Spring Break fun...close to home!

My goodness its been a long time!  I'm excited to be back sharing something that I hope is going to  be lots of fun for my kids this week since we are on Spring Break!!!

I got this idea while were talking last week about where we would go for Spring Break, if we could go ANYWHERE we wanted.  My kids had lots of fun, crazy and expensive ideas ;)  Knowing that we would be staying close to home this week, I racked my brain to think up ways we could still have fun but not break the bank.  Here is what I came up with:

Three days this week we will be visiting some of my kids dream vacations...with a little bit of a twist ;)

First up- Safari Day!

I'm going to have this cute printable sitting out with dollar store binoculars and bags of animal crackers.  Some things we are planning on doing are:

Visiting Hogle Zoo
Animal Face Painting
Watch Madagascar 2

Second- Beach Day!

This printable will be sitting out with sunscreen, flip-flops, and some Swedish Fish.
Some thing we hope to do are:

Visit the new Aquarium
Make seashell frames
Watch Finding Nemo
Make homemade Pina Coladas 

Lastly- Camping Day! 

This printable will be out with all bug spray and ALL the stuff you need for S'mores:)  We plan on:

Going and exploring Scheels
Having lunch up in mountains
Making tin foil dinners
Roasting marshmallows over the stove and eating S'mores

I am SO excited to make the most of our Spring Break, even if we can't do a fancy vacation right now, and I hope my kids enjoy it too!


Let Your Light Shine for Singing Time!

Wow...where does the time go?!  I could give you a million reasons why I am a terrible blogger these days, but really...you've heard them all before ;)  Life is busy and chaotic, most of the time I feel like it is all passing by in a blur, and the blog is always the first thing that gets pushed aside.

With that said though, I recently got a new calling at church and am excited to share some of the awesome ideas I have found on other blogs and some things that are working well for me :)  I am the lucky lady called to be the Primary Music Leader...I kid you not, I think its the best calling in the church.  I am having an absolute blast teaching the kids new songs, getting to act silly with them, and prepare great activities to get them excited about singing too.  Mostly though, I love the Spirit that I feel there.  Hearing those sweet little voices sing precious eternal truths gets me every time...I'm probably the only music leader that cries every week :)

Since I only received this calling two weeks ago I haven't had time to do too many things yet, but the first thing I knew I wanted to come up with was a way to choose helpers during singing time.  I was previously a primary teacher, and without fail, EVERY week, the kids in my class would be sad that they hadn't been chosen to help during singing time.  I wanted to come up with a sure-fire way to make sure everyone got a turn to help, and I came this is what I came up with :)

Let Your Light Shine for Singing Time!

All you need to make some for your primary are a bunch of glow sticks, washi tape, a bucket and my printabes ;)

I simply wrapped a piece of washi tape around each glow stick and then cut it to look like a flag.  That step is SO not necessary...but looks a lot cuter ;)  Then I wrote the name of a primary child on each stick.  Every week I draw out my helpers, and they get to keep their glowstick after they help out.  Then I know by the time my bucket is empty EVERY child has had the chance to participate in Singing Time!

Last Sunday was my first week doing this, and I think it was a total hit.  The kids were so excited to get their glowsticks, and they were ALL reverent, hoping their stick would get chosen.  Another plus...you can get glowsticks for pretty cheap.  I got packs of 15 at the Dollar Tree and used washi tape and buckets I already had on hand.

Above are the printables I used to tape on the front of the buckets.  Feel free to save to your computer and print for yourself!

Thanks so much for stopping by today...any fellow Primary Music leaders out there?  I would love to pick your brains on how you are teaching this month's song, I Stand All Amazed... Leave a comment and share your awesome ideas :)


Importance of the Sacrament Family Home Evening

 Can you believe a NEW post?! 

Only took me about a month to share something with you again ;)  This has been one crazy winter at our house.  Between day to day stuff for 5 kids, a baby that seems to catch EVERYTHING from RSV to pneumonia, building a new house and a husband that now travels it monthly for work I have been in major survival mode.  With that said, life is GOOD and we did a fun family home evening last night targeting an area that my family certainly needs a little help with :)

Sacrament Meeting...it can be uplifting and edifying, and it can also be downright MISERABLE with little kids.  Lately I have been wanting to help my kids understand the importance of the Sacrament, and focus on ways we can get the most out of the ordinance.  I have especially been wanting to find ways to help my kids truly focus on the Savior during the Sacrament.  It really is such a short period of time, and I do not think it is too much to ask to expect them to be able to show reverence and respect.

To get started we talked about what the Sacrament represents and how we should act during it.  I found a really cute idea at Sugardoodle that my kids really enjoyed.  It is a fun little activity that compares how different children act during the sacrament to different kinds of animals.  

I thought it would be fun to print out each animal and tape them to a craft stick.  Then I let the kids each take turns picking and animal and reading how that animal behaves.  It was obvious which animal was reverent and respectful at church, and it was a great opportunity to talk about some of the animal behaviors that my kids exhibit from time to time that may NOT be so reverent ;)  Click HERE for the story at Sugardoodle and feel free to print out the animal printables above!

Then to end the night I gave the kids some simple notebooks I had put together earlier in the day.  We call them our Promise to Remember Books!

These are simply books for the kids to use ONLY during the Sacrament.  They were quick and simple to make and the kids LOVED them.

To get started I found these adorable notebooks at Target in the Dollar Spot.

Then glued a picture of the Savior on to the front and attached a big paper clip and a gel pen (both from the Dollar Spot too!)

On the inside I stuck 10 different cards with pictures of the Savior in the paper clip.

My hopes for these books is that my older kids will look at the pictures of the Savior and write down some ways they will strive in the upcoming week to remember Him, and the promises they have made to Him.  For the younger kids they can look at the pictures of Jesus and draw things they can do to follow His example.

Such a simple thing, but the kids were so excited to have their own books and now cannot wait for the next Sacrament Meeting ;)

I hope this gave you some ideas for helping your kids during the sacrament, and please...feel free to share!!  What successes have you had with your young children?!  Seriously, I need the help ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Winter Olympics Week {Olympics Re-Cap!}

Hello everyone!  Did you all enjoy your long weekend??  We basically just did a lot of de-junking and organizing...boring but necessary! ;)

I am SO excited to be focusing this week on the Winter Olympics with my kids, and to get started I thought I would share some really fun activities we have done in the past that could totally be adapted for this years Winter Olympics.

First up, we made some super-sized Olympic Torches!

It wouldn't be a weekly theme at our house if we didn't include a fun snack...check out our Olympic Rings snack AND Olympic Rings Countdown Chain.

Finally, if you are a Utah local, take your kids to the Olympic Cauldron Park.  It is totally free and they have so many fun and interesting things to look at, including the real torch from the 2002 Winter Olympics and SO much more!

Stop by tomorrow for some fun Winter Olympic crafts...and have a great day! :)


Zodiac Sign Fun with the Kids!

As we are getting close to finishing up our week on the Chinese New Year I thought it would be fun to talk with the kids about all the different Zodiac Signs and find out which sign each of them are.

To get started I found this awesome Zodiac Sign printable at Spoonful.  It has each of the zodiac signs with the years that are attributed to that Zodiac.  It also has some strengths of each zodiac and shows what other signs you are compatible with.  Go HERE to print one out for yourself!

Once you discover what animal represents each of your children you can give them a Printable Mask of their animal to cut out while you read about their strengths ( and possibly wipe away some tears when one of your sweet little ones finds out her Zodiac sign is a pig and not the bunny she had hoped for ;)

After we looked at all the different signs we opened up our fortune cookies that we had made earlier in the day.  I had the kids guess what they thought the Zodiac sign was for 2014, and when we opened up all the cookies we took out the slips of paper and put all the letters together to find out the sign for this year...2014 is the year of the HORSE!

Tomorrow we are finishing off our week with some fun paper crafts so make sure you stop by!  Have a fantastic day!!


Homemade Fortune Cookies...with a secret message inside! {Chinese New Year Theme}

Today we are sharing the Homemade Fortune Cookies we made, with a fun little twist!

Now, I attempted these cookies last night.  Honestly, after 3 batches...I had a whopping 8 fortune cookies that turned out ;)  They are quite simple to make, but not necessarily easy.  I found a fantastic blog that had beautiful pictures and great step-by-step instructions, so if you want to try these out make sure you stop by The Jew and the Carrot.

I changed the recipe up JUST a bit to use things I had or didn't have on hand.  Here is all that you need:

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

That's it!

Now, I'm sure you are supposed to mix the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients and then mix them all together...does anyone do that?!  I never do...there is NO chance I am dirtying another bowl if I don't have too ;)  I bet that is just one of many reasons I am not a wonderful baker!!

Anyways, once I dumped everything in ONE bowl and mixed it up, I prepared my cookie sheet.  The first time I tried parchment paper, and that did not work at all for me.  I had much better luck when I sprayed a cookie sheet really well and put the mixture right on that.  It also took me quite a few tries to get the size right...a 3 inch circle is really what you are going for.  Anything else will taste fine but not look too authentic.

Bake these in the oven at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes.  Mine actually took 8-9, you just need to watch really closely and take them out when they have browned nicely around the edges.

To make our fortune cookies a little more fun we put a secret message inside.  After school today we are learning about all of the different Chinese Zodiac signs, and what sign each of my kids are.  I thought it would be fun to put in each cookie a letter that when put with the others will make up the Chinese Zodiac for 2014!  

Ok, so once your cookies are done you need to flip them over with a spatula.  Then place a strip of paper in the middle and fold them in half.  Once you have done that place them over the rim of a cup or jar to give it that awesome fortune cookie shape.  You are going to want to do this pretty quickly to make sure they don't harden before you can shape them.

Once you have them shaped you can put them in a muffin tin to hold their shape until they harden. 

I gotta tell you...these fortune cookies are delicious!!  They are soft and a little chewy (probably because we can never wait long enough to let them harden!;) and have a yummy almond flavor.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, make sure to come back tomorrow to see some fun Zodiac activities for kids!!


Chinese Dragon Masks {Chinese New Year Week}

We are so excited to be kicking off a new theme this week, we are learning and exploring all things about the Chinese New Year!  I have been especially excited because we have never done this theme before so its given me a chance to learn some new things too :)

I've mentioned before that Monday is usually our LEAST crafty day of the week.  It seems like I usually spend the day getting the house back into some kind of order after we trashed it all weekend long ;)  Today, though, I really wanted to get my kids away from the electronice, but also knew I didn't have much time.  This activity was quick, cheap and the kids had an absolute blast!  Check out our Chinese Dragon Masks!

To get started you want to print out your very own Dragon Masks.  I found this great template HERE at Spoonful.

Then let your little ones go to town coloring their dragons. 

Oh...and if you happen to have a little man that's not quite up to coloring, you can just stick him in the high chair and enjoy his cuteness ;)

While the kids were coloring I got out some crepe paper we had from past birthday celebrations and some fantastic Sparkle Elastic Cords we received from CraftProjectIdeas.com.  We use these cords several times a week for jewelry, but they were perfect for these masks as well!

All you need to do now is cut out your masks and the eye holes, tape some streamers onto the back and then tie the elastic cord around the mask so it stays up on your little dragon.

The best thing about crafts like these are they provide hours of creative play once you are done!  My kids were running around playing dragons and trying to scare each other for quite a while ;)

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and come back tomorrow!  We have more fun crafts and activities, and a yummy treat we are really excited to try out.