Sunday, April 29, 2018

FHE Book of Mormon Stories: Alma 16 Victory by Following the Prophet

 Image courtesy Mormon Newsroom

This is a small story in the Book of Mormon, but it has a big lesson!

Introduction Activity:
Use your hands to handcuff your hyper "active" 6 year old son who is obsessed with handcuffs and all things cops.

What does it mean to be in physical bondage or captured?
How do you feel when you aren't free?

Today we are going to learn about some people in the Book of Mormon.

Zoram was a common name. There was Zoram, the servant of Laban who came to the promised land. There was Zoram the apostate who led people to worship idols and his people trampled Korihor. But today we are going to talk about ANOTHER lesser known Zoram. Was he a good guy or a weirdo? Let's find out!!

Who was captured in the story?
How were they set free?

What is the difference between spiritual bondage and physical bondage? (Hold up the handcuffs from earlier in the lesson) Can you name any examples of spiritual bondage?

What can we do to be like Zoram and his sons?
Are we in a battle like them?

Why do you think this story was mentioned in The Book of Mormon?

End with Testimonies

I know that if we follow the prophets, they will help us to find those who are captive and lost. I know that if we have a love of our brothers and sisters that is pure, we will have help from Heavenly Father to know what to do to make sure they feel of His love. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Celebrating Holy Week (Days 5&6)

Maunday Thursday

Maundy is a word that has latin roots for command. At the Last Supper, what did Jesus command his disciples to do?

John 15:12

Learning can take shape in many different forms. For Thursday I asked my kiddos what they would want for their very last meal on earth.

I'm happy to say it wasn't hot dogs. It's a Greek lemon soup I make and they all agreed on it.

During dinner we had the opportunity to say things to each other if we knew it was our last meal together. It wasn't much different from what we always say to each other- I love you so much!!

HERE is the Bible Video of the Last Supper

Good Friday 
Death is a hard thing, so how can it be called good?
What were the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion? 

We went to the cemetery and cleaned the graves of my son, mother, and grandfather.

It was a lovely spring day with my lovely children.

I'm very grateful for the small things we did to try to remember the last week of The Savior. I felt happy and peaceful. I just pray my children can develop testimonies of the truth of who Jesus Christ is and all He did for us, because He loves us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Celebrating Holy Week (Days 3 & 4)

Holy Tuesday

It's a good reminder that nothing is exactly set in stone when it comes to SPECIFIC days of Holy Week. We're going off a general layout of what happened in The Savior's life, so the importance is studying what happened, not necessarily the day of the week.

We did a couple reader's theaters on 3 parables Jesus taught in the temple. You can print them out for home use and other non-commercial purposes.

Spy Wednesday
John 12:3-5

Judas Iscariot was a beloved apostle of The Lord. I can't comprehend his denial of Jesus. Of his great betrayal. Of his love of money over His Savior.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the story of Mary who (before Spy Wednesday, before Palm Sunday even) anointed The Lord's feet with spikenard.

I chose this scripture because it compares the attitudes and hearts of those to Jesus. 
Are we willing to consecrate all or do we love money more than anything?

Here is a link to more information about the story

What types of spys are we willing to be today?
The type to give secret service?
Or the "spi"teful type with unwilling hearts?

I challenge you to 3 acts of service today where you give all the energy of your heart!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Celebrating Holy Week (Days 1&2)

Holy Week is a time to remember the final week of The Savior's life on earth.
If we had one week to live, what would we spend our time doing?
Did The Savior do what He wanted or what Heavenly Father wanted?

For each day we have a scripture we look at.

We also have a crown of thorns (grapevine wreath with wooden toothpicks) that we use to remember The Savior. Others were so cruel to Him, but not us!! We are kind and we love The Lord! When someone does something kind we take out a toothpick.

I like simple. But meaningful.

Palm Sunday we talked about what we would do if The Savior rode into our town.
How would we feel?
What could we offer to Him?

HERE is a really interesting article about Palms
(I printed out a couple of examples of what different palms looked like.... we thought it was interesting they would burn palms in times of war- that's how important they were!)
HERE is the video of Jesus' Triumphant Entry to Jerusalem
HERE is a must read for additional insight

We also drew palm leaves and wrote things we could offer/do in special remembrance of Jesus this Holy Week.

Holy Monday is the day Jesus cleansed the temple for the 2nd time.

Is the temple a bank, grocery store, and zoo all in one convenient spot?
Why would Jesus be so upset?
What is respect and reverence?
While our home isn't a "den of thieves" what can we do to be more honest this week?

Also, when we clean this week can we have positive attitudes and be grateful for the opportunity to clean?? 
Is it possible to be prayerful while we clean?

Each day we also REVIEW what we learned from the day before. 
What stood out to us? 
What feelings did we have? 
Why is it important to know these things about Holy Week?

Friday, February 9, 2018

FHE: By Divine Design 2017 Conference Talk

(Image from Polgar Chess News)

Question: Is chess a game of luck or strategy? Or both?

Activity: Well, today we're going to play a different version of chess! What is meant to be will be!! 
1. Place chess board in the middle of 2 players. 
2. Rotate seats after each player takes a turn in a circular fashion to the right. Confusing? 

Behold my super power point skills. Say you have 5 people for Family Home Evening:

3. Everyone is going to get a turn as black or white and who knows who will win!! It will be quite lucky because the move you make might be to your eventual demise. (Enter evil chess laugh)
4. Keep playing until there is one winner who gets ALL THE TREATS FOR FAMILY HOME EVENING!!!
(For real. No. Yes. Just joking. Sure we are.)

After the game questions to ask: Was this fun? What did you enjoy about playing chess this way? What did you NOT enjoy about playing chess this way? 

Elder Rasband says, "Our lives are like a chessboard, and the Lord moves us from one place to another—if we are responsive to spiritual promptings. Looking back, we can see His hand in our lives."

Activity: Give each person a quote or two from the talk. Ask them to come up with a question having to do with their quotation. They will read (IN A CLEAR AUDIBLE VOICE) the quote when their turn, then ask their question for the family.

Other great quotes from the talk:

1."Alma left the city due to the wickedness of the people. Soon an angel appeared to Alma and called him to “return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city.” Alma did so “speedily,” entering “the city by another way.”
“As he entered the city he was an hungered, and he said to a man: Will ye give to an humble servant of God something to eat? “And the man said unto him: I am a Nephite, and I know that thou art a holy prophet of God, for thou art the man whom an angel said in a vision: Thou shalt receive.” The man was Amulek. Now, did Alma just happen upon Amulek? No, it was no coincidence that he went into the city by the way that would lead him to this faithful man who would become his missionary companion."
2. "Elder Neal A. Maxwell once explained: "coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by ‘coincidence’ but … by ‘divine design."
3. "There is a guiding hand above all things. Often when things happen, it’s not by accident. One day, when we look back at the seeming coincidences of our lives, we will realize that perhaps they weren’t so coincidental after all.”
4. "No trial or calamity can derail God’s plan of happiness. Indeed, by “divine design,” “joy cometh in the morning.”
5. "Through the experience of my own life’s journey, I know that the Lord will move us on that seeming chessboard to do His work. What may appear to be a random chance is, in fact, overseen by a loving Father in Heaven, who can number the hairs of every head."
6. "Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s notice. The Lord is in the small details of our lives."
7. "Heavenly Father can put us in situations with specific intent in mind."
8. "Each of us is precious and loved by the Lord, who cares, who whispers, and who watches over us in ways unique to each of us. He is infinitely wiser and more powerful than mortal men and women. He knows our challenges, our triumphs, and the righteous desires of our hearts."
9. "When we are righteous, willing, and able, when we are striving to be worthy and qualified, we progress to places we never imagined and become part of Heavenly Father’s “divine design.” Each of us has divinity within us. When we see God working through us and with us, may we be encouraged, even grateful for that guidance."
10. "The Lord’s hand is guiding you. By “divine design,” He is in the small details of your life as well as the major milestones. As it says in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; … and he shall direct thy paths.”
Final question from Elder Rasband's talk: What are God’s miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, “I am right here”? 
Final Quote: "Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life—and then acted again. Treasure them as moments the Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices. But allow Him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own. Treasure His involvement."
Our lives are not random circling around a chessboard! Bear testimonies and enjoy treat.
Want to go the extra mile to make a memorable family home evening treat:

Or you can do what I usually do, scrounge in the cabinet for stale marshmallows

Friday, February 2, 2018

FHE: Gospel Principle "Love"

Opening Activity: Have a picture of Jesus in the front of the room. Everyone choose a spot to stand in the room and strike a pose. Hold it for 5 seconds. Now choose another place to strike a different pose. One more time!
We saw many changes in that activity right? What was the one thing that never changed? The picture of Christ stayed constant!
Quote, "Love is like the north star. In a changing world, it's always a constant." President Gordon B. Hinkley
Jesus Christ ALWAYS lived and lives a life of love. We can too!

Sing the following songs:
I'll Walk With You CS 140
I had some leftover hearts from The Dollar Store and glue pictures from The Friend. I also use key words or phrases on the visuals:

(On I won't! I won't! we shake our fingers side to side. On I will! I will! we pump a fist in the air.)

Can everyone name one way that Jesus showed/shows His love for us and others?

As I Have Loved You CS 136

Pass around a bean bag and sing. When the leader holds up a heart we pause and whoever has the bean bag says something they love about another family member.
OR The Dollar Store has heart wands children can use to conduct the song while singing!

** TIP FOR SINGING- Don't recite/speak the words of a song. Sing them in small phrases to learn! **

End the lesson with the following scriptures:

Challenge: Like President Hinckley said, Love is a constant.  What can we do this week to constantly show our love for others??

Sunday, January 7, 2018

FHE: Remembering President Monson

Here are 2 games of Jeopardy I wrote after reading President Monson's biography, To The Rescue, by Heidi Swinton a while ago.

So grateful for Tommy's life. For his service. For his crazy stories of arson. For his stories of the widows he loved. For his smile. For his wisdom and testimony. For his dedication and witness to the truth of Jesus Christ as our Savior.

HERE and HERE are the links to the games. Feel free to copy and paste.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

FHE: Goals & Using TIME Wisely

Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

Opening Activity: "he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father” D&C 72:4
Let's brainstorm what a mansion might be like in heaven with Heavenly Father. Grab a white board and draw it out. Add descriptive words and make a list of how it might feel to be there. But in order to inherit the mansion, what does the scripture say we must do?

Lesson: Hide the following quotes by clocks in your house, read and answer the question.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded us that “in family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e” (Of Things That Matter Most, Ensign, Nov. 2010)
Add the word TIME to your family mansion, because in heaven we'll have lots of it! Let's use our time now to carefully prepare for our time (hopefully!!) in Heavenly Father's mansion above!!

End with Sharing of Testimonies

Follow Up For the Next Week: What is a goal you'd like to have for the new year? What can you do this week to work on that goal?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

FHE General Conference 2017: Lord, Wilt Thou Cause That My Eyes May Be Opened

Opening Activity: What is the story of The Lion King about? Hakuna Matata means no worries! Was there a greater purpose for The Lion King rather than partying in the jungle? He smartly followed the counsel, "look beyond what you see."

Today we are going to learn from a General Conference talk by Elder W. Craig Zwick, Lord, Wilt Thou Cause That My Eyes May Be Opened.
But in order to do that we need to go on SAFARI!!! There are some African animals in the Savannah of this room. We'll take turns using our binoculars and find #1 and so on! Once we find #1 we'll read a quote and answer a question. Thanks for your help adventurers!!! And if you need suntan lotion, let me know!

(Below, you can mouse over a box in the top right hand corner. It will take you to google docs and you can print for free.)

The Lion King went from eating bugs to ruling a kingdom of animals. We need to look beyond what we see sometimes! Especially when it comes to people. We can't judge or condemn, that is Heavenly Father's business, not ours! We are commanded to LOVE, or as Elder Zwick said, "Truth mandates our highest allegiance, though it should never be a barrier to kindness."

End Lesson with Testimonies

Follow Up for the Next Week: Smile at 3 people you don't know this week. How did that make you feel? How do you think those people felt?

FHE Book of Mormon Stories: Coriantumr & Shiz

Shiz by James H. Fullmer

Opening Activity: Have some hard play dough and some soft play dough. Which one is better to play with, mold, and create?

For Family Home Evening we are going to take a look at 2 Jaredite Kings in the Book of Ether, from The Book of Mormon. At the end of our lesson we need to figure out whether they were like hard play dough or soft play dough.

For smaller kids, please use the play dough to create the warriors Coriatumr & Shiz or their swords while we read. Also if you notice attention levels dropping, you can take a break and arm wrestle like the mighty warrior Jaredite kings. Now back to the scriptures!

Read the following scriptures and quotes as a family, taking turns:
(There is a small box in the right hand corner which if you mouse over will take you to google docs to print for free)

Final Questions:
What is pride?
What can we learn from this story?
Has there ever been a time in your life where you have battled for something? Was it worth it and why?

How were Coriantumr and Shiz like the hard play dough? Did they have hard hearts?

What should we do in our lives to make sure our hearts are soft and full of love, not hard and hateful?
(Hold up the play dough figures and admire!)

End Lesson with Testimonies

Follow up for the week: Do something selfless this week for another person. Take one day to focus on yourself and if your choices are hard hearted or soft and loving.

New Year, New Ideas

Hello Friends!!

10 years. 10 years!!!

And finally the last 2 months, I felt like it was time for me to redirect my efforts.

I love Primary!!! I have a deep love children and their care free spirits. The way they look at life and their developing minds. They offer hope to me.

However, I just feel like it's time for me to do something different. There is a search option on the blog and categories on the side you can click for ideas for sharing times. I will leave content up and pray that it can be of some use to someone out there!

What I do plan on doing is Family Home Evening Ideas. This year, after prayer, I feel for my family that it will be good to focus on the following:
1. Book of Mormon Stories
2. General Conference Talks
3. Gospel Principles
4. Lessons given by my children (their choice)

So! I'll be posting my lesson plans because I feel like lessons go better, for me personally, when I'm prepared.

Also, I might just post random spiritual thoughts or insights. In the long run of things, I hope that my children can come to this blog and find ideas and inspiration. That whatever is posted can help them come closer to Christ.

Thank you so much!!! Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano Book Review

As I type, I hear the sound of rain. I've got my heat turned up and the lights of the Christmas tree soft in the background. It was the perfect weekend to read this book!!

I love Jen Turano!!! Her books are light hearted, funny, and feel good stories with characters who would obviously be your best friends if you were written into the book. This book is not a literary masterpiece, and I caught a typo... however, sometimes you just need an easy read with a simple story line and happy ending.

Out of the Ordinary is about a special Miss Gertrude Cadwalader. Her heart is one of gold as she is the paid companion of an older woman who tends to have sticky fingers and other odd eccentricities. She has a very kind friend named Harrison who owns a shipping company. They've been friends for years, but could there be more? There are balls, men whisking women away on horses failures, and bird cage bustles. There are friends sticking up for friends, questions of faith, and messages of forgiveness and being merciful.

Definitely would recommend this book and love being able to enjoy multiple stories of the same characters in the series!!