Our Family Theme.

Waaaay back in August on the eve of the children's first day back at school, Ryan and I catered our annual back to school feast a la Nie.

For weeks I pondered what we would focus on as a family in this new year. What theme would help my children battle through the everyday challenges life outside these safe four walls present? What could we focus on together that would strengthen us as a family and individually?

One morning after an especially difficult night with the baby I was feeling sorry for myself. I said a quick prayer and immediately thought of the lovely hymn "Have I Done Any Good?" Adjusting to life with four children and a colicky baby was proving very difficult for me. I found myself wallowing in my own struggles instead of focusing on serving others. That was where I was going all wrong. I know that by serving others I feel better. I feel more in-tune with the Spirit, with my Heavenly Father and with the Savior. I know that by forgetting myself and putting others first, I really find myself. I feel strengthened, uplifted and loved. Exactly the way I wanted my children to feel when they are away at school.

After discussing my thoughts with my dear husband, we decided this would be our family theme for the year:

Have I Done Any Good?

During our special dinner we introduced the theme to the children. We talked about little things they could do throughout any given day that could change some one's mood. A smile, a kind hello, an invitation to play during recess. Small acts of kindness and service.

And wouldn't you know it, President Monson spoke on our family theme during General Conference just this last weekend. You should have seen my children's eyes light up as our dear Prophet spoke of how children throughout the world were doing good. The very same things they were doing.

How grateful I am for a Prophet. For inspired church leaders that manage to speak to the very core of my soul on a semi annual basis. For the opportunity be a little better everyday. And to do good.

I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody's need made me blind;
But I never have yet
Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.



  1. I too loved that message from President Monson and have felt that good influence of doing good for others in my life. Great lessons to teach our kids.

  2. I loved President Monson's talk so much, and we too have been trying to help our kids focus on something each day that they can do for someone else.

    I love the look on Easton's face in the second picture. He is such a sweet boy and you can see it all over his face.

    You and Ryan are such wonderful parents, and a good example. Your kids are blessed to belong to such a great family!

  3. It is SO refreshing to see parents still teaching these principles to their children.

  4. Such a perfect theme for your family! If every family would be so attune to what we need to teach our kids, the world would be a much better place.

    Well done!

  5. I really love this post. I love the honesty and the motivation. We have talked about this in our home a lot this year. On doing things for others. It truly changes our hearts the more we serve. Thank you for sharing. You are a great example.

  6. I told myself a while ago I would stop visiting blogs that only showed what to buy or how perfect everything in life was. However, that is not the case with your blog. I love it. It is simple, real, and lovely. Thank you.

  7. Serving others always leaves you with a good feeling inside. Great theme for your family this year. I bet your kids can make a good impact on those around them at school and elsewhere.

  8. I love this post- and I love the idea of having a formal family theme for a year. What a great way to reinforce the importance of good moral character!!

  9. I LOVED that message too! I want to make a jar of warm fuzzies, and each time we see a child make a good choice that helped someone else, we could let htem put their fuzzy in!!

    i too am grateful for inspired church leaders!

  10. What a great idea. What a great FHE. I have also been thinking about a way to get my children to think about someone other then themselves...

  11. Love everything about this post. Your handsome husband, those adorable boys, the inspiration, the message, the pics.

  12. His talk was so good, wasn't it? I love the theme you chose and need to implement it here. It does a body good to do good for other bodies.

  13. how i love your post! it's always so fun to be reading someone's blog, that you are starting to love dearly...and then see that they have the same values as yourself. and then? to see you can be balanced. inspiration i find everywhere lately...especially on dandy.

  14. I sang that very hymn to my newborn babe a few short hours before I placed him into the loving arms and hearts of his eternal family.