Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

  • Scroll down for the August visiting teaching handouts.
  • If you are looking for a handout for the September visiting teaching message you can check it out hereimage

The August Visiting Teaching Message  is titled Nurturing Families Together. This message has so many wonderful quotes, and inspired several handouts for your choosing. If you like these ideas, and would like an email notification when the new Visiting Teaching Handouts are available, please Subscribe! If you are viewing this on a Computer you can enter your email into the side bar, or if you are viewing on a cell phone you can access the subscribe option by tapping the pull down menu at the top of the page. Thank you for joining our community!

In this month’s message, President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,

“The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service,”

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

Click The Home is God’s Laboratory for the Free Printable Download of the above handout.

I love the story Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared about the love that his father had for his mother. I won’t spoil it, I will let you read it, but his father shows an excellent example of love and service. After such a grand sacrifice, his wife must have known without a doubt that he loved her.

Sometimes it’s a culmination of the little things that help show love towards a spouse. My husband is not fond of Country Music, but he knows that I love it. When we are in the car together, he switches the radio to the Country Station. This small gesture goes a long way, and I can feel his love as he puts my desires before his own.

When we love someone, it is natural to want to serve them, and vise versa. I find that serving others helps break down barriers and allows you to love them in a way you didn’t before. I remember camping one year, and there was an individual who offended me. After crying on my bed a little, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to help me forgive him. Immediately, I remembered a General Conference talk titled Your Mission Will Change Everything by Elder David F. Evans Of the Seventy. He told a story about President Hinkley when he was on his mission and feeling discouraged. President Hinkley’s Father wrote him a letter and said,

“You want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause, and bend your efforts to helping people”

I gained my composure and set out to serve this person. He was in charge of dinner that night, so I offered my help. As I served him my heart was softened. I was able to see him in a different way. I was able to learn how much work he had put into making this event happen. I quickly realized that the words he said that had offended me previously were not a direct attack at me, but rather a result of extreme exhaustion from his lack of sleep and hard work. I was able to forgive him and gained a love toward him instead. When we give Service to someone, we naturally learn to Love them.  When we Love someone, we naturally want to give Service to them. It is a beautiful cycle.

Here is a peak of the handout using the above quote about Love and Service by Elder Russell M. Nelson.

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

Click below for your Free Printable Download of this Handout.

Love and Service Visiting Teaching Handout.

The handout will look something like this when it is all put together.

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

Have your sisters combine the sprite and cranberry juice for a sweet summer refreshment.

Another quote that I loved from this months message was:

A “husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.”

This is a quote taken from The Family A Proclamation to the World, so what better way to present it than with a picture of a loving family.

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

I thought it would be perfect to include a First Aid Kit or a “Love and Care” Kit with this Handout. I found a great tutorial on how to make some cute ones here at the Some of This & Some of That Blog.

Aren’t these adorable? I just love these!

For your Free Printable Download of this Handout click the link below.

VT Handout Aug 2016 Love and Care

Okay, Here is one last handout idea using the following quote by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

“Our Heavenly Father wants husbands and wives to be faithful to each other and to esteem and treat their children as an heritage from the Lord.”

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016

Click the link below for your Free Printable Download of this Handout

VT handout Aug 2016 Faithful

You could easily include either of the following candies with this handout.

Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016
Ring Pops
Visiting Teaching Handout August 2016
Hershey’s Kisses

Happy Visiting Teaching! Hope you liked these ideas!

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How to Choose the Preschool Thats Right for You and Your Child

You are Running out of time! The pressure is setting in. What are you going to do about preschool this year? July is more than half gone, and school starts back up next month! The craziest part  for me is that my son is old enough to go to preschool! He was just a baby yesterday right? Where did the time go?  I don’t want to even blink because before I know it, he will be driving a car and picking up girls for dates. For now though, he is my little ‘Big Guy’. I recently asked him if he ‘liked’ girls, and he responded, “Grandma is a girl, she is a lady!” I hope he stays in this phase for at least another 16 years! But alas, he is getting older, and he is growing up. It is time for him to start to experience new things, and grow as an individual and not just be my baby. So back on the age old question, What are we going to do for Preschool this year?

Getting Silly with preschool at home. One of the most valuable lessons mothers can teach their children is that they are important and loved.

I love doing  preschool with my son at home. He is at the age that he loves to learn, and often asks me if we can do Preschool together. I think he enjoys the one on one Quality Time we share together. My goal when we do preschool activities is to create an exciting and safe space where he can learn and gain self confidence without fear or judgment. I try to keep it fun, and if the lesson becomes frustrating for either of us, I try to change gears. At home, I want him to have good memories and feelings towards me, and towards learning. We are not very structured in our preschool at home, which can be good and bad. It is good because he has a loving environment at home to learn in, but bad because the learning is not very consistent. No matter how hard I try, we do not do preschool everyday. That being said, we will be using a hybrid method between home schooling and schooling away from home for Preschool starting this fall.

How to Choose the Preschool Thats Right for You and Your Child
Little Stars Learning Program at Hollywood Kids Academy’s Henderson Location.

He will start attending Hollywood Kids Academy “Little Stars Learning Program” for a couple of hours a few days a week. I am hoping this will help him transition easily into kindergarten next year. I feel that it will be a great way for him to gain independence and individuality. He will be able to socialize, learn, grow, and I think he will love it! I have been very impressed with this company. Hollywood Kids Academy offers more than just preschool. They offer classes in Musical Theatre, Dance, and Vocal for ages 3-19. They are now based out of 3 locations including their newest Summerlin/Southwest location at 4145 S. Grand Canyon Suite #106. My family and I have been to several performances, and are so pleased every time. Hollywood Kids Academy is a noncompetitive atmosphere where kids have a safe space to learn and gain  self confidence while developing their skills at whatever level they may be. To read more about their mission click here.

hka logo

My goal as a mother is not to raise the next Genius, Olympian, or Billionare, but to raise kids with good Character. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to do both, but rather that my focus is geared more towards instilling integrity, honesty, hard work, self discipline, charity, leadership, organization, etc. If the next generation is raised to have these characteristics, we will have a bright future. A person with character can accomplish anything! I feel that the environment at Hollywood Kids Academy will help reinforce the values that I teach my son at home. I am trying to establish a house for my family that is pleasing to the Lord as taught in Docterine and Covenants 88:119:

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

We will still continue to have our unstructured ‘learning moments’ together at home. I don’t think we will ever stop. There is so much to be learned throughout our lives. You may even be suprised at the things that your children teach you. Creating that safe space at home can make it easier to teach the hard lessons in life. My house is, and always will be, a house of learning.

2016-07-06 11.33.04

Whatever decision parent’s make regarding their children’s education whether it be public, private, charter, or home school is personal.  If homeschooling is going to stress you or your child out, or add tension to your relationship, it might not be worth it. It can be so different in each household with each child and their unique needs. This hybrid method is what we have decided is best for our son at this time. His needs may change over the years in which we will need to prayerfully adapt. We may make a different decision for our baby girl, or other children we may have in the future based on their individual needs. I hope that mothers will be blessed with inspiration on what to do for their children’s education. I hope they will have the courage to see what is best for each of their children rather than yielding to the ‘norm’. Mother’s who pray regularly with, and for their children, can receive divine guidance for their well being. As for us, we are excited for this new opportunity to grow! Best of luck to you and your little one(s)!

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How to Say I Love You in a Way They Will Understand

Imagine that someone you love speaks a different language than you. If they only speak Chinese, and you only speak English, saying I love you in English isn’t going to mean much to them. In The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he discusses how to communicate love effectively by learning the Love Language of your loved one. I love his book and will be referencing it as I write this post.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
I have had this book for years, an updated version was published in 2015. You can purchase it here.

What I have Learned About the 5 Love Languages:

  1. Words of Affirmation- Through your words, you can build or destroy a person who’s Primary love language is Words of Affirmation. The bite of criticism can sting just as much as a complement can lift. It is important to genuinely notice and verbally express gratitude to this type of person. Their drive to succeed stems from the compliments they are issued. When you praise them, they feel loved and appreciated.
  2. Quality Time- This love language may take the most time to communicate, but it is just as important as the others. Spending Quality time means listening. Turn off the TV and listen to what they have to say. Give them your full attention. If you are in the middle of a task when this type of person wants their attention, consider this statement. A person who’s Primary Love Language is Quality Time would rather wait a moment for you to finish your task so that they can have your undivided attention, than to have only part of your attention while your attention is divided. It is okay to say, wait a moment while I finish this, I would like to give you 100% of my attention. They will feel that they are important and wanted.
  3. Receiving Gifts- If a person is constantly giving gifts to make you smile, this may be their love language. This person may also give gifts to say “I am Sorry”. This type of person responds positively to being given gifts. They don’t have to be expensive gifts to make them feel loved. The gifts that mean the most are ones that are thought out. They appreciate you taking the time to know them and understanding what will make them smile.
  4. Acts of Service- Helping out with household chores, or running errands for this type of person can go a long way. They feel loved when you step in to help, or surprise them with a clean home, or a hot meal. If there is a chore you dislike, and your spouse knows it, think about what it will communicate to them if you do it happily for them. Doing something like this says I am doing this because I love you loud and clear.
  5. Physical Touch- Keep in mind that Physical Touch is more than physical intimacy. Physical touch can mean a pat on the back when you are proud, a gentle caress of the arm as you walk by, a hug when they come home, an embrace when they are sad. This type of person thrives when they experience positive physical interactions. When you touch them in a loving way, they feel accepted and loved.How to Say I Love You in a Way They Will Understand

 

You can go to 5lovelanguages.com to take a free quiz to determine your primary love language. I took the test and found that my primary love language is Acts of Service. I also found that Receiving Gifts ranked 0 in importance to me. I had fun taking the test so I had my husband and 4 year old son take it too. (We had to simplify the verbiage to help  him understand the questions.) Their results both showed Receiving Gifts as their Primary Love Language. Sounds like I need to learn how to speak that language so that I can keep their “Love Tanks” full (As Gary Chapman calls it). You can take a quick test here to determine your primary love language.

Speaking the Love Language that your loved one speaks will go a long way when you are trying to communicate your love for them. The book The five Love Languages is such an easy read, and can improve the quality of your relationships. Gary Chapman is a marriage counselor who tells some wonderful stories about his clients over the years, and how their relationships improved by speaking their spouses love language. To get a more in depth description about the love languages and how to speak them you can purchase The Five Love Languages here. There are several different books aimed for different audiences including singles, children, teenagers, and men. Check them out here.

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How to Survive the First 10 Days of Breastfeeding a Newborn

I wish I had stumbled across something like this before I had my first child. My expectation of breastfeeding was skewed from reality. I had read a little pamphlet going over different holding techniques and tips on how to get your baby to latch. It all looked simple enough. I figured it would just come naturally and would be a breeze. I had heard about all of the physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, and was committed to doing it. If this was not the case, I may not have survived those first 10 days of breastfeeding!

I had no idea breastfeeding would be such a painful and emotional thing until I had my first child! I would literally cry and my toes would curl in pain when he would latch. It did eventually get easier for me and I was able to nurse him for a whole year. In the end I was glad that I stuck it out through those first painful days/weeks. Since I had such a hard time nursing with my first, when I was pregnant with my second, I did some research to try and make it a little easier. Though it was still very hard, there were a couple of products I used that helped ease the pain. I highly recommend purchasing them before your baby is born. The last thing you want right after having a baby is to have to make a desperate run to the store for some sort of relief. I was so glad that I had these items at hand when I had my second child.

Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!

  1. Boppy: These pillows wrap perfectly around your body and provide just the right support for you to hold your child in the right position. I didn’t get one of these until my first was a few weeks old, and my shoulders and arms were so sore from trying to support him while nursing. I tried propping up pillows and blankets, but they just didn’t give me the support I needed. You don’t realize how heavy 8 lbs is until you have to support it in a precise spot for an extended amount of time, several times a day, seven days a week! My daughter is 9 mos old now and we still use our Boppy several times a day, everyday. Believe me, every penny you spend on this will be well used. I own the plain one, and got a green cover to use for my boy, and am now using a pink cover for my girl.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase the plain pillow here, and customize it with a slip cover here.
  2. Medela Tender Care Lanolin Cream: This cream helps sooth and heal sore/ cracked nipples. It is safe for mom and baby, and can be applied after each feeding to keep nipples moist. In the beginning, I wouldn’t go anywhere without one of these. I kept one tube by the rocking chair, and one in the diaper bag at all times.
    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can buy a tube or two here.

    To be honest, I didn’t nurse away from home much for those first 10 days. There is so much going on for both you and baby trying to get the hang of it. You can pretty much forget about using a cover. I would always ask if there was a private room I could use those first few weeks if I ever nursed away from home.

  3. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: The lactation consultant at the hospital told me that keeping the nipples moist allows them to heal and prevents cracking. I only bought one pair before my second was born. We had to make a run to the store to get more since these only last a couple days or so. I got a few pairs and used them for the first couple of weeks. They really help keep things moist in between feedings. I will be purchasing 3 or 4 pairs before we have our next baby.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase some here.
  4. Lansinoh TheraPearl 3 in 1 Breast Therapy: When heated, these help with engorgement. When your milk first comes in, your body over compensates and produces more than your baby can consume. It takes a while for your body to respond to your baby’s ques and provide the right amount of milk. This fullness is called engorgement and can be very painful. The breasts may swell, become hard, and become very tender. Even laying on your side can become unbearable because of the pressure. The heat, when applied to the breast can aid in let down, allowing the breasts to drain the excess milk.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase these here.
  5. Pumping: When done in moderation, pumping can also help with engorgement. If you pump too much, your body will respond by producing more milk, and thus cause your breasts to become more engorged. It is important to pump just until you feel a little relief. Do not completely drain the breast. If you experience sore nipples while pumping, you may want to look into a different size flange. An improperly fitted flange can cause nipple soreness. I borrowed and sanitized a hand pump from my sister in law with my first, and found that I much prefer an electric pump when I used it with my second. Breast pumps are a covered benefit through most medical insurance companies. Give yours a call to find out what they offer. My insurance provided me with an Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump free of charge. I love it. All I had to do was pick it up locally.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a breast pump, you can find a good one here, as well as flanges to adjust the size.
  6. Nipple Shield: These are supposed to aid with latching problems which are the main cause of sore nipples. At about day nine, I was in so much pain that I was feeling very desperate. I was blistered and bleeding, and when it was time to feed again, I would break down and cry thinking, “I don’t think I can go through it again!” I had done some research on nipple shields and thought I might need one. I didn’t own one so I decided I would send my husband to the store to get one in the morning. Thankfully by morning, the blisters had pealed and the bleeding had stopped. It suddenly felt so much better! I didn’t end up needing it after the drastic improvement, but I think I will buy one ahead of time, just in case, for my next child. You do need to be careful in using this product however because they can sometimes reduce milk supply if used for too long.

    Top resources for nursing moms. Great Tips!
    You can purchase this here.
  7.  Seek Help from a Lactation Consultant: At the hospital I talked with one who explained that if the baby is latched correctly, it should not hurt. I experienced pain from the very first feeding so I wasn’t getting a good latch. I just figured that it hurt with my first so it would probably be the same. You would think that you would have it figured out after breastfeeding for a whole year, but each child is different. You and baby are both learning, it is okay to ask an expert for help. I finally asked for her help after I had already become sore.  She helped me find a good latch by using the football hold. For whatever reason, that is what worked for us. I used that position for the first few weeks. Next time around I will try to have the lactation consultant there to help me get it right on the first feeding. It is never too late to get help, most hospitals have certain days of the week you can walk in and visit with a lactation consultant for free.

Those first 10 days or so can be very difficult, but hopefully these products can help you through it. Having been through it twice, I can say that the benefits far outweigh the pain experienced at first. I am so glad that I stuck it out, and having these products certainly made it easier for me the second time around. It is important to remember that Mother knows best. No one knows your child and their needs like you do. You will be able to make the best decisions regarding you and your baby. From a mom who has been there, you are doing great! You CAN do it!2016-07-15 20.13.24

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The Best Deal I Have Ever Seen on a Kindle Paperwhite

If you have been thinking about purchasing a Kindle Paperwhite now is the time! I got my husband one for Christmas and he has used it almost every day since. Because they retail for about $119, I thought I was getting a great Black Friday deal at only $99, but when I saw the price today I was shocked!  My husband let his mom use his Kindle on a recent vacation and she loved it so much, the kids pooled together to get her one for her birthday. We have purchased 2 of them in the last 6 months, and can personally recommend them.

kindle

Some of the great features of the Kindle Paperwhite:

  • Gentle Lighting: You can use them in any lighting as you can adjust the back light to best fit your surroundings.
  • Long battery life: The charge can last for weeks.
  • Reduced price on books: Purchasing books electronically for a Kindle is almost always considerably cheaper than purchasing paper books.
  • Exclusive access to books: Some books are only offered electronically.

These are just a few of the many reasons we love the Kindle Paperwhite. To checkout this limited time deal click here.

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5 Topics to Discuss Before He Pops the Question

We have all seen it, those corny sitcoms and chick flicks where the  proposal goes terribly wrong. The guy pops the question and the girl is so blindsided that she doesn’t know what to say. What could have been one of  the most romantic nights of their lives turns into an awkward hiccup in their relationship. Wouldn’t it be nice to know for certain that he is “The One” before he gets down on one knee?

If a couple can get on the same page about their future, that special moment can be full of excitement rather than anxiety, and hope rather than doubt. There will be nothing holding her back from squeeling that desired answer, “Yes!” while tossing her arms around his neck. Having some important conversations about the future can alleviate all that stress and allow them to enjoy that moment to its fullest, and remember it for years to come.

How to have the perfect proposal
Having a photographer there to capture the moment will help you to remember it for years to come. This beautiful photo was taken by Cydney Photography. You can view her page Here.

The best way for couples to get on the same page is to have honest conversations about their future. How and when to have these conversations will depend on the individual couple. Some may prefer to gradually discuss these things during their courtship as they naturally come up. Others may want to fill out a questionnaire like a worksheet and then compare answers. Some may prefer a combination of the two.

When my husband and I were dating, he created a game so that we could ask each other important questions in a fun way. We each wrote down questions similar to the ones below on sticky notes. After we placed the sticky notes down, we took turns rolling a dice. We had to answer the question that we landed on. It turned out to be fun, and really helped us to get to know each other’s hopes and dreams. On other occasions, we casually talked about what we would do if we couldn’t have children, and my desire to be a Stay at Home Mom. (read more about that here.)  We got to know each other pretty well.

Here is a list of some important discussion points to help get you started.

  1. Morals:
    1. What values do we expect each other to live?
    2. What religion will we practice?
    3. How active will we be in said religion?
  2. Education/Career:
    • Do we want to pursue higher education?
    • How will we pay for it? (Save up/cash flow/Student loans)
    • Where are you willing to live to pursue education?
    • What careers do we want to have?
  3. Money:
    • How will we earn it?
    • What are our savings goals?
    • What are we willing to go into debt for? house/car/education etc.
    • How will we Save/Spend/Give our money? We love the free Everydollar app.
  4. Children.
    • Do we want kids?
    • How many?
    • When?
    • How will we raise them?
    • Will one of us quit work to be a stay at home parent? if so, which parent?
    • Will me make them go to church?
    • Will we expect them to do chores?
    • Will we let them participate in sports. extracurricular activities?
    • What schooling do we want them to have? public/private/charter/home school etc.
    • If we are unable to naturally conceive, will we seek medical help/adopt?
  5. Family:
    • Do we get along with each other’s parents?
    • How close do we want to live to them?
    • How involved will we let them be in our lives?
    • Are we comfortable with them babysitting our kids?
    • Who’s family will we spend Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years with?

5 Topics to Discuss Before He Pops the Question.

These questions and many more will help a couple decide if they are a good match. Listening to the heart is essential as well. There is no equation that can be written to calculate a definitive answer. The Heart MUST be involved in a decision this big. All this while being careful to recognize the difference between lust and love. Ignoring warning signs because you “love” them, is a bad idea.

Communication is so important before a ring is placed on that finger. It is better to find out now if fundamentally different goals are desired before sacred marital promises are made, and before children are brought into the equation. On the other hand, (The one with the sparkly diamond! See what I did there?) having the same vision towards the future will create the perfect foundation for a successful proposal and marriage.

5 Topics to Discuss Before He Pops the Question.
Having the same vision towards the future will create the perfect foundation for a successful proposal and marriage.

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5,000 Views!

The Happy Housewife Blog hit 5,000 views last night!  The blog has only been up and running for about three and a half weeks. What started out as a way for me to share and express my feelings has grown into something amazing. I never dreamed that I would have such a positive response.

I Attribute This Success to Three Things:

  1. Support. I have felt so much love and support from friends, family, and other viewers. You all are amazing! Thank you so much for your support! Please continue to click, read, and share! It has been so fun to come up with content for the blog! Today I would like to open it up to my readers to add ideas for future posts. What content would you like to see on the blog? Leave a comment at the end of this post.
  2. God. I believe that I am sharing things that encourage people to be a little better, and come a little closer to God. As I prayerfully write, I feel that Heavenly Father inspires me with ideas, and helps me know what to say. He guides my hand. I hope He will continue to bless me as I follow his guidance.
  3. Work. You get out what you put in. I have spent a LOT of time working on the blog. Time creating content, time taking pictures, time editing, correcting, and re-correcting. Time driving traffic to the site. Time managing social media accounts. Time working the logistics of setting up/maintaining a website. (Who knew there was so much to it?) It has been a complete learning curve, and I continue to learn new things every day!

Blogging Success!

You may be wondering, how does a Stay at Home Mom have time to keep up with a blog without detracting from her kids? We started this thing called putting the kids to bed at 7:00. It is so great! Let me tell you, since I have been a mom, I have NEVER had this much time to work on ANYTHING! I have worked on blog stuff from 7:30 pm to about 12:00 am or 1:00 am just about every day for the past three weeks. It makes me feel alive and rejuvenated. It makes me a happier person, and that in turn is good for the whole family. You know the saying;

Women have great potential to spread good.

Well I think it is true. Wives and mothers have the ability to really set the tone in their homes. In my home, I am trying to set a happy tone! Having the time to recharge and pursue my dreams has put a spring in my step. I believe my family has been blessed as a result.

My husband and I made a rule that I should only work on the blog when the children are in bed, and I am so glad that we set that boundary. As much as I love my children, I fear I would become distracted by the blog if we didn’t set this rule. I just get so excited about the blog! I do still post things about the blog on social media during the day while my kids are up and about, but I was spending time on social media before I started the blog. Now I am just spending more time posting instead of browsing. Somehow I find more fulfillment that way. Sometimes scanning social media can be depressing, and it is easy to compare yourself to others. In contrast, I feel lifted when I create things, and share them.

 

Sometimes Selfies are Important!
I am going to celebrate with a no make up selfie, and ice cream. Mostly ice cream. But seriously moms don’t have enough pictures of themselves. We are usually the one behind the camera so we have plenty of documentation of our kids, and even our husbands with the kids, but rarely do we catch pictures of ourselves. I want to document myself with a selfie tonight so I remember the happiness I am feeling right now.

I am so glad that I have found this new passion! I have always loved writing, and have always wanted to be a wife and mother. In recent years I have been able to marry a wonderful man and have my dream job of being a Stay at Home Mom. I am so grateful that I have been able to learn so much about taking care of my family and home. It is so fun to be able to share it with all of you. Now I can combine all of my passions into one space on my blog, and I am loving every minute of it.

Thanks for all the kind words, and encouragement you have sent my way. I look forward to what is ahead! Don’t forget to share what you would like to see more of on the blog in the Future!

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A Day in the Life of a Stay at Home Mom

Is anyone else having trouble catching up after the holiday weekend? I tell you what, today has been rough. We usually put the kids to bed at 7:00 pm, but we all stayed up way too late last night doing fireworks for the 4th of July. It didn’t get dark outside till about 8:30 pm so by the time we got started with fire works, it was already an hour and a half past our kid’s bedtime. It was so much fun, but we have definitely been paying for it today. Tired kids really means, cranky, irrational, emotional kids.

As I sit down at the end of the day to write this, I take in a deep breath and sip my lemon water. Now that the kids are both asleep, it is time to unwind from the chaos that was my life today. I am not complaining, because I truly love my job as a Stay at Home Mom. I am telling this story because I want you to know that I am human. I make mistakes, lose my patience, get behind on housework, and let my kids watch TV etc. Hopefully as you read this you will be able to relate.

Let me take you through a day in the life of a stay at home mom:

The baby is crying, It’s morning already? Wow I am tired! I better go nurse her. I’m going to run to the restroom real quick first. Oh good, Anthony (my husband) is going to get her. Hopefully he was quick enough and her crying didn’t wake up her big brother. I rock her back and forth as she nurses. I hope she goes back to sleep, I am still exhausted. I’ll just close my eyes for a minute while she eats. Zzzzzz…..

Now she is done nursing and bright and smiling! It doesn’t look like she will go back to sleep, but how could I not love that face?

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Wait, is my shirt wet? Oh man! I’ll change her diaper then put her in bed with Anthony while I change my shirt. Awe they look so cute cuddling over there in the bed. I want to cuddle too! I hear footsteps! Sounds like big brother is awake. Anthony gets up with the kids and takes them downstairs and lets me lay down for a little longer. I have the best husband! Maybe I will just check Instagram for a minute and post some cute pictures from yesterday. Wow look at the time! It has already been a half hour! Ooops, I better get dressed and get things rolling.

Where are all my clothes? I have nothing to wear! I need to work out more and get this baby weight off. I feel like nothing fits anymore! Maybe I just need to do some laundry, I know some of my clothes fit. How can there be more laundry to do when I already have three clean baskets of laundry waiting to be folded at the side of the bed? Oh well, I will just get another load started real quick, then get dressed.

Wait, there’s a bunch of dirty clothes in our suitcase from this weekend. I better unpack so that I can get those clothes in the laundry too. Oh and there is laundry in the kids rooms, and some on the stairs.

Okay all the laundry is gathered from all parts of the house, and is now sorted. I’m all ready to start a load. Is there still laundry in the dryer? How did I forget about that? Okay its in a basket, headed to join the other three baskets of clean laundry. Wait, the laundry basket wont fit next to the others until I clean up all these empty water bottles on the floor. I better gather those and toss them in the trash. Okay, now the trash is overflowing. I might as well take out all of the trash upstairs.

I hear my husband say that the oatmeal is ready. Eeeek! “Okay I will be down in a minute!” I have the best husband. I don’t know how I would have gotten all this done without his help with the kids and breakfast. I better gather the trash quickly and get dressed. There’s some yoga pants I just unpacked from the suitcase, I will just throw those on. A mom bun is going to have to do today. Thank goodness for my Creaseless Hair Ties.

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Okay, time for some breakfast after I take the trash to the dumpster.

“You even fed the baby? I love you! Thanks honey! Thanks for making me breakfast too! I’ve got the kids now so you can go get ready for work. Thanks for all your help.”

Wow our floor is dirty! I better sweep and mop in between bites so that the baby doesn’t eat everything that is on the floor.

Why is it such a fight to get toddlers to eat? “Please eat three more bites before you clear your bowl.”He gets up an walks away.”Please don’t leave the table until you are done eating.”

The baby starts whining. “Sorry baby girl, I am almost done mopping, then you can get down from your highchair and explore.”

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The toddler eats his food. “Good job! You took three more bites! What a good eater!”

The baby whines some more “Oh don’t cry, I am almost done I promise! Here are some yogurt puffs to eat while you are waiting. I love you!”

“Thank you for taking your bowl to the sink! What an obedient boy!” I say with a crazy smile as he tracks oatmeal across the freshly mopped floor from the table to the sink. Sometimes it is more work to have him help out, but I know it is good for him, so I’ll just smile through it so he can’t see my frustration. Sometimes we just have to laugh so we don’t cry.

“Mom, can I watch a show?”

“If you unload the kid dishes from the dishwasher and get dressed for the day, you can watch one show, then we are going to do an activity!”

“Sorry sweet girl, I will get you out of your highchair as soon as I get this oatmeal cleaned up!”

Okay, the floor is finally clean. “Do you want on the floor to explore, or are you too cranky now? Why don’t you come cuddle with my while I search online for an activity for your brother.”

“Mom can I watch a show now?”

“Yes! You did such a good job with the dishes and getting dressed! “His shirt is on backwards, but I don’t care, cause he is so proud of himself for getting dressed on his own.

“Okay baby girl, you are getting tired, let me print this out real quick before we put you down for a nap, I don’t want the printer waking you up.”

“Okay bud, I am going to go upstairs to feed the baby and put her down for a nap. You can watch one more episode and then we will do an activity when I come back down.”

The washer is done running. I better forward the laundry real quick so I don’t disturb her while she is sleeping.

Finally nursing and cuddling. This is the best! I wish I could just rock you all day. “Sorry It has been such a crazy morning, lets cuddle for a while and sing some songs while you fall asleep.”

“Okay bud, the baby is asleep, lets do an activity. Today we are going to learn about the months of the year, and the days of the week etc. Once he had heard enough, I set him up with some crayons. “Okay here is a coloring page for the month of July for you to color While I do the dishes.”

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“Mom I am hungry!”

“Okay, why don’t you finish your drawing while I finish loading the dishes, then we can make some lunch together.” He breaks down crying irrationally. “I don’t want lunch, I want a snack!”

“Sorry honey, It is about time for lunch, so we aren’t going to have a snack. Why don’t you put away your crayons, and then we can make some lunch together.” He calms down and cleans up. We make and eat lunch with out much fuss.

“Mom, what is after lunch? “Things are going pretty smoothly now, maybe we can do another project together before the baby wakes up. He had so much fun counting down for the 4th of July with our Scripture Straw Rocket Activity. I bet he would love to make a paper chain to count down to his birthday next month. I could have him paint some paper for the chain.  “After you clear your plate, maybe we can paint!”

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Click here to read more about this activity.

“Okay, I am done!” He clears his plate and helps me get the paint all set up. We decide to use celery pieces as stamps for the paint. He is having such a good time. I feel like a good mom, we are having some good quality time.

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“Mom, can I use my hands to paint?” “Ummm, are you done with the celery? You wont be able to use the celery very well after you us your hands because the paint might get mixed together.” “I’m done with the celery.” He starts mixing all the colors together with his hands and putting finger prints and hand prints on his papers. He is having such a good time.

“Mom, I want more paint.” “You already have a lot of paint, just use what you have.” Then the crying began. “Mom, it is too hard!” Trying to understand what a tired toddler wants is one of the hardest things. Emotions are exaggerated and it’s hard for them to communicate what they want. I finally figure out. He wants to separate the colors from each other again so he can stamp with the celery again, but it is “too hard”. It’s a hard lesson to learn. “The colors won’t separate once they are mixed. I don’t want to get any more paint out when you already have so much on your plate. You can either use the paint you have, or we can be all done.” After a complete meltdown, he decides to do some more finger painting with the remaining paint. Just as he is about to finish the baby wakes up.

What a tender mercy that she slept through all of that. “Okay, lets wash up real quick so we can go get baby sister.” We wash up and get her out of her bed. “Oh wait, you can’t cuddle her yet, you need to take off your paint shirt so you don’t get her dirty!” Another melt down… five minutes later I have forwarded the laundry and his paint shirt is in the wash with some other clothes. I pick up the baby again and she has blown out! Wow! Now both kids are crying! I feel like crying too! I think it is time for some more cartoons while we all calm down.

After she has been changed and nursed, we get some good cuddles and playing in. I cannot believe how brave she is getting. She is using everything in sight to stand up, and starting to let go! She is having a good time so I let her play independently while I finish our every dollar budget for July and pay some bills.

My husband gets home from work and plays with the kids while I finish up the budget. It is 5:00 already? Time to get dinner going! What should we have for dinner? We have no bread or milk. I really need to go grocery shopping. I will have to go tomorrow. There is no more time today. We have some over ripe bananas, peanut butter and eggs. Lets make some Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes and turkey bacon.”Where is my big helper? Lets make pancakes!”

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Thats right, there was only one fried egg. We all shared it. I really needed to go to the grocery store!

Dad finishes loading the dishes that I never got back to, and my son and I make dinner. Sweet baby girl just bounces away in her jumper watching us work. On crazy days like today, it sure is nice to all come together for dinner.

After dinner we all work together to make my son’s birthday countdown chain. It really is nice to spend time together as a family every night before the kids go to bed.

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Then it’s up the stairs for family prayer. Time for bed! What a day! I have a billion baskets of laundry waiting to be folded, but I think I will just work on the blog to help me unwind.

A day in the life of a stay at home mom. The most monotonous, peaceful, chaotic, loving, frustrating, fun, boring, yet exciting day all in one. All this and we didn’t even leave the house! At least I get to do my work with the people I love most. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

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You have 2 overripe bananas left over just sitting there on your counter. They are too ripe to eat, and you don’t have enough to make banana bread. You don’t want to toss them in the trash. What do you do? You make Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes! These are even great as a last minute dinner.

At first I was skeptical of these no flour pancakes, but when I tried them, I was pleasantly surprised. These three ingredient pancakes are delicious even without any flour or sugar. You can’t even tell they are gluten free! You have to eat it to believe it. Give it a try.

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Serve with some Turkey bacon and fried eggs!

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: About 14 mini 2 inch pancakes.

Serving Size: 4-6 mini 2 inch pancakes

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 over ripe bananas mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Heat Skillet between 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Grease skillet with coconut oil or butter.
  4. Use a mini cookie scoop to drop batter on the skillet.
  5. Flip when golden brown on one side.
  6. Cook both sides till golden brown.
  7. Serve with fresh bananas on top or with homemade maple syrup.
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Visiting Teaching Handout July 2016

  • Scroll down for the July visiting teaching handouts.
  • If you are looking for a handout for the September visiting teaching message you can check it out here.

image

Here is a link to the Visiting Teaching Message for July 2016: Our Potential for Parenthood. I had way too much fun with it, so I came up with a couple of different handouts. I think it is important to Pray and Ponder over your sisters, and what they might need to hear from you this month. It might be good to focus on different parts of the lesson for each sister you visit.

I first read this message about a week ago, and I have been pondering and praying over it ever since. This particular message has pulled at my heartstrings. It quotes Elder Neil L. Anderson’s talk Children from the October 2011 General Conference. A few months after my Husband and I celebrated our 1st Anniversary, I remember listening to this talk live. It played a big role in our decision to have our first child. I love this talk. I highly recommend you read it. There are a lot of great stories and quotes in it.  In his talk he said:

Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in a family. My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”7

Isnt that a great quote? I just love it! Hence, this handout was born. Plus, aren’t Lemons just perfectly Summery?

Visiting Teaching Handout.

The above quote that Elder Neil L. Anderson referred to in this talk is found in an article titled Motherhood is a Calling by Rachel Jankovic from the Blog DesiringGod.org. This is also a fantastic read.

Click Here for your Free Printable Download of this ‘Squeeze” Handout.

Ideas to Supplement this Handout:

oil vile
1. Add a doTERRA Lemon Essential Oil Sample to this Handout.
  • Not sure what Lemon Essential Oil is good for? Click here to find out.
  • Want to obtain some for your sisters? Go here to purchase from my friend and neighbor.
Visiting Teaching Handout Ideas
This is how my final product turned out.
This is a great paper cutter for making crafts.
I bought this EK Tools 1/2 inch Circle Punch to get the perfect sized hole for the sample lemon oil, and to make sure my Handouts were cut perfectly straight I used my new Paper Trimmer. It is always exciting to get a package in the mail, and I was so happy I had the right tools to make this project look so nice!
Visiting Teaching Hand out Ideas-lemon squeezer
2. Another Idea is to add a Lemon Squeezer like this one.
Yummy lemonade for my visiting teaching lesson.
3. Or you could add some Lemonade. Yum!

 

Being Sensitive:

Not all sisters have “Picture Perfect” families as mentioned in  Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk Whoso Receiveth Them, Receiveth Me April 2016 General Conference.

God loves children. He loves all children. The Savior said, “Suffer [the] little children … to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”1

Children today find themselves in many different and complex family configurations.

For example, today, twice as many children in the United States are living with only one parent than were 50 years ago.2 And there are many families that are less unified in their love of God and willingness to keep His commandments.

In this increasing spiritual commotion, the restored gospel will continue to carry the standard, the ideal, the pattern of the Lord.

In the Visiting Teaching Message it says:

Though not all of us become parents in this life, we can nurture children of every age. We enjoy the blessings of being part of Heavenly Father’s family, and we experience the joys and challenges of being part of an earthly family. And for many, parenthood awaits them in the eternities ahead.

Some sisters haven’t been blessed with children yet. Some have lost children. Some have children far away at college, or on missions, and some may be estranged from their children. I believe that knowing and loving your sisters can help you magnify your calling as a visiting teacher. One of the best ways I have found to do this is to pray for them. You can ask Heavenly Father to help you see them like He does. Perhaps you will be prompted to refocus your lesson on the fact that we are Heavenly Father’s Children and He loves us very much.

I taught Sunbeams last Sunday and the lesson was I belong to a family.  It says:

Heavenly Father and Jesus love every family

Show picture 1-7, A Loving Family. Explain that some families have a mother and a father, and some families have only one parent. Some families have a grandparent or other person helping to take care of the children. Some families have many children, while other families have one child or no children. Help the children understand that every family is different and Heavenly Father and Jesus love every family.

I love that even the lesson for the 3-4 year old sunbeams emphasizes the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for every family no matter their circumstance. Isn’t it cool that the lessons in all 3 meetings seem to have related themes? Last week in Sacrament meeting one of the talks was based on Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk from the April 2016 General Conference that I mentioned earlier in this post. I thought they correlated perfectly. I think there is some divine guidance there. In the July Visiting Teaching Message it says:

“It was essential that God’s spirit children have mortal birth and an opportunity to progress toward eternal life,” taught Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “In light of the ultimate purpose of the great plan of happiness, I believe that the ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and our posterity.”1

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For your Free Printable Treasures Quote Handout click here.

We are Heavenly Father’s Children. We are His treasures!

Make some Hidden Treasure Cookies for your sisters and give them this recipe card.2016-06-26 08.42.18

For your Free Printable Download of the Hidden Treasure Cookies Recipe Card click Here.

Chocolate Caramel Hidden Teasure Cookies. Yum!
Don’t these Hidden Treasure Cookies make your mouth water?
Visiting Teaching treat!
Don’t have time to make cookies? Attach your Treasure quote to some chocolate gold coins.

I hope you find some ideas here that you can use. You can customize your handouts to meet your sisters needs. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father answers prayers. I know He can help you to see them like He does, like Children of God. We are children of the King of Kings. Now that really is a treasure.

Hidden Treasure Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24+ 2 inch cookies

Hidden Treasure Cookies

Delicious Chocolate Cookies with a Surprise Caramel Center.

Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Rolos

Instructions

  1. Combine cake mix, oil and eggs.
  2. Form cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls.
  3. Hide unwrapped Rolos inside of each dough ball.
  4. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
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To check out the handouts for the August Visiting Teaching Message click hereVisiting teaching handouts August 2016

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