Category Archives: Holidays & Traditions
Two years ago, we published some really great ideas for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. This year we want to do something a little different.
What, if any, celebration traditions do you do with your family, friends, classrooms, etc?
For everyone who leaves a comment on something they LOVE to do, your name will be entered into a drawing for a Mother’s Day Coupon book. You can choose from the youth, teenager, spouse, or friend series.
Just think, you could be preparing WAAAAAAAYYYY in advance, if you won!
Here is a link to our past post on ideas: Lucky Leprechaun Strikes Again
On the left of this blog there is a link for March. Click that and you will see all our past ideas and even some freebies in there too.
THANK YOU Jessica for your wonderful comment. You inspired me to create a small thing for everyone. So, as following Jessica’s explanation, here is a Lucky the Leprechaun for you to use. (This is the Lucky that Tricia originally created.) There are two different sizes to choose from. Print it out and laminate, then hide Lucky somewhere kooky in your house. Whoever happens to find him gets to choose where he hides next. I am sure your family will come up with some pretty weird places to hide him!
I know Tricia made some cupcake walk numbers last year but I really felt in the mood to create some of my own. (Here is a link to hers.)I love doing a cupcake walk with classroom parties or even for my own family. It’s fun and enjoyable and everyone comes away with something yummy to eat. You could even use this for a FHE activity as it gets closer to St. Patrick’s Day.
I don’t have time to put a lot of fluff into this post, but I figured the most important thing is to just get it out. Our love notes were created back in 2008 and of course Tricia did an amazing job in creating them. If you read through them there is a suggestion on what to give with each love note. If there is no suggestion then it is to just be given with your love. We have created them as a whole set or as individual pages in case you do not want to print the whole set. Enjoy!!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!
Here is a sample of what I did one year with my boys. They LOVED it!!!!
The Preschool Version
of the Valentine’s Day Bingo includes the COLORS
Purple, Blue, Aqua, Green, Yellow, Orange,
Pink, Red, Brown, Gray, and Black . . .
and the NUMBERS
Don’t you just love it when kids
can LEARN while they PLAY?!?
This set includes 24 Game Boards
and 24 Calling Cards.
Here’s the PDF:
Don’t Forget the candy!
You can use:
Valentine’s Day M&M’s
Whatever you can find on sale!
HAVE A GREAT
This is an outline for daily devotionals that begin on February 1st and end on Valentines Day. The idea is to teach from the scriptures about love each day. The scriptures are full of ways that we can share and learn about love. There is a single verse each day and the reading is quick but there are many lessons to be learned. You can either print the hearts, if you feel enough energy to cut them out or you can print the cards if you just like straight cuts. There are extra hearts and cards to use for other things if you want.
Tracey and I worked really long and hard on this and we hope you enjoy our time and effort. If you read through the lesson plan you begin to realize how much time Tracey put behind searching the scriptures, coming up with questions, issuing the challenges your family has everyday. Please be sure to thank her for her effort in creating such a wonderful lesson. I did the easy part creating the cards and hearts for you with the scriptures and challenges on them. We are soooooo excited for you to do this with your family. We would LOVE to hear back from you on how it’s going and what a difference it has made for you and your family.
I was just talking to Tricia about what a FABULOUS job Tracey did and she gave me an AH HAH moment. She said this would be a GREAT thing to give your people for Visiting Teaching!!!! Then you could have it done EARLY in the month and plus it brings a great spirit into the home. (singing AH HAH!!!) Yes, thank you Tricia for pointing that out! I am soooo printing multiple copies.
On February 14th you can use our Valentine’s Heart Attacks Love Notes to decorate their door. Watch for the upcoming post where we will make these available.
Tis the season for taking down the tinsel and the tree, packing up the bins and hauling it all to storage! Oh what fun it is! It seems so short lived some years. This year I am on a clean out. Nothing is safe. We have taken 7 garbage bags full of items to be donated and we are still working on filling more. I love it when so many “things” leave my house. I suddenly fill lighter and my husband is thrilled because he sees a BIG tax deduction! This is a great time to evaluate what you have in your closets and toy bins. As you are putting away Christmas this week, let the kids play with some of their new toys and take advantage of the time you have while they are engrossed in their video games, games, toys and snow play.
First of all, go through each child’s closet. Clean out all the items that don’t fit or they never wear (remember something that your child refuses to wear may become another child’s favorite item). Then carefully organize and put things back in the closet. I recommend pulling aside one child at a time and having them help you. This is not only for your benefit but for theirs. It is important that they be part of the process or the “system” that you put into place in their closet will never last. This really doesn’t take as much time as you think. I devoted one day to closets. I managed to get through all of my bedroom closets (including my own – like I said nothing is safe!) in between meals, diaper changes, naps, fights, etc….
Next, prepare to put away Christmas. If you have your totes nice and organized, good for you! If not, take the time to do this. Before you begin taking anything down, take pictures of everything (i.e., your mantel, your tree, your tables, etc). You may think you remember but trust me, you won’t. These pictures can be taped to the inside of your tote lid for easy reference or put into a 4X6 photo holder and put into your Holiday Organizer (refer to previous posts for details on the Holiday Organizer). Also, make a list of items you may want to purchase for next year. For example, our tree lights are half burned out, so we are on the lookout for replacement lights or a new tree. This list can be kept in your holiday organizer for safe keeping until you are ready to shop. If you are really organized, you already made this list and hit all the after Christmas sales.
Once you have taken photos and made lists, you are ready to begin the demolition. I have a tote just for tree decorations. I have clearly marked the outside of the tote so that I know exactly what is in it. This helps when I go to decorate next year. If it is all in one place, it is much easier to find and less of a task to pull it all out. I have marked another tote with advent calendar, kids ornaments, stockings and Santas. I have done the same with each individual tote. Inside each tote every item is in a separate container. Wrap each strand of lights around an empty paper towel roll or roll them up carefully and store them in individual baggies. This will avoid the tangled mess next year!
I made sure that everything was separately wrapped this year. Last year I wasn’t as meticulous and we had some issues. One of our Santa’s beards may never recover from coming in contact with our nativity stable. This is also a great time to get rid of old decorations that you are not using anymore. Remember that LESS IS MORE! The less excess you have, the better. If you store some of your decorations in the garage or a dusty storage area, make sure everything is in a tote or covered in some way. I keep all my wreaths and small trees in my garage with a black garbage bag over the top. It is also a good idea to label each bag so you know what is inside.
These are just a few tips as you clean up after the holidays. There are so many more. We are happy to answer any questions you have. I may have missed a few things in my post. Happy Holidays and good luck organizing this week.
My family just returned from a trip to Disneyland. I LOVE Disneyland! It’s such a magical place. In fact, I think I love it more than my kids! Anyway, sorry about last week. I meant to have it all prepared but I think I am way overbooked this December!
However, this is it!! The final week. This lesson is a little longer than the others (just a few lines!) so that we can finish up this week. Hopefully you will have it all memorized for Christmas Eve. I have really enjoyed putting these lessons together. We have really been able to focus on the Savior during these weeks leading up to Christmas. We have shared stories, thoughts, and testimonies. I hope you have done the same.
Here is your outline this week: The Living Christ Week 8
Opening Song: ”He Sent His Son” CS p. 34
Scripture: Luke 2:4-7 Talk about what these verses mean. Discuss the meaning of Christmas. You may even want to share the complete Christmas story here of the Savior’s birth. Explain that while memorizing The Living Christ we have been talking about the life the Savior. It began in a stable in Bethlehem. We have talked about His life, His miracles and His example as we have studied The Living Christ. Our testimonies have been strengthened and we have been able to learn more about our Savior.
Go over the first part of the Living Christ and begin memorizing the last lines.
1. We testify that He will someday return to earth. “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Isa. 40:5). (GAK 238) - Jesus was born, he lived and he died for us. He will come back someday and everyone will know that He is our Savior. Not everyone is lucky enough to know about Jesus Christ or to accept Him in their lives. When He returns to the earth we will all know who He is and He will know each one of us individually.
2. He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. (GAK 120) – Everyone will worship Him when He returns. The picture is of Enoch and his people being taken up to Heaven. It shows how they may have worshipped Him when they saw Him coming. This gives us an idea of what it will be like when He comes again.
3. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts. (GAK 615) – This life is a time for us to try to follow His example. By serving others and thinking of others first we show that we are trying to be like Him.
4. We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. (GAK 608) – Our apostles today bear witness that He is the Living Christ. During the time of our Savior’s life they did the same. They were witnesses during His life and after His death. We have been given prophets and apostles in our day that are special witnesses of our Savior. This is why “The Living Christ” is so important and the reason we are working to memorize it.
5. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. (GAK 403) – Jesus Christ will rule as King when he returns. He stands on the right hand of His Father which is our Heavenly Father. This means that He does what His Father asks of Him. If we follow His example we are doing what Heavenly Father wants us to do.
6. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. (GAK 315) – Jesus Christ brings hope to the world. He died for all so that we can all be resurrected again and live with our Heavenly Father.
7. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. (GAK 502) – If we follow Him by being baptized and confirmed, then receive our endowment in the temple and then the sealing ordinance when we are married in the temple, we can become like Him. We can find true happiness by keeping the commandments and following His path by preparing to go the temple.
8. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son. (GAK 240) – Christmas is a time to be thankful for our Savior. We should be thinking of Him and His gift to us. His life was given for us. He was born, lived and died for us. His was a gift of sacrifice and love. Let’s remember Him this Christmas season as we celebrate His birth.
Make a birthday cake for the Savior and sing to Him. Share with your children that the reason we give gifts is to remind us of the gift our Savior gave to us. It is His birthday. If you haven’t done the white stocking yet, you can do that now. Get a stocking that is for the Savior. Write down your gift to Him this year and put it into the stocking. These could be things such as service you will complete this year, how you will help your testimony to grow, or kind things you can do for your family.
This is an idea that I actually got from Carrie in 2005. I honestly can’t remember where she saw the idea but they are adorable! There are nine reindeer here, lined up in order of appearance, with of course, Rudolph at the end. I guess you could say he is at the front. These are all made from wood that was super easy to cut out and stain and then paint. They are attached to wooden stakes that you can get from Home Depot for pretty cheap.
Overall picture of Reindeer
Here is a close up of how it looks all put together. You can use any wood you would like. There are 4 pieces total, not counting the stake. The main body, the cheek/mouth area, the nose, and the name plate.
After you cut the wood and before you paint it, be sure to chunk up the edges to give it an overall cuter appearance.
The antlers are just pieces of garland cut the same length and placed into 2 holes on top of the head body/head piece. Make sure the hole is large enough to fit the wire end of the garland. I hot glued mine into the holes so they wouldn’t fall out during rain or snow storms.
The name plate has vinyl lettering on it which has withstood the weather beautifully. After staining and painting the wood pieces, scuff up the edges with sandpaper to finish it off. The scarfs are just cut from fabric I had at my house, or you can go and buy $1.00 scarfs at the dollar store. I also looked for fabric at the D.I. and found some to complete my scarfs.
If I have missed explaining anything, feel free to ask me.
Enjoy and have fun making them. If you are a super person you could make them in time for this year, otherwise just plan on it being for next year.
Here is the pattern for the Reindeer as requested. This is not a professional one as you will be able to tell. However, I have included the measurements so that when you piece and tape the body pattern together you can make sure the height is the right size.
So after much pondering, I thought it might be fun to do another giveaway for today. This time frame will be much shorter since, I have to have time to ship it off in the mail on Monday. Here’s how you enter. Just answer the question below and your name will be put into the drawing for a Nativity Memory Game, laminated, cut out and sent to you in time for you family to play it for Christmas.
What is your FAVORITE (only one) Christmas family tradition from when you were little that you still continue with your family today?
For me, as a little girl my mom would always let us open one present on Christmas Eve. We got to choose which one and it was the highlight of the evening watching each person open their gift. I guess that’s the other thing we do too, is watch others open their gifts. Starting with the youngest child, on Christmas morning, he opens one gift and states who it is from as we all get to see his excitement. Then on to the next child, and then the next. It makes the gifts more meaningful and helps the morning to be less frenzied and more drawn out. Our children get to actually see the person’s reaction who they give the gift too and they LOVE IT!!!
The winner will be notified on here, on our facebook wall, and via email Sunday night.