Here is an inspiring story to get you motivated to find your own ancestors pictures, stories and just maybe a cool artifact like shown in the video below. Happy Hunting!
To help you be successful during the first quarter of the "Take the Quarter Challenge," I thought it would be helpful to post some ideas on how to add stories and pictures about our ancestors. Here is a list of activities, videos and ideas that you can use in your wards and families.
#1 Here is a link from our Youth Conference that we called "The Dash" as well as one of my favorite videos that talks about the importance of pictures below.
#2 How to Attach a Picture, visit this recent blog post from our 40 Day Temple Challenge. A powerful new tool is the Memories App from FamilySearch that you can download for free from the App Store. It will help you preserve pictures, stories and audio recordings in a snap! Read about a recent blog post we shared about how to use this App. One of these days we will get a better video posted, but for now I hope it helps learn how to use the Memory App.
Join the Queen Creek South Stake of Arizona as we "Take the Family History Quarter Challenge" and find our ancestors! What is the Quarter Challenge? Just like a "quarter" has two sides, so does family history work. President Howard W. Hunter said, "those who engage in family history research and then perform the temple ordinance work...will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessing." (A Temple-Motivated People) We want you to experience the complete blessings awaiting those that take part in both halves of temple and family history work. To get you started, the Lord inspired us with the "Take the Quarter Challenge." Each quarter there will be a family history challenge for you to learn how to find your ancestors and accomplish specific tasks during those 3 months. These quarters are unique to this challenge. On the front side of a regular quarter it says on the left side "Liberty" and on the right side "in God we trust." These two sayings on the US quarter are vital pieces to family history work. Without faith and trust in God we could not do this sacred work. Also, we are "liberating" our ancestors from Spirit prison as we come to the rescue and help them go back to live with their families forever. We have added the family outlines to the front of the coins and the temple to the backside to represent both halves of the blessings of temple and family history work.
Now, let's find out how we can accomplish this challenge. Here is what the year will look like...
1st Quarter Goal (January to March)
Challenge: Stories and Pictures
2nd Quarter Goal (April to June)
Challenge: Index Records
3rd Quarter Goal (July to September)
Challenge: Attach and Find Documents
4th Quarter Goal (October to December)
Challenge: Find a Family
Each quarter we will be posting videos on how to accomplish the "Quarter Challenge" and help you be successful in your family history research. We have added a fun twist to this family history project. As you can see in the picture below, there is a "Family History Temple Bank." Download the temple bank tag below the flyer, print it on card-stock, laminate and attach it to a tin can. Each time you complete one of the quarter challenges, add a quarter, dime, nickel or penny to your "Family History Temple Bank." For example, each time you add a story or picture of someone, add a coin to your bank. During Quarter 2, each time you index a record add another coin to the bank and so forth. As you continue to "save" your ancestors and "coins" in your bank, we will discover how quickly we can help hasten the work of salvation through family history work.
At the end of the year there are two final challenges that we encourage you to participate in. First, have you ever wondered what your great Aunt Sally or Great Great Grandfather Henry would want for Christmas? Well, wonder no more. Just like you and I would love to have our family together forever, so do our ancestors. So, the first end-of-the-year challenge goes along with Quarter 4 "Find a Family" and take that family to the temple to have all their saving ordinance work done by Christmas Day. You can wrap up the pink, blue and yellow temple cards and tuck them under the tree when you have finished their work! Then Christmas morning you can share in the sweet feelings of knowing that you have been a "savior on Mount Zion" in rescuing your ancestors for Christmas!
Now for the final wrap up for this years challenge. Remember the bank you just made? Don't forget to drop a coin into the bank each time you add a story, index a record, attach a document or find a name. At the end of the year, take the money you saved in your "Family History Temple Bank" and donate it to the "Temple Patron Assistance Fund". Not only have you blessed your ancestors by redeeming the dead, but you now can bless the billions of "cousins" that you have around the world with the opportunity to go to the temple.
What is the "Temple Patron Assistance Fund?" In a nutshell it helps "provide financial assistance to those who otherwise could not afford the travel expenses associated with attending a temple and participating in the sacred blessings available only in the House of the Lord... Having the means to attend the temple—if only once in a lifetime—brings hope and joy to countless saints. Living prohibitive distances from the nearest temple need not prevent worthy members and families from receiving the eternal blessings of salvation that can be received only in the temple."
Now, Are You Ready to "TAKE THE QUARTER CHALLENGE?" Invite your friends and family to join you as we fulfill our obligation to serve our brothers and sisters on both sides of the veil. Here at Brightly Street we are committed to help you along the way to success! Please comment with any questions or successes.
Click on the image below to download a pdf file of the flyer.
Print the bank tags below by clicking on the image.
Today's LDS Blog Train's theme is "Love Is Spoken Here." I hope you enjoy these fun tabs and frames to add some fun layouts to your family scrapbook. Head over to WinksArt Graphics to download your next freebie! If you get lost along the train, stop at the LDS Blog Train station to pick up the rest. Enjoy!
I thought I'd share this simple worksheet with you. You just need to print it out and hand it to your Young Women Class President for their upcoming BYC meeting. They can then fill in the upcoming activities that they need to report to Bishop. There is a section for notes and counsel from the Bishop. I hope this little freebie helps make things a little smoother for your youth leaders. Need something added to this worksheet? Just post a comment and I we will look into adding your suggestions.
I just wanted to share this YW printable that you could use for New Beginnings, Girl's Camp or another activity that goes along with the 2015 YW theme "Embark in the Service of God." The first tag says "Embark... the sky's the limit" and the other tag says "Embark in the Service of God." I'd love to hear your comments on how you were able to use this printable in your YW lesson or activity this year!
I woke up early Saturday morning to get ready to head to the church building to clean it since it was the young women's turn this month. One of our leaders got their first and found this note attached to the door...
This note touched me so much and brought tears to my eyes! These amazing girls most of had to give up their Friday night to pull this off. There are no words to express when someone does something so unexpectly kind. This gift was given out of love and I am so grateful to work with such amazing young women. This year's theme for 2015 comes from a scripture that all the missionaries on my mission had to memorize in spanish. It is found in D&C 4 which states, "O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength..." These fantastic girls have followed God's voice and have "embarked" in His service.
Thanks girls for reminding me how to truely embark and show forth love to those around you.
How will you #embark?
2015 is the year for our family to get more prepared. When we lived in Pennsylvania we put together our 72 hour kits and I even shared a post about it here. We made backpacks for everyone in the house with clothes, food enough for 3 days and a hygiene kit. Before we left Pennsylvania there was a very large forest fire close to our home. I remember opening my door and seeing all the black ash and smoke everywhere. They already had evacuated some homes not too far from us. The fire was not contained yet and I became a little nervous. I grabbed our 72 hour kits and put them in our car along with some family photo albums, portable external hard-drives with family photos and our scrapbook. As we loaded everything, in the car in case we had to evacuate, I saw my son with his piggy bank by the door. I asked him what that was for and he said it was to take with us. Even he understood a little bit about what we were anticipating. Once everything was in the car, we were prepared to leave. In the end, they contained the fire and we were grateful to be okay as we put back our emergency kits into the garage in preparation for any unknown events in the future.
I learned that day that there is great peace when we are prepared. I also realized that there are very few things of material value that are important to take with us. My family and family pictures along with our survival kits were really what mattered most.
About a year or so later, we were packing up our house to move to Arizone. We disassembled our kits and we haven't put them back together until this year. Our family goal is to not only get our kits together like before, but to add things to it so that we are more prepared in case of an emergency.
There are so many great blogs and websites that have ideas on how to put together a family 72 hour kit and get prepared. I thought I would blog about what resources we have used and encourage others take to the challenge to get a little more "prepared" this year than you were last year.
My mom said that when she was raising us kids that one of her greatest fears during a crisis was that one of her 6 children would become lost if their was pandemonium in the area. She made cards for all the kids so if they ever were lost they would have some identification on them. I remember also as a child wearing those silver bracelets with my name and info on it.
I thought I'd start this series with a free download for you to use for your children. Simple attach a recent photo to the front of this card and fill in both the front and backside of the ID card. The card is about a 5x7 size. You can print them out on card stock or regular paper and laminate it with the two sides together. I plan on putting them in or attaching them to the outside of their 72 hour backpacks.
Start with baby steps and join us on our journey of becoming more prepared this year!
Today we learn about the Angel that came to the shepherds in a field near by where the Christ child was born. What a glorious moment that must of been to hear of the long awaiting Christ's birth. In the New Testament we read that an angel appeared to the shepherds and said, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." I can't even being to imagine what it must of been like to hear and see an angel and then to hear the announcement of the most incredible and long anticipated message of the birth of Messiah.
Next we learn that, "there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Again, I can't begin to imagine what a choir full of heavenly angels would sound like. During the Christmas season, many Christmas hymns are sung in celebration of what happened over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem. I love Christmas music and it isn't uncommon to hear Christmas music playing in our house during the year. As you listen to the below video, reflect upon the message given that night long ago and "far, far away..."
Little is known about Joseph. What we know of him teaches of a man of great faith, love and devotion to God and family. We first learn of Joseph as recorded in Matthew that he was espoused the Mary and then it is written that he learned about Mary being pregnant before an Angel appeared to him. What thoughts must of crossed his mind before understand the nature of her pregnancy? We learn from this telling moment that he must of had great love for Mary for it is recorded that, "Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily." (Matthew 1:19) How his heart must of broken when he first heard the news yet he didn't lash out in anger or judgement. How glorious must of been his visit with the Angel, Gabriel, and pure joy must of infused within him to know that he still could marry his beloved, Mary. The Angel said, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:20-21) It reads in Matthew that, "Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife." (Matthew 1:24)
To me Joseph shows great devotion to not only Mary but to God. I wonder what must of passed through his mind as he realized that he would have care over Jesus while on earth. He too, like Mary, must of been the very best man that was ever born, to be given this great responsibility in helping to teach and raise Jesus. I can't imagine the thoughts and feelings that Joseph and Mary must of pondered as they prepared for the birth of Christ.
As the time grew closer to the Savior's birth, Joseph and Mary had to go back to Bethlehem to be taxed as was the law at this time. I have been pregnant 4 times and I can't even imagine what it must of been like to be 8 or 9 months pregant and riding on the back of a donkey over rough terrain for over 100 miles. As they entered Bethlehem, Joseph began to look for lodging so that Mary could be as comfortable as possible as she gave birth to Jesus. How his heart must of been heavy to realize that their was no room left in the inn.
Elder Holland said, "
One impression which has persisted with me recently is that this is a story—in profound paradox with our own times—that this is a story of intense poverty. I wonder if Luke did not have some special meaning when he wrote not “there was no room in the inn” but specifically that “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7; italics added.) We cannot be certain what the historian intended, but we do know these two were desperately poor...
I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: “Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Is this a place fit for a king? Should the mother of the Son of God be asked to enter the valley of the shadow of death in such a foul and unfamiliar place as this? Is it wrong to wish her some comfort? Is it right He should be born here?”
Can we like Joseph make "room" for Jesus Christ in our lives? Do we have the faith enough to serve God and others with such care as did Joseph? Today, as we Countdown until Christmas, let's serve one another like Joseph, Mary and Jesus all did. Here is a small tag to attach to a bell to help your family do small acts of service today and throughout the year. The idea of the bell comes from a great book that my sister-in-law gave to me for Christmas a few years ago called "A Christ-Centered Christmas" by Emily Freeman. It is a very short book, but packed with inspired ideas. Have fun decorating a bell and then use it to "ring" for service like you might do if you lived in a castle! The idea is to do a secret act of service for someone in the family and then leave it on the pillow of the person you did a service for. When you find a bell on your pillow it is your turn to do a service for someone else and leave the bell on their pillow. Continue to serve one another and the spirit of love will be strengthened in your home just as the love between Joseph and Mary must of been strengthened through their early marriage.
A Christ-centered Christmas is sometimes hard to come by these days. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often get further away from what the true meaning of Christmas is about. I thought I'd help my children focus on the birth of Christ and how we can bring Christ into our Christmas season. We are going to spend the next 7 days until Christmas Day learning and having fun as we study the different figures of Christmas.
Day 1: Mary. Mary was the mother of Jesus. With great faith she trusted in the Lord and had an unshakable testimony of God before she was even told by an Angel that she would be carrying the Christ child. This is evident in her response to Gabriel's announcement that she would bare the Christ child. Her cousin, Elizabeth's husband, Zechariah was also visited by an angel and told that his wife would bare a son. Unlike Mary, Zechariah responded with doubt as to how it could possibly be that her barren wife could be with child. The Angel Gabriel who also appeared to Mary said to Zechariah, "And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." (Luke 1: 20)
What was Mary's reply when Gabriel told her, "behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. (Luke 1:31) Mary asked how it would happen, not that is impossible or no way, she humbly asked, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" This had to surprise Mary that barring a child being with a husband would seem impossible yet she just ask how it will happen not that it can't possible come about. What great faith in God did Mary possess. After the Angel's answer, Mary then replies, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
I look forward to the day when I will meet that faithful and humble daughter of God that was chosen from the beginning to be the mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a noble and great mother she must of been to be given that holy calling.
Mothers, do we see our role as a mother of our children sent to us from God in that same humble way? Do we seek to teach our children who the Savior is and bare testimony to them of Christ's birth? Today, as we begin this 7 Day Christmas Countdown, let's take some time to ponder Mary's role and then share with our children our feelings about Jesus Christ. After you share your testimony to them, print this journal page for each of your child and ask them who they would of wanted to be if they were blessed to be apart of that humble scene at the birth of the baby Jesus.
Not sure what to share with your family? Watch this video together, take a moment to ponder as did Mary when we learn in Luke 2 that "Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart" and then share what is in your heart to your children.
Yesterday, was Fast Sunday for Latter-day Saints. Fasting means that we go without food or water. Each month on the first Sunday, we are asked to Fast for two consecutive meals. For example, if you ate dinner Saturday night then you shouldn't eat again until Sunday evening or 24 hours. We then have the great privilege to humbly start our fast with a prayer. Throughout my life I have fasted for many different reasons sometimes just out of obedience to the law of the fast and many times to receive extra help and blessings for myself and my loved ones. It isn't always easy to fast. It is often difficult to put off the natural man and to be "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19) When we fast we show the Lord that we can be humble and seek his guidance and direction.
The other great blessing of the Law of the Fast is the opportunity to bless those around us. As members of the church, we take the money we would of used to feed our families for those two meals and give a fast offering. This money is then given to help relieve the poor and the hungry. As a child, I was taught to give a generous fast and my husband has always been a great example to me of being generous even when our pocket books might be small. He knows that as he follows the prophet and leaders of the church to pay a generous fast offering that the Lord will bless us and that we will have the food we need to provide for our family. A scripture comes to my mind that my dad quoted all the time from a book of scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." The Lord always keeps His promises, will we keep ours?
Here is a highlight video from a talk given by my Mission President who is currently serving in the Presiding Bishopric of the church. Listen carefully and see how you can improve your Fast Sunday worship and help in caring for the poor and needy. For his complete talk, go here.
We just added our "Zippity Zoo" packet to our Etsy Shop. Did you miss our original post and freebies? Here's a brief explanation about this fun field trip idea.
Educational Zoo Field Trip Packet for Teachers, Homeschoolers and Families!! Whether you are going to the zoo with your family, friends, homeschooling group or school field trip, this packet will bring smiles to your students and children as they explore a day at the zoo. I was driving in my car one day and I had some ideas that came to me about an upcoming zoo trip my family and I were taking with some friends. I began to put together some really fun worksheets that have been tried and tested by my own kids! I created 16 different animal worksheets that include a tracing animal name, an artist sketch box and some fun questions that the kids can answer as they learn more about each animal. It is perfect for preschoolers through 2nd grade, but even my 5th grader had fun filling out the worksheets!
All you have to do is purchase the digital files for just $3 and print them on regular paper in color or set your printer to black and white. Cut the pages in half and attach them to a small clipboard. With a pencil in hand the kids are ready to explore the different animals found in the zoo! It really was fun to see an idea form and then to experiment with it as I saw my kids spend a little more time looking at the animals and noticing more about them then just running from one animal to another. The packet also includes 4 different bingo cards where the kids can cross off the animals as they find them.
To motivate your little ones to work on this fun packet, give them a small prize at the end. A small animal toy that you can pick up at the dollar store or some animal crackers when they turn in their finished bingo and worksheets! Here's a sample of what is up for sale today for just $3 from our Etsy Shop.
Purchase the "Zippity Zoo Packet" for just $3 now!! Then Pin it to your Pinterest Board!
Stop by tomorrow for another graphing freebie. Purchase your zoo packet today!
We did it! Day 40 of our 40 Day Family History Challenge. I hope you now have planted in your heart the love for your ancestors as you began this amazing journey with us. If you are just stumbling upon our website, start your own 40 day challenge today! There are links on the right side of our website with all of the 40 day posts. Join the millions of people around the world as we continue to search for our ancestors.
I went to the temple with the youth in our ward to do some family names that the kids found during this 40 day challenge. It was such a sweet experience. One of the highlights was seeing one of our newest baptized beehives (a young women who is 12 years old) who was just baptized less than 2 weeks ago, be baptized for her ancestors. Such an amazing experience.
If you are new to this website, check out this post about why it is important to not only find our ancestors, but why Mormons take family names to the temple here.
Finally, today's daily task is to write in your journal your experience as you followed the 40 day challenge and began your family history journey. If you don't have a journal, print out the journal page below.
FamilySearch is encouraging us to index the millions of records that are ready for our eyes to see and fingers to type the information. They are doing a fun Christmas tree decorating event for December. Jump on board and index some records tonight! How about doing your own Countdown to Christmas with this Christmas tree and ornaments! Click on the image below and download this fun Christmas tree. Everytime you index 5 records before Christmas day, add an ornament to your tree. See how fast you can index 50 records and fill your tree up! Just click on the image, print on cardstock, cut out ornaments and glue them to your tree as you hit 5 records. Have fun!
We just had a great family reunion last Saturday. We shared some fun ways to get going with family history. I will post some details to help you plan your next family reunion soon. Here is a video highlighting some of our ancestors. What would they tell you if they were here to speak with you? Share your feelings about your ancestors with your family. What have you learned about them as you have followed the 40 day challenge so far?
Today, we honor our Fathers. I must of stood in the right line in heaven because I have the greatest fathers a girl could ever dream of.
Here's a sweet video about remembering dad. Add the stories of your father here.
Today is Black Friday. Thousands of people are running about looking for the best deals to give to their loved ones. What better gift would there be to give, then the gift of family history! I posted a gift idea I did for my mother on Day 11. You can create a similar gift as I did for a woman in your family. Download these free digital drawings that I created to make these flowers, then head on over to Puzzilla and start creating your cousin "flowers."
Click on the image below to download the zip file of the flower pieces.