Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Family Home Evening

I am really excited about this family home evening, I think it will be great for our whole family. We are going to open with a short lesson on goals, and working toward things that are important to us as a family. Then I have printed off a bunch of my favorite pictures throughtout the last year. I have also gone through tons of magazines and found pictures that represent things we have done this year, good and hard, all memorable. Some examples are a toilet because Skylar learned to use the potty, anything Disney related since we took a wonderful trip to Disneyland, school items since Skylar started preschool this year, babies crawling since Kendall is STILL crawling!! :) But you get the idea. Then we are going to make a fun, glittery collage with all of them that we can hang up and remind us of all the wonderful things we accomplished and did this year. After that we are going to take some time as a family to set some goals for the upcoming year, not only for us parents but for the kids too. For the treat I am making confetti cake cookies, my sister in law Becky makes them and says they are fabulous!! I think it is just the recipe that is off the box, but I will have to call her tomorrow and check! What says New Years more than confetti?!

Happy New Year's Week!!

Wow, long time no post!! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, I know that we did. I was kind of excited that the holidays were over, just so we can get back to normal, only to realize we have one last holiday, New Years! Now, if you are like me and have young (very young!) children, New Years is not the easiest holiday to celebrate. However, after a lot of searching I found some amazing ideas that could make the holiday really special for the whole family.

Almost everything I found that I loved was on My favorite idea that they had was for those of us that don't want to try to keep our children up til Midnight (thats all of us, right? :) The brilliant idea they had was to celebrate with a theme from a different time zone. Examples were having a New York theme party, and at ten ringing in the new year. You could have Broadway music playing, New York cheesecake for desseret, etc. I thought that was a fabulous idea, plus you know how I love a theme!

We are already planning on making our own party hats, streamers, and noise makers for the big night (all of the ideas for these are on
The other thing I wanted to focus on with Skylar was teaching her about time, telling time, and clocks. I thought this week would be perfect as we focus so much on the countdown New Years Eve. If you just google preschool telling time, you will find some great resources, I already had some books so I didnt need to print anything off. Hope you enjoy the final week of the holidays with your family, I love the start of a new year, the chance to do more and be better!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Samuel the Lamanite FHE

This year I want to really teach Skylar the Christmas Story, and I think you have to include the story of Samuel the Lamanite with that! This next Monday will be our FHE on Samuel the Lamanite and the Monday after that we will talk about the Nativity story to reinforce it all. I found a cute idea on the internet (sorry, I can't remember where so I don't know who to give the credit too :) where they built a wall out of rice crispy treats and had a little lamanite action figure (the kind you get at Deseret Book) on the wall. Then they got all their little toy figures and set them up to be the people mocking Samuel down below. Then you have your kids throw mini marshmallows at Samuel, pretending to mock him. I think Skylar will really get into this :) Then we will share the rest of the story, ending with the signs of Christ's birth.

I like the idea of helping Skylar begin to understand that the Bible and Book of Mormon are contemporaries, and show her what was going on in both places of the world at the time of Christ's birth. Plus, because of the rice crispy treat wall your treats are already handled! Wahoo, sounds like a great FHE at our house!

(Just FYI, I have been talking to a lot of people about how hard it is to have FHE. I hear ya! I hope these posts don't make ours sound in any way amazing, because they usually last about 15 minutes, and sometimes they are great, and sometimes they are a total flop. But I do find peace in knowing that we are trying, and I love that once a week Paul and I get the chance to bear our testimony to our children. Skylar gets very excited for FHE because we try really hard to make it fun and spiritual at the same time. I also understand that, like going to church sometimes, when you have young children you don't always get much out of this stuff, but I believe it shows obedience, and sets an important example for the kids. Anyway, enough of my rambling! Hope someone finds this helpful! :)

Christmas fun!!

Wow, can you believe Christmas is in two weeks??? So little time, so many fun things to do with the kids. For the next two weeks education has pretty much gone out the window, and it is all about fun and the real reason for the season. I am sure you have so many wonderful traditions and fun things you do in your family, but here are just a few we have done, or are trying this year.

This year has been fun because we have teachers at church and preschool to make gifts for, and I really wanted them to be from Skylar. So first of all she made this super cute santa handprint card that I found on Then we are going to make homemade ornaments in the crockpot! I am so excited about it, and I found the idea on one of my favorite blogs, the Crockpot Lady. You can find her link on my other blog, and it is one of her most recent posts.

Another thing I did last year that has been fun is to go to and print off their Christmas memory game cards. I then backed them on scrapbook paper and laminated them, now Skylar loves to sit down with me and play that game forever!!

One thing I just found that you may already do with your family is Scriptures 12 Days of Christmas. You just read one each day, we will do it at night before we go to bed, to remind you why we have this wonderful time of year. And if you start tomorrow you can still get them all in! Here is the link:

Lastly, I love advent calendars and all things related. Last year my mom got us a cute advent calendar type thing, that has little boxes for each day that you open up that can hold little candies, or stickers, or something! Even though I got started late, I have tried to put a thought/scripture in each day, and then an idea how we can focus on that thought for the day. I just came up with my own, so if anyone is interested leave a comment and I will post them too. I hope everyone is having a magical Christmas season, and please feel free to leave any of your amazing ideas that you do with your families, I would love to copy them! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Symbols FHE

Hi all! I thought I would post this FHE in advance, in case anyone else wanted to do it :) I have a little 2-foot tree from our newlywed apartment days. Last year I got several ornaments to represent the symbols of Christmas. I believe I have an angel, star, candy cane, red ornament, green ornament, wreath, bell, tree and lastly a gift. I plan to wrap all of these up and put them in a big Christmas box. We are going to read the Christmas story and talk about the reason for the season. Then I will let Skylar unwrap 3 ornaments and place them on the tree. As she does I will read what that symbol represents. Then on Tuesday night we will open 3 more, and finally Christmas eve we will review the Christmas story again and open the last 3, making sure that the gift ornament is the last one we open. This is the 2nd year we will have done this, and I am really hoping it will be a lasting tradition that can put our hearts in the right place in the days leading up to Christmas. Here is an awesome website I found last year that has explanations for each symbol.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winter Week Part 2

Well, so far winter week has been a hit! The only thing putting a slight damper on it is NO SNOW!!! It is so much more fun when you can go out and play in the stuff :) But we make up some fun substitutes.

One of the most fun things that we did last year was messy and kind of yucky to clean up after, but seriously so fun! Since we can't have a real snowball fight we got out some bags of big marshmallows and went at it! We pulled out the couches so we could each hide behind one, and then I put mittens in the middle of the floor. The goal was to run out and grab as many mittens as you could without getting hit. If you got hit, you had to drop the mittens and start over. We played this forever, and Skylar was getting pretty good at throwing by the end :) One idea I saw that would be SO fun as soon as we do get some snow is to fill up squirt bottles with colored water and let your kids paint the snow. I think this would also be a good way to work on letter recognition, write a huge letter on the snow and have them tell you the letter and the sound it makes.

Last year I found a cute little poem on about snowflakes. The direct link is and you can print out 5 little snowflakes to go with it. We laminated them and put them on popsicle sticks so Skylar could act it out with me.

Finally I found two fun things to make on The first is (what else?) a cute snowman treat. Here is the direct link:

And second were these fun snowflakes made out of pasta. Here is the link and picture. Can't wait to start doing all our Christmas stuff next week!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mitten Family Home Evening

I try to have our family home evening go along with our theme for the week, and sometimes its a stretch, but I am excited about this week! At I found this great story about mittens and service, giving to others, from an old issue of The Friend. The link to the story is

I thought we would read this story and then talk about how blessed we are and how there are so many people/kids out there that have so little. I think it will be a great tie-in to our upcoming Christmas fhe's. Then to go along with our mitten theme I have cut out matching pairs of mittens. On the back of the mittens I have pictures of different ways we can serve ie, pictures of doing chores, sharing toys with siblings, etc. Then I laminated them and I will tape them all over the house and Skylar will have to find the matches.

To round out the night we are decorating sugar cookies shaped like- what else?? Mittens!! A little over the top, maybe, but so fun!!

I think this could be really adaptable for all ages, so if you happen to try it and your family enjoys it, let me know!!

Winter Week Part 1

Hey everyone, hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! This week we are focusing on winter, and I can't wait! At Skylar's adorable little preschool they just finished their quarterly evaluations, so I am using that in planning this week. Skylar had 3 letters that she had trouble recognizing, so I picked one to focus on this week and that letter is M. So for the first two days of this week we are all about MITTENS!! First of all I went to and printed out a template of upper and lower case letter M, then I glue them to cute scrapbook paper and color them. I put this on my fridge so every morning at breakfast we see it and can talk about it, hopefully making it familiar by the end of the week. We are going to the library today to check out the book "The Mitten" by Jan Brent. It talks about mittens and lots of winter animals and at they have a link to where you can print out the pics of the animals. I glued them to popsicle sticks so Skylar could use them as puppets while we read the book.

Then we cut out a lot of mittens on different scrapbook paper that is white on the back. We cut out pairs and are going to play the matching game with the different mittens. Finally I cut out two HUGE mittens and Skylar will put her painted handprints all over them. Cute, right?? Wish I could claim I came up with them, but I am strictly a copycat :)

Stay tuned for our service-mitten based family home evening and the rest of winter week!