Sunday, May 24, 2015

FHE Lesson {Be spiritually Full}

Opening Song: Teach Me to Walk in the Light #177

Opening Prayer: child


As soon as I heard this object lesson in the General Womens Conference I knew we would do it as a FHE lesson. Filling our Homes with Light and Truth by Cheryl A Esplin :  {Preread }

The concept of being filled with light and truth became particularly important to me.
Many years ago I attended a meeting where members of the Young Women general board taught about creating spiritually strong families and homes.
To visually demonstrate this, a Young Women leader held up two soda cans.
In one hand she held a can that was empty and in the other hand a can that was unopened and full of soda. First, she squeezed the empty can; it began to bend and then collapsed under the pressure.
Next, with her other hand, she squeezed the unopened can. It held firm. It didn’t bend or collapse like the empty can—because it was filled.
We likened this demonstration to our individual lives and to our homes and families. When filled with the Spirit and with gospel truth, we have the power to withstand the outside forces of the world that surround and push against us. However, if we are not filled spiritually, we don’t have the inner strength to resist the outside pressures and can collapse when forces push against us.

Satan knows that in order for us and our families to withstand the pressures of the world, we must be filled with light and gospel truth. So he does everything in his power to dilute, distort, and destroy the truth of the gospel and to keep us separated from that truth.
 Have two soda/softdrink cans prepared. One full, one empty.
{I knew my kids, so we drank the drink at dinner, so each kid had an empty can}
Ask a child to come forward and squeeze an empty can
Then get them to squeeze a unopened full can.
We led a family discussion around these two cans:
What is the difference between the two cans?
Why is one easier to squash?
How can we be like these cans?

even though they look the same from a distance -
one can is strong and cannot be bent or changed or damaged.
the other can is empty and therefore weaker and can be changed by outward forces.
Like these cans we need to fill our lives with important things that make us strong
- strong spiritually, physically and emotionally

How do we become strong like the full can?
What things can you/our family do to make sure we are filled?

{prayer, scripture reading, being kind to our family, spending time together, going to church, eating healthy, learning, etc}
What are some examples of outside pressures that could collapse us if we are not spiritually filled?
{peer pressure, stress from school or work, people being mean etc}

Remember it is important to be filled from the inside and not just a empty can.

Closing Song: Seek the Lord Early #108

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat: Spiders! Ice cream floats with your soda.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

FHE Lesson {Mothers}

Mothers Day is coming up and I think we can all do with a little reminder to love our mothers more.
Opening Song: Mother Dear #206

Opening Prayer: Mommy

Lesson: Daddy

Scripture:And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma 56:48)

Have your family take turns sharing favourite memories about their mother or grandmother.
What do you love most about your mum?
If you have them, look at photos of the women in your family.

Why do we have mothers? 
Why are mothers so special? 
Did Jesus have a mother? (Show gospel Art picture kit picture 242) 
How did he treat his mother?
How can you (child) show your mother you love her? 

What special day is happening in one week?
Go through ideas or plans on how you plan to celebrate.

How can we act like it is Mothers Day all year round?

Write/draw on a heart shape something child/husband will do for mother this coming week.
Share the poem My Mothers Hands from May 2010 Friend Magazine. 
Cut out handprint shapes and write on things/service the children can do to be like mothers hands

Closing Song:  The Dearest Names #208

Closing Prayer: Mommy

Mum's favourite dessert

Music: “Dearest Mother, I Love You” (Children’s Songbook, 206)
Music: “I Often Go Walking” (Children’s Songbook, 202)
Music: “Love Is Spoken Here” (Children’s Songbook, 190)
Music: “Mother Dear” (Children’s Songbook, 206)
Music: “Mother, Tell Me the Story” (Children’s Songbook, 204)
Music: “Mother, I Love You” (Children’s Songbook, 207)
Music: “Quickly I’ll Obey” (Children’s Songbook, 197)
Music: “The Dearest Names” (Children’s Songbook, 208)

Mothers in The Scriptures May 2008 Friend Magazine
Mothers in the Scriptures

There are many mothers mentioned in the scriptures. Can you match their descriptions with their names and the names of their sons? If you need help, turn to the scripture references provided

1. The Lord told my husband in a dream that Jerusalem would be destroyed. My sons went back to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates. (See 1 Nephi 1:18; 2:5; 3–4.) {Sariah Mother of Nephi} 

2. I promised the Lord that if I had a son, he would serve the Lord. My son grew up in the temple and became a prophet. (See 1 Samuel 1:9–11, 20, 27–28.) {Hannah Mother of Samuel} 

3. I did not have any children until I was very old. My son baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. (See Luke 1:57–60; Matthew 3:13–17.) {Elisabeth Mother of John the Baptist} 

4. I was called “blessed” by an angel of the Lord. My son became the Savior of the world. (See Luke 1:27–28, 31–32.) {Mary Mother of Jesus} 

5. My husband, Abraham, was commanded by the Lord to sacrifice my son. (See Genesis 21:3; 22:1–18.) {Sarah Mother of Issac} 

6. I saved my baby son from the pharaoh by putting him in a basket in the river. He later led the Israelites to the promised land. (See Exodus 2:1–9;3:1–10; 6:20.) {Jochebed Mother of Moses}

Sunday, April 26, 2015

FHE Lesson {100 Years of Family Home Evening}

A recent Family Home Evening  ~ Palm Sunday Lesson

This week marks 100 years of Family Home Evening!
such an inspired program and needed more than ever!

As a person who feels like they've done ALOT of FHE Lessons know that:
Everyone struggles with FHE at one time or another. 
Sometimes we need a spark, to restart or change some things about how FHE is run.

This week isn't a lesson but some ideas of things we've done over the years to help us with FHE.

Please feel free to leave your suggestions in comments below!

So Here are some tips I've used over the years to lengthen out FHE to more than a few minutes.

:: Journal Writing
Use the first few minutes of FHE to write in journals. (I did this more when I had little children) The girls would draw a picture of anything that happened in the last week in their journals. Then I would write the words above for them. I found this helped me as I was now keeping atleast a weekly update of what they were getting up to.

:: Scripture Hero/Story
I was helping in Primary and they were holding up a picture of Adam and Eve and asking who it was. I was shocked when neither my 3 or 6 year old answered! They KNOW THAT!. But then I thought about it, and realized we had moved beyond holding up pictures and sharing the bible stories as our older kids grew and moved into more subject orientated FHE. Having 14 years-5 years old in the family we have to make sure we cover both younger and older learners. 

Each week the younger children will hold up a picture from the gospel art kit and tell us about it, ask us questions on who is this? What is this story?

:: 60 Seconds
When our kids were little they could not even sit still to hear the lesson! We instigated a 60 seconds of silence with a timer. They had to sit still and not talk. It took a while before they could even do this!! A few times we would say we have to restart! Overtime they got used to it and looked forward to it - as a parent I found pure silence to be very relaxing and good way to start FHE

We have a fairly large whiteboard that we use often. Whiteboard can be used for pictionary, drawing out the lessons, games, for the little ones to scribble on while we focus on the older ones, or for older children to be scribes {give them something to do}

::Song App
We have the Childrens Songbook App for our Ipad. It has most of the childrens songs with the words and a bouncy ball when to sing the words. It also has several photos to go with the songs. When we sing we use the app and our younger child slides the pictures for us while we sing. It makes it fun and they want to sing for a long time! The lovely MR uses cable between the Ipad and TV so we get it on the big screen!

Monday Night is our Fancy Dinner Night. I try to cook a better dinner on Mondays, with sides and with dessert. We set the table with a table cloth and try to make it look nice. We start our FHE before Dinner. We open with prayer and sing Love at Home while all holding hands around the table. This is the opening of FHE for us. Once dishes are cleared we go straight into FHE. It helps extend the length and idea of FHE to our kids and they know that Monday night is family night from about 5:30pm-7pm

{I'm sad to say that after about 2+ years of doing this it has fallen by the wayside the last year. Just last week, my 8 year old leant across, reached for my hand and said 'we havent sung Love at Home ,holding hands in ages! I miss it! (of course during a busy, stressful night when it was the last thing I wanted to do!! kids really do know the right thing!) so reinstating this might be my goal for FHE!}

::Articles of Faith
We printed and laminated each Article of Faith on a separate piece of paper. The girls take turns choosing an article of faith to hold up, read out, make us guess

We have a shy girl or two so we take time having turns at practicing our testimonies.

:: Now we have two young women we are including Personal Progress goals and what they are working on

:: Here are 2 years worth of Lessons by me


Here's another short lesson I previously wrote about how to plan FHE better in 2013.
Its always a good time to ask your kids what they want more of!
I thought it would fit in with the goal planning night.

We put forth the question to our girls - 
What can we all do to make Family Home Evening better this year?
What things would you like to do?

 These are the answers they came up with:

:: Chocolate for the treat

:: An "I love You because..." spot (one person each week and we will list things we love about them)

:: Bring back 60 second silence (to get our kids to be quiet and get ready for FHE and to practice reverence we use to time to see how long they could be completely quiet for)

:: Take Turns at teaching the lesson

:: Outings for FHE once every two months

:: A hug at the beginning and end of FHE

:: Recite/learn more scriptures

:: More games

:: Continue with our 'fancy dinner' night meals before FHE 
{we set the table with tablecloth and full settings and fancy cups on Monday night and try to have a good quality meal. Interesting side note the kids are more acceptable to higher quality (read vegetables) meals on these nights because I say this is what you would get in a restaurant ;)

:: Act out stories of different prophets in the Book of Mormon and scriptures

:: Always sing Popcorn and Snowman

Most of these we thought up by our kids. I was very surprised at a few of them. Even though this is a completely SIMPLE idea for a FHE I thought I would share it because our girls came up with some lovely ideas I wouldn't have thought of myself, or knew that they wanted.

Wishing you all the best with successful Family Home Evenings.

What suggestions would you share for Family Home Evening?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Camping {Sharp Park Riverbend}

Once again I wasn't organised with where to camp on the holidays {are we ever?}
So after a shout out for suggestions of places to go we haven't been....
{I'm of the belief there are too many places to see in a lifetime to revisit the same areas repeatedly}

Sharp Park Riverbend Bush Camping Canungra was where we ended up.
Since I've reviewed all the other places we've camped, why not this one too.

This campground ticked off most of our required camping essentials.

Easy access - park is right on a main road.
1 hour from Brisbane
Camp Fires Allowed/ Metal tins provided
Was no mosquitoes or bugs {during our visit anyway}
Quiet Family Camping Ground
Toilets in close proximity
BBQ's available

Only Downside was - No Showers

We ended up by chance with the most choice spot of the whole camp. The campground is on two sides of a creek and we ended up on the smaller side next to the Day Stay Area. If you are to visit I recommend campsites 1-4. They are right on the river and you can be lazy parents and sit in your camp chair and watch your kids in the river playing like we did (well we dont have toddlers anymore so its getting easier.)

^^ View from our Tent Site

 ^^ View from our Tent Site

^^Local Wildlife. Friendly Ducks and Geese and other birds were the only animals we saw

^^Kookaburra by Kalani


^^Building Rock Cairns - very relaxing activity with the girls. I loved it!

^^They are all old enough to build the tent! Yay!

 ^^ Home Sweet Home

 ^^Campfire a must.

^^Misty Mornings

^^Roisens Lookout. We saw two people paraglide off and come back and land. It was awesome

^^Always drawing, even by torchlight

Past Camping Reviews:

Neurum creek
Flanagans Reserve
Elanda Point

Somerset Park

Sunday, April 19, 2015

FHE Lesson {Anzac Day}

Opening Prayer: Child

Opening Song: My Country #224


Anzac Day is coming up this week and I thought it would be a good FHE lesson

ANZAC Day occurs on 25 April every year. On this day we honour all the men and women who have participated in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations around the world, including the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. Incredibly, 100 years have passed since Australia’s involvement in the First World War.

In the past people have had to fight for liberty and freedom.

We are thankful for many people who went to fight to defend our country.

Many died and many made huge sacrifices.
Many demonstrated extraordinary courage, endurance and bravery.

On Anzac Day we remember those people.

We have had people in our own family who did this.

{share stories or show photos of any in your family if you have it.}

On Anzac Day many people lay a wreath in remembrance and attend Anzac Day Ceremonies.
{We have a plain Christmas wreath I will use for visual}

Because of these people it enables us to live as we do today in safety and freedom.

For the future we hope and pray the people of earth can live together peaceably, be kind to one another and that conflicts may be resolved without force.

Activity:  Make a wreath.

Fresh Wreath Tutorial 

Paper Plate Wreath

Colouring In Wreath 

Rosemary Wreath

Tissue Flower Wreath

or make paper poppies

Closing Song: My Flag My Flag #225

Treat: Anzac Biscuits

Buy or Make - Anzac Biscuit Recipe

and share the history if applicable

During World War 1 and World War 2, the wives, mothers and girlfriends were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Any food they sent to the fighting men had to be carried in the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these were lucky to maintain a speed of ten knots (18.5 kilometres per hour). Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women came up with the answer - a biscuit with all the nutritional values possible. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats which were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that helped counteract the extremely cold climate.
The ingredients they used were rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi-carbonate of soda and boiling water. All these items did not readily spoil. At first the biscuits were called Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits.
A point of interest is the lack of eggs to bind the ANZAC biscuit mixture together. Because of the war, many of the poultry farmers had joined the services, thus eggs were scarce. The binding agent for the biscuits was golden syrup or treacle. 
As the war drew on, many groups like the CWA (Country Women's Association), church committees, schools and other women's organisations devoted a great deal of time to the making of ANZAC biscuits. To ensure that the biscuits remained crisp, they were packed in used tins such as Billy Tea tins. You can see some of these tins appearing in your supermarket as exact replicas of the ones of earlier years.  The tins were airtight, thus no moisture in the atmosphere was able to soak into the biscuits and make them soft.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Easter Tree

Just because its tradition.
Why stop now?
And black and White to be dramatic :)

Note: the fabric bunnies we've made over the years are getting out of control.
The cutest tiny ceramic bunnies were this years addition. They are hard to see on the tree. But they are adorable. We also broke a ceramic bird, must get more. Those are my favourite.

Previous years here:



Imprinted Onion Skin Eggs/ Serbian Orthodox Eggs

Last Easter a sweet friend taught us her family's (Serbian) tradition of dyeing Easter Eggs.
It was so wonderful, I was excited to try it this year.
I really enjoyed sitting around with her family making these last year.

Each time I visited the grocery store I cleaned up around the onions and put a few skins in a bag and bought them home. 3 visits and I had enough onion skins saved up. Or just ask at your local fruit and veg, I'm sure they will be happy for you to take them.

What you need:

Onion skins
1 litre of water
4 tablespoons of white vinegar
4 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 dozen eggs
pretty leaves, herbs such as coriander and rosemary, flowers
clean stockings

Put onion skins, water and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Allow to cool and remove skins.

Cut stockings into pieces big enough to surround an egg and tie a knot.
Place leaves, herbs, flowers onto eggs.
Carefully place into stockings and tie knot tightly around egg
Flowers/leaves may have moved, use your fingernail, or toothpick or like to gently push leaves into back into desired position

Place eggs in pot and cook.
Allow to cool and remove stockings and leaves/herbs/flowers

Now you will have cool imprints left behind on the eggs.

Shine your eggs with a bit of olive oil and paper towel.

We are just displaying our eggs, so it didn't matter what foliage I used.
But if eating the eggs stick to things you know are safe to consume.
The tying the stocking around the egg can be fiddly and frustrating to small children.
Best to get the adult/older children to do this. My smaller kids helped in all the other stages.

In Serbia, the first dyed egg is kept until next Easter, guaranteeing family security and health. All the rest hard boiled dyed eggs are used in a traditional game, known as egg dumping, where each player hits the other players' egg with their own. The winner is the holder of the last intact egg. The losers get to eat their eggs. This is a common practice in all Christian Orthodox countries on Easter Sunday.

 A real chicken egg, hard-boiled and dyed or decorated, takes the central place in the Easter celebration. Eggs symbolise the eternal life of Jesus and according to some legends, the white eggs Mary left on her son’s grave as a sacrifice turned red after his resurrection.

I've still got the onion water, the neighbour kid loves our eggs she wants some too.
I'll just have to get more stockings. Water can be reused over and over.

I just love the simple natural method of these eggs.
Almost felt like how people did things in the old days.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

FHE Lesson {Easter Footsteps}

This lesson inspired by Easter Footsteps in April 2012 Friend Magazine

Opening Song: Jesus Has Risen #70

Opening Prayer: Child

Jesus Christ did important work at special places in the days before He was crucified and resurrected. 1/3 of the gospels from the New Testament all happened in the last weeks of Jesus Life.
 Follow the footsteps to find out where He went and what He did.
Cut out a bunch of footsteps.
Have them lead to different places. {within lounge room, or all over house/yard if you wish}
At each place/spot have a picture of the below mentioned  events

Christ Teaching
Before the last week of his life Jesus taught many parables and people.

Triumphal Entry   Triumphal Entry #2
The triumphal entry, remembered today on Palm Sunday, is a joyful prelude to the sad events. It represents one of the few times during His mortal ministry when Jesus was recognized as the king.

Cleansing the Temple
During the first part of this week Jesus spent the nights in Bethany but came to the temple each day to teach. He healed people and cleansed the temple.

Washes disciple’s feet, eats Passover meal. Institutes the Sacrament

Garden of Gethsemane
Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. Suffers for our Sins.

Jesus Crucified

Resurrected Christ  Christ and Nephites

Tomb discovered to be empty. The Lord is resurrected. Christ has risen on the third day.

Jerusalem illustration
Illustration by Adam Koford
1. Jesus taught people on a hill called the Mount of Olives.
2. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Many people were happy to see Him.
3. Jesus healed sick people at the temple.
4. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to Heavenly Father and suffered for our sins.
5. Jesus was crucified.
6. Jesus was resurrected.

Alternatively make a little cut out of Jesus to follow the footsteps on the above picture.

*** Some articles for the adults on the Saviours last week :)

Reflections on the Saviours Last week

Overview Jesus Last Week

Timeline Saviours last week

Closing Song: Easter Hosanna #68

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat: Hot Cross Buns


Sunday, March 8, 2015

FHE Lesson {Easter Lessons}

Assembling the 2015 Easter Tree

I have more Easter FHE Lessons than weeks before Easter.

I am compiling them all here for easy reference.

Thank you to all who use these lessons! {Lots of you! I'm honoured!}

I enjoy writing them for you.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

FHE Lesson {Revelation/Patterns of Light}

This lesson based on a favourite talk Spirit of Revelation April 2011 General Conference

Opening Song: Search Ponder and Pray #109

Opening Prayer:


Watch this 2 min video Patterns of Light  by Elder Bednar  {Part 3 of 3}

Revelation is communication from God to his children on earth.
We can all have this illumination to guide us all through life.

What is revelation and how do we get it?

You are entitled to revelation for your life,
mum and dad for this family,
the Bishop for the ward,
the Prophet for the church.

Would you like to receive revelation to guide you in your life?

Have some pictures/draw/ object lesson for the following:

Light Switch {turn light on and off}
Some revelation from God is like a light switch.
Quick, Sudden, Darkness gone immediately, we can see clearly instantly.
This can and does happen in our lives but is often the more rare kind.

Revelation like a sunrise is gradual, you can see the light is coming but you still may be in dark, the light rises slowly over the horizon. This type of Revelation is more common.

Revelation is often like a fog. You know there is light, you know you are not in the dark. However you can't see far ahead. You can only see ahead a few steps. However your path/decisions can light up for those few steps. As you carry on, the next few steps are illuminated and the light always follows.

Have you had revelation/an answer to your prayers in your life?

Was it like these examples above? Which one?

How can we continue to have revelation in our lives?

Closing Song: I Pray in Faith #14

Closing Prayer: Child


Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Valentines

Since we will be out celebrating a birthday tomorrow and not Valentines.....
We took these previously.
Miss A got a camera and tripod for Christmas.
Still trying to work out how to use the camera for best photos
but oh self timers are so much fun.
As are heart shaped balloons.
Happy Valentines Day!

We swear we do have a man in the house... he's just absent when we do all the fun things :)


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