Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Scriptures and Children

I think the saying goes "and a little child shall lead them" or it's pretty close to that. Lately am learning this to be true. You see, I have been a wee bit lazy about my scripture reading for a very, very, very long time. For Christmas some of you may remember that Katelyn (my 7 yr old) told me she wanted her own scriptures when I asked what she wanted for Christmas. Considering most kids ask for the latest and greatest toys at that time of year, this was no problem for our Santa to deliver. Last Christmas all toys aside, Katelyn sat grinning over her brand new set of scriptures.

Still we haven't been diligent in reading them. That is until last week. Katelyn reminded me about the reading chart. What reading chart? Our stake has a Book of Mormon reading incentive program. The first time they read the Book of Mormon, they will receive a wooden plaque with a scripture on it (I think...could be a little poem, I can't remember). Each time after that they read it, they will receive a bead to add to the plaque. Katelyn reminded me of this and said she wanted to start reading it. Starting so late in the year, I realized we might not finish it by the stake recognition night. So I sat down with a calender and the chart and figured it all out. Reading at least 2 chapters a day (except for a bunch in 2 Nephi where we don't have to read the whole chapters....just the chapter headings and/or a few key verses for the chapters that say to compare to Isaiah...those we can do 3-4 a day) with me, she can finish the Book of Mormon in time for the recognition. Since she has a November birthday, this means she will also be able to finish it right around her 8th birthday...right before she is baptized. She's excited about that. Not sure how much she is comprehending but she insisted she read the "real" one and not the scripture stories version. The important thing is that she's doing it and she's even asked to read "the other books after we finish the Book of Mormon." I love her love of reading and I love that it's including the scriptures.

And back to my opening line.......well it's spurred me to read mine as well. Since I'm reading the Book of Mormon along with her, I'm using my personal study time to read the Doctrine and Covenants. We have a reading guide to be used for the Relief Society broadcast in September. So I'm using that for myself. So my child is leading me and it feels great!
The picture above is Katelyn's chart. She wanted me to color the picture and I did. Over on the left side is where we started and how far we've come so far. Each night after we finish, she chooses a different color crayon and colors in the chapters we read that night. Then on Sunday she can go to the blown up chart in primary and move her push pin to where she's at currently so others can see where she's at. She was excited to get a push pin and mark her first spot this past Sunday.

And then there's Laura. For the little ones who aren't quite reading yet or those just learning to read (so technically Katelyn falls into this one too....she just preferred not to), they can earn their recognition if they read the Book of Mormon Stories book twice in one year. So Laura is doing this with us. Each night she gets 1 or 2 chapters read to her. Usually 1 but sometimes she wants 2. She will also be able to finish in time for the stake recognition. She's so cute though....she sees big sister actually reading verses so she wants to read too but she's still learning to recognize letters of the alphabet. So I'll read a few words and then she repeats them. It makes her feel as if she's reading the book.
And another goal for Katelyn.....passing off Articles of Faith. She's never been very good at memorizing. During the school year we were more focused on helping her learn poems for class. Trying to help her with Articles of Faith then was too much for her. But this summer we are working on it. She just passed off #1 and for the next two weeks we are working with her on #2. Her goal is 4 Articles of Faith before school starts. Mine for her is 5 but we'll see. Some of them are a wee bit too long for her still. But we'll get there eventually. Still I'm proud of her for passing off #1. I know it wasn't easy for her and she did it!
And a little child shall lead them......

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July

We all know the real history and meaning of why we celebrate the 4th of July. So I won't bore my readers with any of that....even though I personally LOVE this holiday and why we celebrate. But here's the way the Raile's celebrate the 4th......

This wasn't our only food....just the cake on the table before I started putting out the rest of the food. They were too pretty not to get a picture. They tasted good too.
Laura and Samual kept snacking on this bag of Doritos all day long. They even ate them while watching fireworks. They ate the whole bag!

With FUN
The little kids....Katelyn (7 1/2), Laura (3 1/2) and Samual (4) had a great time playing. Their favorite was our water fight. We go all out with water guns of every size, buckets, whatever can hold water. Adults and kids alike participate. No pictures though, I didn't want to ruin my camera.
Laura had tons of fun with the sparklers. She looks like she has a flame coming out of her head here. LOL!

A better picture of her with a sparkler. She really did love them. Big sister doesn't like them though.

Samual had a blast with the sparklers too. Daddy Aaron had to help him though as he was a bit dangerous waving his around.
Jacob had fun entertaining us....and we had fun watching him entertain us. Here he is with a roman candle which are legal in our city.

Jacob was a great sport with the little kids. I know he was annoyed a few times but really he was a great friend and kept them entertained all afteroon.
Left-right: Elizabeth, Sandra, Kathryn (me of course).....love how my shirt is still wet from the water fight earlier. We all met and became friends in the Los Alamitos Ward.
The Skinners on the right.....Samual, Elizabeth and Aaron
The Hayhurts on the left.....Erick, Cameron, Jacob, and Sandra
Aaron and the Hayhurts ready to watch the fireworks

My grandma actually came out this year. She seemed to enjoy it. And no, granny did not participate in the water fight in case anyone is wondering. haha!
My dad is always hamming it up for the camera. I think he was glad he didn't have to man the grill. :)
Grandma, dad, mom, Laura and Katelyn getting ready to watch fireworks.

Our city still allows the ground show stuff...you know the "safe and sane" ones. We live on a street great for setting these off pretty safely. Plus we get a great view of all the illegal air show ones that people set off every year in the city just to the south of us. We don't need to spend money to see a show......we do just fine on our own. :)
Jacob was in charge of setting off the ground show for us.....under very strict adult supervision. He was entertaining us with a roman candle here after we realized it wa a roman candle and that's why it would stand like the others. haha!
Katelyn did very well this year. Usually she's found hiding behind the cars or running around freaking out. Also the neighbor usually lends her his headphones he uses to block out loud sounds while woodworking cause of how freaked out she gets. This year she just plugged her ears and curled up with her blanket and semi-enjoyed it. Yeah she's never been too fond of the loud noises of most fireworks.
To all those who have served our country past or present, to anyone who has had a loved one sacrifice their lives for our country, we thank you for your service and dedication! We hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July whereever you were!