Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Schedule

I don’t know about you, but our summers are busy!  Regardless of that fact, I still get a restless, whiny little man.  It equivalent of “Mom, I’m bored!” for people who have kids that can form complete sentences.  Hopefully, this will give you somewhere to turn when your kiddos utter that dreaded phrase.

You will need:
  • Calendars for the months of June, July and August (you can print them off in Microsoft Word or use the blank templates below.)
  • An extra sheet of paper and a pen for making a list
  • Soccer ball, basketball or other game to play outside
Song:  Oh, What Do You Do In The Summertime? (Children’s Songbook, pg 245)

Lesson:  Start off by asking your family what fun things you’ve done in the past that they really enjoyed and would enjoy doing again or new things your family would like to try.  Make a list of everything that is suggested, from bowling and picnics in the park to Disney World. 
After you have your list made, pull out your calendars.  If you have plans already made and scheduled, write those down first.  Things like family reunions, vacations, work trips, weddings, ect.  If your kids are in sports, write down that schedule too.  Don’t schedule everything out, but schedule in some family time.  Shoot for once a week, at least.

Activity:  Take the kids outside and let them play a game of soccer or basketball or tag.

Treat:  Serve your family's favorite summer time treat.  This could be anything from Jell-O, watermelon slices, or s'mores.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Father of Our Home

With Father's Day quickly approaching, I thought a lesson on fathers would be appropriate.  I realize not all families have the traditional dad in the home.  Adjust the lesson as needed to fit your situation.  Here we go:

You Will Need:

  • A copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  
  • Enough blank cards (or paper to make cards) for each person, minus Dad.  
  • Crayons, markers, pencils, and other card embellishing paraphernalia to decorate your cards with.   
  • The story Showing Love, by Chad E. Phares from the June 2011 issue of The Children's Friend magazine.

Song:  Daddy's Homecoming (Children's Songbook, pg.210), Love is Spoken Here (CSB, pg. 190), or My Dad (CSB, pg 211).

Lesson:  Begin by asking your family what are some things they love about their Dad.  Then ask what kinds of things their Dad does for them or helps them do.  Read the paragraph in The Family: A Proclamation to the World that talks about a father's role.  It is located in the paragraph that begins "The family is ordained of God." about halfway through the paragraph.  It is also pasted below, although it may be more meaningful if you actually read it from the proclamation.
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.  - The Family, A Proclamation to the World.

Read the story "Showing Love", by Chad E. Phares.  After you are finished talk about the way your dad helps and serves his family.  Point out the ways he fulfills his role as described in the Family Proclamation.

Activity:  Give each member of your family, except dad, a card or blank piece of paper.  Set out the crayons and other supplies you have gathered.  Instruct them write down something they would like to tell Dad.  It can be a favorite memory, qualities about him, special things he does to help and make his family a priority, ect.  Younger kids can draw a picture.  Even my 20 month old loves to color.  While the family is writing their cards, ask Dad to share some of his favorite memories.  They can be of your family (special vacations, memories of his children, ect) or from his childhood (things he enjoyed doing with his dad).

After everyone is finished with their cards.  Give them to dad or save them to give on Father's Day.

Treat:  Dad's favorite treat.

Monday, January 10, 2011


This week's FHE is on goals.  Being still right around the first of the year, it seems appropriate.

Prep:  A sheet of paper for each member of your family or a copy or two of the "My Goals This Week" worksheet found below.  A large sheet of poster board. 

Lesson:  Start off by telling the story of Lot and his wife to your family.  The story can be found in Genesis 19.  Lot and his wife lived at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah, two very wicked cities.  The Lord warned Lot and his family to flee the city, as it was about to be destroyed.  He told them to go and not look back.  Lot and his family were less than immediately obedient.  They barely escaped the destruction with their lives.  When the Lord cautioned them not to look back, He was telling them to repent of any wicked doings they had committed and to move on with life in a righteous and wholesome direction.  Lot's wife did not obey.  Not only did she look back, her grievous sin was that she wanted to go back.

In the January 2010 Ensign, Elder Jeffrey R Holland gave a message entitled The Best Is Yet To Be.  He speaks about how faith is an action that can only be completed by looking forward, to the future.  You can't have faith pertaining to things that have already past.  For example, you must have faith that prayers can and will be answered before they are actually answered.  Otherwise, you simply reap the blessing and not the blessing and the testimony.  He gives council on forgiveness, forgetting and leaving the past in the past, and looking forward to the future with anticipation and faith.

Goals help us do just that.  By setting goals, we are giving ourselves something to work towards.  Goals are things of the future, not the past.

Activity:  Have each family member make a list of goals to accomplish over the next week.  These should be plausible and not impossible to accomplish.  Things such as "doing all my chores without being asked" or "cleaning out the junk drawer" are good examples.  Don't set a goal so lofty there is no hope of getting it done.  "Deep cleaning the house" is probably not a good week-long goal.  Then, as a family, set some more long-term goals.  Write them on the poster board.  What would you like to accomplish this summer?  A household project?  A vacation?  Whatever it is set the goal to accomplish it.  Then comes the important part... make a plan on how you will get it marked off your "To Do List".  If it's a vacation that you need to save up for, maybe the goal of collecting $10 a week from the family is a good goal.  Kids can take some of their allowances (if they get them) and put them aside to help pay for the expenses of a vacation.  Or make a deal that they won't get to buy anything from the store, but instead put that money into the vacation fund.  You will have to figure out what works for your family.  If you are incredibly ambitious make a family 101 in 1001.  Or make Bucket Lists.  Remember, whatever the goal is, make sure it is something that is attainable.

Treat:  Ice Cream Sundaes or a cute football or soccer themed cake.  If you do a cake, you can use a cake mix, vanilla frosting colored green and black licorice to make the the markings on the field.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Reason For Christmas

I can't believe it's Christmas in just 6 days!  I feel so unprepared.  I apologize profusely for the recent neglect of this blog.  Things just got soo busy.  I had my Primary class of four boys and two 9-year-old girls by myself for a few weeks.  It was a miracle we got through the lessons, all though I'm not sure they learned much.  And before that we were traveling and visiting family.  So, enough of my excuses... the reason you're here:

This will actually be a few ideas and you can mix and match as you wish.  The ideas that are not originally mine I tried to link to my sources.  

Lesson Ideas:
Act out the story of Christ's birth - Grab some towels or bathrobes, stuffed animals and a baby doll.  You can either read the story from Luke 2 or paraphrase for your younger kids.  Whichever is more appropriate.  It's awfully hard to act out something you don't understand.  Choose a Mary, Joseph, Angel, Shepherds, Innkeeper, and 3 wise men.  Have your kiddos act out the scenes described as you read the story.  Some people may need to play more than one part, if you don't have enough family members to only have a single part. 
Jesus' Birthday Party - We actually did this in Primary yesterday.  I wanted the kids to realize why we celebrate Christmas the way we do.  The star on top of the tree.  The gifts underneath.  All the symbols of that special event so long ago.  Bake up some cupcakes before hand.  Have a single cupcake with a single candle on display.  Begin by talking about the story of Christ's birth.  Maybe even read it out of the scriptures.  Have your kids help you tell it.  Point out that it probably took Mary and Joseph about 3 days to travel the approximate 60 miles to Bethlehem.  There were so many people in the city of David that there was no more vacancy in any of the inns.  Christ was born in some of the lowliest circumstances imaginable, among the animals and everything that animals expel.  Imagine a hospital with doctors and nurses.  It might smell funny, but it doesn't compare with the smell of animal excrement.
We also pointed out that Jesus could probably be called the "most important person ever born".  He came to save all mankind, a feat equal to that of no other person that has walked the Earth.  The shepherds came to see the child at the angel's direction.  They came to worship Him.  The wise men travel for years to find the babe.  Some of our Primary kids didn't realize that the wise men didn't visit Jesus in the manger, you might want to also point that out.  We talked about the star leading the shepherds and how it was also a sign to the wise men.  It took the wise men approximately two years to reach the Christ child.  They brought the baby gifts for his birthday.  We likened Christmas to Christ's birthday party, that's what we are celebrating.  I knew it was a success when several of the kids said, "Oh, now I get why we give presents!"  I was thrilled. 
Christ-Like Service - On the Monday before Christmas we have spent many years making up goody trays (or if planned a little earlier with more time to collect, we find families that may not have much and purchase or collect small gifts that can help make their holidays easier.  Some ideas include:  ingredients and recipes for some easy meals, clothing that may be too small for your family that is still in good condition, toys that are still in good shape - a FABULOUS way to clean out the toys before Santa brings more...).  Decide as a family who you want to deliver these goodies to.  Deliver them anonymously or not.  If you choose to disclose your identities, considering singing a carol or two when you deliver.  This is a good way to help your family focus on giving instead of getting.
Family Gift Exchange:  This could be done several ways.  Spend half an hour around the kitchen table, making something.  Handmade cards, coupons for doing one chore or getting out of one chore (on mom and dad's approval), a coupon for watching a movie together or spending time together in some other way.  Or you could take a quick trip down the candy aisle at the grocery store and let everyone chose one candy bar.  Give each person a brown lunch sack to decorate.  After the sacks are decorated, put one gift in each sack and sit in a circle, each person holding one gift.  Read this story, or this story, or this storyThis story is my favorite and this one is really cute too.  Exchange gifts according to the directions in the story.  Each person gets to open the gift they end up with.  Try to exchange if someone got the gift they chose or made.

Here are some cute little reminders about the true Reason for the Season:
M&M Poem
Candy Cane Poem
Hot Cocoa Poem
Star Poem

If you use the poems above, make sure you have the subject of the poem to have as a little treat.  You could easily combine the M&M's and the candy canes.  Or make star-shaped sugar cookies and hot cocoa and share the Hot Cocoa Poem and the Star Poem.  Or try this Super Simple Fudge recipe.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, filled with cheer, family, and laughter.  I may or may not get a post done in the next couple weeks.  My brother is coming home from his mission at the end of January and we have some things to do to get ready for his return.  I will try my hardest, but posting should return to once a week around the middle of January.  Thanks for sticking with me in this super busy time of the year.  I wish you and yours the best!

<3 Krista

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


So sorry I've been slacking on this the last couple weeks!  Life has gotten soo busy!  But I'm not complaining.  Promise!  On with the show.

We all know it's important to pay our tithing. My parents taught this to my siblings and me from a very young age. I think that's the reason today that I don't even bat an eyelash when my husband or I hand over that check, even though we don't really know how we're going to pay the mortgage this month. It helps that my husband is rather firm on this principle as well, and that he makes out most of the checks... I just have a mild heart attack when the check clears the bank. =) Nonetheless, somehow we still have a warm house, food in our belllies, clothes on our bodies and gas in the car (most days). So, here's a Family Home Evening guaranteed to help your kids remember the principle of tithing.

Things You'll Need: Copy each family member a page of coins. It may be helpful during the activity for each person's coins to be a different color. If you decide to do that, make sure you copy each person's page on a different color of paper... Seems obvious, I know, but I didn't and wished I had later on. Cut out the coins and put each person's in a separate baggie or envelope. Get or make some typical FHE refreshments... they will be part of the activity before they are refreshments though. Then get or make one of your family's favorite desserts or each family member's favorite candy bar, but don't let anyone see it or know that it is part of your family home evening plans. Go to the Dollar Store and get a few treats or small toys. Take some envelopes and write "Tithing" on them. Decide whether you want to make each thing worth it's own price or if you want everything worth the same amount. If you want each thing priced differently (a little more 'real-worldly') then go ahead and write the prices out.

Scripture: D&C 119:4

Song: I'm Glad to Pay a Tithing, Primary Children's Songbook, Page 150

Lesson: Begin the lesson talking about what tithing is. Tithing is willingly giving one-tenth of our income back to the Lord and His purposes. What can and should we pay tithing on? In the days of Joseph Smith and the pioneers, tithes were paid on anything the Saints were able to call their "income". Sometimes that was ten percent of the eggs their chickens laid or ten percent of the beef they raised. It all depended on how each family met their individual needs. Sometimes it was paid in money. Today, tithing is paid mostly in money. Where does our tithing go? Members turn their tithing donations into their local leaders, who then transfer it directly to the Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City. Our tithing helps "to build and maintain temples and meetinghouses, to sustain missionary work, to educate Church members, and to carry on the work of the Lord throughout the world."* What do we get if we faithfully pay our tithing? D&C 64:23 says, "Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming." We will be blessed and protected if we obey and follow the principle of tithing.

Activity: After you have talked about the importance of tithing see how well your children understand the concept. Hand each member of the family their individual baggies or envelopes. Tell them that they have all just gotten paid. Pull out your bag of goodies from the Dollar Store and lay your treasures out for all to see. Exclaim that the store is now open and that your family members are free to purchase the goodies with their coins. While everyone's eyes are wide and wonderous from the new toys and treats set out the envelopes you labeled "Tithing". Go get the standard FHE treats and set them out as an option, too. Another idea is to have all of this already set up on the kitchen table and to lead your family into the kitchen after you hand out their coins. Spend 15-20 minutes letting everyone spend their coins. After all the coins are spent, gather the envelopes you labeled "Tithing" and see how many family members remembered to pay their tithing. Tell them that because they remembered to give back to the Lord they will be blessed. Sometimes the blessings are saved for us until the next life, but sometimes we get them in this life. Pull out the super yummy dessert you had stashed away and tell them this is their blessing. Everyone who didn't remember to pay tithing can eat some of the first dessert, while only those who remembered to pay their tithing get to reap the blessings!

Treat Ideas:
This will all depend on your family. If you make rice crispy treats as your first dessert, have ice cream sundaes or something a little more grandiose for your "blessing".

Click on the picture and it will make it full size. You can print it from there. You can scale it up to 125% and they will all fit on one page, depending how big you want them.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Scripture Study

If you haven't figured out by now that I'm a Primary teacher... well, I am.  My husband and I team teach 5 cute little nine year-olds, the babies of Senior Primary.  Yesterday's lesson was on studying the scriptures, and guess what today's lesson is on... (I love multi-tasking)!

Prep:  Sugar cookies. 

Lesson:  Start off by playing a game of Telephone.  Whisper something into one person's ear.  Have them pass it on until everyone has been told the secret.  Have the last person repeat it aloud.  Was it the same as what you whispered in the beginning?  Now ask your family if they remember what things you learned about in FHE at the beginning of the year.  Or the beginning of the summer.  Or the beginning of the school year.  It's hard to remember things we learned a long time ago.  That's why repetition is important. 

We talked about King Josiah and the Prophet Ezra in Primary.  You could relay these stories again from 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 23-24.  Or talk about when Lehi sent Nephi, Laman, Lemuel and Sam to get the brass plates from Laban.  Why was it so important for them to have the scriptures that they needed to go back and get them?  Not only did it have their ancestral history, but God's words.  It's important to have them written down so they don't get changed and altered through verbal repetition.  It's important for us to regularly and diligently study the scriptures so that we can remember things we have learned in the past.

Activity:  Play a game of charades, acting out each action until they are correctly guessed.
1)  Eating breakfast
2)  Planting and watering a garden
3)  Filling your car with gas
4)  Changing the batteries in something
5:  Reading the scriptures
Ask your family what each of these has in common.  Just as with many other things in our lives, we need to spiritually refuel ourselves.  Reading the scriptures is an excellent way to do this.  You may want to set a goal to read your scriptures together as a family for the remainder of the week.  At next week's FHE, discuss how well you did.  Another option is to begin a journal jar.  See this post for those instructions and the things you will need to do that.

Treat:  Sugar cookies cut into rectangle shapes and decorated like the scriptures. 
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe, whether it's great-great grandma's or Pillsbury's, cookie cutter out rectangle shapes.  Or roll out the dough and cut it with a knife.  Bake according to the directions.  Frost the cookies with icing  (store bought icing works just fine) that you tint black (or red or green or blue or brown...).  Use yellow icing to write "Book of Mormon"  and "Holy Bible" on them.

You could also turn some of the rectangles horizontal and frost them white.  Use some black icing to draw scribbles on the pages and a line down the middle of the book.  Get creative!  Enjoy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family History

The most obvious and probably one of the easiest Family History activities is to make a family history chart. Yes, it is a lot easier for me to say that than it is to actually do it. But this will definitely get you started.

Things You'll Need:
A copy of "My Family History" for each member of your family  (Printable Below)
Colored Pencils or Crayons to color your trees with
General Knowledge of your ancestors back 3 generations

Song: Primary Children's Songbook, Page 94 - Family History, I Am Doing It

If you know any stories from your grandparent's childhoods, tell them to your children. If not, tell them stories from your childhood. Let your children tell of some of their favorite family memories, even if it just happened yesterday.

Give each family member a copy of "My Family History". Help each person fill out their chart with information relevant to them. Your kids' will pretty much all be the same, except for their names. Mom's (and Dad's) will be different though. Talk about the differences, what generations are and how families are joined through marriage.

Treat Ideas:
Homemade Cookies, Caramel Popcorn, another one of your family's favorite desserts, or a special family recipe you enjoy.

Click on the images to make them full size. You can print them from there. There is a page for girls and one for boys.