Thursday, February 27, 2014

Movie Choices

Parents!  Step up to the plate and do your job!  And what is your job?  To be the parent.

I read with interest the advice column in this morning's newspaper: Annie's Mailbox 
 PG-13: Not My 14-Year-Old

Dear Annie: I'm livid. My 14-year-old daughter and her friends want to see a certain PG-13 movie on Saturday. But after I read the reviews, I will not allow her to go. Why does the film industry produce movies with words and scenes that are such filth?

We want movies for our children that have decent content and tell stories that have values and drama without us parents always having to worry that what will be said or shown is contrary to what we want our children exposed to. Can't some great producer or film school graduate figure that out? They would be surprised to know how many parents no longer allow their kids to go to the movies, and that means no money in their pockets.

Please, let's protect their innocence as long as possible before they have to see the world's ugliness passed off as entertainment. — Mom

Dear Mom: If all kids truly stayed away from PG-13 movies that contained too much violence, sex and foul language, change would come. Unfortunately, that's not what happens. Your daughter and her friends might stay home, but most kids don't.

We, too, wish Hollywood would stop pandering to our most base instincts, but as long as the money keeps coming in, that's what is going to be out there. The only movies guaranteed not to have such material are those rated G and PG. Beyond that, parents have to read reviews and use their best judgment.

I would like to add that as your children move into the teen years, train them to read the movie reviews themselves and help them make an educated decision if the movie is appropriate and in line with  your family's media standards. 

Our family uses the standards for appropriate media choices that are found in  For the Strength of Youth Pamphlet

 ...Choose wisely when using media because whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you...

...Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit.

I have found that the website is a wonderful tool to use when deciding on whether or not it is appropriate to see a movie or not.  They also have an app that I have downloaded to my ipad.
This is the app picture that is on my ipad for Kids in Mind
This is explanation taken from webpage on how it is set up:

Kids In Mind gives you a way to determine exactly what content is in a movie and whether a movie is appropriate. Unlike the MPAA ratings (R, PG-13, PG, etc.) we do not assign an rating based on age.
We assign each film three distinct, category-specific ratings: one for SEX & NUDITY, one for VIOLENCE & GORE and one for PROFANITY.
Each rating is on a scale of zero to ten, depending on quantity (more F-words, for instance, will mean a higher Profanity rating, and so on) as well as context (especially when it comes to the categories of sex, nudity, violence and gore, since they are not as easily quantifiable as profanity).

Check it out.....And please pass the popcorn. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I Will Be Your Light in the Wilderness

Lisa submitted an article that was published in the March 2014 Ensign Magazine.

She wrote about her impressions of 1 Nephi 17:13 found in the Book of Mormon:

“And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you...wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.”

Below is a cut and paste of the article:

I Will Be Your Light in the Wilderness
By Lisa Lynnette Magnusson

It had been a long day at work, and I was in no mood to go visiting teaching. I printed off the message from the Church’s website before turning off my computer, planning to skim the text during the red traffic lights on the way to the home of the sister I was to visit. I glanced through the message carelessly as I picked it up off the printer, but the first scripture made me stop and sit back down at my desk: “I will also be your light in the wilderness;. . . wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led” (1 Nephi 17:13).

The Spirit whispered that although the afternoon’s visiting teaching appointment was for the benefit of the sister I was to visit, this message was meant for me. Though my life was nothing to complain about, I was a young single adult living far away from home, trying to get established in a new career and doing my best to serve actively in a challenging calling. I knew there was a promised land out there somewhere in my future, but at the present, it often felt as if I were trudging through a wilderness with no end in sight. It was easy to feel discouraged.

That afternoon when I visited the sister with whom I had the appointment, she and I shared our testimonies of the Savior with each other, and my hope was renewed. I was not left to find my way through the darkness alone. The Savior was the light through this unique “wilderness” period of my life. I had felt His guiding influence as I made important life decisions. Just as the Lord prepared Nephi’s family for their journey by providing them with the Liahona and the brass plates, I had been prepared by the faith and power that come through regular scripture study and temple attendance. Even though at times I yearned for my promised land, I realized that there were many benefits to spending time in the wilderness being led by the Lord. I was learning how to go to Heavenly Father with my concerns and recognize answers to prayers. I was learning to have patience in His timing. I was learning that He would provide manna to sustain me when I felt emotionally and spiritually famished (see Mosiah 7:19). In short, I was becoming better prepared for my arrival in the promised land.

I often think back to what I learned from that visiting teaching appointment, especially during times when the wilderness seems especially barren and lonely. I look forward to the day when I can stand in my promised land and look back at the many miles I have traveled—not on my own but with the help of the Savior’s guiding light. ◼

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Best Valentine Day Gift Ever

Sister Kristine Magnusson posted this thought on her facebook wall on Valentines Day.   Her words touched my heart.  What a great Valentine's Day gift! 
Happy Valentines Day! As a missionary you seem to get this incredible gift of seeing people through Heavenly Father's eyes. I have been able to experience a small portion of the incredible amount of love He has for each of us! What an amazing gift we have from God, to know that His love for us never changes!

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, not angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Punny Valentine

I got an email from from Orange Cat for a link for Punny Valentine ideas.  For anyone who knows the Magpad, we have been known to have some interesting conversations around the kitchen table trying to out pun each other.

When I saw Orange Cat's post, I decided to cut and paste it onto our blog.  You can see the origional post by clicking here.  Thank you Julie Ward for the clever ideas.

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, the stores are already starting to fill up with Easter decorations-never mind St. Patrick’s Day-and you’ve done it again.  You’ve arrived too late to the holiday-aisle party and the coveted, must-have, character (or celebrity) Valentines your kids have their hearts set on are gone.  Instead of convincing them to get the “see, these are super cute,” generic, picked over knock-knock joke Valentines you made them get last year, skip the holiday aisle altogether and make your own funny, punny Valentines.

All you need are a few easy-to-find items, a printer and some creativity!  You can make valentines that include a sweet treat, or if you’re trying to avoid a major sugar rush, something useful or homemade.  The key is to connect a sweet saying with a fun item.  Make cards, tags, stickers or bag toppers to attach to your item. Play around with fun fonts, and if you have a color printer, colors.  

Then, wrap them, tag them, attach them or tie them with a sweet bow and voila!  Cool, clever Valentines for friends, family and even the whole class!

Some examples to get you started:

To this saying….            Attach this!

I dig you!                         A plastic sand shovel with M&M’s
I like the way you roll     Roll of Rolos or Toosie Rolls
You rock, Valentine!        Pop Rocks
I’m hooked on you          Swedish Fish
You blow me away          Balloon (uninflated) or bubble gum
I’m crazy about you        Crazy straw
We’re mint to be             York Peppermint Patty
I’m mad about you          Page from a Mad Libs book
I’m fortune-ate to have you as a friend  Fortune cookie
You blow my mind, Valentine!                Mini-bubbles
It’s Valentine’s Day…have a ball!          Bouncy ball
You make my heart glow  Glow stick
You light up my life!         Glow stick
You’re #1 in my book       Homemade bookmark
Hope your day is chalk full of fun   A stick of sidewalk chalk
Valentine, you are just write            Pen or pencil
You’re a great catch!                       Bag of Goldfish crackers
Can I co-coax you to be mine?        Hot cocoa packet
You warm my heart        Hot cocoa packet
You rule!                         Ruler
I’m a sucker for you!      Lollipop
You a-maze me, Valentine    Mini-maze puzzle
I’m stuck on you               Sheet of stickers
I’m bananas over you       Banana
I like you a hole bunch     Donut holes
Won’t chew be mine?       Gumballs
I think you’re beary nice, Valentine    Teddy Grahams
You are awesomesauce!   Applesauce cup
You’re my main squeeze  Squeezable applesauce
A big bear hug for you     Gummy bears
You cracker me up           Graham crackers or Cheez-its

Start the day off right! With a little bit of preparation, you can create a fun Valentine’s breakfast made entirely out of these Valentines:

You’re my main squeeze       Small bottle of orange juice
You’re the apple of my eye   Small bottle of apple juice
Donut you know how much I love you?        Donut
I’m bacon you to be my valentine    Bacon!
Don’t waffle: Say you’ll be mine!    Toaster waffles
You’re cereal-ously cool       Mini box of cereal
You’re my lucky charm        Mini box of Lucky Charms

While you’re at it, make one of these bigger valentines for teachers your own family celebration!

You’ve got a pizza my heart   Gift card for pizza
You’re my superstar               Tickets to a movie or concert
Yo! Happy Valentine’s Day!   Gift card for fro yo
We make a great pair             Cozy socks
Don’t ever change                  Bag of quarters
You are sew cool!                   Mini sewing kit
Bee Mine                                Honey bear and tea

And, whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, bee sure to have a grape day!

Julie Ward