Sunday, November 16, 2014

Book review: "Amazing Hairstyles: From Easy to Elegant"

A fellow blogger, Becky Porter, at Babes in Hairland recently released a book all about hair. "Amazing Hairstyles: From Easy to Elegant" is a great addition for families with girls or for people who like to do hair. (Ahem...Christmas is coming!)

Amazing Hairstyles - From Easy to Elegant - Paperback
Image courtesy of Cedar Fort Publishing and Media
As a mom of three girls who never willingly let me do their hair, I feel like an amateur. But, with Becky's step-by-step instruction--including pictures--I was able to try out several of these styles. It looked like I totally knew what I was doing! I was pleasantly surprised.

Whether you are an expert or an amateur, you can do these styles. Becky demonstrates the basics of braids, twists and buns--which are also stand alone styles. Then, we can combine those techniques to create a more elaborate hairstyles.

French braids, fishbone braids, waterfall twists, hair chains and messy buns are just a few of the basics. Some of the more elegant styles include dutch braid and curls updo, cascading curls, double waterfall twist and 4-strand braid updo.

These are really adorable, and doable, styles!

These hairdos are appropriate for all ages. Some are great for everyday styles, while others would be perfect for prom, weddings or when professionalism is required.

I also found her description of hair products and styling tools extremely helpful (because I am pretty clueless when we get much beyond a brush and curling iron!).

You can find her book online and in several stores--on amazon.com, Deseret Book and other places.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review: "Family Talk" teaches families to communicate and grow closer together

Christy Monson
One of the challenges of raising families today is cultivating a home of love, respect and good communication.

Author Christy Monson has written a guide for families to help achieve the family atmosphere they desire. "Family Talk" is full of useful suggestions on how to hold family councils and the benefits of them. She gives many examples from real people on how family councils have worked in their families to illustrate the points she makes. This gives readers an understanding of how family councils can work in their own homes.

Monson shares:

  • What family councils are.
  • How to structure these family meetings.
  • How to solve problems as a family.
  • Learning how to respect each other.
  • How to use family councils as a teaching tool.

There are many benefits of family councils, including:

  • Learning respect.
  • Learning cooperation and how to work together.
  • Children gain self-confidence.
  • Sort through family problems together.
  • A more organized family.
  • Discussions about sharing the workload of a family.
  • Planning family vacations or other activities together. 
  • Setting family goals.
  • Working to overcome struggles.

Holding family councils enables families to grow closer together and to resolve any issues that may occur. This allows each family member to express his/herself. Other family members can share insights to problems and offer solutions. Families can make decisions together.

Monson also gives suggestions on how to work around special circumstances, such as blended families, children with special needs or single-parent homes.

The wonderful thing about family councils is that there is no wrong way to do it! You can begin today to hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings and structure it however it works best for your family. Monson encourages families to start their meetings with saying nice things about each other to bring a positive atmosphere.

Families will learn to work together, trust each other, rely on each other and love each other more fully. I think this is something that all families hope for.

For more from the author, visit:
Christy Monson Books or visit her Facebook page.

For more family oriented materials from Familius, visit www.familius.com.




© Wendy 2014


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Don't give up on life

It seems that all too often we hear of or personally know someone who tries to or does commit suicide. It leaves family and friends wondering what they could have done differently to make a difference in the life of their friend or family member.

Depression, loss of hope and the feeling that you are alone are some possible reasons that a person thinks suicide is the best way to deal with life's problems. Also, the feeling that everyone would be better off without you is another strong emotion that people experience to lead them to consider suicide. I personally have felt this, when I was younger and also more recently. I now understand where these thoughts and feelings came from. But, by getting some professional help and the help of my husband and others close to me, I have been able to climb out of depression and other negatives in my life and now know how to better deal with those thoughts when they come.

This video is very poignant and touched me so much that I thought it was important to share with others.


If you are suffering from depression or thoughts of suicide, please reach out to someone you trust. Seek professional help. Pray for strength to overcome. God loves you and will help you find the way out of despair and give you hope. Do not choose to end your life. There are people who love you and need you in their lives.

If you are concerned about someone in your life that you think may be at risk of suicide or who suffers from depression, reach out to them. Let them know they can confide in you. Pray for them. Pray to know how best to help them. Extend your love to them and just be there when they need to talk.

Life is full of hope and beauty, but for those who suffer from these debilitating negative thoughts and emotions, they are blinded to all that is good and awaiting them in this life. We are surrounded by good. Look for it. Seek it. Dwell on it.

Do not give up on life. Do not allow the negatives to overtake you and drag you down. You are not alone. You have people rooting for you both on earth and in the heavens. The future is bright and you are of great worth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you beyond comprehension. Find whatever glimmer of hope you have, and grow it into a flood of light.


Another inspirational Sunday post:
Dreaming About Someday


© Wendy 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meet THIS Mormon

A message from a collective group of Mormon bloggers to YOU: 

Pinable Image
We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as "The Mormons". We are proud of this part of who we are! We are excited to team up with over 65+ of us strong... to extend an invitation to see a film. A film entitled "Meet The Mormons". This film is not meant to be an "in your face" - you must join our church film. It is simply designed and produced to uplift and inspire you through six stories of those of our faith who have followed promptings to follow Christ more fully in their lives. We hope you take the opportunity to enjoy this film. We hope your hearts are made light as you feel the goodness that comes from following our Christ and Savior. All proceeds from the film will be donated to The American Red Cross. So not only will you be uplifted and inspired, your money will be going to an amazing charity!!

We also would like to take a moment and share our personal testimonies, stories of our own personal conversions, and our own stories of how following our Savior, Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The light of the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a joy and hope that only following him can provide. We hope as you click through and read our stories and testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you will feel uplifted and encouraged. We are by you! We love connecting with our readers, that is why many of us do what we do! Please be kind and considerate in your comments. It takes great bravery for us to open our hearts and our mouths to share with you such a tender and personal part of who we are. We share because we feel strongly the need to share the peace and the hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I'm A Mormon #1
Anita | Live Like You Are Rich, Landee | Landee Lu , Tara & Devin | Salt & Pepper Moms , Mallory & Savannah | Classy Clutter Kelli & Kristi| Lolly Jane
McKenzie | Girl Loves Glam , Pam & Lisa | Over The Big Moon , Melanie | Forty Eighteen , Sky | Capital B Adell | Baked in Arizona
I'm a Mormon #2
Andie | Maybe I Will , Shatzi | Love and Laundry , Robyn | Create it Go , Rachel | R & R Workshop
Tiffany | Feel Great In 8 , Katelyn | What Up Fagens? , Brittany | BrittanyBullen , Ginger | Ginger Snap Crafts , Stephanie | Crafting In The Rain
Chelsey | Cee Me Be , Amber | Crazy Little Projects , Kallie | Smitten By, Elyse, Kristen, Lauren, Steph, Kendra & Camille | Six Sisters Stuff Annette | Tips From A Typical Mom
Kierste | Simply Kierste , Tayler | The Morrell Tale, Jennifer | My Daylights , Cambria | Live To Be Inspired, Danielle | Today's The Best Day
I'm a Mormon #3
Nat & Holly | My Sister's Suitcase, Britni| Play.Party.Pin , Montserrat | Cranial Hiccups , Heidi | A Lively Hope , Ashley & Meegan | Flats to Flip Flops

I'm glad you're still reading.... :) Here is my personal message to you.

As stated before, a new movie is coming out to give a little more exposure to the normal lives of LDS members across the world--"Meet the Mormons." The proceeds of the film will be donated to charity. Here's the trailer for a preview: 



In case you didn't already know from knowing me personally or by reading my blog posts, I am a Mormon--or rather, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not only has the teaching of this religion shaped my life, but also helps me through my personal struggles--both great and small.

Am I perfect? No way! But, I do strive to live in a way that would be in harmony with Christ's teachings. I make mistakes--lots of them! I do dumb things and I try to recognize my errors and rectify them with apologies and asking for forgiveness as well as making necessary changes. I try to love everyone, regardless of whether or not I agree with their personal choices. I try to be kind to everyone.

We all have to find our own way and make our own choices in this life, but we are not alone! God has given us scriptures, prophets, apostles and other people in our lives to help us and guide us. I believe that after Christ's church was taken from the earth due to unbelief, it was restored again through the prophet Joseph Smith. We do not worship Joseph Smith, yet we do believe that he spoke for God and was the tool used to bring back His gospel to the earth. Amos 3:7 states, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but [or, more accurately--"until"] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."And, of course, we can pray to Him to receive our own answers, seek help, guidance and comfort. He will answer us, gives us comfort and help us find peace and understanding. The world is full of differing directions and messages, yet, if we follow Him, we will not get lost in the constant changing worldly whirlwinds.

Perhaps you've never desired religion or are looking for some answers about life. I invite you to do some soul searching, pray, meditate and study it our in your mind and in your heart. As Moroni 10:3-6 (from the Book of Mormon) states:
"Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is."
Whether you feel something good from what I have said, or something strikes you as important while watching "Meet the Mormons," or you have a desire to know more or read the Book of Mormon to find out for yourself, act on it! It's not that I'm trying to "recruit" you into my church or like there is some advantage for me to convince people to join, it is just that this is something that makes me so happy, fulfilled and feel a purpose in my life that I want to share it with anyone who is searching, needing or longing for something more in this life.

There is something more...so much more.

What I believe:
www.mormon.org
www.lds.org
Why are your favorite bloggers Mormon?


© Wendy 2014



Saturday, October 4, 2014

God Speaks Today

Christians believe that God spoke through prophets throughout history. Much of this is recorded in the Bible.

Yet, what about today? Does He still speak to us?

YES!!!

I am a Christian--a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--and we believe that Christ's church has been restored to the earth after it had been taken away for a time. This was done through one of God's prophets, Joseph Smith. I know there seems to be a lot of controversy about Joseph Smith, but, I know for myself that he was used an an instrument to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world. He even died for his convictions and his unwillingness to deny what he knew to be true.

Since that time, the Lord has called more prophets to teach His word. Every 6 months, they address members, and others who are interested, during what is called General Conference. There are both female and male leaders who speak to us, beautiful music and inspiring messages that help answer personal questions (usually something we have been praying about) and inspire and motivate us to improve our lives and overcome shortcomings.

Whether you are LDS or not, curious about "Mormon" beliefs or are just looking for something in your life that is missing, please, accept my invitation to watch, listen to or read with me and more than 15 million other believers around the world.



And, as always, if you're interested in receiving a copy of the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ--which includes an account of Christ's visit to the Americas, feel free to contact me, or visit this post for more information.


Other inspirational Sunday posts:
Sugar Bee Crafts
Dreaming about Someday



© Wendy 2014

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book review: "The Turning" seeks to strengthen families

Have you wondered why the world is in turmoil? Why there are so many wars, so much poverty, so much abuse and so many things wrong with society today? Accomplished authors and speakers (and parents of NINE children!) Richard and Linda Eyre explain in their book, "The Turning: Why the State of the Family Matters and What the World Can Do About It," that many of society's problems stem from the most basic unit of society: the family.

While the breakdown of the family is the problem--single parent homes, both parents working and kids home alone or at daycare, neglect and abuse or cohabitation--society, government and other organizations are trying to become the answer to these issues, but are turning more and more away from the family.. 

The Eyres explain that government programs, schools and other entities have tried to make up the difference by creating programs to "help." Sex education is taught in schools. There are government programs in place that appear to assist, but really create a circle of dependency, and ultimately assist in destroying the family. 

However, the Eyres suggest that if families, schools, governments, churches, businesses and other entities focused on bettering the family, the problems would solve themselves. For example:
  • Instead of schools taking some of the roles of the parents (like sex ed.), the schools could instead teach parents ways they could teach their own children. Also, parenting classes could be offered.
  • Work places could insist on more family time instead of requiring more and more hours away from home and family.
  • Work places could also help expectant mothers by giving them enough maternity leave without negative repercussions.
  • Churches can help families to learn values to support their family in a positive way.
  • Governments could make legislation that is more family-centered.
  • Movies, television, music, books and other media could focus more on positive messages and family examples rather than the constant onslaught of sex, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional families or other value-less entertainment. This negative programming causes families--especially children and teens--to think that "everyone is doing it" and if they're not, they must be an outcast or weird when that is simply not true.
"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career." — C.S. Lewis.
If all parts of society understood C.S. Lewis' quote, they'd understand their role in helping families.

So, what can families do?

The Eyres suggest writing your legislator. Become involved in schools and encourage them to hold more family-centered activities and parent classes. Take a stand when it comes to media. They shared an example of writing a letter to the heads of Disney about sharing more light, rather than darkness in their movies--i.e. good overcoming evil.

Within your own family, the Eyres suggest coming up with a family mission statement, teaching values and bonding with your children to raise them as strong individuals that can, in turn, raise strong families.

To fix society, we must stop treating the symptoms and fight to cure the cause: the family.
"The most important work you ever do will be within the walls of your own home." -- Harold B. Lee
To read the Eyre's book or other family-focused materials/books, visit www.familius.com

Other helpful family-oriented sites from the Eyres:
Teaching your kids values ideas: http://www.valuesparenting.com/
Free books! http://www.eyresfreebooks.com/


© Wendy 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Striving for Consistency

Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I attended the General Women's Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those that don't know, every 6 months, our Church holds a conference where we receive instructions and messages from the prophet, apostles and other leaders of this worldwide church. There's 4 sessions for everyone, plus a women's one which is now for girls and women 8 years old and up, as well as the Priesthood session for boys and men 12 years old and up.

The talks seemed to follow a pattern of making and keeping covenants and doing the things we need to in everyday life. With the world constantly changing and, more often than not, straying further and further from the ways of God, it is important that we consistently stay focused on our goal--eternal life and returning to our Father in Heaven..

No one can do it for us. In the parable of the 10 virgins, 5 virgins were prepared and had enough oil for their journey to meet the bridegroom, 5 did not have enough oil. Yet, the oil of the prepared could not be shared with those who had not carefully prepared. So it is with us. The "oil" of spiritual preparedness is added to our lamps drop by drop by consistently doing the "little" things like praying, reading scriptures, attending church, visiting the temple, taking care of those in need and doing other things that help keep us focused.

It is so easy to become distracted. We're busy. Life is so full of things we can do every minute of the day. If we don't plan to read scriptures, say prayers, have family home evenings, attend church and go to the temple, we can easily "forget" to do these things on a regular and consistent basis. This is dangerous because we can then more easily lose our focus.

Being consistent helps us to not forget what we need to be doing, even if you miss a day. Here are some ideas to help implement consistency in our everyday spiritual necessities:

  • Find a time to pray and read scriptures. Our family tried to do this at night, but it didn't work out. We have decided that we need to get up a little earlier in the morning to read scriptures and have prayer. This has improved out consistency tremendously!
  • Plan family home evenings weekly. If Mondays (the church-designated day for FHE) does not work, try Sunday or a different day that fits in you family's schedule. (We still struggle with this one, but we're trying to get consistent!)
  • Write it on a calendar or set an alarm in your phone or other device. When it's time to read or pray, having a reminder set in your phone will help with consistency.
  • If you miss a day, don't give up. Just pick up where you left off tomorrow!
  • Choose a day and time at least once a month to go to the temple with your spouse or loved one. 
  • Take the sacrament weekly. Yes, this also means you need to attend your Sunday meetings weekly. Both of these acts not only remind up of covenants we made at baptism, but can allow time to reflect on the past week and see where we did well and where improvements are needed. During speakers and lessons, we can listen to/feel the quiet nudging of the Spirit helping us know what we can or should do to improve our life and our family life.

Even when things don't go according to plan, we should never give up! Just restart, reevaluate and adjust to get back on course. Being consistent will help us stay focused and stay on course, regardless of the distractions or the way the world seems to be going.

Also remember that God loves you even with shortcomings, mistakes and our fears or doubts. He really wants us to succeed.

As we do as He has asked us to do (keeping commandments and striving to become closer to Him), we will more readily be able to receive blessings from a Father who loves us without conditions.

Lastly, I'd love to share this video from last night. It is so touching as we hear the testimonies of women throughout the world about the blessings of the temple.  Take a minute to watch and feel the spirit of this message.




© Wendy 2014