Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Topic: The Joy of Giving

This month I want my children to experience the joy of giving. We'll learn the song Silent Night and memorize the scripture in Acts 20:35: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

We'll have lessons inspired by the following resources:
"I hope that this Christmas and every day of the year we will consider, in particular, the many gifts we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father. I hope we will receive these gifts with the wonder, thankfulness, and excitement of a child."  (Pres. Uchtdorf)
My hope is that the boys will make a thoughtful gift for every member of our family and experience the joy of giving.


Last Saturday we came up with some fun ideas for gift-giving. The boys grated bars of soap, added a bit of water (about 3 T per soap bar), then reshaped the soap into Christmas trees and snowmen. The Christmas soap turned out really cute and the boys are really excited to give them to grandma.

We also grew snowflake crystals by soaking pipe cleaners in Borax overnight. The boys decided it would be fun to give a snowflake ornament-making kit to each one of their cousins for Christmas. I'm sure the cousins will enjoy growing their own crystals.

It has been fun to see the boys working together on these projects. Good times!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Conference Candyland

Tonight Collin helped me turn our Candyland game board into a general conference review activity. We covered up each sugary character with the face of one of the twelve apostles, clipped from the Ensign magazine. Then I typed up the titles to each of the conference talks (e.g., "The Divine Gift of Gratitude") and put them in a bowl.

Each player draws a slip of paper out of the bowl and counts the number of words in the title to see how many spaces they can move (e.g., 5 words means you get to move 5 spaces). I also put the names of the twelve apostles, the prophet and his two counselors in the bowl. If you drew one of their names, you got to move to wherever their picture was on the board.

On top of the Candyland Castle we put a picture of Jesus. Collin taught us that when we follow the prophet and the apostles, we follow Jesus Christ. We also talked about what it means to "come unto Christ" (Moroni 10:32). When the first person made it to Jesus, we helped others make it their too. We talked about how God wants ALL his children to return to Him.

The kids had a lot of fun playing this. And it was fun for my husband and me to try and remember who talked about what. After the game, we shared some of our favorite parts of conference. We then chose about six talks to use for future family home evenings. We'll definitely do this again after next general conference.

Luke said the closing prayer tonight and one thing he said was, "Thank you that we could have good feelings tonight." After the prayer, I told him those good feelings come from the Holy Ghost. We feel good because we feel God's love for us and because we love each other.

By the way, even little Owen kneels and prays with us now. He's only 18 months old. It's so cute to see him walk over to the circle and kneel down all by himself and fold his arms. He keeps his eyes open, but it's because he's watching all of us.

Owen is always watching, that's what I am constantly reminding my older boys. I love it when they are a good example to him. What a little miracle it is when a child learns to pray. It's a powerful thing.

Oh, and it was Luke's turn to choose an activity. Luke's new favorite activity is one that his dad taught him. We call it "statues". We all hold hands while Dad spins us, when he lets go we have to freeze. Then we take turns guessing what the statues are doing. Sometimes the statues are animals, or career persons, or just people doing something interesting. Merritt, for example, was once a dog taking a whiz on a fire hydrant. What would we do without Dads?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Preparing for a Mission

"Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary...learn the lessons which will be beneficial to you...live the life you will need to have lived to be worthy." (Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 2010)

Song: The Church of Jesus Christ (CS, 77)
Prayer: Collin
Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 18:10, 15-16

A Prophet's Counsel
Latter-day prophets have counseled all worthy young men who hold the priesthood to serve a full-time mission. Pres. Monson in the last general conference reiterated that counsel. (See quote above.)

Preparing to Serve a Mission
Fill a bag with different items that represent lessons to be learned before a mission (e.g., scriptures, a tie, a cooking utensil, shoe polish, needle and thread, garden gloves, For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, consecrated oil, a journal, a testimony glove, a calendar, a toy iron, a piggy bank, a bicycle pump, etc.). Take turns pulling items out of the bag. Discuss ways you can prepare to serve a mission.

Blessings of Missionary Service
Read the story Pres. Monson shared about a young man who served a mission even though his parents were not members of the church (see Ensign, May 2010). How did serving a mission bless him and his family? Invite your Dad to share how serving a mission blessed his life.

Set up four stations where family members can learn to do different things. We learned how to tie a tie, iron a shirt, polish a shoe and read a scripture in Spanish. You might also want to show children how to crack an egg, sew a button, share a testimony, serve another person, give a priesthood blessing, set measurable goals, schedule activities on a calendar, make a budget, or repair a flat tire on a bicycle.

Apricot Cake

Song: Called to Serve (CS, 174)
Prayer: Dad

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Can Be a Missionary Now

"Make a commitment to be a missionary for the rest of your life. There are many among your friends who would respond to the gospel if you would have the faith to share the message of the Restoration with them." (Elder Quentin L. Cook, Friend, April 2010)

Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam (CS, 60)
D&C 18: 10, 15-16


A Rescue Mission
Read "Come to the Rescue" (see Friend, April 2010). Complete the maze to rescue a friend in need. How is missionary work like a rescue mission? Read the story "Making a Difference" (see Friend, April 2010). What did Ryan do to reach out and rescue? Read more member missionary stories posted on the "Bulletin Board" (see Friend, April 2010). What are some ways you can be a missionary at home, at school, and at play?

Creating a Gospel-sharing Home
Decorate a missionary box. Fill a shoe box with items that you can share with others, such as a Book of Mormon, a church video, pass along cards, Family Proclamation pamphlets, a music CD, etc. (Then you'll always know where they are.) Set a goal to give all of the items away by a certain date. For more suggestions on how your family can share the gospel see, "Creating a Gospel-sharing Home" by Elder M. Russell Ballard (see Ensign, May 2006).

Work together to make a bird house or a bird feeder (using pinecones, peanut butter and bird seed). Hang it in your yard and watch for birds. Learn to identify a few bird species in your area. See online Bird Identification Guide.

Popcorn balls

Song: The Church of Jesus Christ (CS, 77)
Prayer: Luke

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ammon Defends the King's Sheep

"...show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." (Alma 17: 11)

The Church of Jesus Christ
Prayer: Luke
Scripture: D&C 18:10

Act out the story of Ammon defending King Lamoni's sheep (see Alma 17-18). What made Ammon such a good missionary? How does serving others "disarm" them and provide opportunities to share the gospel?

Plan and carry out a family service project. (We cleaned up litter in our neighborhood.)

Serve chocolate pudding in ice-cream cones with sprinkles on top.

Song: I Hope They Call Me on a Mission (CS, 169)
Prayer: Dad

Monday, April 5, 2010

Feed My Sheep

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?" (Luke 15:4)

: The Church of Jesus Christ (CS, 77)
Prayer: Mom
Scripture: Doctrine & Covenants 18:10, 15-16

Parable of the Lost Sheep
Place 99 items (e.g., jelly beans, pennies or cotton balls) in a jar. After family members guess how many items are in the jar, count them. Explain that there should be 100 but you have lost one. Look for the hidden item until you find it. Read Luke 15: 3-7 and show gospel art. Who are Jesus' sheep? What should we do if one sheep is lost?

Feed My Sheep
After Jesus was resurrected, he appeared to his apostles on three separate occasions. Tell the story found in John 21: 1-17. How can we, like Peter, feed the Lord's lambs and sheep? Why did Jesus repeat this instruction three times? How does caring for the Lord's sheep show our love for Him?

Missionary Work
How is missionary work like finding and feeding lost lambs or gathering fish in a net? What do these teachings of Jesus teach us about the worth of a soul? Discuss the joy that comes from sharing the gospel.

Marco Polo (Revised)
Blindfold one family member. Instruct all others to hide in different places around the room. When the blindfolded person says, "Lost," all the others should say, "Sheep." Repeat this saying until the seeker is able to use his or her ears to find where all the others are hiding. Play until everyone has had at least one chance to be blindfolded.

Homemade Sweet Rolls

Song: I Feel My Savior's Love (CS, 74)
Prayer: Collin

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Topic: Sharing the Gospel

This month we're focusing on the blessings of sharing the gospel. We are learning the song "The Church of Jesus Christ" (CS, 77) and memorizing the scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 18:10, 15-16. "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

We'll have four lessons based on teachings from the following resources.

Teaching of Jesus= Parable of the Lost Sheep, Feed My Sheep (see Luke 15:3-7, John 21:1-17)
Children's magazine= "Making a Difference" (see Friend April 2010)
Scripture story= Ammon Defends the King's Sheep (see GAK 310 and Alma 17-18)
Conference talk= "Preparation Brings Blessings" by Pres. Thomas S. Monson (see Ensign, May 2010)
"Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary...learn the lessons which will be beneficial to you...live the life you will need to have lived to be worthy." (Pres. Monson)