I am a Stay at Home Mom and a Housewife. I love my family. My job is centered around them, and helping our family life run smoothly. I pride myself in making our house a home, and filling it with love. I love connecting with other moms and sharing ideas and encouragement in making each day better than the last. Please join me on my journey!
I thought Beauty and the Beast was wonderful. I don’t usually like to watch movies more than once, (I am really weird, I know) but I would pay to go see this movie again. The music was enchanting, the imagery was beautiful, and over all it was a very moving film.
There was a lot of character development, and I loved being able to see the back story of Belle and the Beast. Without spoiling anything, I will just say, their back stories made their characters more real. Disney did such a good job at bringing them to life for me. Their love story seems so genuine. They connect on a deeper level rather than a superficial “love at first sight” kind of way. Their pasts seem to give them something in which they both can relate. Belle grows to love the Beast for who he is inside despite his alarming appearance. Their story is a true love story, a true Fairy tale!
There were so many “Feel good moments” where characters sacrificed for the good of others. Belle takes her father’s place in prison so that he can be free. She later stays and helps the injured Beast when he has done nothing to deserve her care and she could have easily escaped. The Beast lets Belle go so she can help her father, even though he knows his last chance at breaking the spell would disappear just as she would. When you see a glimpse into Belle’s past, you also see her Father’s incredible love towards her. I may have cried more than once during this movie.
I was especially impressed by the beautiful yellow ball gown Belle wore. It managed to be more modest than the dress worn in the cartoon version of the movie. Emma’s dress had sleeves covering her shoulders whereas the cartoon version had sleeves hanging off her shoulders leaving them completely bare. Her dress was modest and gorgeous in this film. Again the imagery was absolutely beautiful.
Overall this movie was a sensation to the eyes and ears, as well as the soul. It was a movie that made me go home and think, I want to be a better person. I want to be as brave, as selfless, and as confident as Belle. The opening song goes,
“the girl is strange but special
a most peculiar mad’moiselle!”
She really is different from the other townsfolk, and I love her all the more for it. She doesn’t let their opinions change who she is inside. She is full of so much personality and goodness, and I left this movie feeling happy, energized and motivated to be a better person.
In an effort to make our holidays more meaningful, I have been trying to focus on Christ, and learn from the scriptures. So, what do the scriptures say about love? There are so many scriptures about love. I picked just a few and put them together in this fun little activity to help my kids learn about love and the scriptures.
I think sometimes we get destracted by all the hub-bub of Valentines Day, and for that reason, I know many people don’t like the holiday. We are all in different places in our lives, but we all love in one way or another. Most commonly Valentines day is a time for sweethearts to celebrate their romance. While that is a wonderful thing, I dont think we should forget all of the other wonderful loving relationships we have. We can love our parents, children, nieces, nephews, siblings, cousins, neighbors, those we visit teach, or home teach, friends, strangers, even our enemys. I find its a great time to remember our Father in Heaven and our Savior Jesus Christ, and their infinite love for us. I hope Valentines Day can be a day we celebrate their love for us, and try to share our love with those around us.
I really enjoyed searching the scriptures to find out what they say about love. I learned a lot, and I hope you can too. These were some of the favorite ones that I found. What are some of your favorite scriptures about love? I’d love to hear from you.
There are a couple of ways you could do this activity. Last year, The Love Bug came to our house once a day for a whole week leading up to Valentines day. He would hide an envelope in a different place each day with a scripture and a little candy for my toddler to find. Once it was found, we would read the scripture, talk about it and enjoy a sweet treat together. This was a really fun way to do it, however I was not as on top of things this year. This time we will just do it all in one night for Family Home Evening. I will probably still hide the scriptures around the room for my kids to find one at a time. (This always makes it more exciting/interactive.)
If you do this as a Family Home Evening Lesson you can sing/listen to the songs Love One Another and/or Mother I Love You. There are many other Primary Songs, and even Hymns that are about love that would also be great for this.
Over the past few years I have followed my beautiful cousin Aubrey’s journey in finding the Spirit of Christmas through service. Her ideas have given me inspiration to create better traditions for my family during the holidays. I hope that by sharing her story, others may be uplifted and inspired, and be able to make their futures bright. Here is her story about creating the #PaxtonGivingTree in green below.
“Three years ago on Christmas day 2013, after all the presents were unwrapped and the day was coming to an end, I turned to my husband and said, “I still don’t feel like it’s Christmas.” I remember all month long waiting for the spirit of Christmas to come, and it didn’t. There wasn’t anything really different that year. Christmas was the same day it had always been. I’d listened to the same Christmas music and ate the same treats that I love, so I knew that the problem was with me.
It was a busy time for our family. We had just added daughter #3 to our ranks the month prior, and I’m sure I was exhausted and caught up in figuring out how to run a whole new family dynamic…let’s be honest, 3 kids is hard! But it broke my heart that, because of my attitude, I had not only taken the true meaning of the holiday away from myself, but in doing so I was doing a disservice to my children.
So when December 2014 rolled around I was determined to make our house feel the spirit of the holiday! And the best way that I knew how to do that was by serving others. That year a friend and I had come up with an adorable advent calendar in the shape of a tree. I called it our Paxton Giving Tree! I put a little treat and a service opportunity in each box for each day of December leading up to Christmas. My girls were so excited to have a fun new way to count down to the holiday and I was excited to get the spirit of the holiday in our home, and it WORKED! Christmas 2014 was the best Christmas that I could remember having with my little family! Not only were we thinking about and serving others, but we were EXCITED about doing it! I knew that this was the start of a very fun and exciting tradition for our family!
This year, as I’m sitting down and coming up with ways that my family can serve others in December, I can’t help but think back over the last two years and the many awesome experiences we’ve shared as a family.
I think my very favorite one came just this last summer during July. All summer long the girls had been asking to do a bake sale. I suggested that we could maybe do one, but wouldn’t it be fun if we decided that with the money we earned from it we could put toward helping out a family this coming Christmas for our Paxton Giving Tree tradition. My kids responses made me very happy! This is how it went.
Madison (7): But why would we need money for that?
Me: Well buying things for Christmas costs money, and there are some families that don’t have enough to get extra things at Christmas time. We could help with that.
Madison: But mom you don’t need money to have Christmas…isn’t it just about love and family? That’s the important thing.
Kennedie(5): And celebrating that Jesus was born!
Reagan(3): And Santa! (Haha we’re still working on that one)
This was the best conversation ever! It was totally a mom win moment! I’m so grateful that my kids know what Christmas is really about…even in July!
I truly feel like my kids are learning not only what the true meaning of Christmas is, but also what it means to love and serve others. It has taught them many lessons about others who are less fortunate, and they have compassion for others that I know has come as a direct blessing of our tradition.
Like I said, this month I’m sitting down and making a list of things that we can do during our December service, but I would LOVE to hear any ideas that others may have! Please share! Also, if you want to keep posted about what my family will be doing this year, you are welcome to search the tag #paxtongivingtree on Facebook or Instagram.”
Isn’t this amazing? What a beautiful example Aubrey is to her kids about being Christlike. I love how involved her little children are in this wonderful tradition. Here are few more pictures and ideas for acts of service you could perform for your family’s giving tree.
The possibilities are endless! Be Creative!
For more inspiration to come closer to Christ this holiday season check out this video in preparation for the #LightTheWorld initiative.
Merry Christmas, and God Bless!
PS: If you want to check out Aubrey’s cute shop for girl’s hairbows, check her out on instagram.com @the.happy.squirrel.shop.
November is upon us! I cannot believe how fast October flew by! Between Preparing for our ward’s primary program and preparing for Halloween, October was gone in a blink! Here are some new printables to help your little ones memorize the scripture and article of faith for this month. Repetition is key, and having it printed out makes it so easy to review these every day! I am constantly amazed at how well my 4 year old son is able to memorize these when we practice them consistently. Kids are never too young to be nourished by the good word of God! Enjoy!
Download and print this Scripture by clicking the link below.
It has been a while since I have made this fantastic lasagna. We found out that our son is allergic to milk about a year ago, so this recipe has been on the back burner for a while. I had the opportunity to bring dinner to a family in our ward last night, so I pulled this recipe out again, and I am glad I did. I made up two pans, one to deliver, and one for my family at home. We had to prepare another dish for my son to eat, but he didn’t complain. (I am so thankful for that! He is only four, and don’t get me wrong, he acts like a four year old in many, many ways! But when it comes to his milk allergy, and not being able to eat certain foods, he is seriously so mature about it! It blows my mind how responsible he is about checking if food has milk in it before he takes a bite.) For my husband and I and our one year old however, this lasagna was a real treat!
Talk about comfort food! Don’t you just want to sink your fork into that piping hot lasagna? I love that the weather is finally cooling off again, and we can use the oven for an extended amount of time. ( This Lasagna takes and hour to bake!) It makes the kitchen nice and warm and fills the house with a wonderful aroma.
This recipe is pretty easy to throw together, and it makes enough for left overs which we either promptly devour over the next day or two, or we split up into individual serving sizes and freeze for a rainy day. I have also prepared this lasagna and frozen it before baking, and it works out great that way too, it just takes longer to thaw/cook.
This recipe is a favorite at our house. Not only is it a crowd pleaser, but it is simple to make, and makes great left overs! I love making a double batch and freezing the extra enchiladas in individual sandwich baggies to eat at a later date. It is so nice to have home cooked food in your freezer that can be pulled out at a moment’s notice, popped into the microwave for a few minutes, and consumed. You know, not the kind that takes half a day to thaw out, and another half of a day to cook. I am convinced that individual serving sizes of precooked meals are the way to go. Read more about this, and find other freezer friendly meals here.
We have also made these enchiladas with no cheese because my son is allergic to milk, and they were still delicious. There is so much good flavor in the meat and enchilada sauce, that the cheese is hardly missed. Omitting the cheese makes the recipe slightly healthier as well. So make it with or without cheese, I don’t care, I just thought I would share what we found in omitting the cheese. Finding Dairy free recipes that the whole family likes, can be hard, so it is always nice to add a new one into the rotation.
We have also used this honey lime chicken for tacos, nachos, taco salad, fajitas, burritos, and even in homemade macaroni. The possibilities are endless. Here is the recipe.
8 Chicken tenders cooked and shredded** 8-10 flour tortillas
3 cups Colby jack cheese or Mexican style cheese, shredded
1 16 oz can green enchilada sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in a glass 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly with a spoon. Set aside.
Wisk honey, lime juice, chili powder and garlic powder together in a medium sized bowl.
Add shredded chicken to bowl and stir to coat all chicken evenly.
Fill each tortilla with chicken and cheese, roll it up and place on top of the enchilada sauce in the pan. Continue until all tortillas/meat are rolled up in the pan.(reserve about ½ cup cheese to sprinkle over the top.
Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas, and spread evenly.
Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees ferhenheit or until heated through.
**Egg beaters are great for shredding meat quickly and easily.
In preparation for the primary program,you may want to use this month to review songs that the children learned earlier in the year. Here is a list of all the songs the primary in our ward has been preparing. I included the sheet music with each of them, but I also recommend downloading the free LDS Music App so you can sing with the music instead of acapella. For your convenience I included links so you can download the Apple App or the Android App.
Come Listen to a Prophet’s Voice! The General Women’s Session last week was wonderful. My mom and I always get together to watch it and then go out to dinner afterwards. I can’t get enough mom and me time, and what better way to spend it than while feeling the spirit watching the General Women’s Session and and eating good food!
What I got out of Women’s Conference:
Several times during conference I heard mention of the importance of a “bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ.” Which originated in Elder Russell M. Nelson’s Talk A Plea to My Sisters. At first, all I could think of was, “Bedrock? Isn’t that were the Flintstones live?” ***Insert Flinstones themesong here.***When I came back to reality, I started to really think about it.
Sister Carole M. Stephens, the First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, Mentioned this quote in her talk, The Master Healer. In her travels, she was asked by a Relief Society Leader if there was “something specific that women should focus on?” in which she replied “We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ.” Referencing the above mentioned talk by Elder Russell M. Nelson. I heard this mentioned a couple more times throughout the conference, and then again in Sacrament meeting the next day, and I thought, “there seems to be a theme here.”
The Food! The Company!
After the Women’s Session, my mom and I ended up going to Kneaders, and I felt totally like a Utah girl! While we were there we noticed there were other sisters still in Sunday dress who apparently had the same Idea that we did about combining conference with good food! It is fun to know that there are sisters all around the world who put their Saturday night on pause for a moment to listen to the same instruction that I listened to. I am grateful for the worldwide sisterhood we have in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!
When we were at kneaders, waiting for our delicious food, my mom and I decided to hop back in line to look at the delicious pastries and breads to decide what we wanted for dessert. As we were looking at the cookies and brownies, the power went out! The lights were out, except for a few emergency lights, and the cash registers wouldn’t work without power so the customers would have to wait to be served. After a few minutes it became apparent that the power would not be coming back on any time soon so I mentioned to my mom that they should pass around free samples to keep their customers from leaving. My mom jumped on that, and gave the idea to an employee. It worked, and a few minutes later pumpkin bread slices were passed around! It was so great! Usually my mom is the one who comes up with the crazy ideas, and she puts me up to them, but this time it was the opposite. We had a good laugh over it, and enjoyed our free desert! We may be crazy, but we always have a good time!
Looking Forward to General Conference
I love spending time with my mom, and among all the craziness of life. I am glad I can count on spending time with her during the Women’s General Session. Fortunately, we typically get together when the boys are all out watching the priesthood session too. Two weeks in a row of Mother Daughter time! That’s a total win in my book!
I am really excited for General Conference today and tomorrow! Back in April, in order to make General Conference more meaningful, I took a challenge from our Stake President to listen/read all of the conference talks 6 times before the next conference. I think I listened to them each about 4 times. I didn’t quite get there, but it was better than I have ever done in the past, and I have grown to really know and love the words from the April Conference. I am planning to reach my goal this time! I bookmarked general conference on lds.org on my phone, so it was easy to access. It was nice to be able to listen to conference without the distraction of my children. I love my kids so much, and I want them to have a good experience during conference too, so I try to focus on them during the actual session. It was really fun to catch up and re-listen to the talks. I was able to learn something new each time I listened.
During General Conference, there are so many wonderful things that we can do/prepare so that our kids can enjoy the General Conference Experience. Pinterest of course is a great resource. I love the things that I found directly on LDS.ORG for children. You can access them here at LDS.ORG.
I hope you and your family enjoy General Conference!
In preparation of the primary program,you may want to use this month to review songs that the children learned earlier in the year. Here is a list of all the songs the primary in our ward has been preparing. I included the sheet music with each of them, but I also recommend downloading the free LDS Music App so you can sing with the music instead of a Capella. For your convenience I included links so you can download the Apple App or the Android App.
At the beginning of the year my son became a member of the Sunbeams class (Children age 3-4) in Primary. Every Sunday in Primary, the children participate in opening exercises singing and reciting a certain Song, Scripture, and Article of Faith. They rotate to a new set each month. All of these can be found in the 2016 Outline for Sharing Time. I decided that I wanted to be teaching my son these things at home as well, so this became part of our bedtime routine. As the year went on, we have realized that at bedtime our kids are cranky, and we don’t get as much out of it as we want to or we just skip it all together. We are going to try doing this as a family every morning before breakfast. I think this is a great way to set the tone for the day, but it is also a great thing to leave your kids thinking about as they go to bed. It doesn’t really matter when you do it, but the more consistently it is done, the better your kids will learn. Repetition is key to learning and memorization.
Sharing Time 2016- Songs:
Near the end of the year, the Primary Children present a Primary Program for the entire congregation sharing the songs that they learned throughout the year. Since the dates on the program vary from ward to ward, the fall semester tends to be a time to review the songs that need most attention. I like to print out the sheet music as well as play the music and sing along with the Free LDS Music App. You can download the Apple App or the Android App. Here is a list of the Songs/Links to sheet music for the songs our Primary has learned so far this year:
February Song: “I Will Follow God’s Plan” (CS, 164–65) Sheet Music
March Song: (Song of your choice from the Children’s Songbook) “Stand for the Right” (CS, 159) Sheet Music
April Song: (Song of your choice from the Children’s Songbook) “If the Savior Stood Beside Me Sheet Music
May Song: “Praise to the Man,” verses 1 and 3 (Hymns, no. 27) Sheet Music
June Song: (Song of your choice from the Children’s Songbook) “Scripture Power” Sheet Music
July Song: “I Love to See the Temple” (CS, 95) Sheet Music
August Song: “The Lord Gave Me a Temple” (CS, 153) Sheet Music
September-December: Review the Songs Above according to need.
Sharing Time 2016- Scriptures:
January Scripture: “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
February Scripture:“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).
March Scripture: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, . . . whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).
April Scripture: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (Articles of Faith 1:3).
May Scripture: “I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! ” (Joseph Smith—History 1:17).
June Scripture: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Articles of Faith 1:4).
July Scripture: “Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” paragraph 3).
August Scripture: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? . . . The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are” (1 Corinthians 3:16–17).
September Scripture: “This gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (D&C 133:37).
October Scripture: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).
November Scripture: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
December Scripture: “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27)
Sharing Time 2016- Articles of Faith
I have been surprised by how well my son has been able to memorize the Articles of Faith at such a young age! He doesn’t know them all word for word yet, but he is pretty good at filling in the blanks, and I am sure it will only get better next year. There really is something to doing it every night that embeds it into their brains, its awesome.
The order of the articles of faith are not listed in the Sharing Time Outline. The order is determined by the Primary Presidency. This year some of the scriptures selected in the Sharing Time Outline were Articles of faith, so the Primary’s Presidency in our ward decided to review them according to the topic of the month. Here is the order:
January: Article of Faith 8
February: Article of Faith 2
March:Article of Faith 5
April: Article of Faith 3
May: Article of Faith 6
June:Article of Faith 4
July: Article of Faith 9
August:Article of Faith 12
September: Article of Faith 11
October: Article of Faith 7
November: Article of Faith 1
December: Article of Faith 10
I also found a wonderful blog A Year of FHE that offers Free Printable Downloads of Article of Faith Memorization Posters. We have also enjoyed using these posters in our Family Home Evening Lessons.
Monthly Sharing Time Printables/Resources:
Check back monthly, or subscribe for free printables and resources for the current month including: