Sunday, January 31, 2016

Feast upon the words of Christ and I can know the scriptures are true

Sunday is my last sharing time for the month. Last week church was cancelled due to the storm Jonas. The week before that my counselor taught week 3: The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do. This leaves week 2: We are to feast upon the words of Christ and Week 4: I can know the scriptures are true. Who would have thought that with a month with 5 Sundays and only 4 lessons, I'd have to combine to get it all in?!
Here are the lesson plans from week 2 and 4 from the sharing time outline 

Week 2: We are to feast upon the words of Christ.
Encourage understanding and application: Explain that the Lord uses action words to describe how we should study the scriptures. Display the following words and phrases on posters around the room: feast (see2 Nephi 32:3); treasure up (see D&C 84:85); search diligently (see Mosiah 1:7); hold fast (see 1 Nephi 15:24). Plan creative ways to introduce and explain these ideas to the children. For example, you could invite the children to demonstrate the difference between nibbling and feasting on food and then discuss how this relates to studying the scriptures. You could also ask the children why they would “hold fast” to their parent’s hand in a crowded marketplace and then explain how they can hold fast to the scriptures and why that is just as important as holding fast to their parent’s hand.

Encourage application: Challenge the children and teachers to establish a habit of regular scripture study. Explain that each week, children who have read from or listened to the scriptures will be able to write their name on a piece of paper and add it to a paper chain. Tell them that as the chain grows, so will their knowledge of the scriptures. Consider storing the chain in a “treasure” box (this box could also be used to teach what “treasure up” means in the activity above). Encourage the children to share their goal of studying the scriptures with their families.


Week 4: I can know the scriptures are true.
Encourage understanding: Bring one or more objects that the children can learn about using some of their five senses. For example, you could bring a fruit or a flower, or you could play some music. Give a few children a chance to see, smell, touch, taste, or hear what you have brought. (Consider doing this activity in small groups so every child has the opportunity to participate.) Demonstrate that we can also see, touch, smell, and hear the scriptures, but to gain a testimony of them we need to receive a witness through the Spirit. Invite the children to sing “Search, Ponder, and Pray”(CS, 109). Ask them to listen, as they sing, for three things we can do to invite the Spirit to testify that the scriptures are true. Invite the children to create hand actions for the words search, ponder, and pray. Repeat the song, using the actions in place of these words.


Encourage application: Display a picture of Moroni, and read Moroni 10:4–5. Invite several children to share their feelings about the scriptures. They could also share what they have been doing to read the scriptures at home. (Ask a few children in advance so they have time to prepare.) Encourage the children to share their testimonies of the scriptures with their parents at home.

My plans for  Primary
I'll print out the pictures below and tape each to a small brown paper bag
I'll put an item in each bag that the children can guess by using that sense
smell- Candle
sight- 
touch- Small stuffed animal
taste- M&Ms 
hearing- Bell
I'll start off by talking about senses and how they help us experience the world around us. There are two ways I can do the activity with the bags. I think that I will split up the kids into groups and give each leader a bag, The groups will rotate through each station so that everyone gets a turn with each bag. If there are not a lot of kids, I'll have each kid come up and take a turn with one of the bags, (but I'd make sure that everyone gets an M&M).
Then I will transition into studying the scriptures by talking about how you can use each of the senses to study the scriptures. 
Sight- see the scriptures, read them
Touch- Feel the scriptures
I'll make sure to mention here that it is now always enough to just look or hold them. To help prove this I'll bring in this weird epoxy glue syringe thing my husband has (it was hard to think of something the senior kids won't know) 
Hear- Listen to someone reading the scriptures
 Smell- you probably don't smell them very much but you can imagine the smells of things in the stories (5 loaves of bread and two fish, Noah's ark ect.)
Taste- Obviously you don't eat the scriptures, but you can, like the sense of smell, imagine how things in the scriptures would taste. 
I'll use this time to talk about how we can feast upon the words of Christ. We'll talk what it means to feast as opposed to nibble or snack. 
We'll read 2 Nephi 32:3
If time permits, I'd like to show this clip (Use Your Imagination-Hook) from the movie Hook. Its the feast scene. Peter (Robin Williams) is sitting down to eat with all the lost boys. All of the dishes are empty but the boys all appear to be eating. Peter is confused and complaining because he wants real food. He gets into a verbal sparing match (this clip cuts out the insults which is good, I don't need my sunbeams calling everyone names) with one of the boys and flings a spoonful of non existant food into the boys face but then real food appears and splatters all over the kid. Peter can now see and enjoy the food. He had to use his imagination to be able to see the food. (*note* the youtube website doesn't work with the church's internet however I have been successful with the youtube app on my ipad and phone, if that fails I'll tell the story but its a cool visual to see it)
I will relate this to reading and studying the scriptures. You can sit and read/skim the scriptures but not get much out of them, just like pretending to eat. Or you can really study the scriptures, search, ponder and pray. When you do that you can really feast upon the words of Christ. 
I'll take the remaining time to talk about the words Search, Ponder and Pray
Search- Mosiah 1:7
Ponder- Moroni 10:3
Pray- Moroni 10:4
 As always, I'll close with my testimony

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Florida

Last week, my husband and I went on our first vacation together with his family in Florida. We flew down on Thursday and flew back Monday. 

Thursday
I was worried about getting through security with his insulin. I thought my bag would be flagged and checked for sure (I mean its a needle, it could have been a tranquilizer or something right?) Patrick's prescription is expired and his medical bracelet for his diabetes broke. No one cared though which was good. After landing in Tampa, we headed to the mall to get Pat some sneakers. He paces so much, he had holes in the bottoms of his. Lucky for me, they were having a buy one get one half off sale so I got some shoes too! 

Distracting myself on the plane by taking selfies. It was sooooo turbulent and I was feeling queasy. 
Skechers Go Walk are hands down the sneakers I've ever owned. This pair now makes 5 for me. They are so comfy and lightweight. They slip on, no laces. You can wear them without socks. You can throw them in a washer.


The rest of the night we relaxed and had dinner at his Aunt's house where we stayed.

Friday
We got up early to be at Universal Studios when they opened. Aunt Sue had bought everyone in the group a fanny pack and a poncho. I refused the fanny pack. The only things I needed were my phone, money and Pat's insulin. I stuck my credit card in my phone case, my phone in my pocket and I was good to go. Pat's mom, Cindy kept his insulin in her fanny pack. 
The poncho I did take because it was raining quite a bit. The good part of the rain was that there were no crowds! The longest we ever had to wait was 15 minutes. We spent more time walking through the empty line barriers than actually waiting in line! And luckily the lines were all covered and most of the rides are inside so we could stay dry.


This was the worst of the rain! The rain stopped around lunchtime which was great cause I was FREEZING! I realized my fingernails were turning purple while I was eating and my thumb was completely numb! I didn't want to spend $50 on an ugly ET sweatshirt I'd only wear once so I'm glad the sun came out to warm me up!

My favorite parts were the Harry Potter sections of the parks
Kings Cross Station in Universal Studios. You take the Hogwarts Express to the other park, Island of Adventure where they have Hogsmeade. The train was so cool. they have a screen to show scenes of what is happening outside as the train moves. You can also see the shadows and hear characters from the book through the frosted glass on the door of the area that you sit.

In Hogsmeade, we checked out the candy store and rode the two rides that were open, Dragon Challenge and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The latter was a little intense for me. I prefer a real roller coaster but I still enjoyed it. Patrick's little cousin. Luke (8 years old) was scared from it.

We left Hogsmeade and checked out the rest of the Island of Adventure.
Luke rock climbing

Before heading back to the main Universal Studios park, we went through Hogsmeade again. I did spend the $50 here to get a sweatshirt. I got a children's XL. It fit just fine and was $20 cheaper than the adults! I was glad to have it the rest of the trip!
We had a HUGE feast at the Three Broomsticks. We had lots of chicken left and they wouldn't give us a box for it (quality control) so I emptied a plastic shopping bag and we took it home in that. Haha


The Hogwarts Express had a different experience on the screens and doors on the way back. The car fits 8 and there was 7 in our group so another woman joined us. One of our group jokingly welcomed her to the family. Then another asked if she wanted any chicken. She had no clue what was going on but we could not stop laughing.

The Knight Bus, Grimwal Place with Kreature peaking out
It took a little while to figure out how to get into Diagon Alley

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts was my favorite ride of the day!


 The Dragon that sits on top of Gringotts shoots out a fireball every ten minutes or so.



Ice Cream at Florean Fortescue's. They had a lot of interesting flavors. I got the mint soft serve with chocolate chips but I tasted NO mint at all! In fact it had a slight banana taste to it.


 Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was my favorite shop. There were so many cool things! I bought an Extendable Ear, Fainting Fancies, Puking Pastilles, Fever Fudge and Nosebleed Nougat. I am waiting to open them until I go to my parents so I can share it with them.

On the ride home we got some bad news that Aunt Betty (Patrick's great aunt and the reason for the trip) had fallen and was in ICU :(

Saturday
We had a chill day Saturday after our busy Friday. I tried to sleep in but it is hard for me to sleep in beds other than my own. Patrick had no problem sleeping and didn't get up until almost noon. 

 I had to document this because it is hands down the WORST bed head I have ever had! Florida did crazy things to my hair. NJ is humid too so I didn't think it would make a difference but my hair was always frizzy, my curl wouldn't hold and my hair always felt dirty. I washed it every day, sometimes I'd shampoo twice but I still felt so much build up around the roots, maybe it was the water?

After lunch we took a walk on the beach were they were having a kite festival.






Dinner was at Patrick's Aunt Jan and Uncle Jerry's house. After dinner we went back to Aunt Sue's where I got everyone addicted to the game Psych! Outwit your friends. Its a free app by Ellen DeGeneres.

Sunday
Even though Aunt Betty was in the hospital, she still wanted us to have the party without her. We had lunch at the Treasure Island Yatch Club and took a large family picture. Even though Aunt Betty wasn't there, we still sang to her a recorded it.

 After the party, we went to go see her in the hospital. She was still in ICU but the nurses let the only two visitor rule slide because of her birthday. She looked horrible but was in good spirits and was healing. I only stayed a minute or two. I get queasy with hospital stuff and I thought it was more important for her family to visit with her.


Sunday afternoon we walked around Johns Pass where Cindy spent about $70 on special spices. They had this crazy hot one and the sales lady had Patrick try it. He had no reaction other than "It has a bite to it, I like it" She was stunned. She has never seen anyone with out a reaction to that level of heat.

Monday
We flew home Monday but before the flight, we had a girls only lunch at the cutest little place. Security on the way back was interesting. Cindy's carry on got flagged (the bagged spices). Another girl was getting her bag checked so Cindy had to wait. The girl had two bags. She was kinda freaking out about the location of her second bag. The TSA agent pointed it out to her and said they do one at a time and that one will be next. She was upset saying someone would take it but the agent insisted it would remain right there in her sight. The first bag had a lap top in it that she was supposed to take out and put through the scanner on its own. The second bag contained a large bottle of wine, a full size bottle of honey, a squirt bottle half full of what she claimed to be shampoo and last but not least...a knife with a 4 inch blade!!! She was so upset and kept asking when they changed the rules! Three TSA agents ended up pulling her aside. Crazy right?! How did she think she'd get away with that?!


The flight home was calm and had an amazing sunset! Walking out of the airport into the snowy weather was a shock to the system, especially when all you have is a sweatshirt!

All in all, the trip was great and it was great to get away from everything for a few days! I am now working on planning a trip for Patrick and I for our 5th wedding anniversary. As much as I like being around our families, I'd love to have a vacation just the two of us!





Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Scriptures are the Word of God

January Week One Sharing Time: The Scriptures are the Word of God

I am doing week one's sharing time this Sunday because of the new theme introduction last week. 
This is the plan from the outline

Introduce the doctrine: Bring a variety of books (such as a cookbook, a storybook, and a schoolbook) to Primary, and invite a few children to show these books and the scriptures to the Primary. Invite the children to discuss the similarities and differences between the books, including their authors. Point out that the scriptures are unique because they are written by God’s prophets and are the word of God.

Encourage understanding: Tell the children that there are four books of scripture we use in the Church: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Explain that we call these the “standard works.” Teach the children about each book. Include a few of the stories or teachings found in each book. Play a matching game (see TNGC, 169) with the names of the standard works and pictures representing a story or teaching found in each book.


Encourage application: Invite several of the children to share their favorite scripture or scripture story. Encourage them to share what they have learned from reading the scriptures. Bear your testimony of the scriptures

I really like the outline for the week, but I like to customize it to fit Junior and Senior Primary. I also always fear that I will have time leftover to fill so I like to plan a lot. I'd rather have too much material than too little.

Junior Primary
As an attention getter, I am going to bring in a sword (my husband keeps a Japanese katana under our bed, robbers beware. He is now telling me I can't bring a real sword to church cause it is a real weapon that could hurt or kill someone, I said I wouldn't take it out of the sheath but its still a no go, darn. I guess I'll look for the fake prop one we have somewhere and if all else fail, my little brother has a foam Nerf sword). I will say that today we are going to learn about something that is more powerful than this sword. I'll put a set of scriptures in a box, wrap it up and put a question mark on it. I'll ask the kids what they think could be in the box more powerful than a sword.  Then I will read Alma 31:5, 
"And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God."
After reading, I'll ask the kids again and see if they change their mind before unwrapping the box to reveal the scriptures.

Then I will pull out of my bag the other books as suggested in the outline (a cookbook, novel, textbook ect.) I'll ask the kids what is the difference between the scriptures and these other books. 

I'll point out then that the scriptures are the word of God and they are written by His prophets. 
I'll tell the kids how the scriptures are broken up into different books. I'll briefly discus each of the books. 
Old Testament- Before Jesus was born, part of the Bible
New Testament- When Jesus lived on the earth and His teachings, part of the Bible
Book of Mormon- People living in the Americas during the time of the Bible
Doctrine and Covenants- The restoration of the church during the 1800s
Pearl of Great Price- Books that were translated by Joseph Smith

 By this point my littles will be getting restless so its time for some games!

Matching Game

I'll start with a classic matching game. 
I saved and printed a bunch of pictures from the Gospel Art Book
Here is a link to the photo cards I printed (I am hoping this works)
Print it twice so that you have matches
I printed them on cardstock so that you can't see through the paper
We will play it like a normal matching game, When a match is made, we will talk about that story and in which book of scripture (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants) you can find it

Scripture Hot Potato 
For this game, I'll get a bunch of pictures again of scripture stories, one for each child. Have the kids sit or stand in a circle, each behind a picture. I'll have the piano play this month's song "If I Listen with my Heart"  We will sing and pass my potato until the music stops
(I got this stress potato a few weeks ago when we visited the Herr's chip factory in PA)

Whoever is holding the potato when the music stops will tell us a little about the picture they have.

Senior Primary
I will do a very similar lesson with the senior bunch. My senior group is a lot bigger though so I will combine the games.

I'll split the group into two teams
We will play the hot potato to the music to see who gets a turn to pic a match. (one side of the room at a time)
Another added twist is that they must correctly state what book of scripture the story is in. If they don't know/guess right, the match is put back face down for the other team to try. If they know the story, I'll tell me about it, if not I will fill in the blanks.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Articles of Faith Bulletin

I have the updated bulletin board for our Article of Faith chart as promised.



I changed the backing and put up the gumball machine again. The gumballs on the sides have the Articles of Faith on them. It's nice and simple but time consuming when you cut everything by hand and are not a very good cutter (in 8th grade I was banned by my classmates from using the scissors on one of our projects).

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Scripture Hero Sharing Time

This month, I am in charge of sharing time. There are 5 weeks this month but our manual only has 4 lessons. With the new year, I decided to take this first Sunday to introduce the new theme as my freebie fifth Sunday. I will start the sharing time manual lessons next week.
On the first Sunday of the month, a member of the bishopric will be stopping by primary to introduce the new months theme and share their testimony. I think its important for the kids to get to know the members of the bishopric. This month, Brother Kirk, the counselor over Primary came down to talk to us about reading his scriptures and saying a prayer before he reads.

After I explaned that we will focus on reading the scriptures this year. I the scriptures we can read stories about many scripture heros. I asked the kids if they have a favorite scripture hero. For junior primary, I had several pictures of Book of Mormon prophets that I held up and briefly talked about them. I told them that today we would get a visit from one of these scripture heros through our new time machine.


Working at CVS, I have access to lots of boxes. I had a huge box I was going to either spray paint silver or cover in aluminum foil. I had a clock, calculator, letters and poster lights to put all over it. I thought I would set it in the doorway and have my guest use it as a door. But then I realized that there was no way that I'd be able to get it home or to church. And if I did manage to transport it, there is not a good place to store it at church. So I cut up a smaller piece of cardboard and fastened it to the door with command strips. I'll be on the look out for those beads that hang in doorways to give it more pizzazz in the future.

My little brother Will was home for christmas break from BYU Idaho so he accepted my invitation to be Nephi. The Friend magazine is featuring a scripture hero each month and Nephi is the hero for January


I introduced him as Nephi and then interviewed him. I opened it up to the children to ask questions too but both groups were very quiet today (sad that winter break is over and school starts again tomorrow?)

This is the basic outline of the interview, we added to it a bit as we spoke but I wanted to get the basics written down as a guide.

Interview With Nephi
1. How did you feel when your father asked you to leave home and go into the wilderness?
Others mocked him, but I knew that he had a vision from God and that being obedient would protect us. 
2. Was it really frustrating when Laman and Lemuel were murmuring and complaining?
They did not believe that Jerusalem would be destroyed. I didn’t want to be like them so I prayed and the spirit came unto me. I talked to my little brother Sam about what the Lord told me, and he believed as well. It made me sad Laman and Lemuel would not believe. 

3. Were you nervous to go back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates?
Yes, but I knew that the Lord would help us accomplish the tasks he asked us to do. I also knew how important it was to have the words of the prophets with us on our journey.

4. How exactly did you go about getting the plates?
We cast lots and laman lost so he asked 1st- Laban tossed him out
We tried to pay for them with our gold and silver – Laban took our stuff and tried to kill us. My brothers were mad and started to beat me but then an angel appeared. I went back, came across Laban drunk. I was told to cut off his head with his sword. I did and took his clothes. His servant mistook me for him and got the plates for me.

5. After traveling in the wilderness for several years, you came upon the sea and were commanded to build a boat right? Did you have any boat building experience?
No, but I knew the lord would help me. He told me where to find everything that I needed and how to assemble it. My brothers mocked me and were rebuked for it. After that, they began to help me and we finished the boat.

6. From what I heard it was not always smooth sailing on the ocean. Can you share what happened?
Yes, the Lord gave my father a tool called the Liahona. It is like a compass with messages from the Lord, but it works of faith. After a few days at sea, my brothers and their wives began to be rude and wild. They forgot about the Lord. I tried to talk to them but they got mad at me and tied me up. The Liahona stopped working and they didn’t know where to direct the ship. Then a horrible storm came and lasted for three days. Even though they thought they might drown, they didn’t want to untie me. When they finally softened their hearts and untied me, the liahona began to work again. 

7. Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the children here today?
It is important to be obedient to the Lord. He gives us commandments to help and protect us because he loves us. He will not ask us to do something that we can’t do. He will help us accomplish the things that he has asked us. 




new year, new theme

Happy New Year!!!

The new year is a time for changes in primary. After combining with the local spanish branch, our primary has gotten rather large. We only had four classes, two junior and two senior. The classes were getting too big for the teachers to handle and since kids would change classes with the new year, I thought now would be a good time to split some classes. We now have three junior classes, Sunbeams 3&4, CTR 5 and CTR 6. We also have three senior classes, CTR 7&8, Valiant 9 and Valiant 10&11. I was nervous about how the kids would know which classroom to go to. Last week I passed out folders with a letter explaining things but many families were out of town for the holidays. 

I printed new door signs to help. We only have 4 rooms but 6 classes so some classes need to share space. To make it easier, I left the names of the children off the door signs and just wrote in the class and teachers names (I never liked the idea of the children's full names on the doors for safety reasons anyway). I used the yearly theme poster I found on this site. For the classes that are during second hour, I wrote the name on top. Classes that meet third hour, I wrote on the bottom. Things seemed to go smoothly without much help from me which was good because I have sharing time this month. 

Our new them for the year is I know the Scriptures are True. Saturday night after work I came to the church to set up our bulletin board to go with the new theme.


 I downloaded the 2016 bulletin board kit from this etsy shop. I also downloaded the monthly posters from her shop as well.


I used a red plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Tree for the back and rainbow duct tape for the border.I am especially in love with these scripture posters! I came across them from this site. I originally thought I would use them on one of our smaller bulletins so I downloaded the 18 by 24in version. I followed her advice and had them printed as an engineering print though staples.com.  I highlighted the verse with a red pencil just like I would in my real scriptures.


 The Friend magazine will be highlighting a scripture hero each month. I decided that we should do that as well. For the month of January, the scripture hero is Nephi. 

I challenged the kids to read the scriptures every day. Each week, if they come up to me or one of my counselors (Sister Cook and Sister Valerio) and report that they have read the scriptures that week, we will put a penny in a jar. At the end of the year, we will cash in or pennies and buy Book of Mormons (or is it Books of Mormon? Book of Mormon's?) 

We also encourage the children to memorize the Articles of Faith. I chose gumballs for the theme for this bulletin board after coming across this cute saying...

The idea on pinterest was to give a little cloth snake (scripture snake) filled with gumballs and this poem for the reward for when a child passes off an article of faith. Sewing all those little snakes is a bit more work than I want to take on so I went with a gumball machine.

Instead of a chart (with 50+ kids a regular chart would be too big) I made a large gumball machine. The kids will write their name and the article of faith number they passed off on a paper gumball and add it to our machine. They will then get a real gumball as a reward from the real machine. I am still working on this bulletin board but I wanted to get the machine up for the kids to see when I explained it this Sunday. Updated pictures to come.