Sunday, November 30, 2014

FHE Lesson {C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Means}

 These two lessons have a similar idea, so I've combined the two here.
Opening Prayer: Child
What does Christmas mean to you?
We can use the letters of Christmas to remind us of what it stands for.
 Play the Song C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S (C is for the Christchild) Sing it or play a version via Youtube
When I was but a youngster, Christmas meant one thing
That I'd be getting lots of toys that day
I learned a whole lot different when mother sat me down
And taught me to spell Christmas this way
C is for the Christ child born upon this day
H for herald angels in the night
R means our redeemer
I means Israel
S is for the star that shone so bright
T is for three wise men, they who traveled far
M is for the manger where He lay
A is for all He stands for
S means Shepard's came

And that's why there's a Christmas day!

Second time around show pictures to match each letter/word of the song. 
Print out or write large each letter of 'Christmas 'and lay out letters and pictures as you sing/talk about the song.
You can make it into a Banner and Leave up all week to remind you of what Christmas stands for.

 The Christmas ABC’s

This lesson inspired by December 2011 Friend Magazine Christmas ABC's
Collect pictures of the following (or show on an ipad/laptop)
Share matching scriptures if time permits, or choose just a few.

Angels (Luke 2:1-9)
Bethlehem ( Luke 2:10-15)

Christ (2 Nephi 25:23,26)

Deeds (1 John 3:18,23-24)

Everlasting (John 3:16-17)

Family  (Luke 2:16-17)

Gold  (Matthew 2:1-11)

Herod  (Matthew 2:12-16)

Israel  (Matthew 2:19-21)

Joseph (Matthew 1:19-24)

King  (D&C 128:23)

Lord  (D&C 19:1 Isaiah 26:4)

Mary (Luke 1:27-38, 46-48)

Nazareth (Matthew 2:22-23)

Obedient (John 8:29, Hebrews 5:8-9)

Peace  (Luke 2:14, Isaiah 9:6)

Quickly (D&C 49:28)

Reedeemer (Job 19:25, Mormon 9:11-13)

Steadfastness (2 Nephi 26:8, 31:20)

Teach  (Matthew 28:18-20)

Unshaken faith  (2 nephi 31:19)

Voice (Alma 5:38, Helaman 12:23)

Willing (Mosiah 26:17-18)

Young (D&C 43:20)

Zion (1 Nephi 13:37)

Create a collage with the pictures, or draw your own pictures for each letter.
Draw up a grid and fill it in with the Christmas ABC's.
Alternatively make this into an advent calendar and feature one word per day with accompanying picture and scripture. 26 Days!

Closing Song: Away in a Manger #42

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Gold Chocolate Coins

Sunday, November 23, 2014

FHE Lesson {Nativity Activities}

I just love Nativity sets! We have quite a few and I always make sure I have some available for the kids to play with. One of my greatest Christmas memories of recent years is finding the nativity pieces in little huddles seemingly in deep conversation and in funny spots. The wise men sporting merry Christmas signs around their necks, other toys visiting baby Jesus and other such festivities.
We set aside a special day to put up our Nativity sets before we put up the Christmas Tree /decorations to try to focus on the real meaning of Christmas before anything else
Here are some FHE ideas to use with a Nativity set.

Opening Song: Once Within a Lowly Stable #41

Opening Prayer: Child


Chose an idea or more from the list below:
Have each character of the Nativity set hiding somewhere. Ask children a clue.
Who am I…(write defining features/character)
I am hiding… (give clue) Have children find and bring to Nativity set.

In Lebanon it’s a tradition to grow grass for your nativity. Creating a crèche is seen as a hugely important practice.. It's often decorated with sprouted seeds such as chickpeas, broad-beans, lentils, oats and wheat that have been grown  in the weeks leading up to Christmas
Sprout some wheat grass or other and grow on a tray/plate area where you will also keep a Nativity set.

Make a manger for Baby Jesus. {Can be very small, just a tiny box or a cradle with a doll in it}
Cut lots of strips of paper depending on the size of your manger and baby.
Start by doing some good deeds/service right away eg clean something up, make a bed, write a card for someone - any quick things you can think of ~

 For each good deed add a piece of paper {hay} to your little manger.
Explain that each time the children do something good in the month of December they can add a little bit more comfort to the manger. When we see LOTS of  hay/paper under baby Jesus we will know that we have done so much good in the world at Christmas which will make Jesus and Heavenly Father very happy. It will also make us and those we serve very happy.

Gather dress ups and act out the Nativity.


Make Gingerbread Stables. I've done it the cheats way  just using biscuits {cookies}. Fashion together a rustic lean to/stable with icing and biscuits. Make sheep out of marshmallows and get children to draw or make some figurines to go in it {alternatively put in real nativity figurines}


Have the Nativity set out. Pick up and describe each figure involved.  eg:

Mary: special, chosen above all else, she quietly pondered in her heart
Joseph: Protector and guardian, trying hard to find a place to stay, man of honour - chose Mary
Angel: Shares good tidings and joy, spreads the joy, shares news of good things to come
Shepherds: Went with haste, quick to obey, hard workers (24 hour job)
Wise Men: exemplify the journey we all take to seek the Lord, they followed a spiritual symbol
Lamb: Lambs instantly recognise voice of their shepherd, lamb symbol of Jesus, prepare the way
Cows/Animals: Gave up their place to sleep for Baby Jesus

Ask everyone:
If you had been there on the night of Christ's birth who would you like to be in the story?
{ inspired by
A Christ Centred Christmas by Emily Freeman }


Find a toy star/ plastic star/make your own.  Hide the star around the house then have the children move the wise men to where the star is. Have the wise men take a long journey following the star all around. Give each child a glow in dark star to remind them to be as the wise men seeking Jesus.

Watch Bible Video The Nativity

Closing Song:
Stars were Gleaming #37

Closing Prayer


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Advent Calendar {sewn cardboard house Advent}

November is all about the Advent Calendar.

It won't be long before December 1st comes rolling along!

Each year I try to make a new one . It's become a challenge! A tradition in its own right!

"What Advent Calendar will we make this year?"

I was reading about Advent Love and someone quoted loving the anticipation of advent and counting down more than the actual end event. That's me! I love all our December Traditions so much and to me this is what makes Christmas.

There are so many advent ideas out there! Google and Pinterest will bring you hundreds!

I have enough ideas to keep me going for decades!

This year's advent calendar idea is one I bookmarked back in 2010! By MayaMade

As a child I loved my paper window advent calendar so much.
The darling pictures behind each door were so magical to me.
Its so sad they just aren't available much these days.

I thought I would combine my above childhood memories, with this advent , with my kids drawings, with my love of sewing cardboard!

This year I wanted the kids to be fully involved with the making of our Advent Calendar.

Sewn Cardboard Christmas House Advent Calendar

Materials needed:
24 toilet rolls
Printed Grid of 24 squares (4x4cm)
Watercolours/paint/colouring pencils


Print out 24 square boxes. Mine are about 4x4 cm
Have children {or yourself} draw out 24 Christmas motifs inside the squares
We googled for some inspiration, but mostly ideas from their heads.
eg candy canes, Christmas tree, wreath, nativity, holly, elves, sleigh, snowmen, presents, baubles
I just love the drawings my kids did. SO CUTE!

Collect 24 Toilet Rolls. For a while we had a brand of toilet paper with white rolls. I thought they were great so kept them. I've had these in the cupboard for over a year! (Spray with Glen20:)

Flatten Toilet rolls

Sew along the bottom edge
Cut the top corners off to make a triangular roof shape
Sew the top shut
Draw Christmas house outline and decorate/paint your house

Using a box cutter carefully cut a door into each house. {only cut 3 sides! so it is still attached!}
Press lightly to only cut through the top layer of the toilet roll.
Now you have a door!
Attach glue to the back of your motifs/Christmas drawings and glue inside the door flap.
Shut the door. Attach numbers 1-24 or 1-12 on the houses.
I found the doors close/click back in very easily. I was worried about that.
Using a small hole punch place a small hole at the top of the house and attach string to each house.
Alternatively string houses along one long piece of string and display.
Your Picture window Advent houses are now done!
Now I'm under no delusions that my kids will be crazy excited over this advent compared to the little wooden drawer one which my mother just gifted me that will be filled with sweets. However this one did keep them {well my art inclined children} busy for 3 different sessions while creating it, so I suppose it fulfilled its purpose!

Our Previous 11 Advent Calendars Here

Happy Counting Down!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

FHE Lesson {Gratitude for our Bodies}


Some lessons on Gratitude for the month of November.
This lesson inspired by Your gifts from Heavenly Father pg 6 October 2014 Friend Magazine



Opening Prayer:


This month we are talking about Gratitude.
What are some things you are grateful for?

One of the things we should be most grateful for is our Body! Our bodies are strong, our bodies help us, our bodies work hard all day long. With our bodies we can do so many things!

List or draw answers to the following Questions:

Things I can do with my spirit:
Practice listening to/feeling the Holy Ghost
Sharing Testimony

Things I can do with my body:
Run, jump, swim, skip, walk, work, chores, see, smell, eat, serve others

Things I can do with my brain:
Think, Learn, read, work out puzzles, make good choices

Things I can do with others:
Listen to them, make them smile, play, serve

Things other people see in me:
Give each other compliments on their strengths

Something I would like to improve:
Closing Prayer:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mango. First.

It's that time of year when I take gratuitous photos of us eating Mangos.
Our first Mangos of the 2014/15 Season.
Ridiculous. But a tradition! 6 years we've done it!
The kids were so excited when they saw I had bought the FIRST MANGOS!







Sunday, November 9, 2014

FHE Lesson {Gratitude for that we see}

With thanksgiving in USA, gratitude is on many minds. Others may also like to spend November cultivating gratitude and thankfulness, also to prepare for the real meaning of Christmas.
This lesson inspired by Seeing our Blessings October 2014 Friend pg 3

Opening Song: A song of Thanks #20

Opening Prayer: Child


We are so blessed in our lives. All around us are so many things we should be thankful for.

What are some of the things around us that we are thankful to have?

List some things - family members, house, books, refrigerator, the sun etc.

Using a camera/s go on a blessings hunt of your house/yard and/or neighbourhood and have children take photos of things they are thankful for.

eg trees, flowers, local playground, neighbours, birds, toys, bathroom, food
you can even point out things such as garbage bins (trash cans and trash removal services :) electricity, water pipes, a house with a roof, airconditioning! etc.

Play a slideshow/look at/talk about of all your blessings when you return home.

It is good to remember to be grateful for the many blessings we have in our lives.
Cultivating gratitude helps us look after our things better, helps overcome sadness, gives us hope, makes us say thankyou- to our parents for all they give us, our country for all it provides and to our Heavenly Father for all the wonderful bounty he gives his children.

Closing Song: Count your Blessings #241

Closing Prayer:

Treat: Something yummy you are grateful for!

Some Previous Gratitude Lessons:

Gratitude Lesson

Gratitude 2 Lesson

Journals Lesson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Jacaranda Season

Sometimes it feels we miss out on seasons in the ever green wonderfulness of Queensland.

A year or so ago I was talking with an American friend about it and she was all like no - its wonderful. Where I'm from everything is dead in winter.. EVERYTHING. Here there is a beautiful vine all over our building that blooms in winter! Blooms in Winter! There is beauty in every season if you look for it. You just gotta look harder here.

That is one thing I feel I do try to do. There is a little season here and there. We might not have 4 distinct seasons but if we dig deep enough seasonal appreciation can be found.

I suppose that's what we try to do with good old jacaranda season.

Every year I declare we are going to have a family portrait done under one.

But the seasons almost gone before I can be bothered to find cute clothes and shoes for everyone.
Not to mention a photographer.

If Japanese can go crazy for Cherry Blossom Season {ummm gorgeous! jealous!}

We might as well do the same for Jacaranda.

No family portraits but here are some blooms in my neighbourhood I just had to snap.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

FHE Lesson {Prayer}


Opening Song: Hymn: Did you think to Pray

Opening Prayer : Child


Show a picture of Enos praying.
- What is happening here?
- What is he doing?
- Why is he doing it?

Tell me all the times you can think of when Jesus Prayed

Garden of Gethsemene
Last Supper - Sacrament
Sermon on the mount: The Lords Prayer
On the Cross: Forgive them
40 Days Fasting

Show pictures of these if you wish

Watch lds bible video:  Sermon on the Mount: The Lords Prayer

When do you pray?
How often do you pray?
What do you pray for?
Where should we pray?

Visual Demonstration
Put a set of scriptures in to a shoebox.
- How can you find out what is in this box without touching it?
(Ask the person who knows what's in it.)
Open the box.
Heavenly Father knows the answers. He can lead us to places like the scriptures to find the answers we need.

Watch video Joseph Millet story
What did you notice about the video?
Why was Brother Hall praying?
Why did the man come to Joseph Millet? (He was directed to)
Why was Joseph Millet emotional? (Even though Joseph was already prepared to give flour to Brother Hall, he recognised that the Lord knew him)

What can we pray for?
Elder Holland's talk in General Conference spoke about praying about his future wife while he was still a teenager.
We should prayer for our future as well as for things that are here and now.

Bear Testimony on the importance of prayer as a means to communicate with the Lord.

Closing Song: A Childs Prayer

Closing Prayer:

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