Sunday, April 28, 2013

FHE Lesson {Kindness}

Over at the FHE SPOT where I used to post lessons I found that our most viewed lessons were about kindness. Not by a little, literally by thousands of hits. It seems teaching children kindness {or sibling cohesion??} is a popular little topic.

Opening Song: Kindness begins with Me #145

Opening Prayer:

Scripture : Ephesians 4:32 
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.


Let's practice speaking in different ways.
First say "No Thankyou" but in an angry voice. Now say "No Thankyou" in a happy voice.
Which was a kinder tone?
Now try shouting "Go get the book!" Now whisper it. Which was better?
Now say "I love you" with a frown and a pouty voice, then with a smile and a sweet voice.

Point out that it is much kinder to smile while saying nice things. Emphasize that to speak kindly it's not just the words that matter, but it's the way we speak- our tone, volume, expression/body language.

Have fun practicing lots of different phrases!!

State that in our family we want to use nice, kind, happy voices when speaking to eachother.

Ask do we sometimes need to change the way we speak?
{be open to the fact the kids may mention they want the parents to speak kinder}

How can we do this? {Make a plan on WHAT you will do to be better}

How do we feel when someone is mean to us or yells at us?
{Remind them then as they know how it feels that should not like to do it to others}

This week we will say Kind things to eachother everyday.
{give a list eg say I love you everyday, say thankyou more often, you shared well, kids can say kind things to mummy when she cooks dinner, puts you to bed with a story}


Spin the bottle - when it lands on a person everyone has to say something nice about them

Have a prewritten card organized where you write your favourite things about each family member

Get children to help each other do a task. {eg folding a big blanket can be easier with two}

Give them a secret buddy to do kind things for. Alternatively let everyone know who has what name so they can do a kind deed for each other during the week.

Lessons for younger Children:

Show a picture of your wedding:  Say mummy and daddy love eachother very much and wanted to be a family. Show a picture of them or a family photo. Say we were so excited when each of you were born and joined our family. We loved you so much. In our family we are so happy to be together that we always want to speak kindly, share our things and love and hug eachother. Everyone in our family is special and we must treat them that way.

Practice sharing a toy and taking turns and speaking kindly - "Your turn, thank you, Please may I..."

Closing Song:
I'm trying to be like Jesus #78

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Have children make/serve up dessert to eachother / parents

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sunrise on Anzac Day 2013

oh how I love a sunrise.

I only witness it a handful of times a year and question WHY I don't do it more often?

I think that's when you realise you let life live you instead of the other way round.

Important as sleeping is, feeding breakfast to children, groaning with your eyes closed on the couch, checking facebook or the internets, packing bags, showering or getting ready for the day/work is

its funny how we let our circumstances dictate the way our life goes and not take the control for the life we want. We all have things we have to do... but maybe we need to sneak a little nature and meditation in there too.

But I digress.

We seem to have a little family tradition of watching the sunrise on the Queens Birthday when the sun rises later in the morning and you don't have to get up 4am to catch it like in summer. 
see here  here  here .

The past little while one of the girls has been asking regularly 'when will we go to the tallest hill and watch the sunrise? It must be soon?' I was hoping to do it during Easter and have a family testimony meeting but it never happened.

Anzac Day is such a special day in Australia with so many people honouring it and those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy. With a holiday to move a bit slower we decided we would do our annual sunrise viewing on Anzac Day.

It was crisp but nowhere near as cold as it is up there in June. Glad we moved it two months earlier :)

The girls were excited and set an alarm to get up and ready. They were ready to go in no time.

After some time watching the sunrise, drinking hot milo and Anzac biscuits they found their nature groove.

I find it really interesting when kids relax in nature. It took them a while to warm up and just as The Mr wanted to leave to go back home they were enthralled with sticks, rocks, jumping, walking, making up imaginative games and pretending to be wild animals and the list goes on.

I said to The Mr ... I think we are due for some nature time or camping.

Until then sunrise viewing will have to do.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

FHE Lesson {Family Narrative}

Recently I read this article on how family stories create strong families and resilient kids. It came from this New York Times article and I really enjoyed it and it got me thinking about the
20 things you should know Test wherein they found kids who know the answers to these questions about their families seem to fare better than those that don't.  That shared knowledge creates an “intergenerational self,” a belief that somehow creates resilience as we come to understand we are part of something that started long before. It wasn't just knowing the family history facts, but having it told often at family dinners, holidays, family reunions, car trips etc that made the difference.

That very night I sat with the girls and asked them questions about where their grandparents were from, how they met, name people they knew in the family, a few funny stories I remembered and they were so surprised that grandma had 35 cousins and demanded a Family reunion pronto! It was a great time laughing and chatting I knew a FHE lesson on this topic was needed.

Opening Song: Here we are together #261

Opening Prayer: Child

There are many ideas listed - use as many or as few as needed.
Alternatively use this topic to focus on for a few weeks.

Print out any photos you have of family members. Especially grandparents, great grandparents etc. Ask the children to guess who they are. Tell any stories you know about them.

Print out some family photos. We used 2 photos that had four generations of family members in each photo.  Cut photo into pieces (like a jigsaw) and hide individual pieces around the house. Ask children to search the house for the 'missing' photo pieces.

Put photos together. Ask if they recognise any of the people in the photos.  Point out any great grandparents/family members they might not know.

Talk about the importance of 'finding our those of our family' who lived a long time ago. We try to remember all our relatives by keeping our family history.


We have little voice snippets/video segments of our children saying "Hi my name is ____ I am ____ years old. My favourite thing is ____ .  It is so fun to look back on the old ones and how they used to sound. Our 7 year old was mimicking her 4 year old voice after we did this activity. She was surprised at how 'babyish' she sounded.

Since we only have a couple of these snippets we thought it might be a nice thing to record each year. Maybe New Years day would be a good day for it? Anyway we spoke about how we can record our OWN family history about ourselves, so our children and grandchildren can never forget how we were.

We said our names, ages, where we live, what we like to do. Each segment lasted about 30secs to 1min.

We saved them as video files in our documents on the computer.

A fun way to teach family history, and to look back on in years to come.

Talk about your love story and how you met and where you lived and where you got married. Show pictures, read out journals from that time. Also mention how Grandma and Grandpa met and married too.

Show some pictures of your childhood and tell some funny stories of things you got up to as a child. Ask children if they can remember something funny from their childhood.

If your family comes from many places, get out a map or globe and look at the places your ancestors came from. Point out who came from where and show pictures of what those places look like.

Talk about the origins of your childs name. We chose our kids names because the meanings were important to us. Look up the meanings. Their middle names come from family history. Look up family tree and show them where their name comes from.

Talk about some of the bad times your family might have been through in the past {illnesses, moving far away, or naughty things did as a kid} focus on the positive - in that people got better, we made it through, we made new friends, I learnt not to play with matches etc.

Invite a grandparent or family member to join your FHE and tell some wonderful stories!

Use the 20 questions to create your own dialogue/games/chat with your children.

1. Do you know how your parents met?
2. Do you know where your mother grew up?
3. Do you know where your father grew up?
4. Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
5. Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
6. Do you know where your parents were married?
7. Do you know what went on when you were being born?
8. Do you know the source of your name?
9. Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
10. Do you know which person in your family you look most like?
11. Do you know which person in the family you act most like?
12. Do you know any illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger?
13. Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
14. Do you know some things that happened to your mom or dad when they were in school?
15. Do you know the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc)?
16. Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young?
17. Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young?
18. Do you know the names of the schools that your mom went to?
19. Do you know the names of the schools that your dad went to?
20. Do you know about a relative whose face "froze" in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?

Remember to be positive in linking the child of today into family lore.

Lessons for Small Children

Print out photos of family members {mum and dad and grandparents and aunty and uncle etc} Get them to guess who they are. Point and say the names.

While looking through a family photo album talk about how much you love them and what it was like before they were born and while you were waiting for them.

Making a video or audio file of them talking. Ask them some easy questions to answer.

Closing Song: Families Can Be Together Forever #188

Closing Prayer: Child

Treat:  Share a dessert in a big bowl together.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Urban Climb

At young age my girls have all like climbing.

As they grew one became a little fearful

However the others are still in full swing of loving it up high.

My third daughter has always loved to climb.
She can shimmy to the top of lightpole at the park
Climb numerous trees
Sit on top of the fence
Today she was on top a roof of a playground fort

Second daughter still likes sitting on the garage roof occasionally.( remember?)

So of course they all love rock climbing.

They teach me how to let go of my fears

{I'm only slightly fearful of heights - usually when it involves them mucking around at heights}

I'm not fearful when they are alone up high - hence I let them climb poles and houses etc. Its usually when we are all at the top of a mountain, a lookout, a ladder etc that I worry about them jostling eachother, not being patient and basically falling to their death.

As a large family many activities we would love to do regularly are cost prohibitive to us.

As a special school holiday treat we went Rockclimbing at Urban Climb in West End.

We were lucky after filling in a survey to be given a pass for a weeks FREE climbing!

So we've taken advantage of that and returned several times and even once just me and The Mr for a date on Friday night. Lots of fun and team family building and conquering fears and realising ones strength and learning to TRUST the person holding you up.

I really loved that on our first climbs we were using any handholds and basically climbing the walls like a ladder. I was so impressed that over the time the older two girls really challenged themselves and attempted harder climbs and used more controlled body movements against the wall.

A hobby we would like to look into more and considering our proximity to Free REAL cliffs maybe we should.

So many lessons to be learnt from climbing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

FHE Lesson {Scriptures}

Opening Prayer:

Article of Faith: #9


Each Day in family scripture reading someone inevitably complains that the scrap of paper that is their bookmark has been lost and they can't find where we are up to in their Blue Book of Mormons. Hence the need to make some bookmarks.

A few years ago we did this lesson on getting to know the scriptures after discovering that despite reading them our older girls knew nothing much about their scriptures. I think it's time for a refresh.

What are the Scriptures?

What is the Bible? The Book of Mormon? The Doctrine and Covenants? The Pearl of Great Price?
{Get children to find each compilation, or have separate books to show}

How do they help us?

What should we do with the Scriptures?

How can our family include the Scriptures more in our life?
{memorize a verse, family scripture reading, personal reading, scripture chases}

Getting to know your scriptures:

Start with a quick perusal of their scriptures. 
Check out the tabs, ribbon bookmarks, pictures section etc.

Ask questions like:

What is/find the first book of the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon

Use the Title page to find other books (give them some unusual ones to find)

Choose a word to look up in the Topical Guide. When then followed it to the scripture.

We looked at footnotes and what the little letters mean and then followed it back to the Bible Dictionary and Topical Guide


Make bookmarks to go in your scriptures.
Laminate if desired.

Closing Prayer: Child

*** Lesson for younger children****
Compile a group of scriptures. Your personal set, Blue Book of Mormon, the scripture cartoon books etc - whatever you have access to. 

Explain scriptures are the Word of God. We like to read and learn from the Scriptures. Remind them of a scripture story they know and say that story comes from this book.

Get them to draw or colour a bookmark and put in their scriptures.

Tell them we are making a goal to read a little from this book every day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Season

 Photo credit :PhotoPlan

Packed away the Easter Tree last week and life has been moving in a very simple ebb and flow.

It seems like Easter was ages ago.
Funny how anticipation does that.
Once something is over, its over and done and seems an age ago.

I read somewhere that it was the anticipation of things {buying things, holidays, experiences, birthdays etc} that  makes you more happy than the actuality {eg if you just go out and buy a lot of stuff it doesn't give the same happiness} so it is totally OK and good for you to have to 'wait' for the good stuff.

So to me it seems that it is always a good thing to have something to look forward to.

It's a bit of a quiet time, this middle of the year bit.

Perhaps I need to organize a holiday in the spring for the family to look forward to.

I love school holidays. I love that my kids have been really well behaved.

But holidays slow down my brain.

We keep busy but we don't keep up with schedule.

It seems not much gets done.

There's not even much time for grocery shopping and there's a lack of food!

Holidays feel regenerating but always TOO MUCH TV!

Today I've been dreaming....

of cool nights quilting or teaching the kids to knit {if only I knew how?}, of soup suppers with family and friends and hot fresh bread, of drawing and painting artworks, or curling up and reading  and candlelight and fireplaces, of gathering around and making music playing instruments {if only we knew how!}of star gazing and hot chocolates, of long walks in nature, of treehouses and climbing trees and secret hiding places, of talking late into the night, of collecting little treasures,  of cloudwatching, of playing badminton in the street, of neighbours playing and chatting, and board games {ok now I'm going to far.... I don't do board games}

that's what I want my life to be.

It's up to me to organize it all I suppose.

Sadly an awesome life doesn't just happen. It actually has to be quite planned.

I hate it when I feel I am wasting my time.
and that my dear children and family and friends and grandparents wont be around forever.

So organize
that Sunday Dinner,
learn that craft,
make that home cooked food
and take that walk and

turn off the tv {and ipad and computer and iphone}

I realise now is the season for these things as most of our birthdays and major holidays {Christmas, New year, Easter} are done. The Season of now - the weather is cool, there is time, there is space.

Now is the season for living those dreams.

and it will give us something to look forward to

We did organize my daughters first trip to the temple now she is 12.

It was lovely and moving having four generations together at the Temple.

Nothing like a great grandma with a tear in her eye.

I hope my girls know how lucky they are. They probably wont until they are older.

Now is the season for living.

Photo Credit : PhotoPlan

Sunday, April 7, 2013

FHE Lesson {Prayer}

Family Home Evening

Principle: Prayer

Opening Song: Search, Ponder and Pray #109

Opening Prayer:

Music Time:
We use the Sing a long App and played/sung  these songs from the Childrens Songbook

A Prayer Song #22
We Bow our Heads #25
Reverently Quietly #26
Family Prayer #189

Hymns: #140  ‘Did you think to Pray?’

Can you guess from these songs what we will be talking about in FHE tonight?

Scripture Hero:
To get our younger daughter involved in FHE we put up a gospel art picture kit picture and get her to talk about it, tell us what is in the picture, what it is about. It doesn't usually match the lesson but this time we chose Enos Praying 
Who is this? What is he doing?
{you can talk about how Enos prayed all day and night}

 What is prayer?

 What are some of the prayers that we do? {family, food, personal, church, FHE etc}

Sermon on the Mount - The Lords Prayer

What did Jesus teach us about prayer?
How should we behave during a prayer?
How often should we pray?

Blind fold Walk
Cover the eyes with a blind fold and have them walk to find an object (favourite toy or treat)
Do not tell them where they are to go.
They cannot get any help unless they ask.

Prayer is communication with the Lord, if we ask he will answer, but we must consider the questions carefully.


Closing Song: A child's Prayer #12



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Weekend


:: Hot Cross Buns
:: Dyeing Eggs
:: Egg hunt with friends
:: Mountain climbing
:: Easter Baskets
:: Church
:: Easter Dinner
:: Breakfast by the lake
:: Egg hunt

I love Easter Holidays.

We seem to get so much done. It's not cold like Winter holidays. It's not too hot like Summer holidays. The Mr is home. There's crafts and church and time for nature and food and friends and family.

Pretty near perfect to me.

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