Yesterday I was in Costco in the cheese section, snatching up a sample of hummus and naan, when I overhead a young father singing to his baby in the car seat. I couldn’t resist: I had to compliment him on helping his child develop preemergent literacy skills!
What are preemergent literacy skills? They are the skills a child develops before they learn to read or write. And a parent is the best person to help a child develop those critical abilities.
You might be wondering what the blue morpho butterfly has to do with preemergent literacy skills or Christmas gift suggestions, which is where I’m going with this post.
It has everything to do with it!
Last month I wrote a post summarizing some of the points I was going to share in my presentation on preemergent literacy skill development. (See “The Rewards of Literacy Span Generations”). In my presentation, I showed a blue morpho butterfly to my listeners. I pointed out that butterflies develop all that they need to fly while in their chrysalis. We have children in our homes for roughly 18 years, and during that time, we have enormous influence in shaping their brains–particularly in the first 3-5 years of their lives, and then the remaining years as we provide ongoing nourishment for those developing brains.
What kind of wings?
What we feed their brains and bodies and spirits makes ALL the difference in the world! Consider the kinds of “wings” you are helping to build in your child: how will they be able to “fly” based on the knowledge you are feeding them?
Of course we want to feed our children’s brains, bodies, and spirits the best we can possible feed them. In Out of the Best Books, S. Michael Wilcox “recall[s] sitting in an English class at BYU with Dr. Arthur Henry King, one of the finest educators [Wilcox] studied under. He taught that if we teach a child to read and do not teach them also what is worth reading, we only arm the enemy. We want to arm the children!” King was of course referring to the daily battle between good and evil, the emancipation of the human mind and spirit from the fetters of ignorance and crippling spiritual degradation.
How do we teach our children what is worth reading? We find the best books ourselves and then share them with them, whether that means giving them as gifts, taking them to the library and checking them out, building an audio listening library (by purchasing books or paying for a subscription to an online service such as Audible.com OR listening to books for free on Librivox or through your local library), or reading them online together. (You can read books online for free at read.gov, Libraries of Hope, and The Gutenberg Project.) As a grandmother, you might consider starting a family book club and sharing “books of the month” with each of your families.
It’s like seeing a butterfly and inviting your child to come see it with you!
So onto Christmas, because it’s that time of year!
Christmas gift book recommendations
Here are just a handful of books I recommend from my reading this year and some classics that our family has loved over the years:
Wings for infants and toddlers:
Wings for pre-K through 8 years:
Wings for 8-12 years:
Wings for 12 years and up:
Wings for adults:
You can read A Christmas Carol on line for free. Here is one website where it is available: read.gov. You can also listen to a dramatized version of it here. (It’s less than 25 minutes long–short enough for a family night or dinner listening!). I love this printed version (shown above) with pictures illustrated by P.J. Lynch.
For more recommendations of books we’ve loved, go here.
If you are looking for a specific recommendation for a child’s particular interest or age, message me on Instagram (@RACFLP or @raisingamazingchildren), Facebook, or comment below. I’d love to try to help you find a book that your child might enjoy!
Want to donate to the Orem City/United Way of Utah County/Just Serve’s Book Drive? All money collected will be used to purchase books for children in Orem who are in need. (Please type “2019 Christmas Book Drive” in the “Comments” section. Thanks!)
You are the parent: choose well
I think the most important thing to remember when choosing books for your child is that God chose YOU to be the parent. He is giving you a chance to nurture your child, and He wants you to be wise, careful and loving about what you feed that child, giving them the best nourishment you can so they can flourish mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Choose well! Listen to your heart. I believe in you.
The message of this song is powerful: I care if you are hurting and want to take your own life. That is how I feel. I care. Do you need help? Tell someone close to you who can help you! If you don’t know anyone, call one of these free helplines:
I had an idea today. 💡 It’s not a new idea, but I’m hoping it’s an answer to prayer.
I want my teenagers to not only eat breakfast but to eat a healthy breakfast.
We don’t have a lot of time in the morning.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time making breakfast everyday. (Cooking is not my favorite way to spend time.)
I don’t want our family eating store-bought cereal because most prepared cereals are high in sugar and low in nutritional value and do not have much staying power.
My idea was to make healthy breakfast choices today and put them in the fridge and freezer. Then we can choose from the choices available and eat healthily, even in a hurry.
So I made pancakes for them to eat today and froze the leftovers. I had leftover breakfast cookies, so I put them in the freezer.
I cooked wheat berries (kernels) and Irish oats (not together!) and put them in the fridge.
I had already boiled eggs yesterday, because I try to keep boiled eggs on hand. And I already have frozen greens and fruit in the bottom of the freezer for green smoothies.
I made a list of breakfast options and stuck it on the fridge.
I will tell them about it today. When the cold cereal is gone (not a super healthy choice), I won’t buy more, unless we are on vacation or someone wants it for their birthday. Although this last weekend, I said no more sugar cereal on vacation. We just need to eat better!
I’m remembering from Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense (by Ellyn Satter) that when it comes to food, a mother’s job is WHAT and WHEN and a child’s job is HOW MUCH and WHETHER. (I think that is what she said. It’s been a long time since I read it, and I can’t find the book in my library right now….). So I’ve decided what is healthy and what are the choices, and they can choose from those choices whatever they want on days when I’m not preparing it for them.
We’ll see how it goes. I’m sure it won’t solve all our breakfast problems, but I’m hoping it improves things.
AND I heard this great quote today from Gordon B. Hinckley to know if our good ideas are promptings or not:
“How do we recognize the promptings of the Spirit?” President Gordon B. Hinckley read Moroni 7:13, 16–17 and then said: “That’s the test, when all is said and done. Does it persuade one to do good, to rise, to stand tall, to do the right thing, to be kind, to be generous? Then it is of the Spirit of God. …
“If it invites to do good, it is of God. If it inviteth to do evil, it is of the devil. … And if you are doing the right thing and if you are living the right way, you will know in your heart what the Spirit is saying to you.
“You recognize the promptings of the Spirit by the fruits of the Spirit—that which enlighteneth, that which buildeth up, that which is positive and affirmative and uplifting and leads us to better thoughts and better words and better deeds is of the Spirit of God” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 260–61).
(Click here to go to the source of this quote online.)
I was swimming laps yesterday (after doing a little ballet with Anna, which was so fun to have her lead me in a little warm-up-to-the-day exercise), thinking again how I wish I had learned to swim laps as a child.
Today, in the pool again, I decided to work on learning a flip turn. Somehow when I was young, I got afraid of doing things like cartwheels and somersaults and flips. It may have had something to do with a bad experience trying to do a back dive off the side of a pool once when I hit my head on the wall coming back in from my dive: I had forgotten to push away. It hurt so much that I didn’t go back to trying to do it again. Maybe it was just my personality of being afraid of getting hurt!
As an adult, doing a flip turn is something I want to learn to do and conquer. So today Lane patiently helped me figure out how to do the somersault in the water. After maybe 20 tries, I said a prayer for help. After the prayer I was able to do it, slowly, 10 times correctly. Then I was tired: a run and a hike and lots of water somersaults was enough for one day! I’ll have to work on the turn part of that another day.
I feel like I have such a desire to learn new things as an adult that I didn’t have the chance to learn as a child. And it makes me want to help children learn to overcome fears and have fun learning things like swimming and flip turns and somersaults and splits and whatever fun physical activities when they are young so that as they grow they have the courage and self-confidence to know that they can do hard things!
It makes me think: if I were to design elementary age curriculum, I would include much more physical education than I ever had. I would have each grade learn to walk and then run distances. Kindergarten: a half mile. First grade: 1 mile, and up on through the grades until the sixth graders, who can run a 10K when they finish!
And wouldn’t it be great to have a few minutes of yoga/stretching every day in kindergarten? And dance twice a week? And basic gymnastics once a week? And teaching children anatomy and physiology and physics and geometry and culture and geography as you move, right from the start?
Wouldn’t it be so amazing to just plant these seeds of knowledge in such natural ways–to talk about gravity when you fall or try to reach–that the children grow and acquire so much more each year, building on their knowledge?
And music fits so naturally with movement, as does second language learning. There are just so many ways that multiple subjects can be combined to make learning so much more effective and fun!
Well, there’s nothing like a little quiet lap swim or morning run or a hike with my husband to get me brainstorming about things like educational reform!
I was making dinner and watching (and then eating alone as my family all had to scatter hither and yon to their various commitments) “Don’t Miss This”–I can do that kind of thing since I no longer have children holding onto my legs or standing on food storage buckets to help me cook 😉&😓–when Emily Belle Freeman mentioned a song she loves that I hadn’t heard of: “Let It Be Jesus” by Christy Nockels. And so, as I sometimes do, I looked up the song and listened. I was really touched by Christy’s message and also by the worshipping spirit of those who were at her concert. I love thinking about Christians and other wonderful people of other faiths around the globe celebrating The Good and goodness wherever they find it!
And, as I sometimes do, I saw a link to a song by Ben Platt, a voice that one of my daughters in particular has loved listening to, and it caught my attention. I listened, and loved it. The lyrics reminded me of this week. I mean, it’s only Tuesday, but the weekend was really hard, and Monday was the hardest of all.
If I were to guess, I would say it was my total change of routine from exercise, post-marathon recovery. Because Saturday I went to Pilates, which felt so good, but wasn’t enough of a workout to make up for all the rest days of last week. Then Monday it took everything to get out and run two miles and then run/walk the last almost-mile. But a nap and better night’s sleep and then after swimming laps this morning I seriously felt like almost back to myself again.
The reason I’m telling you all this is that this weekend I was so cranky and out of sorts, and Monday morning I just felt so contrary and sorry for Lane having to put up with the challenge of my emotional rollercoaster. I thanked him for his patience after our morning prayer, because I could see that he had been so patient and kind all weekend, even when I hadn’t been. I was truly feeling gratitude for him. I guess after you have a parent who left your other parent, you never take for granted love and fidelity. You know they are what God expects, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
And so that’s why I wanted to share this song. Because I think that is what marriage is all about: we grow together. I know the song is about a break-up, but I think it can be for sticking together when times gets tough! Lane has been around the block with me enough to know that I don’t want to struggle with sleep (and end up sleep-deprived), and that I want to exercise and never have to deal with hormonal changes and that I want to never have an off day! He knows all too well. But that’s just what I’ve been dealt. It’s my package deal. And he knows I work hard at it, to try to improve how I deal with my challenges and work to make the ups and downs less frequent. But we all have ups and downs! I’m so grateful that Lane believes in growing as we go, and that we both know that Christ will help us pull through the rough spots.
I remember two weeks ago–already!!–when I was visiting with my friend at the church as we cleaned windows together and found out that the marathon course had rollers and hills! I had heard that it was “all downhill.” I was SO thankful to Jenn for telling me that it wasn’t all downhill. Then I knew what to expect.
Life is ups and downs–for our course to include rollers. Life is not just all downhill. It’s part of our covenant to hold fast to Christ as we run uphill and down, and sometimes to have sore knees and hamstrings and calves because of it. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Mentally.
Thank goodness we get to grow together as we go. I love my covenant marriage–because my husband works hard to keep his covenants. I love the Maker of our covenant.
P.S. I found one more video I had to share: Piano Guys (always fabulous) and Charity and Andres. It said it is a farewell dance because Andres is leaving to serve his mission for 2 years.
Those who care for newborns through children age three have an enormous, long-lasting impact on that child’s brain development. Love, bonding, and healthy physical food aren’t the only important aspects of parenting: “language nutrition”–or feeding the child’s brain adequately–is critical to that child’s future success.
Literacy matters. A lot.
I like the way one literacy program website put it: “Reading matters. It’s an early gateway skill that paves the pathway for future success. Without it, kids are simply less likely to graduate high school, find employment, or successfully avoid other hardships like poverty, homelessness, hunger, and injustice” (https://smartreading.org/what-we-do/).
“Language nutrition” means the way you talk to, sing to, and read to your child–anything you do that is person-to-person verbal interaction with your child.
Make conversation instead of giving commands. For example, it’s better for your child’s brain for you to say, “Guess what we are having for dinner? Here are some clues: It’s red and white and warm and has tomatoes and mushrooms in it! And you really like it!” It uses more vocabulary, imagination, and keeps you on a friendlier plane than simply commanding, “Come to dinner now.”
Change it up. Commands aren’t quite as nice, right? Children don’t like being ordered around all the time; adults don’t like it, either. How many commands do you give in a day to your child? Could you change that up to invite conversation more than just giving orders? Kind works better from the get go. From birth through young adults, inviting conversation is a great relationship builder.
My husband is really good at this; I, on the other hand, could definitely improve!
Word count (as in 30 million)
Talk A LOT to your baby. The more you talk, the better. Let’s go for 30 million words! Your socioeconomic status does NOT have to determine how many words your child hears from you! You can learn to speak kindly, wisely, and well no matter how much you make.
The term 30 million word gap (often shortened to just the word gap) was originally coined by Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley in their book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children, and subsequently reprinted in the article “The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3”. Hart and Risley physically recorded an hours worth of language in each home once a month over 2.5 years. Families were classified by socioeconomic status (SES) into “high” (professional), “middle” (working class), and “low” (welfare) SES. They found that the average child in a professional family hears 2,153 words per waking hour, the average child in a working-class family hears 1,251 words per hour, and an average child in a welfare family only 616 words per hour. Extrapolating, they stated that, “in four years, an average child in a professional family would accumulate experience with almost 45 million words, an average child in a working-class family 26 million words, and an average child in a welfare family 13 million words.
When your child reaches for something—like a ball—what happens? You probably say something about it, like, “Ball? You want the ball? Yes, that’s a blue ball. I can get you the blue ball. And look! This ball bounces! Look how high we can bounce the ball! Oh no, the blue ball just landed in the potty. Bye bye, blue ball!” So with one simple gesture toward an object, your child got you to talk (and talk and talk) to him about it. And hearing all those words was a boon to his language acquisition abilities.
Signing Time is just one resource for helping children learn ASL. I loved being able to communicate with my children using signs during church or other quiet venues when I didn’t want them to speak out loud! Baby Signing TIme is free on YouTube. When you watch it together, then you can practice together and acquire the skills together! Learning is the really fun parts of motherhood!
“A, You’re Adorable, B, You’re so beautiful” ♫
Sing to your baby. “C, You’re a cutie full of charm.” Singing is such a fun way to verbally interact with your child! Our oldest daughter’s spoke her FIRST word one night when I was rocking her in the rocking chair and singing to her as I always did, night after night. I sang at least 2 songs to her every night: “I Am a Child of God” and “Families Can Be Together Forever.” One night I started singing “I am a child of…” and she said, “God” before I did!
I was astonished!
Twenty-five years later, we still sing together. And when something funny happens that reminds us of a line from a song, we often quote that, too. Or a childhood book that we read over and over.
There are so many songs that have beautiful, varied vocabulary. Be sure to sing the BEST songs you can find that are appropriate for your young child.
What shall we read today?
A landmark study about parents reading to children discovered that “children of mothers who read to them frequently have larger vocabularies than kids who aren’t read to” (https://www.aecf.org/resources/the-30-million-word-gap/). That might sound really obvious, but the difference it makes to that child later in life is really big!
If you are reading to your child, you will both grow your vocabulary–if you select books that are interesting, varied, well-written, and non-fiction as well as fiction. (Check out @RACFLP on Instagram for ideas of books that I recommend!) You will both be better educated and have more fun. You will grow closer together. And you will help lay the foundation for success in your child’s life.
“Turn off the TV and open a good book.”
The video above from the University of Washington describes why TV is not an effective substitute for face-to-face interaction by a loving caregiver. In this video , early childhood language development expert Dr. Patricia Kuhl explains that infants who were exposed to very clear, recorded audio and video of the same live language sessions that other infants received, learned essentially the same amount as the control group (nothing). (The study linked above on hanen.org notes the same results in the review of 103 studies–that babies do not learn from TV and audio in the same way that they learn from live caregivers.)
If you want your baby’s brain to develop well, talk to her. Read to him. Sing to them! Teach them nursery rhymes and fingerplays and patty cake clapping games.
One wise leader (a very well-spoken and highly educated man), Gordon B. Hinckley, said,
“If we could follow a slogan that says, ‘Turn off the TV and open a good book,’ we would do something of substance in strengthening another generation. Do not misunderstand: There are so very many things of value that come over television, but we must be selective and not be as dumb, driven slaves to the trash of many writers and producers.…
That phrase, “Turn off the TV and open a good book,” shaped my motherhood. It is, in part, why my children are the way they are.
Will you read to me, Mom or Dad?
“The Reading Mother” by Strickland Gilliand used to be framed and perched on a shelf in our family library. We don’t have to be wealthy to give our children a rich vocabulary and enchanting linguistic experience. Fathers are fabulous readers, too, of course! My father left an indelible impression upon my heart when it came to making read aloud time fun. I like to think I have some of him in me when it comes to wanting to make reading aloud as fun as possible.
I had a mother who read to me Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea, Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth, “Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays Of ancient and gallant and golden days; Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe, Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales, True to his trust till his tragic death, Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things That wholesome life to the boy heart brings– Stories that stir with an upward touch, Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be– I had a Mother who read to me.
No phone zone
Cell phone usage by young mothers is also causing a decrease in brain development in children because they aren’t getting as much face-to-face interaction as they need. The neglect inadvertantly caused by parents using their cell phones is also causing problems in social emotional development. Several recent studies reviewed in Psychology Today explain the importance of putting down our phones to be present as parents. I know my teenagers like it when I give them my full attention instead of spending time with them on my phone. (And I appreciate the same courtesy!)
Emilie Poulsson (1853-1939) wrote books for children and gave lectures on parenting–all while being blind. This verse she penned has even more meaning knowing that she used her fingers to read Braille:
Books are keys to wisdom’s treasure; Books are gates to lands of pleasure; Books are paths that upward lead; Books are friends. Come, let us read.
Reading to our children doesn’t end when they are 3…or 5…or 8…or 12. We can read together as families at the dinner table, in family book clubs. We can read books together and then go see their movies.
The books picture above are the books one of my daughters took with her to college that she couldn’t leave behind: The Book Thief, Kisses for Katie, Little Women, The Hobbit, King Lear. (Her children’s books are packed up in a box for another time.) I think each of my daughters brought Little Women with her when they left home. It’s such a dear story! I bet they never cracked it open once while there, but “books are friends.” It’s comforting to have the ones you love not far from reach, right?
What we read to our children in childhood and what we provide for them to read as they grow into adults will stay with them forever. In turn, they will read to their children, who will read to their children. The reward of literacy will span generations to come, as long as the parents keep loving and talking to and reading to their children from the best books they can!
“The ways in which parents and children interact at home shape early differences in literacy development. Parents can tailor their child’s vocabulary development and critical thinking skills to prepare them for school by engaging in frequent conversations in academic English. As children mature, parents may increasingly use complex sentences, narrative structures and diverse vocabulary (Huttenlocher, et. al. 1991, Hoff-Ginsberg 1991, Hart & Risley 1992, Haden 1997, Weizman & Snow 2001; Goldberg 1989; Azevedo, et. al. 2007). Children who experience this kind of instruction at home have larger vocabularies and greater syntactic and narrative skills than do children whose parents do not enact such instruction. Differences in children’s oral language skills emerge as crucial once children have mastered basic decoding and the focus shifts to reading comprehension around the 2nd and 3rd grades. (Raudenbush Proposal 2010).”
The Orem Public Library has story time, music and movement time, baby time–how much time would you like to go and learn how you can have fun with you baby and young children? Check out their calendar to see what works for you! They also have many other wonderful resources, such as chess club, that we went to years ago.
The United Way of Utah County can help you learn more about how to care for your baby and help you improve your parenting. Stephanie Anderson is a specialist there who would love to help you find any resources that you might need!
Just Serve can help you find opportunities to tutor young readers or serve your community in lots of other ways. Or if you need some help, they might be able to connect you to someone who can help you!
@RACFLP on instagram is my account for sharing tips on teaching literacy and nurturing children, families and communities. I give away and share about my favorite books on this account. My goal is to build a person-to-person circulating library of some of the best books ever! Need a book recommendation for a specific age, topic, or circumstance? Feel free to message me on that account!
The Orem City, United Way, and Just Serve’s “Read Early Read Often” Book Drive will officially begin December 9, 2019. Links for more information or to donate money will soon be available on the United Way Utah County’s website.
As a follow up to our Family Night on nutrition, the next Monday at dinner I shared why eating a variety of naturally colorful foods in important: it helps us get more of the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to funtion well! I found a flyer online (click here for the source), printed it, and posted it next to my “Way to Eat” signs on the fridge.
These visuals have been good reminder to me of my goal to choose well what I put into my body and when I meal plan for my family.
I also wanted to remember the questions that our FHE guest asked us a few weeks ago in her little “nutrition quiz.” The purpose of the quiz was to help us individually evaluate where we were doing well and where we might want to improve.
She asked us 10 questions. She asked us to write down a number between 0-10 to answer the question. With percentage questions, 10=100%.
What percent of what I eat has NO added sugar?
How many servings of fresh fruits or vegetables do I eat per day? (1/2 cup=1 serving)
What percent of the time do I eat whole grain?
What percent of my fruits and vegetables are raw?
What percent of the time do I eat healthy fats?
What percent of the time do I eat organic* foods? (Foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides)
How many cups of water do I drink per day?
How many times during the week do I eat dessert?
What percent of the meat that I eat is NOT processed*?
What percent of the time do I NOT eat animal products*?
*Our teacher has strong feelings about organic, non-GMO, and animal-derived foods. That is why she included those questions. I found I do not share all of her concerns, but the test was still helpful to me!
Welcome! I'm Liz Livingston. As a mother of 7 (8, counting my daughter in-law) I have learned that it is the small and simple things that help me have peace and joy and help my husband and me in raising our amazing children. I believe EVERY person on earth has unlimited potential. Often it's the smallest decisions and actions that help us grow toward that potential, like kind, gentle words, a wholesome, simple meal, or a funny book read aloud together. Whatever you nurture grows! What will you do to nurture your or someone else's potential today?
The rewards of literacy span generations. To learn more about how you can help build your baby's brain and prepare her or him for reading and writing, click on the image.
Our journey to being active together has been slow and challenging, but we are learning that it is lots of fun and makes great memories. Exercising is more fun when done together! Click on the image to learn more about our journey to better health.
Mental illness is a challenge I have faced, but it doesn't define who I am. It defnitiely doesn't have to prevent me from fulfilling my purpose in life. Read my story in the "Dear Daisy" letters. Click on the image.
“I invite you to prayerfully consider what kind of sacrifice you can make…to do more family history and temple work this year.” (President Russell M. Nelson) Doing family history helps me feel more connected to my ancestors and feel their love for me. I feel more empowered when reading their stories! Family history and indexing can help anyone with addictions or mental health challenges. To learn more about how you can discover your family history for free, click on the image.
Whole foods help me feel better. This salad ROCKED. The photo doesn't do this salad justice. It was SO GOOD! To see the recipe and other things we've been cooking up lately, click on the photo.
Creating something useful is really satisfying and a great way to take a mental break from the stresses of life. Sewing everyday fabric napkins is a good project for a beginner AND a good way to replace single-use, throwaway napkins with something reusable. Click here to learn how to make them and other helpful things we've made.
I love music that helps me feel peaceful, happy, calm, energized, inspired. Click on the image to see links to just a few of the songs I love, including recents ones I have discovered like "I Will Shine" by Shawna Edwards.
Re-focusing my thoughts on Christ helps when I recognize my thoughts turning negative. Memorizing this document was a source of peace and power for me. Want to memorize "The Living Christ" document? Click on the image above to go to some audio recordings I have made to help.
You may have tangible wealth untold;/Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold./Richer than I you can never be--/I had a Mother who read to me.
❧ Strickland Gillian, "The Reading Mother"
Click on the photo to go to the entire poem "The Reading Mother."
Need an idea for a board book for a baby shower, birthday, or Christmas gift? Here's a list of some of our favorite books.
I am passionate about children's literature! To learn more about this and other books I recommend, click on the book!
This month I'm reading Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Marc Twain. I started it in June, and it's been slow going because I have just snippets of time for reading, and I want to read it instead of listening to it! To learn more about books I recommend, click on the book.
I listen to books more than I read these days. This book is very encouraging, particularly if you are interested in non-medical interventions for improving your mental health. Click on the image to go to a link to this and other audio books I recommend.
My Father's Dragon is a fabulously fun read for young parents to read to their children. Click on this book to see lists of books that we have enjoyed reading as a family.
We love good movies that the whole family can watch without wincing. Click on this movie to learn more about this film and others I recommend.
Commonsensemedia.org is one review site I use. Click on the button to visit their website.
Click on the image to listen.
“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life….Revelation can come hour by hour and moment by moment as we do the right things. When women nurture as Christ nurtured, a power and peace can descend to guide when help is needed. For instance, mothers can feel help from the Spirit even when tired, noisy children are clamoring for attention, but they can be distanced from the Spirit if they lose their temper with children….Because personal revelation is a constantly renewable source of strength, it is possible to feel bathed in help even during turbulent times.” Sister Julie B. Beck, “And Upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit”
Click on the quote to read more.
Which ideas that you have taught your children are true? Which are false? Ideas are powerful! They can help us change our behavior. They can improve our mental health. Click here to read more powerful ideas from past sidebar postings.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I love poetry! Click on the image to go to poems I love and posts about poetry.
Summer 2018: Sarah's white coat ceremony. (Lane was taking the photo.) I post a yearly family photo here.
Say "Cheese!" Family photos help us remember the good times and bring former happiness back to the present. Click on this photo to view some of my favorite family photos.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15. Need more love in your life? Click on the image to learn more!
The temple is my place of peace away from home. There are temples all around the world and more are being built everyday. Click on the image to see more.
Challenges and accompanying negative emotions are our common lot in life. The Savior understands, and knowing that helps me. Click on the image to read more about how I am learning to deal with negative emotions.
“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
❧ Gordon B. Hinckley
Family life is so funny! Click on the photo to read some of our family quotes.
Are you learning French? I'm passionate about French! I have links to both religious and non-religious French learning resources. Click on the image above to go to my resource page, which includes a link to my audio recordings of the Book of Mormon in French. Je suis en train d'enregistrer ma lecture du Livre de Mormon cette année. Cliquer sur l'image du livre pour voir la page d'enregistrements. (Sample audio below.)
Learning Finnish? My friend and her children recorded some of the songs from this Children's Songbook for me to help me begin to learn Finnish. Click on the book to go to these sweet recordings (listen to the sample recording below!).
our family mission statement
Our Livingston Legacy
is to leave the world we live in
better than we found it:
more full of love, cleaner, happier, safer, lovelier, more organized, better educated, healthier, and more peaceful. We will do this by keeping our covenants with Christ individually and as a family and by helping others to come unto Him. We will report to God and each other, strengthen and encourage one another every day,
and do it all to glorify God.
13 July 2014
I do not advertise on my blog. I do share links to books, music, and other resources that have been helpful to me in the hope that they might help meet someone else's need. I receive no commission from any purchases made from those links.
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