Blessing Bags Family Home Evening {Family Service Projects}

 Hello my friends!  It looks like one new post a month is what we are shooting for right now...maybe I will be an overachiever this month and even do a few more ;)  Today I wanted to share with you a service project that my kids absolutely love, making Blessing Bags!  Now this idea is not original, I have seen variations all over, but this is what we have done and had success with :)

To kick off the night we sung one of my favorite Hymns, Because I Have Been Given Much, I Too Must Give.  I made this printable up that we framed to keep up for all of November, so we pulled that out and spoke about what this song means.  Heavenly Father gives us so much, and in return he expects and asks that we do what we can to take care of our brothers and sisters in need.

After our mini-lesson we got out our supplies.  For our Blessing Bags we just got out ziplock freezer bags and filled each one of them with a pair of socks, gloves, protein bar, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, soap and a pack of gum. Each kid was in charge of two items and we did an assembly line where everyone got to participate in putting the bags together.

Then we printed off these darling name cards from Caravan Shoppe and the kids got to write little notes of encouragement and love.

Now that our Blessing Bags are put together we keep them in our car and anytime we see someone in need we can quickly pull out a bag and hopefully share a little goodness!


Fall Leaf Relief Painting

 One of my absolute favorite fall activities is driving up to the mountains and collecting beautiful leaves with my family.

This year we were lucky and found a few beautiful spots with loads of leaves!  We brought them home and decided to do this really simple craft, Fall Leaf Relief Painting!

Relief art projects are so great for little kids because they don't have to be exact or complicated.  All I did was stick a piece of tape on the back of the leaves and then let my kids mix red, yellow and orange paint to use all around the leaf.  

Of course, my 2-year old turned it into a finger (or whole hand;) painting project ;)

Once your paint is dry you just pull off the leaf and you are left with this beautiful outline in perfect fall colors!

I don't even know if anyone looks at this little blog anymore, but if you do thanks so much for stopping  by and have a fantastic fall day! :)


General Conference Family Home Evening!

 Hello my long lost blogging friends!  I don't know about you, but I cannot remember a General Conference that I enjoyed and learned from as much as this one!  I want to keep the conference goodness going at our home, so I made up a simple matching game for my littles with some of my favorite quotes and who said them.

It is a true testament to how amazing conference was that it took me almost an hour just to narrow the fantastic quotes down to 8!

All you need to do is print out each page and cut out the squares.  Then flip them over and let your kids try and match up the conference quote with the speaker! (If you are not sure yourself, you might want to listen to some of these talks again! ;)

Then for a simple activity I thought it would be fun to print out some of these quotes and let my kids use watercolors to paint them.  I got the idea from Danielle at Blissful and Domestic...the woman is genius I tell you!  

Just right click on each quote, save to your computer, print, and then let your kids make some beautiful, inspiring art for your home!


Personalized Library Bags {Summer of 100 Books!}

 We are SO close to school being out...just one more day!!  One thing we are really trying to focus on this summer is reading more.  In fact, I have dubbed this summer the Summer of 100 Books!  We will be doing all sorts of activities and incentives to try and read 100 books before we start school again.  The first thing I thought we would do, is make our very own personalized Library Book Bags!

These were such a simple craft, my older girls did them before they went off to school yesterday.  For our bags we used plain canvas tote bags from Walmart (found in the craft section), fabric pens (found in the same place), and some really neat chipboard stencils I grabbed at Target the other day.

Once you have your supplies ready let your kids imagination go as they decorate their bags to reflect them and their personal style!  

My older girls did great with the stenciling, for younger kids though you may want to tape down the stencil so it doesn't move all over the place.  I did NOT do that for my 4-year old...but I actually love how her "abstract" flower turned out anyways ;)

Make sure you get enough bags to have one for yourself...nothing my kids love more than when I craft right alongside them!

Easy-peasy, and now my kids are asking daily when we can go to the library and use our new bags :)  The possibilities really are endless with this craft, you could also add glitter, stickers, poms, iron-on...anything!!

Do you struggle with keeping your kids reading over the summer?  I would love to hear what great ways you use to inspire reading in your home!


Flower Science Experiment for Kids

 Happy Friday my friends!  We are SO ready for this long weekend...and then only one more week of school!  We are wrapping up our week on Flowers by sharing a really fun and simple experiment we do every few years that my kids completely love.  

This is so simple and easy to put together, but the kids get a kick out of it and learn alot too!  All you need for your own Flower Experiment are some white flowers, plastic cups filled with water and food coloring.

Now our flowers have only been in the water for a little over a day, and already you can see the major changes taking place!  This is such a fun way to show your kids how plants absorb water, and also a great way to learn about predictions and graphs as well.  Check out how our flowers are doing so far:






I plan on keeping our roses as long as we can to see how dark they will get and to see if our predictions came true!  Most of us thought the blue and red would show the soonest and be the darkest, but the green and orange aren't throwing in the towel yet! ;)

Thank you so much for visiting Blue Skies Ahead today!  I hope you found something you liked and that you have a wonderful weekend!


Resist Watercolor Flower Paintings!

 This week we are studying and learning all about plants and flowers. We have a few science experiments cooking as we speak, so today we did a really fun and simple art project that my kids (and myself!) completely loved!

For this fun Resist Watercolor Painting all you need are a few pieces of cardstock, watercolors, and a white crayon.

If you are like me and have VERY suspect artistic skills you can search on Pinterest for how-to's on drawing flowers.  Or you can just draw the same simple flowers you have been drawing since grade school ;)  Either way, just take a white crayon and draw flowers on white cardstock.  Once you have done that give your kids some watercolor paints and let them have at it!

My kids absolutely loved watching the flowers appear on their papers right before their eyes as  they painted away.  

These abstract works of art turned out beautiful, and I love hanging them in our family study.  The kids were having so much fun I had to join in with them ;) 

Have you tried any resist artwork at your place?  The possibilities really are endless from tape, to crayons, glue and even stickers!  Thanks so much for stopping by today!


I Love to See the Temple Family Home Evening

Today we are sharing a VERY simple FHE we did last night all about temples!

I was inspired to talk to my kids about the importance of temples since we have the very awesome opportunity of attending the open house for the Payson Utah Temple later this week.  I wanted them to understand the importance and hopefully get really excited for their chance to go inside, see, and mostly FEEL what makes the temple such a beautiful place.

To get started I made this printable to put up in our living room.  If you are new to our blog, I like to make printables every week that focus on our FHE.  Then we can display them and remember all week long what we are focusing on!

I actually made another one too, to put up in my girls room ;)  Feel free to right-click, save to your computer, and print one up of your own!

After we sang I Love to See the Temple, we read from The Friend magazine some quotes from President Monson as he spoke in General Conference last month about temples.  If you don't get your own copy click on the link and it will take you right to it!  The kids loved adding up all the temples, from those already completed, those being restored, to those newly announced.  They were amazed to think that by the time ALL the temples are finished that have been announced we will have 178 temples all around the world!

At this point in FHE my younger kids are always starting to get more than a little antsy so we played a really fun game I found forever ago on Pinterest that I have been planning on using for Singing Time.  I figured out it would work just as well last night, and my kids totally loved it!  And I am SO sorry to whomever first came up with this idea...some of my Pinterest boards got hacked into and I lost lots of pins.  I have tried again and again to find the original source, but I cannot anywhere!  

All you need to play Human Spinner is some sort of office chair that can spin around, like so :)

Then I put up numbers 1-5 all round the room.  Have one of your kids sit in the chair and stick out their legs, the legs being the spinner part ;)  Then let another kid spin them around and see what number their legs are closest too when they stop!

Then have them answer one of these questions about temples that corresponds to the number they landed on!

Since I have young kids these questions were pretty simple, you could change them up, add more, or do anything you think would benefit your family!  The kids LOVED spinning around and answering questions, they wanted to play again and again so we had to keep thinking up more questions ;)

One last thought :)  Our FHE last night went about like they usually do, one kid was crying and got sent to his room, two sisters were fighting and had to be separated, the 2-year old figured this was a great opportunity to destroy the house while we were all in a different room, and mom felt a little defeated when it was all said and done.

BUT!  This morning the kids came down and saw this printable in our living room.

They immediately started talking about how cool it was that we have 178 temples in progress or done around the world!  Then one said they couldn't wait to go inside the Payson Temple.  Then my little guy said he was so happy we were sealed in the temple, and that we were a forever family.
I teared up as I felt the Spirit teach, "Don't give up on family home evenings!!"  It is hard.  Lots of times I just want to throw in the towel and put on a movie so I can have a minute of quiet ;)  However, these little tender mercies remind me its all worth it.  We are doing a sacred work as we raise these children, and the Lord will bless us in this work.  I know it.  I feel Him with me as I strive to teach them something, ANYTHING, that might possibly strengthen them on their journey in this life.  Most fhe's aren't going to be Pinterest-worthy...and that is totally fine!  Sometimes the message will click, and sometimes it just won't.  Sometimes no one will get anything out of it...but sometimes someone will.  And if one child receives one answer to a prayer, or gains a testimony of one gospel principal, or has one experience where they KNEW they felt the Spirit...then it is worth it.