Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday's Matter FHE: Spirit of '76

At our home, and millions of others around the globe, Monday nights are reserved for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE) where we laugh and share and learn together.

This Saturday marks 239 years since congress approved the final language of the Declaration of Independence (click on the link for more information about the Declaration of Independence, it's signers and history surrounding it from And our traditional 4th of July celebrations around the country.

I am reading 1776 right now and am completely enthralled by the history surrounding the Revolutionary War and the signing of this great document.

Tonight I feel so patriotic thinking of that amazing day and those amazing men, who by signing their names to the Declaration of Independence as they birthed this great nation also committed treason and if their efforts failed and they were captured would be put to death.

They believed in FREEDOM so much they were willing to risk everything, their homes, their families and their lives...

"For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the
protection of the Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each
other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

You can read about all they sacrificed at the National Heritage Center For Constitutional Studies Page HERE.

Hear Ye!  Hear Ye!  I welcome thou all out to Family Home Evening!

{Opening Song} My Country, 'Tis of Thee

{Opening Prayer} Rock, Paper, Scissors!  Winner gets to say the Prayer!!

{Watch and Discuss}

{Closing Song} America the Beautiful Verse #4 Only

{Closing Prayer} Call on the Oldest person in your group

{Activity}  Patriotic Jingo

Patriotic Jingo!!! It's like Bingo and a trivia game all wrapped into one.  It looks super fun!!

Find instructions and printable cards and questions HERE.

{FHE Doesn't Have to Be Perfect, It Just Has to BE!}

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday's Matter FHE: Families Are Super!

At our home and millions of others around the globe Monday nights are reserved for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE) where we get to know each other better.  A special time set aside just for family.


That has what has been weighing on my heart lately.

Particularly the joy that comes from visiting with and getting to know extended family better. Love is truly spelled T. I. M. E.

We have made a conscious effort during out married life to cherish and strengthen our relationships with our extended family.  From Sunday visits to my husband's father, to 16 hour car trips to his brother's house for Thanksgiving, and 2 days of driving to visit a sister for just one day before having to turn around and drive home for work.  We have tried to go out and meet relatives whenever they have been within driving distance.  We have planned and scheduled vacation time so that it included family time and trips together to visit both sides.  We have driven across multiple states for cousins weddings and for grandparents funerals.  We even visit and place flowers on his parents graves.  We have not been able to see everyone but we hope to be able to visit with you all soon.  Each moment spent with you is precious to us!  Still, these relationships always need more of our time and as important as they are we try and sacrifice our time to hold them close and knit our hearts with theirs.

And you know what?  It has been and will be worth every bit of sacrifice for they are what matters most!

The purpose of tonight's lesson is to help us develop a greater appreciation and love for our extended family members and to take steps to strengthen those ties that bind us.  Because families are SUPER!

So, tonight, I would like to welcome everyone out to Family Home Evening.  Really.  Welcome!

{Opening Prayer}  

{Lesson Materials}

Pictures of extended family members as many as you can or want to gather.

Paper and Pencil for everyone who can write.


Display several photos of extended family members. Ask who they are and tell each ones name.
1- Are Grandmas and Grandpas important?
2- Are Aunts and Uncles important?
3- What about nieces, nephews and cousins?
Play a memory game. Place all of the pictures out on the floor. Have everyone close their eyes or leave the room. Remove one of the pictures. When they come back or open their eyes, they will need to figure out what family member is missing. (This little gem is from LDS Daily)
Pass out paper and pencils.  Have everyone compile a list of extended family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins).  
Why is the immediate family important?
Read Ephesians 6: 1-4
Why are family relationships important?
Discuss Malachi 4: 6
Do you know all of your aunts and uncles? cousins? grandparents?
How many uncles do you have?
How many aunts?
Which ones are on your father’s side and which ones are  on your mother’s side?
Whom ever has the most family members on their list gets extra treats!!

{Closing Prayer}  


Super Hero Masks for you and your relatives!!  Because Families are SUPER!!  

Mail one out to a relative of your choice with a little note telling them why they are so SuPeR!!

Make sure and get one for yourself and take a cool photo.

{FHE Doesn't Have to Be Perfect, It Just Has to BE!}

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday's Matter FHE: Be Brave Chicken Little

At our house, and millions of others around the globe, Monday evenings are reserved for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE) where we can be silly and funny and reverent and grow together in the gospel.

This past Saturday marked the 71st anniversary of the D-Day Invasion on the beaches of Normandy.  Here at the Aussie and the Owl, we love history and try and take special care to remember important historical events where service, sacrifice and love of country were exemplified.  On Saturday we listened to and discussed THIS SPEECH by then President Ronald Reagan on the 40th anniversary of D-Day.

"Learning the lessons of the past allows you to walk boldly in the light without running the risk of stumbling in the darkness. This is the way it’s supposed to work. This is God’s plan: father and mother, grandfather and grandmother teaching their children; children learning from them and then becoming a more righteous generation through their own personal experiences and opportunities. Learning the lessons of the past allows you to build personal testimony on a solid bedrock of obedience, faith, and the witness of the Spirit."
~M. Russell Ballard, April 2009

Time for FHE!!  Yippy!

I'd like to welcome everyone out to Family Home Evening!!!!

{Opening Song}  America the Beautiful   If you only sing one verse let it be #3

{Opening Prayer}Let's have the biggest, strongest person pray
(If you are unsure - the only way to settle it is with a pre-prayer arm wrestling match)

{LESSON - Read, Watch, Discuss}

Recently my aunt was a guest on a local Wellness TV show where they talked about anxiety and stress stemming from fear.  We know that many times in the scriptures we are admonished in different ways to be courageous or be not afraid. And that got me thinking...

What does that mean?

How do we do that?

First lets start with some definitions:  SHOUT it out!

What is STRESS?

What is ANXIETY?

What is FEAR?


The Old Shoemaker (The Mormon Channel)

Matthew 25: 35-36 
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
This is the way we love perfectly, as the Savior loves, by being His hands and taking care of others.

Perfect Love...

Okay.  I know what you are thinking another FHE lesson about "love"? what good is Perfect Love to me?

What can I do with "Perfect Love"?

Does it make me cookies?  Can it help me work that crazy cable TV remote control? Will it fold the laundry?

Well.  No. But...

Did you know that it can cast out anxiety's ugly cousin, Fear??  You know, like, banish it!

Henceforth, I declare this house fear free!

Don't believe me?

Check out 1 John 4:18

The Virtue of Captain Moroni
{Print OR Watch}
Print this out, divide up the reading and have everyone pick out some of their favorite stories or quotes from THIS DEVOTIONAL about casting out fear with perfect love.
OR, hey, just watch the whole thing and enjoy it!

" first personal experience with the principle taught in the scriptures that “perfect love casteth out fear.” I learned to rely on my Heavenly Father. His unending love for me gave me the strength to overcome my homesickness. President Hinckley once declared, “How great and magnificent is the power of love to overcome fear and doubt, worry and discouragement” (God hath Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear, October 1984)...
Our trials and fears may come in different degrees, but it’s how we stand up to face them that counts instead of allowing fear to drag us down. We also should not judge people based on their trials and fears. What may seem a very trivial trial to one person may feel like a very difficult trial to the one experiencing it. Regardless of the trial’s size or intensity, it’s the power of love that can help us through it. Perfect love casteth out fear."
Recently, after thinking on these things, when I find myself feeling stressed or anxious I ask myself what I am afraid of?  Sometimes it helps to just be able to identify what the fear is and then I can work on how to use love to snuff it out (who knew "Perfect Love" was such a gangsta?)'
So that is my FHE challenge for you this week.  When you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious figure out what you are afraid of.  One step at a time. You can do it!

{Closing Song} How Can I Be   Lyrics HERE

{Closing Prayer} Who is brave enough?

{Activity} TABOO!!!!

If you have never played Taboo before it is a game where you are assigned a word to try and make your team guess but there are a list of words you may NOT use to describe the word because they are taboo.  You just need to print these cards, split into teams, get yourself a timer, have some sort of buzzer (or someone who can make an awesome buzzer noise) and let the good times roll!

You can find directions and the printable gospel based Taboo cards HERE from FHE Lessons at

And, of course, you could always settle in and watch Chicken Little!

{FHE Doesn't Have to be Perfect, It Just has to BE!}

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's for Dinner Wednesday: Crock Pot Confetti Chowder

{Confetti Chowder}

Confetti Chowder. Even the name sounds like a party.  Just so we are clear this is not a "health food" recipe.  However, it is excellent for pot lucks or for busy weeknights when you don't have a lot of prep time but you do have a lot of hungry mouths to feed.  Not that it means anything, but this particular dish has won a ward cook-off and two (that's right 2!)  work potluck cook-offs.  Haha.

One bag of frozen O'Brien Potatoes with onions and peppers
1 Can of Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/4 C butter (or half a stick)
1 Can of corn, drained
1 C cream cheese (room temp or whipped will make it easier to stir)
1 C sour cream
2 C diced ham
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C french fried onions (divided into 1/2 C)

Salt, pepper, garlic salt (season to taste)

Optional Toppings: crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, green onions, french fried onions


Place all ingredients in crock pot, stir until combined. Set crock pot on high for 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are cooked and everything is well combined and heated.  It will be thick and creamy.  If you want it thinner, you can always thin with vegetable or chicken stock.





Be sure to stir in the bits that brown on the side of the crock pot - they are full of flavor.  Season with garlic salt, pepper and salt to taste.  Serve with optional toppings.

{Quotes to Cook By}

“Deb and I were married on a snowy night - wind cross-wove a veil of snow for her then threw confetti at us as we left the lighted church...” 
― John GeddesA Familiar Rain

“He was a blessing to all the juvenile part of the neighborhood, for in summer he was for ever forming parties to eat cold ham and chicken out of doors, and in winter his private balls were numerous enough for any young lady who was not suffering under the insatiable appetite of fifteen.” 
― Jane AustenSense and Sensibility

That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment." 
— Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday's Matter FHE: Elder L. Tom Perry

At our house, and millions of others around the globe, Mondays are reserved for family.  A Family Home Evening (FHE) to bring us closer and to help us learn but also for some good ol' fashioned family FUN!

This last week saw the passing of a man whom I have admired for many years.  Not necessarily because he held a high position in our church but mostly because of the way I got to know him over the last 17 years by his sharing of wisdom and experiences at our General Conference meetings.

Tonight for FHE  I thought it would be nice to watch clips about his life and to remember L. Tom Perry... the man, the Elder, the legend!

I am happy to put some real Matter into our Family Home Evening - things that will make us think and grow and learn!

I would like to welcome everyone out to FHE!

{Opening Prayer} Anyone with the the letters L or T or P in their name or maybe I'll call on YOU

{Opening Song}  Do Re Mi (From the Sound of Music - just the chorus if you please)

Doe, a deer, a female deer
Ray, a drop of golden sun
Me, a name I call myself
Far, a long, long way to run
Sew, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow Sew
Tea, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do (oh-oh-oh)

{Watch/Listen/Learn} Videos about Elder L. Tom Perry and his life:

“As the train started down the tracks, we reached out and just touched their fingers as we left,” he said. “We couldn’t speak; our emotions were too strong. But we were grateful that we could help in some small way.."

Always looking for how he could help in "some small way" Elder Perry led a life of service and faith.

In his own words, Elder L Tom Perry shares a part of his Testimony of Jesus Christ

Elder L. Tom Perry as a missionary with his companion, Elder Perkins, in the Northern States Mission, USA Photo from
"Why Marriage and Family Matter- Everywhere in the World"

Click on the link below to watch a video compilation of Elder L Tom Perry's life from LDS.ORG

{Closing Prayer}  My turn!

{Activity} Double Dutch

This was us a few years ago doing Double Dutch at a balloon festival.

Double Dutch Contest (hopefully we can bribe convince our neighbors with ice cream and brownies so they can help turn the ropes)  and Brownie Sundaes!  All you need are two long jump ropes and a sense of adventure.

{FHE Doesn't Have to be Perfect, It Just Has to BE!}