Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Reading List for Children

These are the picture books that we read this year to put us in a festive spirit. I wrote about how we actually go about reading the books here.

The books I like the best are found closer to the top of the list.

Drummer Boy by Loren Long (this one is one of my favorites, and I was thrilled to add it to our family's permanent collection)
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Who's Getting Ready for Christmas? by Maggie Kneen
The True Story of Christmas by Nell Navillus
Bear Noel by Olivier Dunrea
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky
Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh & J. Otto Seibold
Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
McDuff's New Friend by Rosemary Wells and Susan Jeffers
Christmas Mice by Bethany Roberts
The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
Santa's Eleven Months Off by Mike Reiss
Misc. winter books by Jan Brett

Recently Read: Maternal Fitness

Maternal Fitness by Julie Tupler

At a recent Relief Society gathering, I overheard a friend talking about her recent pregnancy and delivery and saying how things went well and she felt strong and prepared by reading and following the guidelines in this book. My ears immediately perked up and I had to join the conversation. And then quickly request to borrow the book and read it for myself.

This book spells out the best exercises and strengthening a woman should do to prepare for labor. Labor is the hardest marathon you'll ever do, so of course it makes sense to prepare for it by strengthening the muscles that will be needed to push the baby out. There are helpful diagrams and step-by-step instructions for the entire workout.

I just finished reading this today, so I haven't really got down to work in doing the exercises. But they seem easy to do at home, so I'm excited to try them out. I'll let you know how it goes!

My Gospel Study in December 2009

Among other things, my gospel study in December included the following:
2009 Outline for Sharing Time and the Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation
December Theme (and weekly gospel principles): My family is blessed when we remember Jesus Christ.

December Scripture: "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth" (Job 19:25).

Chapter 46: The Martyrdom: The Prophet Seals His Testimony with His Blood
Chapter 47: "Praise to the Man": Latter-day Prophets Bear Witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith

General Conference Addresses October 2009

Dallin H. Oaks, “Love and Law,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 26–29
God’s love is so perfect that He lovingly requires us to obey His commandments because He knows that only through obedience to His laws can we become perfect, as He is. For this reason, God’s anger and His wrath are not a contradiction of His love but an evidence of His love. Every parent knows that you can love a child totally and completely while still being creatively angry and disappointed at that child’s self-defeating behavior.

Where do parents draw the line? That is a matter for parental wisdom, guided by the inspiration of the Lord. There is no area of parental action that is more needful of heavenly guidance or more likely to receive it than the decisions of parents in raising their children and governing their families. This is the work of eternity.

The Friend, December 2009

The Ensign, December 2009

Recently Read: Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I read the first book in this series on Tuesday, and then I stayed up late on Wednesday to read Catching Fire, the second book in the series. It was as equally compelling and engrossing as the first, although the plot was a little predictable. I'm looking forward to reading the conclusion, but unfortunately I'll have to wait until August!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Recently Read: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I finally got my hands on a copy of this book today and it was well worth all the good reviews I have been hearing from my friends. This novel is engrossing and captivating. I picked it up from the library at 9:30 a.m. this morning and finished it at 7:30 p.m. (375 pages). Don't worry--I still put away all of my Christmas decorations today and fed my children (although dinner was leftovers).

As soon as my husband finishes reading the sequel, Catching Fire, I'll be jumping in to that!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Scripture of the Week: Job 19:25

"For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth"
Job 19:25

Since this was the last Monday of December, I thought I would get in one more Christmas themed lesson. We used this wonderful handmade nativity set (a treasure from my husband's parents) to talk about Christmas activities of our ancestors. My sister-in-law Amy shared some wonderful Christmas stories of our ancestors on her blog. I printed the stories, cut them into individual segments and taped a different story to a different piece from the set. We then took turns choosing a piece, reading the story, and arranging the scene. For the remaining figures I wrote one of the following:

-Sing Away in a Manger
-Share a Christmas memory from your life.
-Sing Silent Night
-What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
-Job 19:25

It was a nice way to wrap up our Christmas season (and make use of the nativity set before I pack it up tomorrow!).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Recently Read: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"At this time of the year my family knows that I will read again my Christmas treasury of books and ponder the wondrous words of the authors. First will be the Gospel of Luke—even the Christmas story. This will be followed by A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and, finally, The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. I always must wipe my eyes when reading these inspired writings. They touch my inner soul, as they will yours." (President Thomas S. Monson, source).

If this book is good enough for President Monson to read every year, then I decided I better read it again. It is a touching story of a change of heart that I always enjoy reading.