


what a cute morning. i am so glad that madeline is being taught by such kind women who took the time out to acknowledge us. 

and for my sweet girl. i love her to bits! ♥

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

mother's day prep


last week i spent a few hours wrapping these chocolates ready for the primary children to hand out to all the women in our ward after our sacrament meeting this sunday. each wrap had a quote from sheri dew "motherhood is more than bearing children... it is the essence of who we are as women" along with well wishes from the ward, "to all our mums and those with mum potential" they were so simple to make, but super effective... 

i had learnt recently from a facebook group, that these chocolate bars from aldi can be covered perfectly with a 4 x 6 inch photograph, so that's what i did. my friend jen did the hardest bit, which was working out the sizing to ensure the cover sat correctly, then off to the big w photoshop i went! 

chocolates are 40g each and come in a pack of 5 for $2.99 in a variety of flavours. (we stuck to white, dark and milk to avoid allergies) photos were printed for 10c each, so each set us back just 70c! totally worth it. 

ward mother's day gifts? sorted ♥

Sunday, May 7, 2017

back to basics


i chose an unusual topic for my relief rociety lesson today, what i decided to call, “back to basics.” i feel as though with our busy lives these days, time is simply flying by and sometimes we forget the simple things we should be doing. the idea came to me whilst watching the sunday morning session of the most recent general conference, during elder claytons talk... he recalled speaking with a bishop who had suggested that members of his ward struggling with every day trials and issues do the simple things to help, but that they thought the things he spoke of didn't apply to them! he then spoke about how naaman was told to do something so simple to be healed, but that he didn't want to do it, because it seemed so easy! it really struck a chord with me and i felt that i should base my next lesson on those "simple and basic things"... so here you have it!

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During his talk “Whatsover He saith unto you, do it.” During the Sunday morning session of the April General Conference, L Whitney Clayton said:

A few years ago, I spoke with a young bishop who was spending hours each week counselling with members of his ward. He made a striking observation. The problems that members of his ward faced, he said, were those faced by Church members everywhere—issues such as how to establish a happy marriage; struggles with balancing work, family, and Church duties; challenges with the Word of Wisdom, with employment, or with pornography; or trouble gaining peace about a Church policy or historical question they didn’t understand.

His counsel to ward members very often included getting back to simple practices of faith, such as studying the Book of Mormon—as we were counselled by President Thomas S. Monson to do—paying tithing, and serving in the Church with devotion. Frequently, however, their response to him was one of scepticism: “I don’t agree with you, Bishop. We all know those are good things to do. We talk about those things all the time in the Church. But I’m not sure you’re understanding me. What does doing any of those things have to do with the issues I’m facing?”

It’s a fair question. Over time, that young bishop and I have observed that those who are deliberate about doing the “small and simple things”—obeying in seemingly little ways—are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the actual acts of obedience themselves and, in fact, may seem totally unrelated to them. It may seem hard to draw a connection between the basic daily acts of obedience and solutions to the big, complicated problems we face. But they are related.

Some rewards of obedience do come quickly; others come only after we are tested. God asks us to bear with Him—to trust Him and to follow Him. Things work out when we stand firm during the “trial of our faith,” however hard that test may be to endure or slow the answer may be in coming. I am not speaking of “blind obedience” but of thoughtful confidence in the perfect love and the perfect timing of the Lord.

The trial of our faith will always involve staying true to simple, daily practices of faith. Then, and only then, does He promise that we will receive the divine response for which we long. Only once we have proven our willingness to do what He asks without demanding to know the whens, the whys, and the hows do we “reap the rewards of faith, and diligence, and patience, and long-suffering.” Real obedience accepts God’s commandments unconditionally and in advance.

What are some things we need to do in the gospel? The standard answers to every question in primary. So… who can help me? 

Examples:
PRAY
READ YOUR SCRIPTURES
GO TO CHURCH
ATTEND THE TEMPLE
PAY YOUR TITHING
FAST
HAVE FAMILY HOME EVENING
KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS

and my personal favourite, BE GOOD TO YOUR MOTHER haha

So let’s cover a few of them. I truly believe that by ensuring we do the little things, our lives will gain greater insight and purpose and we will draw closer to our father in heaven day by day.

PRAYER (ceramic children)
We all know what prayer is. It is our method of communication with our father in heaven. We can speak and he will listen. We can pour out the desires of our hearts, our gratitude for our blessings and draw closer to him.
Choose to converse with your Father in Heaven often. Make time every day to share your thoughts and feelings with Him. Tell Him everything that concerns you. He is interested in the most important as well as the most mundane facets of your life. Share with Him your full range of feelings and experiences.

Because He respects your agency, Father in Heaven will never force you to pray to Him. But as you exercise that agency and include Him in every aspect of your daily life, your heart will begin to fill with peace.

Parents, help safeguard your children by arming them morning and night with the power of family prayer. Children are bombarded every day with the evils of lust, greed, pride, and a host of other sinful behaviours. Protect your children from daily worldly influences by fortifying them with the powerful blessings that result from family prayer. Family prayer should be a nonnegotiable priority in your daily life.

READING 1:
On several occasions President Ezra Taft Benson shared the poem “Prayer,” by Eliza M. Hickok, with members of the Church. It is a poem he learned while he was in the Aaronic Priesthood:
I know not by what methods rare
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His Word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard,
And will be answered, soon or late.
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blest.

And please remember sisters: If you are too busy to say your prayers and read your scriptures, you are busier than God ever intended you to be!

SCRIPTURE STUDY (scripture quad)
We are forever being reminded of the importance to daily study the scriptures. President Monson spoke just twice at the most recent General Conference, with his talks both being less than 4 minutes. He took the time however, to remind us of the importance of studying the scriptures, in particular, the Book of Mormon. What greater reminder could we possibly have, than one directly from our prophet?

READING 2:
“This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.
We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.
If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.
My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”

That was President Monsons entire talk. Pretty much sums it up!

Elder Richard G Scott spoke of it also in 2014, “Study the word of God in the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. We talk to God through prayer. He most often communicates back to us through His written word. To know what the voice of the Divine sounds and feels like, read His words, study the scriptures, and ponder them. Make them an integral part of everyday life. If you want your children to recognize, understand, and act on the promptings of the Spirit, you must study the scriptures with them.
Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!
There are many prophetic promises of the blessings of daily studying the scriptures. I add my voice with this promise: as you dedicate time every day, personally and with your family, to the study of God’s word, peace will prevail in your life. That peace won’t come from the outside world. It will come from within your home, from within your family, from within your own heart. It will be a gift of the Spirit. It will radiate out from you to influence others in the world around you. You will be doing something very significant to add to the cumulative peace in the world.”

GO TO CHURCH (Relief Society / Priesthood lesson manual)
This is pretty self explanatory. Church is not a museum for saints, it is a hospital for sinners. Go to church not for others, but for yourself. It enables us to renew our covenants each week by partaking of the sacrament and allows us to learn more of the gospel and the teachings of the Savior. If for any reason you cannot attend every week, go as often as you can. The Lord knows our hearts and understands our circumstances.

ATTEND THE TEMPLE (Framed temple pic and temple ornament)

READING 3
Go to the temple. We all know there is no more peaceful place on this earth than in the temples of God. If you don’t have a temple recommend, qualify to get one. When you have a recommend, use it often. Make it a goal to have a recommend at all times, even if you cannot make it to the temple for any reason.  Schedule a regular time to be in the temple, for example, once within each calendar month. Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from being there.
While you are in the temple, listen to the words of the ordinances, ponder them, pray about them, and seek to understand their meaning. The temple is one of the best places to come to understand the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Seek Him there. Remember that many more blessings come from providing your own family names in the temple.

Raise your children to love the house of the Lord. Ensure they know where you are headed. Take them to the grounds so they also become familiar with the temple. My children love to be at the temple even though they know they cannot yet enter. One of the most wonderful experiences of my life was taking Madeline to visit the Salt Lake City Temple and watching her stare up at that amazing building with pure awe in her eyes. We regularly discuss the temple in Family Home Evening – and both of my children love to look at pictures of any of the temples around the world.

Elder Quentin L Cook said in his talk “See yourself in the temple”: Please know how earnestly we desire that everyone make any necessary changes to qualify for the temple. Prayerfully review where you are in your life, seek the guidance of the Spirit, and talk to your bishop about preparing yourself for the temple. President Thomas S. Monson has said, “There is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple.”

PAY AN HONEST TITHE (Jar of coins)
The basic purpose for tithing is to provide the Church with the means needed to carry on His work. The blessing to the giver is an ancillary return, and that blessing may not be always in the form of financial or material benefit. The scriptures tell us that by faithfully paying our tithing, “the very windows of heaven will be opened unto us, to pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

READING 4:
President Hinckley recalled an experience he had as a stake president during a talk he gave in 1982. A man whom I knew came to get his temple recommend signed. I questioned him in the usual way and asked, among other things, whether he was paying an honest tithing. He candidly replied that he was not, that he could not afford to because of his many debts. I felt impressed to tell him that he would not pay his debts until he paid his tithing.
He went along for a year or two in his normal way, and then made a decision. He talked about it some time later and he said: “What you told me has proved to be true. I felt I could not pay my tithing because of my debts. I discovered that no matter how hard I tried, somehow I could not manage to reduce my debt. Finally my wife and I sat down together and talked about it and concluded we would try the promise of the Lord. We have done so. And somehow in a way we can’t quite understand, the Lord has blessed us. We have not missed that which we have given to him, and for the first time in many years we are reducing our debt. We have come to the wisdom of budgeting our expenditures and of determining where our funds have been going. Because we now have a higher objective, we are able to curtail some of our appetites and desires. And above all of this, we feel we can now go to the house of the Lord with clear consciences as those deserving of this wonderful blessing.”

I can testify to the blessings that come from tithing. My husband and I certainly are not rich, but we have always had enough. I know it is from faithfully paying our tithing, even during hard times.

FAST (Empty Plate)
One Sunday each month Latter-day Saints observe a fast day. On this day we neither eat nor drink for two consecutive meals. If we were to eat our evening meal on Saturday, then we would not eat or drink until the evening meal on Sunday.

All members who are physically able should fast. When we fast each month, the Lord asks us to help those in need. One way we do this is by giving through the proper priesthood authority the money we would have spent on food for the two meals. We should give as generously as we are able. Through our fast offerings we become partners with the Lord in administering to the needs of our less-fortunate brothers and sisters.

Fasting can have many purposes. We can overcome weaknesses or problems by fasting and praying. Sometimes we may wish to fast and pray for help or guidance for others, such as a family member who is ill and needs a blessing. Through fasting we can come to know the truth of things.

One thing I recently learnt from the scriptures it is appropriate on occasion to use fasting to show gratitude. It is demonstrated in Alma 45:1
“Behold, now it came to pass that the people of Nephi were exceedingly rejoiced, because the Lord had again delivered them out of the hands of their enemies; therefore they gave thanks unto the Lord their God; yea, and they did fast much and pray much, and they did worship God with exceedingly great joy.”

How’s that?! I don’t know how keen I would be on fasting to show gratitude, but I certainly learnt something new!

HAVE FAMILY HOME EVENING (FHE lesson manual)
There are so many awful things in the world today, beating down our doors and trying to sneak their way in, to destroy our homes and families. To strengthen your family and cultivate peace, remember this tool: weekly family home evening. Be cautious not to make your family home evening just an afterthought of a busy day. Decide that on Monday night your family will be together at home for the evening. Do not let employment demands, sports, activities, homework, or anything else become more important than that time you spend together at home with your family. Again, remember the Lord knows our circumstances. If Monday night does not work for you, set aside another night that does!

READING 5:
The structure of your evening is not as important as the time invested. The gospel should be taught both formally and informally. Make it a meaningful experience for each member of the family. Family home evening is a precious time to bear testimony in a safe environment; to learn teaching, planning, and organizational skills; to strengthen family bonds; to develop family traditions; to talk to each other; and more important, to have a marvellous time together! Sister Linda S. Reeves boldly declared: “I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes.”

KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS (chalkboard commandments)
There are 10 of them. Some rules and regulations if you will, that God gave us to make sure we are safe. I am sure you are familiar with them and if you’re not, maybe look them up tonight. It’s not that hard. I often like to refer back to something my Sunday School teacher in my teens said. They are called the 10 commandments for a reason. If God wasn’t that fussed over them, he would have called them the 10 suggestions.

I am not suggesting that all of life’s struggles will disappear as you do these things. We came to mortal life precisely to grow from trials and testing. Challenges help us become more like our Father in Heaven, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges. I testify that as we actively come unto Him, we can endure every temptation, every heartache, every challenge we face.

Sisters I urge you to do the simple things, so that the harder things become easier… and the difficulties in your lives seem bearable. Please do what you can, when you can and build yourself up as you follow the Saviour and fill your lives with light.

References:
Whatsoever He saith unto you do it (Elder L. Whitney Clayton)
See yourself in the temple (Elder Quentin L. Cook)
Tithing: An opportunity to prove our faithfulness (President Gordon B. Hinckley)
Make the exercise of faith your first priority (Elder Richard G. Scott)
Fasting (Gospel Principles Chapter 25)

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i think it went really well! here's hoping it helped someone other than me! ♥

Thursday, May 4, 2017

my favourite talk of all time



when i was a teenager, a friend of mine had a piece of paper in her scriptures, on which she had hand written the second and third paragraphs of the following: 

A few years ago, we knew our Elder Brother and our Father in heaven well. We rejoiced at the upcoming opportunity for earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fullness of joy like they had. We hardly wait to demonstrate to our Father and our Brother, the Lord, how much we loved them and how we would be obedient to them in spite of the earthly opposition of the evil one.

And now we’re here—our memories are veiled—and we’re showing God and ourselves what we can do. And nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us. And then, as President Brigham Young said, we’re going to wonder why we were so stupid in the flesh.

God loves us. He’s watching us, he wants us to succeed, and we’ll know someday that he has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, there are heavenly hosts pulling for us—friends in heaven that we can’t remember now, who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do— what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly bring to God. If we give our all, we will get his all from the greatest of all.


- President Ezra Taft Benson of the Council of the Twelve. Brigham Young University Devotional Address, December 10, 1974

i honestly can't remember a time that i have felt more aware of why we are here and where we are going, and to  who we are going, than the day i read that quote. i copied in down and put it in my scriptures and often read it, especially when i was having a particularly bad day.

years passed, the internet became a thing, and i googled the talk to find out if there was more of it that i was missing... and the whole thing was great! a friend happened to share the part above on facebook this week, so i felt like i should share it here. (you can read the entire thing by clicking here) i can't wait for the day i get to see my father in heaven again... and i'm hoping i'm not too stupid in the flesh while i attempt to give my all ♥


Monday, May 1, 2017

renays bridal shower


on saturday, i got to help out when my friend dom was asked to throw a bridal shower, for her friend renay. i was so stoked, because there's nothing i love more than helping to throw a good party!


we decked out the house with all kinds of goodies from both of our houses... 


made pink lemonade with sliced lemons and
water with strawberries and mint


set up the backyard for high tea with vintage trios


and gleefully displayed the goodies that we had spent the last two days baking! ♥






we played a few games that we'd found on pinterest:
how well do you know the bride?
he said/ she said
and kiss the groom (this was definitely everyones favourite, dom had printed off a giant picture of the groom to be, with her brother, plus a whole pile of lips to pin to the picture. top prize was for getting the lips on the groom, with a booby prize for her brother. it was hysterical!)


add a little signage...


and our beautiful bride to be... 

it was a great afternoon!