Archive for the ‘LDS Lingo’ Category

Family Home Evening: Ideas

September 15, 2009

Church Chat: Defined
What is Family Home Evening?

{Please check out the fabulously funny 9thwardcartoons!}

Once a week, we set aside a specific night (usually Mondays) for Family Time.
When you stop laughing… {who has time for one more thing, eh}?

Well think about it. One night a week everyone agrees NOT to plan ANYthing else. One night a week you all agree to be together. Isn’t your family worth it?

The goal? Creating a spiritual evening, a warm and fuzzy time your kids will remember spent together. With singing and laughter and even some seriousness…
The reality? Sometimes kicking sometimes screaming, with fighting thrown in on the side… and the ‘message’ cut short by someone’s time-out.

Ah well, that’s life huh?

We don’t always stay at home for a stuffy living room lesson style FHE.
A couple weeks ago we headed to our local park with a beautiful lake.

The goal:
Watch the Sunset.
Enjoy God’s Splendor.
That Simple.

The Outcome:
Kids in PJs, playing hideNseek, mom gets a beautiful photo op, and we all agree…
What a wonderful world.

Oh wait!
I can’t forget the most important part (according to my 5yrold). The treat. Every successful family home evening must serve some sort of treat/dessert/snack. Ice cream is popular. Rice Crispy Treats and brownies are also big favorites at our house. What sort of treat do you serve on a family night?

Other FHE ideas:

Keep it Hygene:
What is the Flu, How do you get it, and handwashing strategies.
(my 11yrold showed everyone how she washes her hands without touching the facet… tricky…) Plus we all chose our ‘handwashingsong’: ABCs, Twinkle and oldMacDonald were the hits.

Fire Safety and A Fire Drill:
Make an exit plan, talk about stop drop and roll, make sure you have a meeting place in the case of an emergency.

Family Budget Planning:
A Better Way To Budget
Is there a vacation goal? Will your family be needing to purchase a vehicle soon? What larger items are the kids working towards? Help them set up a budget, think about how to work on their goal, and brainstorm ideas and ways to earn money for it. My kids know that we rarely buy anything big ticket on a whim. We think about it, and make a point to save up for it, then purchase it with real money, never on credit. What an important lesson to teach your children.

Child Labor :)
I’d like this to be more of a once a month thing, than a once in a blue moon kind of thing. What if you spent a whole family night making a list of 12 different things you could do for other families spread out over the whole year? Then create a plan to carry out each project. Maybe snow shoveling in December for your elderly neighbors. Gathering children’s clothing for your local Foster Care Foundation in March. And in July plan a summer day camp for the kids in the ‘hood… giving the moms in the area notice in advance that they can have a day to themselves! This month Office Max has created a campaign called A Day Made Better to gather office supplies for teachers, your family could join in, wrap up the supplies and deliver them yourself! Ask your kids.. they’ll have the best ideas!

I’d love to hear your ideas for Family Night!

photo credits:
bdjsb7, Jeff Keen, tomadamson, _darkguru_

Church Chat: A Definition

May 24, 2009

Mormon Culture Translated
It’s simple and it’s elegant.
(I mentioned VT in a past church chat.)

Here’s how it works: 2 women are assigned as a team to visit another woman within the congregation, meeting with her once a month preferably IN her home. But a phone call works in a pinch (for those months where it cycles thru faster than you can say *’oh my heck‘ -as is often the case for me!)Yes, there’s a spiritual side; a worldwide monthly message is provided for a discussion starter. But equally important is the social side of these visits and the welfare of that ‘sister’. Is she well? Does she seem to need any help? Is there something the visiting teachers can do for this woman? -Help out with childcare, -notice that she’s in the middle of repainting her living room and offer to come over for a painting night, -find out that a grandparent is ill and they may need some help in the near future should they have to leave for a funeral…

An example:

*I got special permission to use this image from the comedic geniuses over at 9th Ward, wow THANKS so much!

~My VT sisters came to my house last week. They mainly just chatted and our kids played together for half an hour. Looks like playgroup? Maybe. But at the end they asked if I needed anything, and of course I answered that I didn’t. But they also knew my husband was going to be out of town all the next week. (From that earlier chatting part.) And one asked if she could help out while he was away?

Which reminded me -oh yeah– the next Tuesday night, I was going to need some help with my little boy, while I attended the oldest’s band concert. He’d be no fun to take along with out the hubby to help? “Sure!” She said, bring him over.

Simple, huh?

Even better. When we get to KNOW each other more than scheduling playdates, we know when things are coming up in each other’s lives. Through Relief Society and the VT program – if you are having a baby? We KNOW how to mobilize! Expect anywhere from 3-8 meals delivered to your family, after the stork delivers your baby.

Same goes for sickness and even tragedy.

First Wave—your two VT sisters likely will show up or call. “What can we do?”

Second Wave—They’ll report back to the Relief Society Presidency—”Carissa is sick and on bedrest for the next two weeks.” She’s going to need help getting her kids home from school. Who lives nearby and can help with that? Oh and since we’re good at it, let’s start taking meals over a couple times a week—we’ll start by taking the first week, help line up the second week?”

Third Wave—From there the network is managed from the leadership end.

The beauty here {and if you’ve ever had the chance to serve then you already understand} is that YOU are the one who feels served, blessed even.

A friend in New Jersey was surprised once at my willingness to help when her kids were sick. She wanted to know how to pay me back? I smiled and said, simply help out your neighbor the next time you see a need, don’t wait to be asked. Oh? She wondered—’Like, pay it forward?’

YUP. Exactly. Except lately I think we’ve been calling it Mom it Forward!

*{NOTE: I was outed as a Mormon the other day on Twitter when I used the phrase: ‘oh my heck’.. who knew that was such a clear calling card?}

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Church Chat: Enrichment?

March 10, 2009

What is Enrichment?? {…and Have some cake…!}

One of those weird LDS lingo phrases: it’s short for “Home, Family & Personal Enrichment.” And it’s the program the Women’s Group (Relief Society) of the Mormon Church runs. Four large ‘meetings’ each year including dinner and/or speakers and/or service projects etc…

Usually in early spring one of these ‘enrichment meetings’ is held in honor of the group’s origin back in 183–something? In Navoo, Illinois. (Someone help me with the date here?) We call this special meeting the Relief Society(RS) birthday dinner.

Why am I telling you this?

Because a few months ago I lied. I know— so much for living a sin free life, eh? (that would be an awesome title of a book no?) Back then I said I was asked to be the RS secretary. Well. 2 weeks after I wrote that post… they changed their minds. I know— (is that allowed?)

Anyway. They instead asked me to be the first counselor in the whole new Presidency. So the past few months we’ve been floundering and trying to figure out our roles.

I was asked to be in charge of the Enrichment Program…. so now you see why the definition.

Fast Forward to the past week. (I promise, here’s where the cake comes in…)

I went with a ‘birthday’ theme for the night. A few helium balloons for decorations and for the table decorations? YES— CAKES.

Not just any cakes. OVER the top. Ridonculous. Amazing. Ain’t no way these are low cal. WOW. Cakes. And you know what? Each one started with … a CAKE MIX!

{Can you wait a bit while I finish my story for the cakes?}

I asked 5 of the sisters (don’t laugh, we really do call each other that. If you walked up behind me and said, “Sister Rogers”, I would totally turn around.) I asked them to bring photos of themselves when they were kids. And then had them answer a couple questions:

  • What was your most memorable birthday?
  • What was your favorite birthday tradition?
  • What would you do for a dream birthday?

This part turned out really sweet. Each lady didn’t want to do it, claimed ‘no one would want to know ‘their story’. I kept telling them—what? I would love to hear it! One sister grew up in war torn England! She said they really didn’t celebrate birthdays. She said that they would maybe get some clothes and that was all “which was nice because we NEEDED them!” And I learned that another sister grew up in New Jersey! Very near where my middle child was born? Who knew?

My plan for the night was simple and social. I’ll save the more spiritual meetings for alter in the year. For the one I really wanted everyone to just come away knowing each other’s names! I made them move around between courses. And then gave out 4 small prizes to volunteers willing to attempt to name every single person in the room!

Why? Because I have a theory.
Duh Duh Duh—DUH!
*Carissa’s Theory*

If the whole mission of Relief Society is to serve each other as sisters in the congregation—how can we do that, when we don’t ‘know’ each other? It will be so much easier to carry out visiting Teaching {what’s VT?–I’ll save that for next week!} when you have a relationship with your sisters, and now friends.


NOW. The Cakes.

There were six. And I’m sharing them in the order they were fastest devoured.

Coconut Cream (I was totally amazed at this cake, WOW!)

Ridiculous over the top Chocolate (If you love chocolate.. then you have no idea just how good this will be..)

Cherry Almond

Chocolate Turtle

Fudge Torte (my favorite-in fact I made this one!)

German Chocolate Upside Down Cake (can you say cream cheese in the middle?!)

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