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Thursday, March 31, 2011

General Conference Food and Pot Luck Ideas

A couple of people have asked me about food ideas, so I thought I would just do a post about it. Here are some suggestions:
PREPARE AHEAD FOOD IDEAS FOR BREAKFAST
Farmers Casserole
For breakfast we like this dish. You can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge then just throw it in the oven in the morning. Really good with salsa or Pico de Gallo on the side.
Holiday Morning Buns
These are yummy cinnamony flaky biscuits and are so good, you can make them up to a week before, and just cook the morning of.

34 Breakfast Casserole Recipes
Here are 34 Breakfast Casserole recipes which for work great for General Conference weekend:)


POT LUCK IDEAS

I love pot luck because it isn't too much work for one person and everyone is always happy because they get what they want:). These are ones we've tried and tested that have worked out great, and are easy divide up for assignments to the guests.

Baked Potato Bar
Baked potatoes, others can bring toppings like, sour cream, bacon, chives, cheese, chili, broccoli, chicken alfredo, or whatever else takes your fancy, then everyone can make up their own.

Pizza Bar
Pizza bases (we usually get or make 8" ones, so they can be personal pizzas), pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, chicken, mushrooms, onions, olives, peppers and anything else (my favorite topping is tuna and sweetcorn - seriously good, honest!).

Pasta Bar
Have a couple of pastas like spaghetti or penne, a marinara and alfredo sauce, chicken, hamburger, beef, and various veggies.

Taco Bar
Taco meats, taco shells, tortilla's shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole etc.

Soup & Salad Bar
A few varieties of soups and salads, bread rolls/sticks - just channel your inner Olive Garden:).
BBQ
In October we did a street BBQ in our little Circle after the afternoon session and all our neighbors came. It was a bring bring your own meat and a side affair and was great. A good way to review what you liked/learnt and just to be in good company.

Dessert/Ice Cream Bar
Self explanatory really, just another excuse to have people over really:).

MISC IDEAS
  • Go for a picnic at a park or in the back garden in between sessions.
  • Give everyone a little notebook or sticky notes to write notes in on the talks, then review then at dinner/lunch.
For more General Conference Preparation ideas click here.

For more food ideas, check out this awesome blog here.
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Our Very Survival

"The world is full of so many self-help books, so many self-proclaimed experts, so many theorists, educators and philosophers who have advice and counsel to give on any and all subjects. With technology today, information on a myriad of subjects is available with the click of a keystroke. It is easy to get caught in the trap of looking to the 'arm of flesh' for advice on everything from how to raise children to how to find happiness. While some information has merit, as members of the Church we have access to the source of pure truth, even God Himself. We would do well to search out answers to our problems and questions by investigating what the Lord has revealed through His prophets. With that same technology today, we have at our fingertips access to the words of the prophets on nearly any subject."
('Kevin R. Duncan', Our Very Survival, Ensign, November 2010)
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This Should Rivet Us

“There seems to be no end to the Savior’s desire to lead us to safety. And there is constancy in the way He shows us the path. … Those means always include sending the message by the mouths of His prophets whenever people have qualified to have the prophets of God among them. Those authorized servants are always charged with warning the people, telling them the way to safety…

“In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated.

“One of the ways we may know that the warning is from the Lord is that the law of witnesses, authorized witnesses, has been invoked. When the words of prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention…” — Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 24
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Monday, March 28, 2011

FHE Spot - Getting Ready for General Conference

Opening Song: Follow the Prophet
Opening Prayer:
Lesson:

As this next weekend in General Conference I have decided that this week for FHE we will put together out General Conference Activity books ready for Conference. I like doing this as a family because the children see the books and always really want to start working on them. Of course I then make them put them away until Conference. If you have never used a General Conference Activity book they are fantastic. You can find them here on sugardoodle.net, or here on lds.org (this site also has computer games relating to General Conference) This is a great time to talk about the prophets and apostles with the children and discuss how important it is and how lovely it is to hear the voice of the prophets.

Activity: Follow the leader around the house, or play one of the computer games on lds.org together here.
Refreshments: You could make Banana Bread, as suggested in yesterdays post for Elder Eyring. Find a great recipe here.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

General Conference Preparation Ideas

So I am giving a lesson tomorrow in Relief Society about the importance of listening to the living prophets (especially), and have been doing some research on ideas people have to prepare for General Conference. I thought I would share some of my favorite ideas that I've heard:
  • General Conference Book Club. A Talk is posted each week from the most recent LDS Conference and you are invited to re-read it and comment on it if you'd like (www.diapersanddivinity.com).
  • Do a service project during conference like making leper bandages, baby blankets, hygiene kits.
  • Use it as the time to go through Food storage/ Emergency kits to replace old items, rotate winter items for summer ones, replace batteries in smoke detectors etc.
  • Prepare games for kids. If you go to www.lds.org, there are activities and computer games for kids. At  www.sugardoodle.net you can find ones for all ages from nursery to youth.
  • Learn about the Apostles prior to Conference: "Something we do every year is get to know the first presidency and 12 apostles. For several weeks before General Conference we review each man and learn something about him. This year I wanted to make it a little more interactive so out of the 5 we talked about that night we would do something that one of them liked to do. So the first week we made banana bread together... because Pres. Eyring likes to bake with his family. The next week we watercolored because Elder Scott likes to paint. And this week we went outside to play football since Elders Holland and Cook played (and Elder Bednar met his wife playing flag football). I think it made it a little more memorable for my boys. I am going to be posting this idea on my blog soon and I'll try to word it more clearly!"
  • Have another family or some friends over for Pot luck in between sessions or after a session. We do this most years and it's always such great experience.
  • DVR/TIVO Conference so you can use for FHE's during next 6 months.
  • Another suggestion I read: "We do 'conference candy' I put out a candy dish and each session my husband and I pick a word and when you hear the word you can help yourself to a piece of candy (got the idea a few years ago in the Ensign and it works GREAT!!")
  • I heard of a really neat tradition someone had. In their family they talk about King Benjamin's address and how everyone came and put up their tents up and listened to his message. Then the parents set up a tent in front of the TV with a mattress inside it and they have fun yummy treats and listened listen carefully to conference.
  • Make a list of specific questions or issues you're working on and would like help with.
  • Fast about a specific topic before Conference
  • Pray, to feel the Spirit, about one or all of the things on your list, for the speakers
  • Learn about the General Authorities' lives, families, etc.
  • Have a Family Home Evening about General Conference (how to act during, what happens, who speaks, etc.)
  • Read your Patriarchal Blessing if you have it
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before
  • Do all your cleaning and chores before Conference if you can
  • Plan to discuss the talks after you watch Conference. This helps you pay attention because you know you'll have to have something interesting to say about it later.
  • Plan to listen for which talk to focus on for your Visiting/Home Teaching lesson
  • Plan and shop for meals the day before. Have a Conference food tradition.
  • Find your journal or whatever you take notes in. Find a pen, too.
For FOOD IDEAS click HERE.

For more General Conference Preparation ideas, check out this awesome blog, here.

What are some things that you or your family to do prepare for it?
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Just Distracting Enough

I particularly liked this by Ardeth Kapp when I read it:

"It is wonderful, but not surprising, that after the admonition to "be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God," he tells us how this is to be in these few simple and compelling words, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" (D&C 6:20, 36). Doubt and fear are enemies that can enslave us in prison walls of our own making.

Thoughts don't have to be sinful, only distracting enough to weaken the communication so we don't hear the whisperings of the Spirit. Looking unto him in every thought will eradicate thoughts that fuel the fires of jealousy, envy, pride, and related diseases that distract and destroy.

We are instructed, "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God" (D&C 121:45). President David O. McKay said, "No principle of life was more constantly emphasized by the Great Teacher than the necessity of right thinking".
(Ardeth Kapp, BYU Womens Conference 1999).

David O McKay also said, "I will tell you who you are, when you tell me what you think about, when you don't have time to think".

Remember our "thoughts don't have to be sinful, only distracting enough to weaken the communication so we don't hear the whisperings of the Spirit."

Hope you have a good day.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charming Gardeners

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
~MARCEL PROUST~
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Monday, March 21, 2011

FHE Spot - I Can Be Forgiven

Opening Song: Help Me Dear Father (CSB Pg 99)
Opening Prayer:
Lesson:

Object Lesson: Poor some salt on a colored plate, explain to your children that when we leave our Heavenly Father's presence we are pure and clean. Throughout our life sometimes we do things that are not right and can leave specks of dirt on our pure spirit (start to sprinkle pepper on the salt).

If we say we are truly sorry and ask for forgiveness, those speckles can disappear, (as you are talking to your children about forgiveness, take a plastic spoon and rub it back and forth over the carpet, slowly put it on top of the salt and the pepper speckles will start to stick to the spoon from the static).

What are some ways we can ask for forgiveness?
Is it easy to ask for forgiveness we we know we have done something wrong?
What is the way that each of us can return to live with our Heavenly Father? By repentance.

Bear your testimony to your children, give them examples of how repentance has blessed your life.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Every Day

"It is certain that one who studies the scriptures every day accomplishes far more that one who devotes considerable time one day and then lets days go by before continuing."
Howard W. Hunter
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Your Face

“There is no doubt that the life one leads, and the thoughts one thinks are registered plainly in his face.”
Spencer W. Kimball
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So Far

Always when judging
Who people are,
Remember to footnote
The words "So far."
~Robert Brault~

...and that goes for judging yourself too!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Tender Mercies

David A. Bednar:
“The tender mercies of the Lord are real and . . . they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often, the Lord's timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.
“. . . The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and though the Lord Jesus Christ”
(David A. Bednar, “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Ensign, May 2005, 99).
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Sunday, March 13, 2011

FHE Spot - Welcome Home

This lesson will teach the importance of family and the need to forgive and support each other so that there will be no empty chairs in our heavenly home. Taken from here.

Opening Song: Families Can Be Together Forever
Opening Prayer By:
Lesson By:

LESSON - Welcome Home

“I know of no more beautiful story in all literature than that found in the fifteenth chapter of Luke. It is the story of a repentant son and a forgiving father...There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds. There is peace only in repentance and forgiveness."
Gordon B. Hinckley, Tambuli, Nov. 1991 © 2006

Video Clip of the Prodigal Son


For younger children, it may be helpful to summarize the following ideas:

The Savior’s love and compassion eternally surround every soul who walks the earth
“Every man, woman, or youth who returns home after a prodigal journey or an inactive period will find the Savior waiting with open arms. His atoning act will satisfy justice and extend mercy to all who will “come unto him.” (See D&C 18:11.)...All who are active have someone close who may he inactive, indifferent, or clothed in transgression’s soiled robes. They need the sweet, abiding love of a compassionate parent or loving brother or sister. Jesus will bless every member of the Church who will go out and bring someone back.” Vaughn J. Featherstone, Ensign, Nov. 1982

The family plays an important role in Heavenly Father’s plan
Before we came to earth we lived with our Heavenly Father. We accepted His plan to come to earth, gain a physical body and choose between right and wrong. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior. He has also given us families to love and help us along the way.

Work towards Eternal Life as a family
Eternal life means to become like Heavenly Father and live happily with our families forever. An eternal family doesn’t just happen because of the sealing covenants we make in the temple. How we behave in this life will decide if we will be together as an eternal family. To receive the blessings of the temple sealing we have to keep the commandments and behave in a way that our families will want to live with us forever. Heavenly Father and Jesus love every one and want every family to be sealed in the temple and return to live with them forever.

People are often kinder to strangers than to their family members that they love. Why is this and what can we do differently?
The Savior taught us, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. The Savior loves us even when we are not doing everything we should. We should follow His example by showing love to our own family members in this same way.

ACTIVITY: Younger children will need help from an older sibling or parent.
(Click here for 'No Empty Chairs' Game and artwork.)
Have each family member pick a “to-do” card and place it in the appropriate column (to make it easier we have numbered the cards by row.) Find the correct column and place the cards in the order that they are numbered.

Discuss how each “to-do” will help you be a “Family 4 Eternity.” Also discuss which areas your family needs to improve on.

Read together the theme:“As part of this family and Heavenly Father’s family we will do our part to help every family member so that we will have 'No Empty Chairs in Our Heavenly Home.'”
What you need: A copy of the “4 Family X 4 Eternity” game board and game cards (art work is included with this lesson) and scissors.
Optional: Poster board or cardboard, and glue.

Preparation:
1. Print out game cards and game board.
Optional: Glue game cards and game board to poster board for more durability. ..
2. Cut out the 16 “to-do” game cards and mix up.

Optional:
Frame a 5 X 7 copy of the picture quote “No Empty Chairs” (click here for artwork) for each child, to help them remember their goal of being an eternal family.

TREAT: Orange Biscuits

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today and Tomorrow

Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros~
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Friday, March 11, 2011

How We Deal

"It's not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us."
James E. Faust - Oct. Gen. Conf 2004
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Divine Signatures

"Sometimes, the Lord sends His blessings in such a highly unusual, dramatic, or precisely timed manner that it's as if the Lord 'signs' the blessing personally so we know with a certainty that it came from Him."
- Elder Gerald Lund, Divine Signature

I've had an experience like that, that maybe I'll get around to sharing one day - have you?
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Greater Things

"I believe we have all been created for greater things than we can comprehend."
Jeffrey R. Holland
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Being a Mother Has Never Been Easy

“Being a mother has never been an easy role. Some of the oldest writings in the world admonish us not to forsake the law of our mother, instruct us that a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother, and warn us not to ignore our mother when she is old (see Proverbs 1:8; 10:1; 23:22).


“The scriptures also remind us that what we learn from our mothers comprises our very core values.”

(Thomas S. Monson, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Ensign, Nov. 2004, 116)
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Monday, March 7, 2011

FHE Spot - Baptism

Opening Song: Baptism from Children's Song Book, Page 100

Opening Prayer:

Lesson by:

Preparation: Print the letters, B  A  P  T  I  S  M

Use these letters to talk about baptism. For younger children, talk about each letter and let them tape it on the wall. For older children, give them the letter and have them tell all they know about what is written on it, and what it has to do with baptism, for example, "P" - partaking of the sacrament - is what we do to renew our baptismal covenants.

You may want to put them up in a different order, depending on the topic you want to talk about first. You may want to use the "B" first or last though, so you can introduce or conclude with "Baptism". You could do the letters in a random order and have the kids figure out the word from the anagram.

Ask the children if they know anyone who has been baptised. Talk to the children about your baptism how you felt when you were baptised.

Tell the children that Jesus was baptised. Ask them why they think Jesus was baptised and explain how Jesus had to be baptised to set the example for us. Just like when we are baptised we set the example for others.



Bear your testimony of Baptism to the children and the importance of it.

Treat: Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. Yummo!

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Singing Whilst it's Dark

"Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark."
- Rabindranath Tagore
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

If You Want to Make God Laugh.....

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."
-Woody Allen

Even as I type this, God is probably rolling on the floor with laughter thinking about 'my' plans - you're welcome God:)
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Look Back and Thank God

Look back and thank God. Look forward and trust God. Look around and serve God. Look within and find God.

God closes doors no man can open and God opens doors no man can close.

President Monson.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let Me Not Defer or Neglect It

"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
by Mahatma Gandhi
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