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Roots and Wings: Family History Book for Kids

THE STORY BEHIND MY LATEST FAMILY HISTORY PROJECT FOR KIDS

I was a teenager when I had a dream about a little blond girl who was holding my hand as we went on crazy adventures. The dream was so real that I woke up, grabbed an empty notebook, and scribbled it down before I could forget anything. From that point on I always kept my eye out for the little blond girl that I knew I was meant to find. While serving my church mission or teaching a classroom of second graders I kept my eye out for her. And while I was able to help some amazing kids, I never had that connection that I experienced in my dream. A blessing poured in my life when my husband and I adopted the most beautiful little baby girl. I knew pretty early on that she was the little girl I dreamt about. When she got old enough to hold my hand, the memory of the dream would come rushing at me and the feeling of connection was so strong that it shook me to the core.

When my daughter was about 4 she started asking my husband and I to tell her stories of when we were kids. She loved to hear about our ups and downs of childhood. In a way I think that helped her to relate to us. That is when the seed for this project started. I wanted to write a collection of our stories. Stories of how I dealt with embarassing moments or times I was terrified. Stories that would make her laugh. But also stories that would connect us as a family. Stories of how we were destined to be together and the miracle of her adoption. Our stories. Over the years as I became a little more forgetful I would feel that desire to write the stories down, but life was always busy.

Our family experienced some pretty big changes about the time my daughter became a tween and my whole heart desired to give my daughter the one thing that I knew would help her through these adjustments- roots. Because that’s what you need when the ground is shaking. She needed to know not only who she was, but who our family was and what we believed in. She needed to have our stories. She was starting to wonder more about her own biological ancestors. If thoughts and feelings could scream, I was getting yelled at constantly. She needed this gift. She needed her roots.

And she needed another gift that I was beginning to recognize. She needed me to start trusting her with more responsibilities. She needed me to slowly and carefully prepare her to conquer the world from a loving and supportive sideline position. She needed to work on her wings to fly- one feather at a time.

She needed her roots. And she needed her wings. And in true teacher mom fashion, she needed me to put them in a book that she could read over and over and reference back to when life got hard. So I got to work creating a template that we could fill out as a family. A book where we could write our stories. A book where we could write our family’s beliefs and mission statement. A book that we could document our deep family roots with stories and information of our ancestors. A book that would provide my daughter with the confidence and knowledge that she can fly.

A book of roots and wings.

And I thought, if my daughter needed this maybe some other family could benefit from it as well.

This is a book about YOUR FAMILY, so I wanted to give you options when it came time to making your book. There is a hefty appendix section with a TON of additional pages and some cover options. And I am open to suggestions if you have additional page ideas!

This book would be a great family night project. I’d just work on one page at a time, doing your best and putting a lot of thought and love into it. The more love you pour into it, the more meaningful it will be to your family. Encourage your kids to get involved in creating a family mission statement or drawing a family flag. There are pages for them to write/draw their own stories.

If you have multiple kids, I would have them each create their own book. This may be more work to begin with, but each child will benefit from having their own. There are pages for the parents (or check the appendix for other significant loved ones) to write love letters of encouragment to each kid. Kids can also write their own personal bucket list or quotes that inspire them. It’s meant to a personal, individual project. I also think it would be a great idea to have siblings contribute stories and love notes to each other in their books!

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Montessori Giveaway Winners

Congrats go to:
Stacy
La Dolce Vita: the Sweet Life
for having the winning numbers for our giveaway (comment # 5 and 25- generated from random.org)
I will be emailing you later today with information on claiming your prize!
And for all those that entered- if you are interested in purchasing this amazing book, here is a $2 off deal just for you!

Buy Now

You have until April 1- so don’t wait!
I am off to bed- just love the spring allergies/sinus headaches 🙂
Happy Teaching!

A New House and Life Without Internet (Is there such a thing?)

Our little family has just moved, and for the past three weeks we have been internet-less. How have we survived? It is a little painful, but in all honestly a good thing for our family. We are the techno-geeks that spend more time than we would like to admit on the computer. I have spent less time (well, actually NO time) on Netflix and more time unpacking boxes. No time has been spent searching on line for lesson plans, but much time has been spent playing with my daughter. Our house has been eerily quiet without the hum of technology….
I am grateful for our time away from the internet, but I am more grateful to be getting it back! 🙂
Stay tuned for more pics of our new home and my new craft/school room! It is going to be so much fun to have more room to spread out all my teacher stuff! 🙂

Here’s hoping for a more balanced life!
Happy Teaching!

Yummy Sugar Cookie Recipe

I absolutely LOVE soft, sugary sugar cookies that seem to melt the moment they enter your mouth. I found this delicious recipe online and thought I would share it with you!

Ingredients

    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 cups shortening
    • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 large eggs, beaten
    • 4 1/3 cups cake flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • sugar, for decorating

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
  3. Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes. You want the sugar and shortening cream nice and soft.
  5. Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.
  7. Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and roll in sugar. A very important step!
  8. Place directly on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of hand.
  9. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

Fun Family Field Trips in Utah

Live in Utah? Wondering what to do with your family this summer? This post is for you! I just jotted down some of the fun things we love to do during the summer!

  • Family Movies- discounted movies are playing at local theaters such as Cinemark.
  • Art Festivals- we just attended the Ogden Art Festival and had a blast! There were lots of cute (and FREE) kids crafts, local music, and of course all the fun and inspiring booths!
  • Ogden’s Dinosaur Park- we have been to a few dinosaur parks and this is by far our favorite! We love running around to each of the dinosaur statues and spouting off their names and what they liked to eat. (my little girl LOVES dinosaurs!!)
  • Union Station Museum- This is an interesting museum where you can learn a lot about the history of the railroad. They have a little play area for kids and a miniature train. We especially love looking at the old locomotives and railway cars in the train yard. This is a great place to get some darling pics of your kiddos so don’t forget your camera!
  • Golden Spike Arena- There are some free events at the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden this summer- from barrel racing to youth rodeos. Despite my husband’s allergies, we plan on making a short trip out to watch the horses in action!
  • Treehouse Children’s Museum- A fun museum housing a wide variety of learning areas. We like to go when it’s cooler outside. There are a few free days this Summer, so be on the look out for those!
  • Nature Center- It’s a little piece of the great outdoors in the middle of Ogden. Beautiful walking trails and some rescued birds. A great place to spend time outdoors this summer! They have some great day camps for kiddos as well.
  • Red Butte Garden- We took a little field trip here recently and loved it… there are beautiful gardens, hiking trails, and a fun splash area for the kids. Come prepared to walk and another great location for pics!
  • Library- Lots of books/DVDs/games/CDs… and best part, it’s free!
  • Thanksgiving Point- There is a wide variety of activities here! We hope to one day go down and visit the farm this summer.
  • This is the Place State Park- We always have a good time when we go here- and we have been lucky enough to go on free days. They have a petting zoo, train, pony rides, and lots of old buildings. A fun way to learn more about our pioneer heritage.
  • RAMP- If you live in or near Weber County, check out this link for a lot of fun and free activities on Saturdays this summer.
  • hiking trails- Drive towards the mountains and you are bound to go by a few trailheads. Best hiking tips: go early- the earlier the better and bring plenty of water.
  • Hill Air Force Base Museum- This is a free museum full of airplanes. I will admit that after looking at the fifth airplane I had pretty much zoned out, but my husband and daughter really like it! And they do have a little play area for the kids…
  • Splash Parks- Let’s see… fun, a great way to cool off, and did I mention FREE?!
  • Tracey Aviary- You have to go at least once! They just opened a new owl exhibit that we are excited to see. The aviary is located next to a fun park/playground with a splash fountain… so if it’s hot, bring those swimming suits!
  • Hogle Zoo- Most people we have talked to have told us to avoid the zoo this year because of the construction and remodeling. But we say- THIS is the time to go! They have dinosaurs!! I am not sure how long this exhibit will last, but we are super excited to go to the zoo this year!

Mothers and Infertility in the Scriptures

Hello blogging world! I hope all you moms had a wonderful mother’s day. My daughter, husband, and I talked in sacrament meeting. 3 years ago we adopted our girl and were sealed to her in the Salt Lake Temple. It was so heartwarming to hear my three year old talk and sing “Families Can Be Together Forever.” I am very grateful to have the knowledge that we can be a forever family!
I want to share some excerpts from my talk… Maybe it will help someone out there who is struggling with infertility.

“My husband and I were married almost 12 years ago in the Salt Lake Temple. Through years of countless tests, endless amounts of praying and fasting, about 6 years ago we received the devastating news that we would most likely never have biological children. Several years of hoping and believing if we just had enough faith crashed down on my weary heart.

Like many mothers in the scriptures we were given the trial of infertility. In the first chapter of Luke we read about Zacharias and Elisabeth and how they had no child, because Elisabeth was barren and they were both well stricken in years. An angel appeared to Zacharias and told him that his prayer was heard and he would have a son, and his name would be John. An angel later appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus, and told her about her cousin Elisabeth’s pregnancy despite her age and boldly declared “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” That scripture has come to mean a lot to me. John, as we know, was the one who baptized Jesus Christ.

We can also look at Sarah, the wife of Abraham. In Genesis chapter 18 we read that Abraham was visited by 3 holy men who told him that Sarah would have a son. In verses 11-14 we read :

“Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age….

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself….

And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.


Abraham and Sarah did have a son, which they named Isaac. This very Isaac’s wife Rebekah struggled with infertility. In Genesis 25 verse 21 we read

“And Isaac intreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and the Lord was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.”


Rebekah later had twins- Esau and Jacob. Jacob’s wife Rachel was also barren and watched as Leah had many children. In chapter 30 of Genesis we read in verse 1:

And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

and in verse 22:

And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. And she conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Joseph


Hannah, who, before she had Samuel, had a grieving heart, and she wept and prayed and poured out her soul before the Lord for the opportunity to be a mother.

These mighty men- John the Baptist, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Samuel had mothers who waited and prayed and struggled with the trial of barrenness.

Jeffrey R. Holland has beautifully said “ Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.”

In the words of Maureen Hawkins:
Before you were conceived, I wanted you
Before you were born, I loved you
And before you were here an hour
I would have sacrificed everything for you.

If you were to ask me today about my definition of the word motherhood, I would be able to sum it up in just one word….joy.

(2 nephi 2:22, 23, 25)

And now behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen,

but he would have remained in the garden of Eden.

And they would have no children, wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy

Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy.


It is my prayer that we can celebrate the joy in our lives.”

Take a few minutes to hug those little miracles. Motherhood is truly a sacred blessing and privilege!
Happy TEACHing!

Happy Birthday Little Neigh Neigh!

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of my daughter’s favorite stuffed animal. It was the perfect activity for a rainy day! We made a cake and played horse games. It was a great celebration for our horse unit- we were able to incorporate learning with fun! I will be posting the games we played in a blog post all about horses!

Happy Teaching!

Mr. Sprinkles

We received our new humidifier from CSN stores right in time for a virus attack on our little family. I am really impressed with how quiet it is and how easy it is to use! We have gone through 2 humidifiers that are big, loud, and clunky so it is defiantly an upgrade. I would recommend this to anyone! And yes, we named our penguin humidifier Mr. Sprinkles. He is already a family friend!

Blog Review

The time has come for me to do another review for CSN stores. It works out perfectly because we need a new humidifier and I have been dying to try out those cute animal ones! While i haven’t read the greatest reviews on this product, it will be tons better than what we have now! For those who don’t know, CSN stores carry everything from wooden swing sets to the kitchen sink!

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