Monday, March 31, 2014

FHE Lesson {Easter Tree}

 Opening Song: Did Jesus Really Live Again #64

Opening Prayer:

It's a few weeks till Easter so I will be posting lessons to do with Easter until then.

We like to start the season off with an Easter Tree

Go here and here to see how we make ours

Discuss that Easter is coming up. Ask questions like:

 What is Easter? What do you know about Easter? What is your favourite part of Easter?
What things should we do this Easter {plan your calendar!}
{eg visit family, hold a sunrise family testimony meeting, make hot cross buns, egg hunt etc}

 Together create an Easter Tree.
{honestly it can be as simple as a few sticks to hang things off}

We use several decorations to put on ours. Each year our tree is a little different.

 You can google and print and colour small pictures of easter scenes
{both religious and non religious} -
Easter Eggs

 Cut out pictures of Christ from the Ensign or print pictures and laminate them and add a string and you've got a homemade religious decoration to hang {instruction here}

 Buy/Make decorations such as Eggs, bunnies etc.

 If you have time watch an Easter Movie

LDS Bible Videos - He is Risen

We own and kids enjoy Veggietales 'An Easter Carol'

Closing Song: Easter Hosanna # 68

Closing Prayer: Child

Tiny Easter Eggs, Hot Cross Buns,

To start getting prepared here is a timeline overview of  the things we try to do in the Easter Season
Easter Preparations {one month of Easter}

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Easter Inspiration

It's less than a month till Easter! I haven't started a thing!
So I've put together all my past Easter Projects in one place to get me motivated.
I decided a few years ago that I should put as much effort into Easter as I do Christmas as really Easter is almost a more important holiday.
Egg Hunt
Carrot Pinata
Please Note I don't do all these every year. Just a couple of projects.
I never have enough time to do all the things I want.
Do you have a great Easter craft/food/tradition to share?
So to help myself and maybe you if you wish I'm writing down Easter preparations here


:: Suprise Eggs
I started this week on my {Surprise Eggs}  I find I can collect more eggshells the earlier I start. Each year the girls seem to need more and more (12 is no longer sufficient!) The hardest bit is remembering NOT to crack eggs in half when cooking. I use a sharp knife and slice the top off the egg. Empty the egg into your cooking, then wash the eggshell out. I store them in an open egg carton so they can dry out. I found some gorgeous surprise eggs over at O Happy Day . Filled with Gold glitter or birdseed or cereal so the mess can be left behind in a park without worry. Great idea! My kids really enjoy this easter activity. One of our favourite Easter Traditions.

:: Easter Tree
Decorate with eggs, religious things, whatever you wish really. I made names of Christ birds to hang on ours this year using this dough recipe

:: 30 Day Living Christ Countdown


:: Easter Countdown Calendars
Easter Week Activity Countdown
12 day treat or activity Easter Countdown

::Growing Easter Wheat Grass
Pretty Wheat Grass Tutorial at Ecoki
Our previous wheat grass

Egg Pinata
Chicken Pinata
Easter Basket Pinata


Palm Sunday - we read the story and act it out with real palm leaves and make palm crosses
Passover - celebrate on the real date or the thursday before easter as Christ did
Hot Cross Buns - We've made these Easter Friday for the last few years
Soft Pretzels - we make these around the day Christ prayed in Gethsemene
Dying/Decorating Eggs - A must and fav with the kids.
Easter Candle Ring - we love candlelight and quiet thoughts and a devotional if I can sneek it in

 "Without Easter we would have no Christmas" - this was our starting quote with the children. They had to think really hard why it was so! If Jesus had not given his life so we can have eternal life he would have been just another special but ordinary person. Because of Easter and his ultimate gift we want to celebrate his birth.

Easter seems to be a much more solemn holiday than christmas. I hope that I don't cheapen that, but my goal is to try and put as much if not more effort into Easter than I do at Christmas. It's such a special holiday {and a lot less commercial -if you ignore the cocolate eggs everywhere} that there seems to be a lot less stress associated with this holiday. I'm hoping to use that to my advantage to give the girls lots to ponder on at this time of year. { no end of years parties, no presents for others to buy, no work/christmas parties - therefore ideally I should have lots more time and focus for Easter}

Enjoy! I hope my efforts will result in a greater love of Easter and Christ for my children

Sunday, March 23, 2014

FHE Lesson {Thankful for our Bodies}

This lesson inspired from a variety of primary lessons. Go here to see the primary manuals
Opening Song:
Opening Prayer: Child
Action songs to get you in the mood :)
 Head shoulders knees and toes
Hinges #277  (my fav action song as a kid!)
Do the following in a whisper:
Direct the children to do several things, such as sit down, raise their hands, lower their hands, and hold up two fingers, hop, close eyes, open eyes.
In your normal voice, ask the children how they knew what to do while you were whispering.
Explain that our bodies can do many things. Each part of the body has a special job to do.
What can you do with your eyes?
What can you do with your ears?
What can you do with your mouth?
What can you do with your hands?
What can you do with your feet?
Our bodies are a blessing. Our bodies were created in God's image. There is a reason we look the way we do. Our bodies are useful and strong and help us to do many things. We must look after our bodies and treat them well. We must also only use our bodies for good and never to hurt others.
If needed in your family discuss how our bodies need to behave to be reverent. What things should our bodies do at certain times {in school and church}
Mouth—Speak quietly, smile, sing songs, pray, keep closed when someone else is talking.
Eyes—Look at the teacher or speaker, close during the prayer.
Hands and arms—Hold still, raise to answer a question, fold during prayer.
Feet and legs—Walk quietly, hold still.
Ears—Listen to what is being said
Have children look in a mirror and name parts of their face/body they can see.
Alternatively have them say "I am thankful for my ears, I am thankful for my nose etc"
Draw a picture of themselves
colouring IN
Closing Song: I am a Child of God #2
Closing Prayer: Child
Make smilie face biscuits using icing and then stick on m&m's for eyes and jelly beans for mouth, or similar.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FHE Lesson {Wise Man and Foolish Man}

This lesson inspired by what came up in family scripture reading this week

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way #160

Opening Prayer:


Share the following Scripture (or just sing the song for really little children)

3 Nephi 14:24-27
Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock
  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand
 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
What does it mean to be foolish? How are we sometimes like the foolish man?
What does it mean to be wise?  How can we be like the wise man?
What things are wise decisions that will help us build on a strong foundation?
{list out and leave up to remind kids of wise decisions we make in our homes}
Watch Wise Man and Foolish Man Youtube Videos :)
Build a little lego house or cardboard house and blutak it to a large rock and then sand. Pour water around each and see which house stays standing.
Draw Wise and Foolish Houses or colour this colouring in page  or this one
Reiterate that things are always better when built on a sure/strong foundation. In our family we try really hard to make sure we have a good solid foundation for our family. A happy family, with kindness and love toward eachother, following rules, having respect, with love for the gospel and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ we believe is the best foundation for our family to grow and succeed on.
Closing Song: Dare to do Right #160
Closing Prayer: Child

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Outdoor Movie Night

Ever since we got our projector I have been dreaming of hosting outdoor movie nights!

How Fun!!

It has taken about a year or so to finally do it!
{excuses range from not being prepared to make invitations and choose a date in advance, rain, sun up too late in summer, too cold in winter, too busy/full calendar, just plain unorganised}

I really wanted to back in Sept/Oct but never did. Then in Summer the sun is up too late and starting a movie at 8:30 is too late for little ones {and ahem me - I'd probably fall asleep!}

So it was great that for her 13th birthday our daughter wanted to host an outdoor movie night.

We've finally done it! {and by WE I mean The Mr who had to set it all up. I don't do tech.}

Easy and Cheap as we had all we needed.

While I drooled over pinterest - the stuff dreams are made of!
{20 matching chairs! outdoor couches! 20 beanbags! Massive trees with fairy lights!
Perfectly co ordinated everything! Colour themes!}

Alas I live in REAL PARTY WORLD and Sometimes you just gotta face facts that nothing will ever be that perfect unless you hire some expensive catering party company. Someone needs to start a regular normal people party ideas blog {I'm sure its out there}

My pictures don't do it justice but I think we pulled together a pretty good night.
A few of the guests complimented the house and set up, so I'll take that as success.

We made it easy on ourselves and ordered in Pizza.
I organised a concession stand with chips, chocolate bars and soft drink and lots of popcorn.

We laid out 3 mattresses and had about 8 chairs. We also had some kids choose to sit on the deck stairs.

We strung some fairy lights and bunting.

For an outdoor movie you will need:

 a screen {I've used a sheet before}
laptop or something to play your movie from.

and end the night with shadow puppets and music videos.

We survived our first teenage party! {they were sweet darlings!}

Monday, March 10, 2014

FHE Lesson {Sacrament, Remembering Jesus}

Opening Song: "I feel my Saviours Love Children's Songbook #74

Opening Prayer: Child


Show a picture of Jesus. Ask how we remember him.
Read or have an older child read the Sacrament Prayers from the scriptures (D&C 20:77, 79)
Ask the children to guess what it is you are reading.
(some knew straight away, some knew it was familiar, but not sure)
You could also have some bread and water out for visual clues.

In the March Friend is a lovely Acrostic poem and pictures about The Sacrament.
Find it here - As I take the Sacrament - March 2014 Friend Magazine
Print each letter to spell sacrament (or use a whiteboard). Have children hold up each letter one at a time as you read out the poem. If you have the gospel art picture kit, also have various pictures of the life of Christ to have out at the same time.

Bear Testimony about why you like going to sacrament each week. What it means to you. Talk about the symbolic nature of what the Sacrament represents.


Now say you are going to play a memory game. Children have one minute to look at 10 items on a tray. Cover it up and have children write or draw or dictate to you what they remember on the tray. We made sure one of the items was a small picture of Jesus.

Our older girls wanted a go at being the person in charge of the tray, so we played 3 different versions of the game (allowing them to choose the items, but the ONLY Item that had to stay the same each time was the picture of Jesus)

We said that it is important to remember Jesus in our lives, even when it can be difficult.
We must make room for and love Jesus.

Closing Song: "Tell me the Stories of Jesus" Children's Songbook #57

Closing Prayer: Child


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just incase you didn't know

I am good at accidentally wearing twinny dresses and making my daughter pose for photos :)

I think quite often about stopping blogging.. the new year is always a popular time too
{I sense it must be for other people too because several blogs I read all threatened the same! though luckily a few of them came back! It can be hard to give up}

This blog isn't perfect, I don't have awesome photography skills, no pretty typography skills.

We lead pretty mundane lives, so not even anything that exciting share.

The kids are growing will they appreciate an online presence that others could laugh at

It sometimes feels embarrassing to put yourself out there.
I know no one REALLY cares what I have to say/what I do. I aint saving lives here.

I've had comments from 'hate seeing your facebook posts {about blog posts} as they make me depressed',  accusatory 'oh don't you only ever do homemade?' when talking about buying shop cakes/ plastic toys, jokes about showing off 'oh in my spare time I whipped up this.....'
luckily they are fairly few and often said tongue in cheek - {hopefully!}

I mainly blog happy times {ummm yeah, not too much excitement in overtired whinging kids?} or ideas that help my family but that doesn't mean I'm trying to be perfect. Maybe the formal act of putting ideas down for all to see makes it seem contrived? Trying too hard? Showing off?

Anyone who knows me .. knows that I am farrrrrr from perfect.
But luckily probably 80% + of my life is pretty swish and it is that 80% I like to focus on.

BUT Just in case you didn't know

I have a messy house daily.
We don't eat a perfect diet and I'm not bothered.
Having a family can be tiring
I can 'yelltalk' at my kids like the best of them
I buy shop bought cakes
I make mistakes
I talk too much
I don't play enough with my kids
I feel sadness that I don't have a best friend or many close ones.
I want to be more delicate and refined but have no idea desire to change
I used to bake but have lost my mojo
I check my phone  too much
I'm lazy and shy so without my husband I would probably not have a phone, electricity, insurance, internet, banking, tax returns and all the other things he does that I recoil at doing
I feel bothered that I'm not bothered that I don't have drive/career aspirations/get up and go

I mainly write for me {but its always makes my day to hear wonderful comments from others} infact I was just re reading some old posts the other night about things I had completely forgot about. I rarely back read and it felt so good to be reminded perhaps why I am here writing this stuff down. My most favourite posts are always the least public read ones. Funny that.

I shouldn't feel too bad that people are usually googling 'ideas' - birthday party ideas, sewing tutorials, kindness/love lessons to teach kids and are not looking for words on my life, thoughts and family. For I do the exact same thing.

Just in case you didn't know

No one is perfect.

We are all trying.

And maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

FHE Lesson { Heavenly Father watches over me}

Sometimes lessons come via the kids primary lessons. Last week our daughter loved her picture she drew of herself on a 'Heavenly Father watches over me' necklace and said she wanted to teach it to us for FHE. I helped by bulking out the lesson. This lesson in more detail found in Manual 2 Lesson 8

Opening Song: My Heavenly Father Loves Me #228

Opening Prayer: Child


Who is Heavenly Father?

What has Heavenly Father done for you?
(Answers might include planning for us to come to earth, giving us families, sending Jesus Christ to earth to be our Savior, answering prayers)

Share an experience when you felt that Heavenly Father was watching over and protecting you

Scripture story:

Display this picture Flight into Egypt.
Tell the story found in Matthew 2:13–15.
Why did the angel appear to Joseph? (See Matthew 2:13.)
Why did the angel tell Joseph to go to Egypt? (So King Herod would not be able to find Jesus.)
Why did King Herod want to kill baby Jesus? (He was afraid Jesus would grow up to take his place as king.)
Explain that Heavenly Father watched over and protected Jesus by warning Joseph to take Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Heavenly Father always watched over Jesus.

Bear your testimony that just as Heavenly Father loved and watched over Jesus Christ when he was on the earth, Heavenly Father also loves and watches over each of us. We are all his children.


Cut circles of  paper or card and write 'Heavenly Father Watches over me'
Have children draw themselves on the circle.
Attach string if desired and turn into necklace, or something to hang.

Closing Song: The First Article of Faith #122

Closing Prayer:

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