TEMPLES: this makes my HEART happy

Summer Idea: pictures of famous places around the world on our laminated maps. Learning in a fun way!

This is a photo from long ago. Now, we have oodles of little red stickers indicating LDS Temples. It takes a long time to find all 150+ temples. Someday it will look something like this.

Anyhoo… back to the famous places. These are the ones I found with Creative Commons license (free for personal use). Yeah – I know they are small on this collage. In real life, they will print as 2×3.

It was fun to discover new cool places. It will be fun to see where they are located on the world map.

But… my soul knew something even better was missing. I knew we needed something MORE. I found some temples for free download on the church’s site. I only got 149 of them, but figured it would be a good representation. These images have 6-9 images per 4×6 card so they will be smaller – but oh so great.

Now – this – is – cool!! 149 temples all over the world. What LIGHT! What POWER!

When I was at Ricks College – oh, in 1995 or so, I decided a grand goal would be to visit all the temples. I believe there were fewer than 50 at the time. I don’t think this goal is very feasible now … so pictures will have to do.

I’ll take a picture of our maps, when we get the new little pictures put up. MY HEART LOVES TEMPLE POWER!

a little uplift

This quote from Thomas S. Monson about the temple strengthens me.

Spring Tulips

A lovely spring break day for viewing tulips with Grandma & having lunch with Dad.

the LIGHT wall

Ever since I let go of the idea that anything hung on the walls had to be fancy or expensive, I’ve really enjoyed thinking of ideas for wall themes.

WE’ve got the U.S. & World maps with stickers for temples, the proclamation & family wall, the Living Christ wall, the corner for smith fam silhouettes. In the works are a LIGHT wall full of happy colors & messages of truth, an America wall that highlights some of the states where we’ve lived, a words from the prophets wall, choose the right wall, and a wall for motherhood.

I decided that since I love cheerful colors, why not decorate with them. Al-righty then. These are some of the messages & pictures for the LIGHT wall. I got 35 free royalty-free images for signing up for an account at deposit photos (i cancelled once I used all the freebies). That site is where I got these great images. I added the scriptures & quotes which made for a cheerful project this week.

Proclamation – Family – Temple

You know when you have a glorious idea for family home evening and you plan it for weeks… and then when you actually have it, it’s not quite like you envisioned. Yes. This happens. It happened on Monday. But – ya know – despite its imperfections, it’s still a fun memory for me. I hope my kids will remember it too. There was craziness and hitting (from the littles) and arguing (who got more turns putting on stickers … and who got to hold pictures) … but the Spirit was there as much as possible and so hopefully the kids learned something.

The Message: Temples & Families can be Together Forever

The Activity: Pin a few more stickers on temples in the United States… we’re about half-way done.

The Goal for 2012: Earn as many pennies as we can for the ‘Temple Building Fund’. The kids loved running all over the house trying to find all the lost stashes of coins. They’ve even contributed a few of their own $$ which is a huge sacrifice because they hardly ever have $$. (I loved Jimmy’s idea to add these coins to our Counting Money Jar and each year we’ll contribute to a different church fund).

And then… today I finally got some new pictures on the wall. I think the last time I changed the pictures in the frames in the stairway was in Arizona… like 6 years ago. Nice! And in our bedroom we had those 2 frames with all the models staring at us for like 2 years (sideways no-less). Now we have our children smiling back at us. It’s nice. My favorite wall is the play room with the proclamation and family pictures. I so don’t know how to arrange a cool collage like that but since it is lined up on the top and some of the sides, I guess we’ll keep it.

Nothing in our home is fancy. I’ve come to grips that I have no style or trendiness in me. The breakables can’t even be out right now in this stage. But I hope my kids will have good memories of this home and that what is on the walls will remind them that our goal is ETERNAL LIFE … to be together as a family in the Celestial Kingdom.

Jimmy’s New York Trip 2011

Last week I went to New York to attend Conversion Conference, a professional conference all about learning how to build better websites to improve conversion (as in converting browsers into buyers). While there I was able to do a little sight seeing. I visited the Manhattan New York LDS Temple, I walked down to Times Square and visited M&M World, and I walked through Central Park.

Manhattan New York LDS Temple
Manhattan New York LDS TempleI was able to make it into an endowment session at the Manhattan Temple on my first night in New York. Before that, though, I gave myself a tour of this multi-purpose building. The temple is really a building within a building. On the first floor is a family history center, on the second floor are some public affairs offices, and on the third floor is a typical meeting house with a chapel, basketball court, and lots of class rooms. The fourth, fifth, and sixth floor are the temple.

I almost didn’t make it into the temple session. I arrived at the recommend desk of about 35 minutes prior to the start of the session. I had a new temple recommend and I knew that it had not been activated, but my stake president thought they could call him and verify everything and let me in. The worker at the front desk took my name and information, and he tried for 25 minutes to contact someone in the temple presidency to come do a verification of me. Finally, ten minutes before the session was to begin, a counselor in the temple presidency came to the recommend desk. The desk worker offered him the information I had provided, but he declined to look at it. He just shook my hand, looked me in the eye, and said it was okay for me to come in.

M&M World

M&M World is located near Times Square. It is probably among the few family friendly things to see and do at Times Square. It was interesting, but I didn’t stay long. It’s mainly just a large gift shop for M&M’s merchandise and over priced chocolate.
M&M World New York
Central Park

Central Park was different than I expected. It is very big. The city feels so rushed and busy and crazy, but once you step into the park, it felt much more calm and normal. There are lots of people jogging, riding bikes, mothers pushing baby strollers, kids playing, etc. I was intrigued by to very large rock formations, which looked natural, but I wonder if they are or not.

Central Park New York
So that’s about it for my New York Trip. The conference was excellent, but I missed the family. Read Heather’s post on awesome-ness to see the souvenirs I got the kids.