A Child’s Prayer

The last two nights, this has been part of our sweet Hannah’s prayer: “…help us to be thankful and nice to people that are mean, that we don’t know…” The first night she said this Rob asked her what that part was about, and she said, “someone was mean to Mommy on the phone and we don’t know them.” I told Daddy how Hannah and the girls helped me feel better and we gave her a big hug.

Hannah was in the room with me when I hung up the phone from Mom #1’s call. Actually, all of the girls were. They asked me why I was crying and I said that someone was mean to me on the phone. They asked who it was and I told them that they don’t know her. Which is true because I don’t even really know Mom #1 or Mom #2. I just know who they are.

We happened to have a Family Home Evening lesson that same day on how being Popular doesn’t matter, and how we should not carry what others say about us in our “backpack” because it will just make our life more difficult. I’ve told my kids not to talk about it with their friends and that Mommy is fine now. I’m a little nervous for Sunday. I hope the Moms haven’t mentioned anything to their kids so they don’t say anything to mine. We’ll see how it goes.

By the way, I love this DVD we’ve been using that’s short presentations by John Bytheway. He’s a youth speaker that I remember hearing when I was in high school too. He has a great sense of humor and a strong testimony that really appeals to the tween/teen age group. It’s called Family Night with John Bytheway. Our kids love it and beg to watch more, but we only do one at a time to keep them interested. Highly recommended!

PS. A new friend dropped by yesterday with cookies for my family. She has an infant and older children in school. She said she took them to be tested for pertussis and thanked me for the notice. :)

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FHE: I Can Repent When I Make a Mistake

repent1Rob taught this lesson, and it was the best one I’ve ever seen on repentance. First he told a story about a child that was invited to a super delicious dinner by his mom and dad. (Rob is a great story teller, but I’ll do my best to convey the gist of it here.) When he came to dinner his mom said, “if you want to have dinner, you need to wash your hands.” The boy said, “I don’t want to wash my hands. They’re not that dirty.” The mom told him that even if they are a little dirty, he still needs to wash them. She said, “Please wash them. I have this dinner ready for you, and I will be sad to see you miss out on your favorite dinner.”

…So, what would you do if this happened to you?

Our Heavenly Father has promised us a joyful life with Him if we will just repent when we make a mistake. Some things will take more time to resolve than others, but in the end the reward will be worth the effort.

Then we went through each scripture on these visual aids to show the steps of repentance. We all took turns reading the scriptures out loud and then discussing what they mean.

Recognize our sins Alma 42: 29
Feel sorrow for our sins Doctrine & Covenants 20:37
Forsake our sins D&C 58:43
Confess our sins D&C 61:2
Make restitution Ezekiel 33: 15-16
Forgive others 3 Nephi 13:14-15
Continue to keep the commandments D&C 1:32

I think the lesson itself is good, but what really made it great was the spirit of love that we felt as we discussed how much our Heavenly Father wants to give us blessings. But to get those blessings, he asks us to be clean.

It seems like a pretty sweet deal to me!

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FHE: I Will Choose the Right

This is the lesson I used for our latest lesson using  My Gospel Standards. The theme this week was “I Will Choose the Right.”

I found this lesson after a google search and it worked out great. It is called “Making Good Choices: Stairways and Superheroes.” There are several visual printouts that were very helpful in giving the kids an idea of how our choices can lead us upwards toward Good, or downwards towards Evil. I used two little Lego guys (one who made good choices, and one who made bad choices) to show how they moved up or down based on their choices.

Here’s a sample from the lesson:

… Show a picture of stairs going up and stairs going down. (See Visual Aid 1 for an example –
could be a poster or whiteboard – you will add onto it during the lesson as shown by the visual
aids).
Talk about how superheroes didn’t just start out by being at the top of the stairs or
supervillians at the bottom of the stairs, but they made small choices every day that led them
eventually up the stairs or down the stairs. (A good example of this is Anakin from the Star
Wars movies who became Darth Vader.)
We, too, have choices every day that either lead up, toward our Father in Heaven, or down,
away from Him.
Adding On – Name the Steps
Next comes a fun part. Giving names to each of the stairs. Ask the children, “What are
choices that we make that would make us go up a step?” (list them as shown in the example)
“What are choices that we make that would make us go down a step?” (See Visual Aid 2.)
Adding On – Repentance …

We also played the optional game at the end of the lesson on our own stairway. The kids started in the middle and had to work their way up based on the choices they drew from some choices I wrote on some index cards. (I used 75% good choices so that the kids would eventually make it to the top and not be discouraged.) After the game we had some ice cream. It was a fun lesson and the kids were all interested an engaged the whole time!

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Family Night for 2010

This past year brought our family many fun experiences and memories, but there were also so many changes, ups & downs, and unexpected blows. I have always known that I had a relatively easy life, and was never very driven to study scriptures regularly or insist on daily family prayer. But I recently had an experience that I cannot share which hit me right in the gut, out of nowhere, and I now realize how much I need my Heavenly Father.  As I prepared for a new start this year I became even more determined to hold Family Home Evenings every week. Because I have children entering the “tweens” now I’m realizing how quickly they really do grow up. And it is so important to me that they have a solid foundation and moral compass to guide them through the teen years. I love the teen years. I know those with teenagers may think, “that’s because you haven’t gotten there yet.” But even in my studies of human development I found this phase the most fascinating. They truly are formative years when kids start to figure out the kind of adults they want to be, and start to make important life choices. So, in anticipation of that, I am determined to provide my children with a clear understanding of what our family values are, and why they are vital to our happiness and success.

For 2010 I have decided to use the Primary’s My Gospel Standards as my guide. I ordered a poster from the church website and have it hanging on the wall in our family room. Every week we will focus on a new standard. Here they are:

I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.gospelstandards
I will remember my baptismal covenant and listen to the Holy Ghost.
I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.
I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.
I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.
I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.
I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.
I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.
I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.
I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.
I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and do my part to have an eternal family.

I Am a Child of God
I know Heavenly Father loves me, and I love Him.
I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.
I am trying to remember and follow Jesus Christ.

Once I get through these, I plan to move on to the For the Strength of Youth Booklet. The church has just launched a new website dedicated just to the youth and I am super excited about it! Especially now that Hunter will be turning 12 this summer and officially entering the youth program.

I’ll do my best to post the lessons we do and let you know how they go.

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