I write this blog about making memories with our families because I think that the time we spend together as a family is extremely important. Having a strong family is the most important thing to me. There are a lot of ways to build a strong family, but an excellent place to start is in our homes.
Ways to Build a Strong Home:
- Celebrate Traditions
- Eat Meals Together
- Work Together
- Unplug occasionally
- Prayer & Scripture Study
- Have Family Nights
The ideas listed above are a few of the things that we do to help our home to be a place that our children and family as a whole can grow together and build strong relationships and individuals.
There's a new book out called My Home Can Be a Holy Place written by Kristen M. Oaks (published by Deseret Book) that goes over these ideas and a bunch more. The book is religious in nature, but the principles can apply in any home.
It's a beautiful hardcover children's book with gorgeous illustrations by Dan Burr. The story is about a little girl named Lily who is helping to make her home a holy place of love and peace. She talks about working together as a family to keep her home neat and clean (learning skills for the future), gathering as a family to read and study or for family meals or family nights, and the things we learn in our homes about learning to love one another and forgive each other, etc.
We believe that our families can be together forever, even after this life, so our focus on families is very strong. As Elder Russell M. Nelson (a member of the quorum of the 12 Apostles) said,
"No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting."
To go along with this new book, Jenny Oaks Baker has put out a new CD called My Home Can Be a Holy Place (through Shadow Mountain Records). It's a collection of songs celebrating family and motherhood and features the following songs:
I love the sound of Jenny's violin music. The arrangements are beautiful! This CD is definitely on my list of favourite CDs to play in the background at our house. I love music like this to create a happy, calm feeling. The songs are familiar to us as well, so even if they are instrumental without singing, they will remind us of the messages of the lyrics.
I've also been listening to a new CD called Hold On: A Modern Tribute to the Music of Michael McLean (from Shadow Mountain Records) and I have to admit that it did not appeal to me at first. I am a BIG fan of Michael McLean's music and as such, I was looking forward to a modern take on some of his great songs. When I first played the CD, I was quite surprised by the feel of it. Every song was heavily synthesized and had sort of an 80s techno feel. I guess I was expecting the sound to be different from his usual, but not THAT different. I was also expecting the songs to each have a different sound because they were each taken on by a different vocalist (so I had envisioned a CD of great songs, each with a different sound, developed by the artist), but I found that they all had a fairly similar sound, with a different voice.
I'm sure that my expectations played a big role in that first impression of the CD and once I got over those, I was able to listen to the CD for what it is and enjoy it more. It wasn't what I was hoping for when I heard of the CD, but it is fun to listen to. So, would I recommend this one? If you're a longtime fan of Michael McLean, you may find yourself missing his usual sound. So I have to say that I think this is something you'll want to judge for yourself. You can head right over to the Deseret Book website to listen to a sample of some of the songs.
Disclosure: Copies of this book & CDs were provided for review purposes, but this is not a sponsored post and all opinions shared are, as always, my own.