“Motherhood is not a hobby.”

“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

Having young children is not easy. Many days are just difficult. A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, “Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?”

“They’re all mine,” she replied. “And it’s no picnic!”8

As the world increasingly asks, “Are these all yours?” we thank you for creating within the Church a sanctuary for families, where we honor and help mothers with children.”

Elder Neil L. Anderson, “Children”. October 2011 General Conference.

*Note: If you love the above quote (in bold), you can get a beautiful decorative printable of those words here.

P is for Pilgrim (and books to read in November)

I was excited to plan and host the Sweet Bee’s weekly preschool group. Last week the theme was turkeys and thankfulness, so today I focused more on the pilgrim side of things. Most of our activities came from this fun tot pack graciously provided by Our Little Monkeys.

I printed and laminated these cards to make a matching game.

Each child put together a puzzle.

The Thanksgiving Tot Pack is full of fun worksheets that take only a minute to do. To save paper, I printed one of each worksheet, and then stuck the worksheet inside a sheet protector. The children then use a dry erase marker to complete the worksheet. Erase the marker with a tissue paper, and then the worksheet can be used over and over again!

We made feather headresses.Look closely at the snack–we had cornucopia’s and apples! The cornucopia’s are Bugle chips, but they do the trick.

A little coloring page to take home.

And because I’ll want to remember this next year, here are some of the books we are reading this month.

The Story of Thanksgiving by Nancy J. Skarmeas

In November by Cynthia Rylant

Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown

If you sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern

The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene

This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed

Thanksgiving on Thursday and Pilgrims: A nonfiction guide by Mary Pope Osborne


Preserve the sanctity of the home

“As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for more men and women like you who will stand for principles against growing pressures to compromise. Men and women are needed who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right—not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to live honorably. We need statesmen who act with integrity, businessmen who are honest and morally clean, attorneys who defend justice and the legal system, and government officials who preserve principle because it is right. Above all, we need mothers and fathers who will preserve the sanctity and safety of the home and the integrity of the family in which faith in God and obedience to His commandments are taught as the foundation of a productive life.

Richard G. Scott, “Be a Shining Light”. BYU Magazine, Fall 2011.

Thanksgiving: Turkeys and other thoughts

Allow me to introduce….Tom the Turkey (nicknamed by the Ant Bug).

Isn’t he cute? I found the no sew tutorial for this adorable bird at Gwenny Penny. Her directions are very clear, and she provides a template for body parts (that red snood can be kinda tricky, you know). The body of her bird is made out of burlap, but I used felt for mine since I have a plethora of felt leftover from last years Christmas projects.

So…hurray for a Thanksgiving decoration! I am  a little lacking in the “Thanksgiving decor” department right now, but I’m sure my girls will have me well supplied in turkey art before the end of the month.

I’ve got a few other Thanksgiving projects on the brain right now. I definitely want to make time for a few handprint turkeys (like this one or this one or this one). I do have to give  a shout out to the Ant Bug who made her first handprint turkey of the season on  November 2nd.

I get to host a Thanksgiving themed preschool next week, so I’ll probably nab some activities from this preschool packet at 1plus1plus1equals1.

Last year we had great fun playing Don’t Eat Tom, a variation of Don’t Eat Pete provided by Prepared Not Scared.The girls were pretty excited to see the game board again this year, and we’ve already played a round.

I haven’t planned the rest of the menu yet, but at least I know what dessert will be on Thanksgiving: Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake, courtesy of Our Best Bites, of course! A cheesecake and pumpkin combo that is making my mouth water…maybe I should make a test version this weekend…

Are you on Pinterest yet? I’ve been finding lots of fun things there. You can take a look at anything that has intrigued me (Thanksgiving themed or otherwise!) by clicking here or on the link on the right and taking a look at my boards.

What plans do you have for Thanksgiving?


Sharpen your skills and talents

“Bear in mind, dear sisters, that the eternal blessings which are yours through membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are far, far greater than any other blessings you could possibly receive. No greater recognition can come to you in this world than to be known as a woman of God. No greater status can be conferred upon you than being a daughter of God who experiences true sisterhood, wifehood, and motherhood, or other tasks which influence lives for good.

“We wish you to pursue and to achieve that education, therefore, which will fit you for eternity as well as for full service in mortality. In addition to those basic and vital skills which go with homemaking, there are other skills which can be appropriately cultivated and which will increase your effectiveness in the home, in the Church, and in the community.

“Again, you must be wise in the choices that you make, but we do not desire the women of the Church to be uninformed or ineffective. You will be better mothers and wives, both in this life and in eternity, if you sharpen the skills you have been given and use the talents with which God has blessed you.”

 President Kimball, Nov 1979. “The role of righteous women”.

Busy Bag Swap

I just got home from a successful Busy Bag swap. Busy bags are simple activities for toddlers and preschoolers that can be stored in a zip bag for them to take out and stay ‘busy’. The content of each Busy Bag varies, but if you do a quick Google search you can find plenty of ideas. About two months ago a friend sent out an invitation to participate in a swap, and I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. So did 27 other people!

I signed up for the number wheel (see project details here), so I’ve spent my spare moments in the last two weeks coloring, cutting, laminating, and numbering.

Here is my finished product.And here are 27 bags of number wheels and clothespins to share with my friends. Whew!If you would like to make your own number wheel, you can download my template here: number wheel for busy bag.

The hosts of the swap invited everyone for a fun girls night, with food and door prizes and of course, swapping. It was really exciting to see all of the fun activities. My children will be thrilled (and busy)!

Here are just a few of the activities I brought home.Button Snake

Magnetic pom pom tray

Button matching

Pom Pom Stuff it in

Color wheel

Tracing Sheets

If you would like to create your own busy bags, you can find lots of ideas online with a simple Google search. Our group used a lot of ideas from Money Saving Mom.

I can’t wait to try these out with the kids tomorrow!