Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Nativities, Traditions, Treasures, Ideas

(We are grateful today to have this special guest post from Kim.  She shares sweet memories of her Christmases past and how they have helped her teach her own children about the importance of the Savior.  Thank you, Kim, for sharing such a beautiful message!) 

Nativities: A Christmas Tradition  (Guest Post by Kim)

Let me introduce myself; I am Kim. I share ideas, thoughts, and creations at my blog Life’s Journey to Perfection. Today, I am very excited to share one of my treasured traditions.

As I think back to Christmases as a little girl, I am flooded with pleasant memories and fun traditions.  One of these was the excitement as each year we set out our family’s nativity.  My mom had a cardboard scenic background that we would set the beautiful nativity pieces in front of. 

When I was a young woman, I received a beautiful gift from one of my Young Women leaders.  It was a beautiful white nativity set. It was small and perfect to display in my own bedroom.  I still have this set today and I continue to set it up each Christmas. I am filled with gratitude to that Young Women leader each time I set it up. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

An Incredible Mormon Mother of 20 Children

We asked Cayce; Mormon Mother of 20 Children, to share her story.  It's 'incredible' by all accounts and you can't even begin to imagine our joy and appreciation for her willingness to share such a personal message.

She's an inspiration to us here at Mormon Moms and will be to many of you as well as you read her powerful and uplifting message as to following the Spirit and doing what needs to be done even when it's difficult, challenging and not as you thought you'd planned. 

Thank you, Cayce, for being willing to share your amazing journey; the honesty, ups, downs, and realness of it all.  Your family is precious and helps us all want to be and do better in whatever ways we can.  Thank you and blessings to you!!!

The amazing "Thill family"  (youngest five faces blurred pending their adoptions)

In her own words:

I am so excited! This is my first guest writing appearance. I was asked to share the story of my family. If there is one thing I love to talk about, it is my family. You see, I was born in Ohio and grew up in Michigan. My parents divorced when I was 5. My husband, John grew up in Michigan too. His parents were also divorced. John is the oldest of 4 children. I am the youngest of 3. John grew up in the Catholic religion. I grew up in multiple religions, Baptist, Methodist, reorganized church, non denominational ….well, you get the picture.

John and I met through a mutual friend in 1990, we were 19 years old. We were pen pals. (You remember the days before email, texting, tweeting, you had to actually write a letter on a piece of paper and mail it.) John was stationed in Germany in the US Army. I was living in Ohio at the time, working at Cedar Point (amusement park). We wrote for 1 1/2 years then met at the Detroit Michigan Airport for the first time in February 1991. (This was during Operation Desert Storm and no one was getting leave (vacation), his was granted, We were engaged in a few weeks and then were married in November, of that same year. We also found out we were expecting our first child. It was such an exciting time. John was stationed in Hunstville, Alabama (Redstone Arsenal). Our first baby was born on July 21, 1992. A beautiful girl we named, Kodey.

In February of 1993, we found out we were expecting baby number 2.  Sixweeks later, I collapsed and was rushed to the hospital with no blood pressure. The Dr. on duty was the same doctor who had delivered our girl. He was familiar with me. :) He told me I was going to lose the baby and went in the hall and told John I probably wouldn't make it. The last thing I remember before surgery was teasing my Dr. about his Jamaican vacation.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Famberry: Store Your Family Photos and Stories Online for FREE

We've just heard from this company in the UK - who are doing some seemingly wonderful things for connecting families and storing photos and family stories.  We can't fully endorse them yet, as we haven't used their product, but we invite you to read about and explore their business.

I know that my family has been trying to find a way to do something similar to this.  We all use Ancestry and Family Search for many things - but this company is providing something unique and different than that; a way to help us work together, sharing, in a private environment. 

One terabyte of space for your family, for FREE, forever.

London, England (December 16th, 2014)

To celebrate the move to new server facilities, Famberry, the popular collaborative family tree builder, is giving all users who sign up, a massive one terabyte of space to store their photos and memories. That’s enough space to store over 300,000 photos, so all your family’s memories can be shared for generations to come. All for free.

As part of the project to move onto new, physically secure, high-grade servers, Famberry has been completely re-written to work even more seamlessly on mobile phones, tablet devices and desktop computers, with no additional software or plug-ins; your family can always stay connected, wherever they are.

The move to the new server cluster means that you can finally keep your private family memories safe & secure, with information replicated automatically to 3 different locations within the UK.

“This really has been a team achievement and the foundation for other exciting announcements that we plan to make over the next few months.” - Steve Bardouille, co-founder, Famberry.

In addition to the award-winning family tree building features that users have grown to love, the new version has hundreds of improvements including:

• New facilities for cropping and uploading multiple photos
• Personal photo albums for each member of the family tree
• Easier navigation for mobile devices
• Centralised timeline for the whole Family

...and much more, in fact the site continues to be updated weekly with new features based on user feedback.

Famberry are only offering this unprecedented offer for a limited time - on a first come, first served basis, so sign up today at to secure a space for your family’s history.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

World's Largest LIVE Nativity; Angels We Have Heard on High- Piano Guys, David Archuleta, Alex Boye' etc. - Glorious Message

Today we share the Glorious Message of the Birth of Jesus Christ.  In a Live Nativity, surrounded by concourses of angels, we imagine what it might have been like during that sacred time.

Over 1,000 people spent over 10,000 hours preparing to share this powerful witness to the world.

'Angels We Have Heard on High", The Piano Guys, David Archuleta, Alex Boye', The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and...countless others - offer their gifts and talents in this regard.

We invite all to watch and to feel of the Holy Spirit as we ponder on the true meaning of this season and how we can better learn from His life, teachings and example.

Read more about it.


Monday, December 15, 2014

LeAnn's Christmas Memories and Traditions

Today we are happy to have LeAnn of Living Waters as our 'Guest Poster' today.  She's one of our favorite bloggers of all time and is going about doing much good online.  She often leaves comments for many bloggers (including on here) always very kind, thoughtful and uplifting.

We invite you all to read about some of her Christmas memories and traditions and then, read her blog.  She's a great example to the rest of us - about living what you share.  We thank her for taking the time to write!  Enjoy!

"For Unto Us a Child is Born...."

From LeAnn:
Christmas memories continue to reinforce the overall magic and the wonder of this season. 

My husband and I began dating 52 years ago in November. As we moved through the month of December the fun of being together and bonds of friendship strengthened. 

Christmas seasons through the years represent some of the best days of my life. For the two of us in the beginning, and then with our family, Christmas's have always been treasured moments. 

Having the Savior at the center of our Holiday Celebration has always been the priority. We enjoy this season of loving, giving and receiving. We love the real meaning of Christmas. We enjoy the symbolism of Christmas found in the Nativity, Santa, decorations, magical music and heart warming stories. 
Let me share three favorite Christmas traditions we have maintained throughout our years together. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

TIff's Comfortable Hair Ties for Girls - Christmas Gift Idea

These are GREAT!  They are handmade and much easier on the hair.  Perfect for girls of all ages who need cute and comfy hair ties!  My sweet niece, Tiffanie, is providing them.  I hope you'll support her good cause as you make the girls' in your life happy.  Great Christmas gift idea!

Order Here

Comfy Hair Ties

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cute Socks for Christmas! LDS Temples -

Here at 'Mormon Moms' we love to support women in the home; in their most important calling, that of raising the next generation of children in the admonition of the Lord.  That is our main focus and our mission.

So, we're happy today to share with you a special story of a small business, TRUE CREW SOCKS,  in Washington State, partially run by Stacey, a stay-at-home mother of five ,who believes 'strongly in the product and in the people who created it'.

That endorsement, right there, helped us know that we wanted to share her story.  I decided to let you just tell you in her own words about this business as I might not have done it justice had I attempted to edit.

My own girls (age 20 featured below- and age 17) love these and think they are 'soooooo cute!'

Here's their story:

"I am an LDS SAHM mom of 5 and am doing all the marketing and social media for free because I believe so strongly in the product and in the people who created it. 99% of the TW/IG/FB posts are by me, and most of the legs in the pics are those of my teenagers :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Snap Pea Stir Fry

We thank Andrea of Mama Mabey for her submission of this healthy, yummy recipe!  (We love sugar snap peas [and the other veggies] in our home, too!)  Thank you, Andrea!
Keep your "Mormon Recipes" coming!

Snap Pea Stir Fry

6 cups water
3 cups Long Grain Organic Brown Rice Cooked 
1/2 tsp Salt 

1 lb ground sausage or diced chicken
1 bunch Kale cut into 1/4" strips 
1/2 lb Sugar Snap Peas 
1/2 lb broccoli cut into 1/2" pieces 
1 yellow squash diced
3 zucchini squash diced
4 Organic carrots cut into  1/4 x 2" spears
1 TBS Tamari soy sauce 
2 TBS Toasted Sesame Oil

Prepare the rice according to the package directions.  In a separate skillet, brown the meat.  Cut up the vegetables except the Snap Peas and put them over the browned meat to steam.  Cover.  Check every 5 minutes as it only takes 4-5 minutes to cook the vegetables once they get up to temperature.  Add the Snap Peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Serve rice and vegetables with additional Soy Sauce on the side.

Friday, December 5, 2014

NEW TODAY: #FamilyHistoryFriday - SHARE YOUR STORIES!!!

Today is the first day in a wonderful journey called #FamilyHistoryFriday.  Spearheaded by Rachel, this effort will bless many lives.

We encourage you to read her POWERFUL article - and to share with family and friends.

"Do you want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary
 in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors." 
~Elder Richard G. Scott

Each of us have limited time on this earth.  How will we spend our days?  How can we learn from and help those who have gone before and aren't able to do these things for themselves?

Reading about my ancestors has really blessed and strengthened me.  In the mid 1800's my great-great grandfather was headed to the America's with his family who'd recently joined the church in Norway.  Before they left, his father had a dream that one of his children would not make it all the way to Utah.  His son, Andrew, was taken sick on the ship and pronounced dead by the ship's doctor.  The policy was to throw the deceased overboard so as to not infect others.  But, his father protested.  This was not the child in his dream.  He pleaded with the ships doctor to give him one-more-day and then he pleaded with the Lord to bless his son to 'awaken'.  The next morning Andrew 'came to' and...they made it safely to New York.  Sadly, on their way across the desert plains, one of their daughters took ill and passed away.

Andrew's Parents: Tellef John Israelsen and Dorothea Markussen

I am SO thankful that his father was in-tune enough to know his son Andrew (my great-grandfather) would live, otherwise, I, and my son (his namesake, Andrew) would not be here.  Nor would any of my family or siblings etc.

Reading about my maternal grandmother, Eva, and her tender husband, my Grandpa Victor (whom I've felt close to since I was three and he passed away) and their lives together on the farm has given me insights into the depths of their souls, the love they shared and the personal trials they experienced.

Book their Children Compiled
Days on the Farm

Hard Workin' Boys

Dressed Up
Israelsen Girls ('the twins' and their older sister)

My sweet Grandma at age 103 - two years before she passed away

A few weeks ago I got their book out again and read about their first year of married life and my grandfather being deployed for military service far from home.  Their letters to each other were deeply moving to me.  They were so in-love, missed each other tremendously and eagerly, and prayerfully, awaited the time they'd be back together - hoping to never be separated again. 

Please consider sharing messages about #FamilyHistoryFriday with us and with those you love.  We'd love to hear what you do and what you are learning.  Isn't it neat that we can be connected with people of all time and ages?  Our progenitors experienced similar emotions as we do during a different time and era of the world (emotions can connect us) and we can learn much from them.

If you have a story to share - write it below or send us a link to your blog where you've written it.  We love learning about YOU and YOUR family.  It blesses us all!!!

Remember to use #FamilyHistoryFriday on your post.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

And the Contest WINNER is....

Congratulations to:
Jennifer Thomas of Rockmart, Georgia

WINNER of a 1-yr FREE Subscription to LDS Living Magazine

Congratulations, Jennifer, mother of three little ones and husband in nursing school.  We felt that you were the 'right' one to win this time and...hope that you enjoy the magazine as you raise your precious little ones.

We offer our support to all you hard-working mothers.  We know it's not easy and you're often tired and sometimes overwhelmed but that it's mixed with sweet joys, personal rewards and little arms hugging you around the neck.

There's nothing else you could be doing that matters more; to raise these children up in the 'admonition of the Lord' as you teach, nurture, and love.

Blessings to you all for the good that you are doing - even when it's thankless or you don't see the fruits of your labors.  They will come someday!

And....Thanks for ALL who entered our contest.  We LOVED reading through your wonderful and sincere messages and it was hard for us to only select one winner as all were worthy entries. It's not too late to get a discounted subscription for 2015 - ONLY $12.00 until the end of the year.  So, hurry and sign-up HERE now.