Monday, January 16, 2012

Family Home Evening: Wilford Woodruff on Journals

For this week's family home evening, we will be learning about the prophet Wilford Woodruff. 

Opening Wiggle Song:  Once There Was a Snowman (click on song name for music)

Opening Reverent Song:  My Heavenly Father Love Me (click on song name for music)

Opening Prayer: Given by Daddy

Lesson: Given by Mommy
Lesson Plan:  Today we are going to learn about a prophet of God. A prophet is a living person who helps us to know what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. This is the prophet Wilford Woodruff:
(Image Source)
He taught us that we should write in Journals so that our future children and grandchildren can learn about us, and so we can learn about ourselves by remembering our experiences. Journaling is also very helpful when people are trying to do Genealogy.
Lesson Application:  Today we are going to follow the teachings of the prophet and start our own journals! ( Here are some ideas for journaling that should cover all age groups.)
(Image Source)
 For very young children a journal could be as simple as drawing a picture about their week. All they need is a notebook with unlined paper and some crayons!

(Image Source)
 If your children are just learning how to read and write, you could try a journal jar like THIS one that can be found on Organized Christmas. You simply put prompts into a jar, they pick one out, and write about it!
(Image Source)
 For older children who are getting pretty good at writing, you could do a "Mama & Me" journal like this one from Mama Jenn. It works kind of like a pen pal. You write a letter to your child (perhaps prompting them about things they can write about or asking about their week) and then they write back.
(Image Source)
If you just can't think of things to write about, you can try these "fill in the blank" pages from Grace is Overrated. It is an excellent way to get your creative juices flowing!

Closing Song:  Latter-Day Prophets (click on song name for music)

Closing Prayer: Given by Lily

Treats: Prepared by Brooklyn... Hot Cocoa Cookies

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Outdoor Adventures: Astronomy by Erin Uda

(Image Source)

The longest night of the year was only a couple of weeks ago.  So instead of turning into bears and hibernating, you can bundle up, make some hot chocolate, and get outside to check out the stars.

Your backyard will work just fine for this activity, but if you can, take a trip to a place far from the city lights so you get the best view possible of the stars.  There is a lot of light pollution in any city, which makes it difficult to see any but the brightest stars.  If you can’t go far, try a nearby park; they’re usually a bit darker than the average street.  

(Image Source)
 It will take a few minutes for your eyes to adjust to the night sky.  If you choose to have a book or printout (HERE is one for the sky in UT) in front of you, use a red light or cover your flashlight with red paper or plastic to keep your eyes adjusted to the dark.

Once you’ve acclimated to both the dark and the cold (while drinking that hot chocolate) spend time locating the major constellations in your sky. 

There are plenty of easy-to-find constellations that are visible in the winter:
There are also a few great sites for checking to see if there are any cool celestial happenings coming up:
    1. NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day"
    2. Earth Sky's "Tonight sky"
    3. Sky and Telescope's "This Week's Sky at a Glance"
      If you are looking for a project to do, click HERE to see a a fun craft I found via Pinterest to make during the day. You can use it to prepare your kids for their upcoming evening adventure.

      (Image Source and Idea can be found at Play at Home Mom)
      If it is simply too cold outside, or your children are too young to spot constellations in the sky, try THIS idea from PLAY AT HOME MOM! You can poke constellation patterns through one side of a giant cardboard box and then stick your Christmas tree lights through the holes to create a beautiful star cave for your little ones to play in. Don't forget to crawl in yourself and take a peek!

      Recommended Reading:

      • Turn Left at Orion, Guy Consolmagno & Dan M. Davis
      • Sky Dragons and Flaming Swords: The story of eclipses, comets, and other strange happenings in the skies, Marietta D. Moskin
      • The Man in the Moon: Sky tales from many lands, Alta Jablow

      For more stargazing books, check out Call # 523

      Monday, January 9, 2012

      Family Home Evening: John Taylor on Tithing

      For this week's family home evening, we will be learning about the prophet John Taylor.

      Opening Wiggle Song:  Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (click on song name for music)

      Opening Reverent Song:  I Wiggle (click on song name for music)

      Opening Prayer: Given by Lily

      Lesson: Given by Mommy
      Lesson Plan: Today we are going to learn about a prophet of God. A prophet is a living person who helps us to know what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. This is the prophet John Taylor:
      (Image Source)
      President Taylor taught us that Heavenly Father wants us to pay tithing. Tithing is when we offer to give one tenth of our riches back to Heavenly Father to be used to build Temples and do other good things that will help spread the Gospel and build up our Church.

      (Image Source)
      This is how it works. If you work really hard to earn some money from Mommy or Daddy by doing extra chores, and they give you $10, you would take one of those dollars and give it as tithing to Heavenly Father.
      (Image Source)
      Some people call this a sacrifice, which means to give up something that is hard for you to do. But we know that even if it is hard, Heavenly Father has given us EVERYTHING that we have, so really we are just deciding to share some of it with him again! And when we do share, he will continue to bless us with the things that we need.
      Lesson Application:  Gather your children together and assign them a special task to do that they will earn money for (i.e. load the dishwasher, clean up the yard, vacuum the house, etc.) When they are done, give them their payment and then help them to subtract 10%. Take that 10% and put it in a tithing envelope to give to the Bishop on Sunday, or into a special piggy bank that was designed to hold tithing until you're ready to pay it. Then don't forget to help your kids get their tithing money to the Bishop the following Sunday!
      Closing Song: I'm Glad to Pay Tithing (click on song name for music)

      Closing Prayer: Given by Brooklyn

      Treats: Prepared by Daddy... Cake Mix Waffle Ice cream Sandwiches!

      Tuesday, January 3, 2012

      Outdoor Adventures: Wood Carving by Erin Uda

      Wood carving, or whittling, is a long-standing tradition for campers and outdoorsmen.  It’s also a good exercise in fine motor skills and patience.  There are many mediums that can be carved – wood or branches, soap, soft clay or plaster of paris, and vegetables (typically gourds such as pumpkins).  And it’s a great project for a long weekend out of school, since it can take plenty of time to finish your project.

      There is no specific tool you must use when carving. Some of the best tools for young beginners are play-doh shaping tools, especially if you’re carving soft clay or soap.  If your child is old enough, try letting him use a butter knife, cuticle pusher, or the blunt tools from this year’s pumpkin carving kit.  And if you get really into carving, you can purchase a set of pottery sculpting tools (found in most art or craft stores).  If your child is eight or older, or you feel comfortable with the idea, try letting him use a Swiss Army knife on a scrap of wood.  A finger guard can prevent accidental injuries.
      I would suggest starting with the following items:

      1. Paper and pencil, to create a blueprint and outline
      2. A bar of soap, any color
      3. Plastic silverware or play-doh utensils
      4. A cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil or wax paper, to catch the shavings

      If you carved pumpkins for Halloween, then you know the basic techniques you’ll need.  For any beginners, here are a few tips:

      Start with a drawing or pattern of what you hope to create.

      Use a pencil to trace a faint outline on your medium.

      Shave away chunks of material until you have the general shape.

      Slowly and carefully carve the fine details of your design

      If you need some designs or inspiration, try carving your child’s name in block lettering.  Or carve a simple, stylized animal. 

      Once your children get the hang of it, try making Christmas ornaments using small pieces of wood or branches.  You can create simple shapes like circles and triangles, or get fancy and make snowflakes, icicles, and other objects.

      If it’s not too cold, the porch or a picnic table can be perfect work spaces.  Be sure to wear good gloves, to keep your fingers warm.  And have fun!! 

      If you like, share your creations with the rest of us by posting your pics. 

      Happy carving!

      Recommended Reading:

      • Soap Carving: For Children of All Ages, Howard K. Suzuki
      • Carving for Kids: An Introduction to Woodcarving, Robin Edward Trudel
      • A Beginners Guide to Whittling, Bruce Totman
      You can find more books on wood carving at your local library.  Check out call number 745.592.

      P.S. You can check the calendar tab at the top of the page to see other activities we will be doing throughout the week!

      Monday, January 2, 2012

      Family Home Evening: Setting Goals

      As we ring in the new year, it is a good idea to discuss goal setting and goal ACHIEVING with your family. Tonight my family and I will be doing just that. Here is the plan:

      Opening Wiggle Song:  Once There Was a Snowman (click on song name for music)
      Opening Reverent Song:  I Love to See the Temple (click on song name for music)
      Opening Prayer:  Given by Brooklyn
      Lesson: Given by Daddy
      Lesson Plan: Today we are learning about GOALS. A Goal is when you want to change things or make things better in your life so you decide to DO something to make that happen. Here is an example of Mommy's goals for the new year:

      Mommy set 12 goals for 2012. They will help her improve her mind, body, spirit, and family life. Since you are still little, you only have to do as many goals as your age. Brooklyn will have 4 and Lily will have 2.

      When you are setting your goals it is important to remember to be SMART:
      • Specific-Say exactly what you want

      • Measurable-Make sure there is a way to measure your goal or see your progress

      • Achievable-Be realistic and pick goals that you know you can accomplish

      • Relevant-Set goals that matter to you in the stage of life you are in

      • Time bound-Set a time when you will finish your goal so you know what you are working toward and you can stay on task.
      Lesson Application: Sit down with your kids and discuss their goals with them individually. Then have them write their goals down on a nice piece of paper that can be displayed throughout the year. If they are really young, have them draw pictures of their goals instead. Check back weekly or monthly to see how they are doing and to problem solve if they are struggling with anything.

      Closing Song:  I'm Trying to Be like Jesus (click on song name for music)
      Closing Prayer: Given by Lily
      Treats: Prepared by Mommy

      Tropical Smoothies

      1/2 Orange
      4 Large Strawberries
      1/2 cap of coconut & vanilla extract
      1tsp Crystal Light powder
      2 TB milk
      1/3 cup milk
      5 ice cubes

      Blend together and serve! Makes 2 child size servings or 1 adult serving.

      Sunday, January 1, 2012

      I'm Back!

      And where was I? Well, it started out with a pledge to spend less time on the internet... then our computer got a virus that prevented us from opening up ANY programs... and when we finally got rid of the virus, our internet modem died! On top of all that, my almost-2-year-old threw my phone away! YIKES! We've also had visitors in town and have been visiting other people and places :) I've been totally disconnected but very productive. This is what I was doing while I was unplugged:

      My husband and I decided to do a homemade Christmas this year, so I spent the better part of November and December gluing, cutting, sanding, sewing, and crocheting! I didn't manage to get pictures of the rainbow bunny and Boba Fett dolls I crocheted, or the Running T-shirt blanket I sewed for my husband and the alphabet bean bag game I made for Lily, but everything else is accounted for.

      Anyway, we had a FANTASTIC Christmas full of love and excitement. I hope you all had a great Christmas as well and that you are ready for a fabulous new year! Oh yeah... and you can expect to see me on here a lot more in the coming months:) HAPPY NEW YEAR!