Friday, October 13, 2017

FHE: I Can Obey

This lesson is based on the current Sunbeam Manual lesson, "I Can Obey."


"I Can Obey" Slideshow: As you go through the slide show, discuss the pictures with your child. Ask questions and discuss the slides as shown below.

  • Slide 1 (Parents & Newborn): "Point to the baby in the picture and talk about how each of us came to earth as a baby. Remind the children that because babies are so small and helpless, they need someone older and bigger to take care of them. Who took care of you when you were a baby? Who takes care of you now? Explain to the children that the people who take care of them, such as their parents and other family members, love them and want them to be safe and happy."
  • Slide 2 (dangerous items): "Talk about things the children might do that could hurt them or make them unhappy, such as playing in the street, touching a hot stove, picking up a sharp knife, or fighting with the brothers and sisters. Why don't your parents want you to do these things? Talk about the things the children can safely and happily do. Explain that our parents love us and want us to be safe and happy."
  • Slide 3 (Sermon on the Mount): Who is in this picture? "Explain that when Jesus was on the earth, he taught the people what Heavenly Father wanted them to do. These teachings are called commandments. The commandments are written in the scriptures. Read John 14:15 (If ye love me, keep my commandments) and explain that Jesus said these words. Explain that keep means obey. Have the children repeat the scripture with you a few times." Now, let's talk about some commandments we can obey...
  • Slide 4 (sacrament): What's happening in this picture? Going to church and taking the sacrament are ways we can follow the commandments.
  • Slide 5 (children giving mother flowers): Be kind to others.
  • Slide 6 (morning prayer): Pray. 
  • Slide 7 (Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-nego): Briefly relate the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, as found in Daniel 3. Explain that one of Heavenly Father's commandments is that we pray only to him. We do not pray to other people or to images, which are likes statues. Explain that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego knew Heavenly Father's commandments and wanted to obey them. Heavenly Father protected these men from the fire because they obeyed him. The fire did not burn them.

Short Movie (Shadrach, Meshach & Abed-nego): Watch this 2 minute clip about Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. Emphasize how the men were kept safe for keeping the commandments. We ate popcorn as we watched the show together.


For other lesson ideas, please visit:

Family Home Evening Index

Friday, October 6, 2017

Jesus Christ is the Son of Heavenly Father

The title and ideas from this lesson are found in the current Sunbeams Manual.


Attention Activity: Talk about each of the children's fathers. Ask the child to tell you something about their father - like the color of his hair or his occupation. Explain that this is their earthly Father. Did you know that we all have another Father? Ask the children if they know who this is. Show the picture of Heavenly Father and explain that he is our Father in Heaven.

Explanation: "Tell the children that each of them has two fathers: an earthly father and a Heavenly Father. Our earthly father is the father of our physical bodies. Heavenly Father is the father of the spirits inside our bodies. Jesus only has one father, because Heavenly Father is the father of JEsus' spirit and his physical body. That is why Jesus is called the Son of God."

Story #1: The Nativity.  Tell the story of the birth of Jesus. Talk about details in the picture and explain who each of the people are. Who is Jesus' Mother? Who is the man in the picture? Who is Jesus' father? (Heavenly Father. Joseph was a good man chosen by Heavenly Father to take care of Mary and Jesus).

Story #2: Boy Jesus in the Temple. Tell the story of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:41-52) and explain that Jesus went to the temple, because he loved Heavenly Father and wanted to teach people about Him. Emphasize how Jesus loves Heavenly Father.

Story #3: John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus. Tell the story of Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:13-17) and emphasize how much Jesus loves Heavenly Father and obeys Him. Jesus also wanted to set a good example for us. Read aloud verse 17 (starting with This is my Beloved Son), and explain that these are Heavenly Father's words. Heavenly Father was pleased that Jesus was baptized. We can be like obedient like Jesus and be baptized when we're 8 to show Heavenly Father we love him. 

Please choose one of the activity options below:

Option One: Coloring Page. Have the children color the page below. Read the words at the bottom of the picture. Hang the picture on the fridge to remember the lesson throughout the week. 

Option Two: Movement Song. This doesn't exactly relate to the topic of the lesson, but my boys loved this so much last year I wanted to do it again. Here's how I tied it in: We know Jesus is the Son of God and that we belong to His church. His church is called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Invite the children to say the name of our church together. Before the lesson, Prepare a brown paper sack with toy animals inside. Have a child draw an animal from the bag and use the animal action while singing the song below. Here are some examples:
  • Elephant: Stomp or March.
  • Bird: Flap your wings.
  • Frog: Jump.
  • Alligator: Clap your hands, arms straight out in front of you - like Alligator jaws.
  • Snake: Slither on the floor.
  • Chicken: Make chicken wings (arms bent, hands in armpits) and move them up and down.
  • Pig: Piggy Back Ride.
  • Horse: Gallop.
"I Belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
I know who I am. 
I know God's plan.
I'll follow him in faith."


Thursday, October 5, 2017

FHE: I Can be Obedient


Attention Activity: "Politely ask the children to do several actions, such as stand up, turn around, reach up high, touch their toes, and sit down. Thank them for doing as you asked. Explain that they were being obedient. They obeyed your instructions." 

Obedience Bag: Before the lesson, prepare a sack with several items that offer protection. In our bag, we put a helmet, shoe, toothbrush, glove and sunscreen. Have the children draw an item and ask the children what kind of protection the item gives. (ie: helmet protects your head, shoes protect your feet, sunscreen protects your skin from the sun, etc.) Tell the children that when we obey our parents, we are protected also. Talk about some rules and how they protect us.

Scriptural Examples: Prepare pictures of Nephi Journeys to the Promised Land, Noah's Ark, and Daniel in the Lion's Den. You can show these pictures on your computer or buy an inexpensive Gospel Art Book, which contains all the pictures. Briefly talk about the role of obedience in the stories. Nephi was obedient and built a boat, which led his family to the promised land. Noah was obedient and built a boat, which protected him from the flood. Daniel was obedient and said his prayers and was protected from the lions. 

Five Little Ghosts: Every October, I can't wait to pull out this story! The Five Little Ghosts is a darling story about obedience that really captures children's attention. The story is about five little ghosts that don't listen to their mother and eat foods they were not supposed to and turn all different colors. I found the clipart from Speechie2Speechie (create a free account to print), but the white ghosts and colored ghosts are the same shape. I wanted our ghosts to be mirror images of each other, so I could have a white ghost on one side and colored ghost on the other side, so I provided this version for you.

Puffy Ghost Craft: Cut ghosts from white card stock and have the children glue on cotton balls and googly eyes to make a "white obedient ghost". I like these ghosts better, but forgot to cut out the black eyes and mouth! Have the children hang the ghosts in their rooms or on the fridge as a reminder to be obedient.

Testimony: Bear testimony of being obedient. It makes our parents and Heavenly Father happy when we obey. Share a personal experience.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Letters & Themes

Welcome to our Letters & Themes Page!

(Link to Come)
Series #3: Themes for Toddlers & Preschoolers (2017)

This year we are changing things up and doing themed activities for my four and two year old. As life gets busier, we are doing activities only three days a week. We focus on one letter, shape and color each week along with a sensory and science activity. My boys and I are really enjoying them!

Series #2: Alphabet Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers (2016)

We started this series a year later with my three and one year old. This series has a lot of new and different ideas from last year. Along with crafts, shapes, colors & numbers, this series introduces lowercase letters and beginning sounds. These activities are adjustable depending on the age of your child. This series contains letters A-R (my apologies as we moved out of state).

Series #1: Teaching Toddlers the Alphabet (2015)

I started our first letter & learning series when my oldest boy turned 18 months old. This series has booklists, songs, crafts and learning activities (letters, shapes, colors & numbers) to go along with letters A-Z.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Birthday Party: Dragon Theme

I was so excited when my four year old told me he wanted a dragon birthday party.  I was excited for the party as a whole, but the thing I was most excited about was this smoking dragon cake! The cake may look difficult, but I actually didn't do any baking. All I did was buy a bundt cake, cut and formed it, and frosted it. As things were coming together at 3 AM in the morning (one of these days I'll be in bed at a decent hour before a birthday party) I was jumping up and down alone in the kitchen, because I couldn't wait to show my four year old his dragon cake. And I couldn't believe I made it!

Let's take a look at the decorations and activities first:

I cut out dragon footprints from pieces of blue paper and taped them onto the walkway to the house. 

Station #1: Decorate a Shield. 

I wanted our party to have different dragon themed stations for the kids to choose from. The first stations was decorating a shield. The shields are cake circles I found at Michaels. The kids decorated with crayons, dragon stickers and star stickers. On the back of the shield is a handle made from duct tape. To make the handle, you stick a 10 inch piece of duct tape to a 6 inch piece of duct tape. The kids took the shields home as a party favor.

Station #2: Dragon Play Area.

On the window sill, the kids had the option to make towers with Magnatiles (you could also use legos or blocks) with this mini Knights & Dragon Set. In the dragon sensory bin, there is colored rice, scoopers, stacking cups and mini dragons. The kids loved playing with the rice, but it will most likely get all over the floor. I figured it was all on a laminate floor and would be easy to sweep up afterward, so the mess was expected and didn't bother me. 

Station #3: Archery Training

The hula hoops and streamers I found at the Dollar Tree. I found a 20 pack of bow and arrows for only $9.95 on Amazon! Before the party, my husband hot glued the suction tips of the arrows as mentioned in the reviews. This set is nice, because there is a hole in the bow for the arrow to go through. This is so helpful for little ones. The kids also took a bow and arrow home as a party favor.

The kids played at these different stations for about 45 minutes until the doorbell rang. All the kids ran to the door to find a sparkly blue box. The birthday boy got to open the box and inside was a real dragon egg! Each of the kids got to look and touch the egg. Then, the birthday boy got to put the egg into a pot of hatching potion (vinegar). The pot bubbled so much that it overflowed! Once the bubbles died down, a mini dragon appeared! The kids absolutely LOVED this. Afterward, all the kids got to find two dragon eggs in the back yard and put them in hatching potion. Here's how to make the eggs:

You'll need to make these eggs two days before the party, in order for them to dry. They are really simple to make. All you do is add baking soda, water and food coloring together in a large mixing bowl. You want the mixture to be just wet enough to hold a ball shape (not too dry and not runny). Hidden inside the eggs were these mini dragons. I added food coloring swirls around the eggs and put a dab of food coloring on each egg for the jewel to stick to. Just before the party, I hid the eggs outside for a dragon egg hunt. Once the kids found an egg, they'd drop it in a bowl of "hatching potion" (vinegar). The pots would bubble and out would appear a mini dragon. These were the HIGHLIGHT of the party. Each kid got to take home two mini dragons as a party favor.

After the dragon egg hunt, we came inside and ate delivered pizza and some watermelon. If you're interested, check out this watermelon dragon. Once everyone was done eating, we brought out the grande finale... the DRAGON CAKE. The cake was a combination of three different blogs..

Blog #1:

I mentioned the cake was easy! This genius idea is from where you can find a detailed tutorial. TIP: Before frosting the cake, put the bundt cake, ho ho's and donuts in the freezer for about an hour or two. It will be SO much easier to frost. You'll need:
  • Bundt Cake
  • 3 Cake doughnuts
  • 2 long, chocolate-covered snake cakes (such as ho ho's or yodels)
  • 2 (16 oz) cans white frosting
  • Teal gel food coloring
  • 12 yellow candy Runts (claws)
  • 1 Large marshmallow (eyes)
  • 5 vanilla sugar wafer cookies (spikes)
  • 12 oz. package candy melts (wings and pupils)

Blog #2:

The idea for a smoking dragon came from Wikihow. The picture above is the basic idea, other than our straws were on top of the dragon snout (ho ho's or yodels), so the candles would fit in the actual snout. Here's what I did:
  • Wrap the top of a pizza box with tinfoil. 
  • Place the cut bundt cake and the remainder dragon cake pieces (including the snout) on the pizza box, so you'll have a good idea of where the nostrils need to be.
  • Use a pen to poke a hole through each ho ho and make a mark onto the pizza box. Remove the ho ho's and use the pen to poke a hole through the lid of pizza box. 
  • Lay the ho ho's back on the pizza box and use a bendy straw to make the nostrils. The top of the straw will go through the ho ho and into the pizza box. Bend the straw down, so the remainder of the straw lays flat on top of the ho ho's and out the snout. Cut the straws as needed. 
  • Wrap the ho ho's and straws with a small sheet of fondant (I rolled fondant and cut it into a rectangle long enough to wrap around the ho hos) to keep the straws in place. Frost the snout. 
  • Before the party, we placed dry ice and water in a bowl that fit snug inside our pizza box. Place the bowl right underneath the straws. Voila!

For a moment, we got both the nostrils to puff and the candles lit. Our dry ice was running out of juice, so we decided to sing and have our four year old blow out the fire candles. He said this was the best birthday party EVER!

After eating cake, we opened presents. My two gave the birthday boy this Melissa & Doug Fold and Go Castle and one of our favorite dragon books, The Knight and the Dragon. We loved spending the morning with wonderful friends and celebrating our favorite four year old!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Birthday Party: Ocean Theme

I had no idea how much I'd love planning birthday parties for my kids! Really. It's a new obsession of mine. My two year old told me he wanted an "ocean cake," and Pinterest was full of so many great ideas for an ocean themed party, I couldn't resist. For the party, we went swimming and planned all the food around the ocean. 

So, let's start with the food. I decorated the table with a blue table cloth, fishing net and sea shells I found at the Dollar Tree. Our party was in May, which was the perfect time to find these items at the Dollar Tree. The plates, napkins, cups and silverware buckets are from Walmart. I made and printed labels on Microsoft Word. I will add a link to print the labels at some point. 

Fish & Chips: Gold Fish, Sun Chips, Sweedish Fish

Flip Flop Bites: Use blue sparkle gel sugar pearls

We had hamburgers & hotdogs, but I thought chicken croissant sandwiches would be so cute as well. 

And, for the ocean cake! I made a three layer cake, each layer being a different color. You can see the inside of the cake on the last picture below. I used graham crackers for the sand, pirouette sticks for the fence around the outside of the cake and Safari TOOB ocean animals to decorate.

The white background is white fondant rolled and cut into a rectangle. I wrote the happy birthday letters with the same blue sparkle gel I used to make the flip flop bites.

And one more of all of us in front of the cake. Being a mom is the best.

Prophets - Past & Present

Introduction: Ask the children to raise their hand if they've heard the word "prophet". Teach them that a "prophet is a man who talks with Heavenly Father and Jesus. Since Heavenly Father and Jesus are not on the earth to teach us, they have prophets to help them. Heavenly Father and Jesus teach the prophet, and the prophet teaches us what we should do so that we can be blessed and happy." Let's look at a few examples of prophets.

Prophet Guess Bag: Before the lesson, fill brown paper sacks with items that can help/teach the children about different prophets. For instance, put a stuffed animal lion in one of the bags for children to guess "Daniel". Here's what we put in our bags:

Have a child take a turn drawing items from one of the bags. Give them clues and have them either identify the prophet or teach them about the prophet. After the prophet is identified, hold up a picture to briefly explain the story. Click the links above to view the pictures we used. Make sure to explain that Jesus told Noah to build an ark to save his family from a flood. And Jesus sent angels to protect Daniel in the Lion's Den. And Jesus told Joseph Smith not to join any other churches. Etc. Tell stories about President Monson found in the link above (including his hobby of fishing) and explain that Jesus speaks to him today, so we can know what Heavenly Father wants us to do. Have them repeat "President Monson."

Prophet Stations: Make play stations for each of the prophets you discussed today. Invite the children to choose which station(s) they'd like to play with. We only had three stations with items we already had on hand, but here are some other ideas as well:
Testimony: Bear testimony of past prophets and a living prophet today. Express gratitude to Heavenly Father for blessing us with prophets.