You might remember the family history bingo cards and matching game downloads from a few years ago. They are the reason I started designing with the Rhonna Designs App (see this post), but things have been a little quiet here in the download department as of late. It was never my intention to not continue to offer free digital items when I started working with Rhonna, however, it has taken me a bit of time to adjust to all the changes that have been happening here at home. It's been fun this morning to pull together this download and I hope it will help with your summer reunions and activities.
I did want to mention that I didn't attribute this quote on the image so I'm adding it here:
Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
― Linda Hogan,
All files are png, most can be purchased to use in Rhonna's app, but there are a few that I created just for this download. Please remember that all files downloaded from allisonkimball.com are for personal use only. I hope they can help with lesson handouts, invitations, games, etc.
"Brothers and sisters, one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so. His solitary journey brought great company for our little version of that path—the merciful care of our Father in Heaven, the unfailing companionship of this Beloved Son, the consummate gift of the Holy Ghost, angels in heaven, family members on both sides of the veil, prophets and apostles, teachers, leaders, friends. All of these and more have been given as companions for our mortal journey because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His gospel. Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: “I will not leave you comfortless: [My Father and] I will come to you [and abide with you].” (Elder Jeffery R. Holland, "None Were With Him", General Conference, April 2009)
A couple of days ago I was reading Jacob 3:1-2 as I have been focusing on the topic of prayer this past week:
1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and apray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will bconsole you in your cafflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down djustice upon those who seek your destruction.
I love these two verses and have found great comfort and guidance in them throughout my life but on Monday the phrase, "feast upon his love" penetrated my heart in a way that I had to ask myself if I had ever really read the words before. I'm love and am familiar with the idea of feasting on the Word (2 Nephi 32:3), but feasting on His love felt like a revelation. So I contemplated and then I sent out a text message to some very wise and wonderful people:
From my study this morning, Jacob 3:2 talks about "feasting upon His love." We all know and understand what it means to feast upon His word, how does one go about feasting upon His love?
You can comment below, email me, text me, call me and we'll go to lunch and talk about it, but I would love to know your thoughts and feelings. The lunch offer applies to anyone who I've already asked.
I am compiling my thoughts and am writing something for next week, but for today, will you share a little bit of your heart with me.
You can download this print as a reminder if you would like.
Download Akimball_feastuponHislove (8.5x11 pdf)
It has been so lovely each morning to talk about the Savior's life and have this fun poster for them to look at and be reminded of the stories. I laminated ours so that we could use it again. I think I will make a small version for gifts.
A couple of people have asked about our Easter traditions so I thought I would just tell you here:
We do very little for Easter. We just try and focus on Christ. Easter baskets with the bunny didn't happen, not that there is anything wrong with that, it was just something I didn’t want to do. I wanted one holiday that wasn’t commercialized. There were plenty of egg/treat hunts with family and around town, so one more here at home felt excessive. When the girls were little, they got matching Easter dresses, but even that tradition is gone. So really, it boils down to me being lazy. I know you understand the constant go, go, go of time and activities, responsibilities, etc. Easter has become a let it all go kind of holiday and be simple. I love visiting with family. I love talking about Jesus.
My scripture journal has become one of my most cherished journals and I am always excited to spend time with the Lord as I study.
I started it in 2012 (see this post) and have had a few variations and different notebooks as I have tried to work out my system. You can see all the posts and progress using this link: scriptures (journals and more). It was fun to see the different downloads and how my system has evolved over the last 5 years. I currently only keep two journals: main and Book of Mormon. I have consolidated and that could change again in the future, but for right now I like having the conference journal mixed in with everything else. You can see all the conference journal links at the end of this post: here.
In the past, I have sketchnoted and written down many of the quotes and ideas that I wanted to remember and then included some typed or handwritten thoughts and impressions, the reasons why I studied this particular topic or talk. I included art that was meaningful and it was visually appealing and I learned a great deal. However, I spent so much time sometimes rewriting entire talks because I wanted to include the quote I was referencing and I don't have time for that. One day while I was thinking about how to make this easier, the quiet whispering of the Spirit reminded me that I could use the same format or idea as my Book of Mormon journal. I could cut out portions of the printed talk, adhere them to my journal. It's not a novel concept for some reason it resonated in a new way for me.
So I now print a talk off on a sheet of paper (or label paper) in two or three columns and adhere the text onto the pages leaving me room to write and thoughts and feelings.
Here is an example of one of a talk I am currently studying: Covenant Keepers from Wendy Watson Nelson. Download Covenantkeepers_nelson
Another option is to buy two copies of the conference Ensign issues and cut them apart; this might be the most economical approach for the next 6 months.
Then I start studying and it becomes a mess of this and that as I get off on tangents and other scriptures. It's chaos and it's wonderful! This particular talk by Sheri Dew titled "Will You Engage in the Wrestle?" has become a friend. That sounds crazy I know, but I learned so much in ways and about things I didn't anticipate. I love the unexpected things that I have learned and once again I have found added comfort and peace in the word of God.
I usually add post it notes when I run out of room or glue in another sheet of lined paper for more thoughts. I have found answers to questions I didn't know I was seeking and solutions to situations I have been searching for as I spend meaningful time communicating with God.
A few more shots of where I am working right now. I probably have 3 or 4 talks I am studying, the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants and then a random collection of scriptures on self-mastery that have been interesting in their direction and flow. I never know where I am going to start my studying each day or end up. I am still working through my patriarchal blessing (templates found in this post) which has lead me to D&C 89 which has moved me to yet another area. Studying and compiling everything on the computer would probably be easier chronologically, but this crazy mess works for me.
In the top photos, I needed a little more room to write some final thoughts so I included a card with a painting of my uncle and aunt that my cousin painted. I think there should be beauty along with the function.
I have started adding a pretty title page to help keep things organized and because they are pretty. The "Daughters of God" was a Relief Society lesson that I felt really strongly I needed to study a little more. I even included the questions, but I haven't gotten around to answering them yet. The sweet photo of the little girl praying is Samantha when she was about 3, so adding photos (just printed on plain copy paper) has been a fun addition that I will add here and there. You can download this formatted lesson here: Download DaughtersOfGod_Hinckley
For organizational purposes, I also add washi tape to the edges of the different talks/sections/themes. It started out with a random color selection, but I think I might color code it using the same scripture marking colors just to help me find things easier. You can see my code here. Once again my Moleskine journal is packed and overflowing, but the binding is holding up to the added pages and weight. It's a workhorse.
What ideas and practices have been working for you? How can I help make your lives easier? Is there something you have been hoping to use but haven't found what you are looking for?
I love the scriptures. I love the words of the prophets and disciples. I love my time with the Lord and if I can help you love your time with Him it would be an honor. For He is the source of all peace and comfort.
As the children are getting older, I find that preparing for General Conference is something I give less thought to, primarily because they are better able to listen or entertain themselves and part because we have a good system in place with the "Conference is Awesome" folders. We hardly use the "conference is awesome" chart anymore as it's redundant with the folders. They are still eager for the tradition of Conference is Awesome, and I hope that never goes away, but the chaos, noise, and distractions are becoming less and less.
Even my own personal study habits or practices have changed over the years, and I no longer have a dedicated conference journal. I still love my old journals and am so thankful for the things I learned in their pages, but like everything, my scripture journal has evolved and will continue to change as the years go on. This weekend as I listen to conference I will only be writing down the whisperings of the spirit. It might have to do with a talk, but it might be entirely unrelated. I don't have any specific question I am seeking answers to, but a few things here and there that He can answer if the time is right.
I am looking forward to spending time with my family and listen to the word of God.
I am enclosing a couple of downloads that might help make your journal a little easier. I made the labels such that you can write the talk name under the speaker.
MORE CONFERENCE POSTS
Game changer (family)
What we do to make conference awesome.... it's better than a movie.
Conference is awesome folders (updated)
Conference weekend (Oct. 2016) (family)
Sometimes when I hear stories about Guelita Caro, Carolina Amezcua Salinas I can hardly believe that the same tiny, frail woman I remember from my childhood could have endured so much. Every summer until her death in 1984 mom and dad would load us in the car for our drive to Piedras Negras, Mexico. I'm sure like most children I grumbled at the long drive, but all I remember are the happy feelings of excitement that we would soon be with Guelita Caro.
My great-grandmother was a tiny woman who was blind in one eye and shuffled as she walked. She smelled of roses, and every time I smell the aroma of coffee, I am instantly transported back into her kitchen. Some of my fondest memories are laying on her bed next to her listening to her talk. I don't remember any specific story, but I remember how loved she loved me. For the first ten years of my life, I was able to love a woman who I would later come to admire and find strength from in ways I never anticipated.
Guelita Caro was a young woman during the time of the Mexican Revolution and lived in the time of Pancho Villa. She loved to share the stories of when Pancho Villa and his men would come into town, and her parents would hide her up the cooking chimney. They did this to keep her safe. Pancho Villa and his men were known for taking the beautiful young women with them. My mother recounts that Guelita Caro would giggle as she told this story and somewhere in my mind I can hear her giggle. Did she fear for her life or was it a grand adventure that only the innocence of youth brings?
She became a young widow when her husband was murdered, leaving her to support her young family of 6 children. I often wonder how she endured the pain of sorrow and grief? How did she find the strength to move forward each day? Whenever I hear people talk about Guelita Caro, it is with great respect and admiration for how hard she worked and how much she loved people. She was known for her compassion and love, always doing something to lift another's burden.
She was an excellent seamstress creating beautiful designs just from a picture. I love to hear my grandmother talk about her wedding dress Guelita Caro made for her wedding. The yards and yards of fabric and intricate needlework are part of my story. I think of her when I add a stitch to a quilt and wonder what she must have been thinking or feeling as she stitched quilts not only for income but for love. What sacrifices did she make as she did piecework, embroidering little flowers on baby gowns, for factories in Eagle Pass to provide for her family?
From carding wool to tilling the earth for food, from rolling out tortillas and everything in between, Guelita Caro was a woman of strength. She was a beautiful woman who found joy in the simple details and gave thanks for the blessings she would see. I think of her when I feel overwhelmed by a trial knowing that if Guelita Caro could find happiness and strength along the way, then I can survive, thrive, and make the world a better place because of her life and example.
I wrote about Guelita Caro as part of the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Relief Society. You can read all the segments and watch some wonderful videos about inspirational women here: Celebrate Women of the Relief Society. In each section, there is one of these free downloads, which I include here along with a bonus quote. We are so richly blessed by strong women in our lives who give us strength today to bless the lives of those around us.
Download Akimball_RSquote4_w (bonus print)
It was such an honor to pour over the beautiful words of our beautiful Relief Society Presidents. Trying to narrow down a favorite quote would be impossible, the ones I chose for this project just seemed to fit.
I came home from RootsTech and crashed. I slept for over a week and marveled that the Lord was able to make my body strong enough to do all that required of me. I can't wait to share more, but today I'm sharing a little project I worked on with Sugardoodle for FamilyDiscovery Day.
I don't know if you heard, but FamilySearch introduced a new memory section: RECIPES. I will be talking about different ideas and stories next week. I am so excited because I love food. I love food traditions, and it gives me a little push to work on our family cookbook and site: simple food.
This little booklet was handed out during family discovery day, but I decided I wanted to add the pages to my #52Stories notebook as it felt like it was all part of the same project. After filling in each page, when is a quick little project I added some light watercolor. I created the mini book specifically for children/teens in mind and was surprised how much I enjoyed filling it in.
It caused me to reflect on what are some of our food traditions and what I want to pass on to my children. It gave me an opportunity to search our photos and jot down some notes on stories I want to share, and this was only about our tortillas. There are so many memories involved with this one simple food; I can't wait to explore some of the other wonderful family favorites.
Filling in the favorite foods section was tough. I love food! There are very few things I don't particularly like, but I won't mention them in case they are your favorites.
I couldn't think of a food tradition that I wanted to start, but it's something I will continue to think about. Also having to eat the same thing day after day would be torture. I have a hard time with a simple leftover meal the day after. Variety is a key for me; I love trying new things. That being said, I also love to choose the same menu item from our favorite restaurants. Not sure what that says about me, other than I'm an enigma.
I'm terrible at the guessing part, and there weren't enough slots for the different family members, but the children will have fun filling them in. My favorite was the last page: favorite food plates. I had each of the children write in some of their favorite foods and created this tiny little memory in one little page. I have saved their handwriting, their food preferences (which are always evolving), and a small snippet of who we are as a family is at this moment.
These files are in order of printing. Page 1 and 2 are front to back, page 3 and 4 are printed front to back, etc. The pdf pages will look different than the image above due so that it could end up as a booklet.
If you are interested in more ideas on how to use the booklet or other printables visit here at Sugardoodle for the free downloads. There are some wonderful suggestions and ideas for lessons and activities for all ages.
One of the wonderful things about this 52stories project from FamilySearch is that you can start it anytime, at any age, and in any format, you would like. So even though it's the beginning of February, it's not too late to start.
A few things about the 2017 downloads:
Download Akimball_color2017_52stories (zipped individual 12x12 jpg files)
I also made a black and white version not only for 2017 but for 2016 as well. You can find the 2016 download back in the post here. I know it's not always possible or make sense to print in color, so a black and white option is always good. Besides, I love everything black and white.
Download Akimball_52stories_2017 (B&W pdf)
Download Akimball_2017_52stories (zipped individual 12x12 png files)
I have included the png files in case you want to create your own colorways. I just followed what FamilySearch has done with their 2107 prompts in this poster.
The last download is this silhouette, which perhaps didn't execute as well as I wanted, but it was more meaningful than I anticipated.
The stories are within us. Each of us has a story to tell. Those stories are important and meaningful. I hope that with all these downloads it will be easier to sit down and write, type, record the memories that only you can share. For they matter.
Thank you for sharing part of your lives with me.