Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to school feast and Family theme

I thought and thought about what our family theme for the year should be.

I wanted it to be inspiring, without being preachy.

I wanted it to convey our love for the Gospel and be applicable in our everyday lives.

I was sitting in traffic when it hit me. When the inspiration struck.

With the knowledge of what our family theme would be, I set off to find the perfect back to school gifts that went with the theme.
I planned a dinner and dessert for our Back to School feast that I hoped they would all like.
Jeff and arranged what we would each talk about.

And I prepared myself to watch the glowing faces of my children as they soaked in the inspired Allen family theme for 2010.

We started with dinner. So far so good. Everyone likes a good stir fry because they can pick out what they don't like and keep the rest.

We used my great grandmother's dishes, perfect for the special occasion.

After dinner, we asked them all to stay seated as we presented them with our thoughts and ideas, all in preparation for revealing the family theme.

Well....lets just say that mayhem ensued. The older children were just fine, quiet and attentive. (My two middle schoolers. Crazy. We gave them each a book mark with a picture of a girl wearing the full armour of God, and a modest is hottest chapstick. Love that idea. Don't you?)

But it took a good 5 minutes to settle everyone else down, to try and talk someone down who was angry and yelling (no it wasn't me or Jeff) and to try and not be angry that my "perfect" little moment was flying out the window, and to try and recover the evening. I felt a kinship with my friend Karen at that moment. You can read about her experience here.

But then, thankfully, gratefully, peace resumed and we were able to finish out the evening on a better note.

We discussed learning. How we gain knowledge and how knowledge serves us. Knowledge from the best books, especially the scriptures, and how having this knowledge and strong foundation can help us know what to do when we don't know what to do.

We talked about learning how to learn and seek by faith to gain intelligence and apply spiritual knowledge in righteousness. (thank you to Elder Bednar and the Friend for the article I used, you can read it

We then read Doctrine and Covenants secton 93 verse 36 which says:
The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

I present to you, the Allen family theme for 2010.

(my friend Amber Puzey over at PinePlace did the vinyl for me.)

So every morning as they come down the stairs, even if they don't pay attention to it everyday, this will be there. Ready to filter into their minds and help them desire increased intelligence, through learning at school, but also through the scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In conjunction with this theme, we gave each child a journal with their names printed on the front. And on the cover of each journal is a quote from Marjorie Hinckly that says: "Everything you are learning now is preparing you for something else".

Our hope is that the children will use their journals to write down things that they have learned. It doesn't need to be profound or groundbreaking. It can be as simple as "Today I learned that Bobby is a jerk." Or "Today I learned that I have a better day when I read my scriptures" or "Today I learned that playing on the monkey bars in a skirt is a bad idea."

It's up to them. But hopefully they will fill it with their thoughts, with their ideas, and with the knowledge that they are gaining.

I love my children. I love my family. Even when we aren't perfect, which is EVERY DAY!

But if I can help them, even if it's just in fractions, to be better, to do better, and to choose better, then hopefully I will have done my job as their mother.

So here is to a new year. We can't wait to see what it holds for us.


  1. Ha! Thanks for the shout-out! It's funny how these things tend to work out.

    But I love the new theme, I love the journals, and I love the the quote.

  2. I love how you gave "Bobby" a different name. :)

  3. I love the new theme and journals. I think the journals were a great idea. I may have to do that...

  4. What a great idea to have a family theme! I love the one you chose its awesome. Your such a great creative mom and I am sure your kids will thank you someday:)


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