Blog Archives

Valentine’s Day Bingo for Kindergarten – 2nd grade

Kisses and Hugs!!!!  

Isn’t that a great name for a Bingo game? I think so.  This is a great idea for your younger school age children to be able to play in their classroom.  Tricia made all the graphics and design on this one when she made her Be Mine Bingo game for older children.  I am in charge of my Kindergarten age child Valentine’s Day party and I really wanted to play the Bingo game but new it would be too hard if I used the Be Mine version.  So I made a 4×4 square size that would be perfect for those cutie pies.

Since I always print my stuff at Alphagraphics, Madison has introduced me to a FABULOUS product called Duraflex.  It has saved me time and money.  It reminds of me thin credit card paper.  I can print my stuff on this and I don’t have to laminate it afterwards.  Now who doesn’t want to save a step of preparation? I do!!!  I have started to print all my games on this and I am in heaven.  It doesn’t tear and you can get it wet without your ink being ruined.  Really, are you in heaven yet too?  The only time I am going to laminate that stuff, and you can, is if I want to write on it with dry erase markers or permanent markers.  Then I laminate it so I can have that effect, otherwise you will ruin it because the marker will not come off Duraflex, even with rubbing alcohol.

Believe me . .

I tested it for myself.

Learn from my mistake.

So, in case any of you would like to try it as well, I have included a PDF specifically for that purpose.  The sheets come in 12×18 size and that is what the file is formatted for.

We also have a post on creating a Heart Attack Door for your loved ones and many other fun ideas.  Check out our February category for more.

Enjoy! Have fun and don’t forget your thank you’s.  😉

Card #1 Large e-mail view

Kisses & Hugs Bingo Game 8.5×11 PDF

Cards 13-16 Large e-mail view

Kisses & Hugs Bingo Game 5×7 PDF

Duraflex Bingo Kisses Page 1 Large e-mail view

Duraflex Kisses & Hugs Bingo Game 5×7 PDF

Duraflex Kisses and Hugs Cards 1-2 Large e-mail view

Duraflex Kisses & Hugs Bingo Game 8.5×11 PDF

(Coming soon)

Christmas Jars!!!!

After reading the book,
“Christmas Jars”
I decided
that I wanted to take the opportunity with
my family to give as the Savior did.
I wanted my boys to have a selfless Christmas.
What an amazing year it turned out to be!
We read the book as a family
and then started filling jars for our neighbors.
Each jar contained 1 roll of pennies….
that was it!
We added a poem to the jar so that
the neighbor’s wouldn’t be left to wonder
what the purpose of a gift of 100 pennies meant.
Here’s the Poem:
A jar of pennies JUST FOR YOU . . .
we really went all out!
But the real meaning of this gift I
A pocket full of change, can be
a heavy thing to pack . . .
So just place it in this little jar,
and remember – NOT TO TAKE IT BACK!
When filled, this jar can CHANGE THE HEART of
someone who is in need.
The story is told in “Christmas Jars”
a book you’ll definitely want to read.
Jars are given in SECRET . . .
just where their CHRISTMAS JAR came from,
or the next place it may go.
So we hope this year you’ll FILL YOUR JAR,
To follow the Savior’s example,
and make Christmas HIS HOLIDAY!
May the TRUE meaning of Christmas be with
you throughout the year!
Tricia O. Smith
Here’s the PDF:
Green Gift Tag:
Here’s the PDF:
Gift Tag:
Here’s the PDF:
Gift Tag
Here’s the PDF for the Gift Tags:
I tied a ribbon to the neck of the jar
and added the gift tag.
This was one of my
favorite neighborhood gifts to give
because I knew it had the potential to
the lives of others in need.
It was truly a blessing for my family! …..

It’s Summertime!

Summer is in full swing and I have to say I have been enjoying it!  Sorry I have been such a slacker but I don’t get much down time and I needed some! 🙂  Thanks to Valerie for all of her hard work getting everything transferred over.

I know it is a bit late for tips on summer structure but I’m going to throw some out there anyway!  We have been slumming around here the first couple of weeks of summer but we are craving a little bit of a routine.  My kids are getting older but that doesn’t mean they are getting more self driven and responsible.  Does that ever happen? 🙂

I have decided that this summer I am going to keep things simple.  No matter  the age of my kids, they all like lists!  They respond well when they know exactly what is expected of them and they can check things off as they go.  Here is my plan of attack this year:

First, I am going to list all of the jobs that I need done during the week (i.e., dust blinds, dust baseboards, wipe down doors, wipe down bathrooms, empty garbages, take the garbage out, wash windows, laundry, yard work, etc.) along with their daily chores (i.e., make bed, get dressed, pick up room, practice instrument, etc.).  Next, I will separate them out into days of the week.  For example, Monday we change the sheets and do laundry.  Tuesday we clean bathrooms and do some yard work.  Wednesday we dust furniture, blinds and do the vacuuming and so on.  Then I can separate the jobs out for each child.  Each child will receive their every day chores along with one or two extra chores.  I will put them on an index card with their name on it (one for each day of the week).  You can even laminate them if you want to reuse them each week.  This way they can check things off as they go and they know exactly what needs to be accomplished before play time!

I also like to keep their brains working.  Each day I have planned something for them to do along these lines.  Monday we will do some math, Tuesday we will work on scouts or Faith in God, Wednesday we will read a book out loud together, Thursday we will do more math and Friday we will have some kind of an outing (swimming, Dinosaur Park, Nature Center, etc.).

My kids do better with some kind of structure and I don’t lose my sanity!  I love summertime and the freedom it brings.  I love not having a set schedule that we can’t deviate from.   I love sleeping in now and then and having some lazy days too!  However, I have noticed that we need to have some structure to keep everyone happy.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t shake things up a bit now and then but at least we have some sort of a plan!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  For an idea that I have used in the past check out this post:

Family Fun Summer Schedule

Happy Summer!! 🙂

FHE – Where is it in the Scriptures?

The children are studying the scriptures this year in primary.  They have been learning about the standard works.  What are the standard works?  What books are included in the standard works?  Where are certain scripture stories found?  All of these questions will be answered in their studies in primary this year.  The very first lesson in the manual for the senior primary discussed what each book in the standard works is and what they contain.  Here is an outline:

Opening Song:  Scripture Power  ( You can find it here –,17631,6506-1,00.html)

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  Mark 12:24  Why would it be an error to not know the scriptures?  Why are they important?


Start by asking what the scriptures are.  Discuss what the word Standard Works means.

In The Guide to the Scriptures found on the following definitions are found:

Standard Works is defined as:  A recognized, authoritative collection of sacred books. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the canonical books are called the standard works and include the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

Scriptures are defined as:  Words, both written and spoken, by holy men of God when moved upon by the Holy Ghost. The official canonized scriptures of the Church today consist of the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Jesus and the writers of the New Testament regarded the books of the Old Testament as scripture (Matt. 22:29John 5:392 Tim. 3:152 Pet. 1:20–21).

Why is it important that we teach from the scriptures?  The scriptures were written by prophets.  They are the word of God.  He wants us to return to live with Him.  In order to do that we must make the right choices.  To know which choices are right we must study His words and follow His example.

Which books are in the Standard Works?

The Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  What is the purpose of each book?  Who wrote them and who are the stories about?

The Old Testament was written before the birth of Jesus Christ.  It testifies that he would be born and tells the stories of those that lived before His time.

The New Testament tells of His life here on earth and what happened following His death.  By reading the New Testament we can become better acquainted with our Savior.  We can learn from His example and gain a testimony that He lived and that He lives today.

The Book of Mormon was written about those on the American Continent both before the birth of the Savior, during His life and following His resurrection.

The Pearl of Great Price tells us of our premortal existence, of the purpose of our life here on earth as well as our potential in the life to come.  You can also find Joseph Smith History in the Pearl of Great Price.

* It is important that children learn where these books are in the standard works and why they are so important.


Start by looking up the beginning of each book.  Show them where they are and talk about the books that are in them.   Then use the article I listed above.  Print out the very last page.  You will need a copy for each child.  Do the coloring activity.  Even older children would benefit from the discussion that will come as you do this activity.  They can either color their own or help their younger siblings.  See if they know all the answers! 🙂  As you go through each story and decide which book it is in, discuss again what that books teaches us.  For example, Nephi and the broken bow is found in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon took place before, during and after the Savior’s life.  It teaches of the people on the American Continent.  This story happened before the birth of the Savior.

Go through each story and where it written.  Discuss how important it is to be familiar with the scriptures.  You may want to have your older children look up the story so they can show the family where it is located.

Bear testimony of the scriptures and the importance of studying them each day.  Tell your children you will be studying each one of the stories in detail in future Family Home Evenings so they can be more familiar with the teachings of the scriptures.

Closing Prayer


For the next few weeks study each one of the stories listed on the activity.  It is so important to teach our children from the scriptures even if they are very young.  Kids of all ages love stories!

FHE – The Living Christ Week 8

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

Opening Prayer:

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.

Closing Prayer:


FHE – The Living Christ Week 5

Sorry about last week.  I had a crazy week and didn’t get a new lesson put together.  We reviewed what we had learned so far.  I am finding that this is quite an undertaking and we all need review now and then! 🙂

This week we talk about the Resurrected Savior and start into Joseph Smith’s First Vision.  These are some very important doctrinal lessons to teach.  Be sure to take the time to discuss what each line means as you memorize it.

Here is the pdf:    The Living Christ Week 5

Here is the outline for Family Home Evening:

Opening Song:  I Know that my Redeemer Lives p. 136 in Hymn Book (most children have learned this in primary)

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  John 11:25 – Discuss what the word resurrection means.  Talk about how the only way for us to return to the father was through Jesus Christ and his death.  Because he died for us, he was resurrected for us.  All men will be resurrected.  If we live our lives making good choices we will be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus again.


1.  He was the Firstborn of the the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world.  – Jesus Christ was the Firstborn in Heaven.  He was also the Only Begotten Son in the flesh.  This means that His father is our Heavenly Father.   You may want to explain this in more or less detail depending on the age of your children.  Discuss what the word Redeemer means (the dictionary definition is someone who redeems or buys back) and why the Savior is called the Redeemer.  President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“Even though He was God’s Son sent to earth, the divine plan of the Father required that Jesus be subjected to all the difficulties and tribulations of mortality. Thus He became subject to ‘temptations, … hunger, thirst, and fatigue.’ (Mosiah 3:7.)

To qualify as the Redeemer of all our Father’s children, Jesus had to be perfectly obedient to all the laws of God. Because He subjected Himself to the will of the Father, He grew “from grace to grace, until he received a fulness” of the Father’s power. Thus He had ‘all power, both in heaven and on earth.'(D&C 93:13, 17.)”

He had “all power” – even power over death.  Thus, he was able to redeem us from the fall.  He was able to sacrifice His life so we can all live again.

2.  He rose from the grave to “become the first fruits of them that slept” (1 Cor. 15:20). – He LIVES.  He died for us but he lives again.  He was the first to be resurrected and all mankind will follow because of His sacrifice.

3.  As Risen Lord, He visited among those He had loved in life. – He visited Mary in the Garden when she found He was missing.  He also visited his apostles.  They even had trouble believing it was Him.  He showed them the nail marks in His hands and feet so they would know it was Him.

4.  He also ministered among His “other sheep” (John 10:16) in ancient America. – He visited the American continent.  He taught them and had the children come to Him.  He loved all people no matter where they lived and He loves and knows each of us today no matter where we live.

5.  In the modern world, He and His Father appeared to the boy Joseph Smith, ushering in the long-promised “dispensation of the fulness of times” (Eph. 1:10) – Introduce the First Vision.  Explain that we live in the last dispensation.  The priesthood will not be taken from the earth again.  You can use this opportunity to talk about Joseph Smith.  You can testify that the First Vision really happened, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and told Him to join none of the churches.  The church was restored to the earth through Joseph Smith by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The next lesson will talk more about the First Vision and what we learned from it.

Activity:  Review what you have memorized to this point.  If you have younger children, you may want to assign them specific lines to memorize and work with them so they can say them with the rest of the family.  Make sure everyone is taking part.  Remember even if they don’t have it memorized word for word, they are getting an amazing history of our Savior’s life and testimonies of His life each time you discuss each line of The Living Christ.  They will remember this and someday will be able to say it with you! 🙂

Once you have reviewed what you know, start on the new section for this week.  Go through it a few times and then post it so everyone can see it throughout the week.

Closing Prayer:


I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am.  I love the lessons my kids are getting and I love that they can repeat most of it.  You may want to show them where you are and how much progress you have made.  We are getting there!! 🙂

Thanksgiving Fun – Gratitude Placecards

This has to be one of my favorite blessing games we have done at Thanksgiving.  I loved it because everyone was able to write theirs down, place it in a basket and then as we gathered together before we sat down, we read them and had to guess who wrote what one.  As they were claimed, the person then wrote their name on the card and placed it on the table where they were going to sit.  It was amazing to listen to everyone’s blessings that year, young and old alike.  Tricia made it up and she did, once again, a fabulous job on her graphic designs.

What a talented woman!!!!

You could even have a prize for the person who guesses the most correct cards!  After our Thanksgiving Dinner I gathered all of the place cards and put them in my scrapbook.  I can still go back and read what everyone wrote after many years later.

Placecards Combined.pdf

Green 4 up Placecards.pdf

Blue 4 up Placecards.pdf

Burgundy 4 up Placecards.pdf

FHE Lessons – A Forest of Testimonies

I was so impressed with so many talks at our recent General Conference.  As the words came and I listened to them, the Holy Ghost put ideas in my mind of Family Home Evening Lessons that could be created from these wonderful words from our Heavenly Father.

Elder Jay E. Jensen’s talk during the Sunday Morning Session was one of those.  What a wonderful inspirational talk about the Holy Ghost and how our testimonies can grow.  I LOVED how he said, “From that experience I witnessed the results of Alma’s counsel to “awake and arouse [my] faculties . . . to [conduct] an experiment upon [His] words” (Alma 32:27). These words or seeds have grown into trees, indeed giant trees of testimony. The process continues with more experiments upon the word, resulting in additional trees of testimony, now a veritable forest based on revelation through and by the Holy Ghost.”

I had never thought of my individual bits of knowledge I have about different things in the gospel can relate to an individual tree that can become a forest as I let them continue to grow and the Holy Ghost testifies to me of their truths.  IT IS TRUE!  Each new experience that we gain in our lives lets our testimonies to grow.  I am sure each one of you could testify strongly of an individual concept in the church that has touched your life: The Atonement, The Second Coming, Prayer, Faith, Temples, Tithing, Baptism, and so forth.  These are all individual trees that have been planted in your heart that become a strong forest in your life to help you weather the wind and tempests that come at you.  As your forest grows larger, you can withstand those elements that could otherwise make your trees fall, if they stood individually on their own.  What a wonderful image in my mind that gives me more strength to withstand the temptations of the adversary.  So powerful!

I have included a forest background and individual trees that your family can write their topics on.  Watch and see how each persons individual trees become a forest really quick.  I recommend having a background for each person, so they can see just how big their forest really is.  Sometimes just the visual picture can strengthen some one’s spirit into realizing how much they actually believe and know to be true.

FHE – The Living Christ Week 4

I hope you had a fabulous Halloween!  We took last week to catch up on the Living Christ and to have some fun Halloween activities!  As I was looking at the calendar and thinking about the holidays (can you believe Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner?), I set a goal to have the Living Christ memorized by Christmas Eve.  Wouldn’t it be an awesome thing to recite all together as a family on Christmas Eve?   I would love to hear if you have different pictures you used or different methods for memorizing.   We all learn differently so it’s nice to share and get different ideas!

Here is week 4:  The Living Christ Week 4

Here is an outline:

Opening Song:  When He Comes Again p. 82 or I Feel My Savior’s Love p. 74

Opening Prayer:


Discuss what you will memorize this week.

1.  He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross – Discuss Gethsemane, his prayer, and Judas Iscariot.  Talk about how he was betrayed and went willingly with the soldiers even though he knew what it meant for Him.  Share your testimony of how much He loves each one of us to willingly go with the when He knew it would mean His death.

2.  He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind – Discuss his death on the cross.  Talk about how he forgave those that had done that to Him.  Share your testimony of the crucifixion and  what it means for each of you.

3.  His was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth – Discuss how everyone will be resurrected that has been given a body.

4.  We solemnly testify that His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem

5.  nor concluded on Calvary. – Share your testimony of the resurrection.  Talk about how He lives and how much He loves us.  Share your testimony of His love for each one of us and that He lives to watch over us.  He may have died on the cross but His spirit body lives and will live for eternity.


Review what you have memorized to this point and begin memorizing the new part for this week.  If you have the Living Christ show them how far they have come.  You are almost half way at this point!  We are taking things slow but getting half way through is something to get excited about! 🙂

Closing Prayer:


FHE – The Living Christ part 3

I hope it is going well for your family!  My older boys and I are doing pretty well. 🙂  We have had some great discussions about the Savior and why His life was so important.  Here is week 3 and an outline for tonight!

The Living Christ Part 3

Opening Song:  Tell Me the Stories of Jesus or another favorite

Opening Prayer:

Scripture:  1 John 5:20

Lesson/Activity:  Go over last week’s lesson and memorize it.  Begin memorizing this week and talk about each picture.

1.  He walked the roads of Palestine:  People sought the Savior from all over.  They had heard how he could heal the sick and had faith that he could do so.  The Savior healed many people during his ministry.

2.  Causing the blind to see:  Tell the story in the picture – Talk about how the man was able to see his child for the first time.

3.  And raising the dead:  Tell the story of Lazarus – He was dead for 3 days and Jesus raised him again.

4.  He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our pre-mortal existence – We lived with Heavenly Father and Jesus before we came to this earth.  We chose to come here to get a body and live in a family.

5. The purpose of our life on earth:  We are here to live in families and learn the gospel.  We will make mistakes and learn from them so that we can be better people.  We are preparing to live for eternity with Heavenly Father.

6.  And the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come:  If we make good choices we will be able to become like Heavenly Father and create worlds of our own.  He wants us to return to live with Him again.

7.  He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice:  We take the sacrament every week to remember Him and our covenants that we made a baptism.

If your children are older you can go into more detail.  This is a great opportunity to talk about the plan of salvation and the reason we take the sacrament every week.  It is also a good time to point out that we should be worthy to take the sacrament every week.  We should be striving to do what is right and repentant if necessary when we are taking the sacrament.

Bear your testimony and encourage them to keep going – it will be worth it when they can recite the entire thing or at least parts they remember to you!

Closing Prayer


%d bloggers like this: