Monday, November 25, 2013

The power of a smile ...

This is an old family photo from 2003. We recently moved into a new home and this move facilitated a major de-junking party as the space in our garage could not handle all the stuff we had accumulated over the years.

As we were making our way through the boxes, I happened upon a stash of old photos. This put a stop to the sorting and throwing away as I had to immediately sit down and enjoy the memories contained with each photo!

The above family shot was taken by my sister, Jennie, on a very sunny Saturday afternoon at the park. It was freezing outside and I remember just hoping we could get one shot of all of us smiling.

We did.

To this day, this photo remains one of my all-time favorites. We are now in the middle of the teenage years and on especially challenging days, this photo reminds me that we can smile and when we do, it makes all the difference!

This holiday season, turn your smile on - let it shine BIG and BRIGHT. The outcome will amaze you...

Family Home Evening idea:
Gather family or individual photos of each member sharing a smile. Hand them out and talk about the memories each photo contains. Enjoy the spirit that comes from remembering happy family times! Share what you appreciate about each member of the family and why their smile makes a difference. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gratitude Box

"Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also 
unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love." ~ Thomas S. Monson

Each Monday night, we have family home evening. As part of the night, we usually sing a song or two, have a lesson, play a game together and wrap it all up with dessert. Often, we find ourselves at Dairy Queen for Blizzards! That's a topic for another day...

Today, I'll focus on the lesson given by our 11 year old daughter this past Monday night. On her own, she prepared a very inspirational message about gratitude and how it matters. She encouraged us to be grateful and express our gratitude often.

She also created a gratitude box (pictured above). She cut little slips of paper and encouraged us to fill the box by Thanksgiving with little notes saying what we are thankful for! 

It's a big box. And we only have 8 days to fill it ... Can we do it? 
We will TRY!

Thanks Lauren for the inspiration. I love you and am so thankful to have you in my life!- Mom

What are you thankful for?