Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Time in the City

Monday is my mother's birthday. It is a big birthday too so I wanted to do something extra special for her. For my dad's birthday in January, I threw him a surprise party. It was great but I know mom well enough to know she would want something different. Instead of a surprise party, I surprised her with a trip to NYC to see a Broadway show. My mom has always loved Broadway.
When I planned the party for dad, I had mom help me a lot. It became her job to get him to the church building without him suspecting anything on a random weeknight. She came up with the plan to make him think they were cleaning the church and he was completely clueless! We jump out and yell surprise when he came in in his sweats ready to clean. 
Well I needed a helper to make sure my mom was available for the day of the show, so I asked my dad. My almost exact words to him were, "I bought tickets for Dec 7th so make sure she doesn't make any plans"
So he went to mom and said, "Don't make any plans on Dec 7th."
AHHH dad!!!! Mom and I were talking about it right before we left for NYC and dad walked in. He couldn't understand why we were laughing. "What? I did exactly like you said. She didn't make plans." 
The show  we went to was The Color Purple and we went to the matinee. We also really wanted to go to the Carnegie Deli because its always been a favorite of our family and it is closing for good at the end of the year. Mom and dad both thought they wouldn't be able to go one last time so this was a must! We went to the deli first but the line was huge. Instead of waiting and worrying about missing the show, we walked down 5th avenue and went to Rockefeller Center to see the tree. 

The tree doesn't look that great to me to be honest. It did look a lot better at night when you couldn't see how few and oddly shaped the branches are, but I didn't get a picture of that.
We went into Saks and I loved looking at the shoes! Dad amused himself by taking pictures.





Next we were off to the show. We walked through Times Square on the way to the theater and I was so excited to see the church's video for #LIGHTtheWORLD on on of the large monitors.



I really wish I had read the book or seen the movie before going to see the play. I knew nothing about it going in to it. It was a little hard to follow because it was mostly singing with out a ton of dialog. There was also no set or costume changes which made it hard for me to know when the scenes changed, The singing was fantastic! Overall I enjoyed it. The lady next to me had two young boys with her (I'd guess they were 5 and 7 years old). The whole time I kept thinking, wow this is not for kids!
After the show, we headed back to the Carnegie Deli for dinner. There was a line out of the door again but it didn't look too long. Looks can be deceiving because we still waited about 45 minutes to an hour before we were seated. It was of course worth the wait because the food was amazing.
 Dad's dinner (He only ate half of one half of the sandwich)
Mom's (she ate about half of hers)
I did take a picture of mine but I did it on snapchat (follow me khsunset46) and forgot to save it, but it was huge and delicious!
After dinner, mom really wanted to go to Macy's and because it was her day, we went. We walked down 5th Avenue again to see the store windows lit up.


This is a small part of the light show outside of Saks
How gorgeous are these lights outside of Lord and Taylor?!
On our walk back to the car we passed through Times Square again and I found more ads for the church for #LIGHTtheWORLD. It was so exciting to me! 
Another monitor showing clips of the video as well as a poster billboard right next to it. On the next building there was a gigantic poster billboard as well for mormon.org. It was the biggest billboard I've seen in my life. I don't know why I didn't get a picture! The light must have turned green or something! It was a great trip and mom is busy planning her next visit to NYC. 

Mom,
I love you! Thank you for everything you have done for me. You are truly one of my best friends and I loved being able to spend the day with you and treat you for a change.
Happy Birthday!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Choose the Right Bulletins Part One

I have the week off of work and I am using my free time to get a head start on the bulletin boards for Primary next year. I originally wanted to use this idea for the main large bulletin board in the hallway, but once I got to church, I realized that the scale would not work for me. I wanted to print everything out because I have very limited artistic ability! I couldn't print anything large enough to make it look good, so I used my idea for the smaller bulletin board in the Primary room. I love how it turned out!!
I thought that I would write different ways that we can choose the right on the bricks, but once I put everything together, I liked it the way it was and decided against it.
I used a blue plastic table cloth and yellow wrapping paper both from the dollar store. The green grass, trees, clouds and poppies are just construction paper. The poppies and lettering were all done from a Sizzix. I found the images from a simple google search. The image of the temple is from susan fitch design






Now I have to come up with an idea for the large board. I do know what I want to do with my article of faith bulletin board, but I ran out of time today working on this one. I will post again when I finish it. (SEE BULLETINS PART 2 POST HERE)

Before I go, I want to share what I did with my article of faith bulletin board this past year because it would work so well for this next year's theme. I wish I would have waited...
CHEWS the Right!
I made a gumball machine out of poster board. Then around my gumball machine, I made gumballs with each of the articles of faith on them. Every time one of our primary kids passed off an article of faith, they would add a gumball (with their name and the article of faith number they passed off) to our machine. Then they could get a real gumball as their treat.
 I bought this gumball machine from Amazon. Its great because it takes any coin. We used pennies.
This is what our gumball machine looks like now that the year is almost over. I loved seeing our machine fill up through out the year! The only thing I would do differently is to keep track of what articles of faith each child passed off on a normal chart in my binder. I noticed towards the end of the summer that one valiant had passed off the same article of faith three different times because its hard to keep track using just the gumballs.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Light The World

This year, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints rolled out a new initiative called #LIGHTtheWORLD.
When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. He was the perfect example to us. When He lived on Earth, He did so much service and we can too! The church is encouraging everyone to do one act of service everyday in December. I really wanted to encourage my primary kids to participate so I introduced the challenge to them on Sunday.
I showed the video to the kids first. Then I started talking about Christmas and why we celebrate (because it is Jesus' birthday). I asked the kids how they celebrate their birthdays (cake and presents). I asked them what they thought Jesus would want for a gift for his birthday. I asked if they thought He would want a new bike or an xbox. They laughed and said no! One kid in junior primary raised his hand and said that he would get Jesus new scriptures. When I asked how he would give them to Him, he looked confused and said, "I don't know!" That is when I suggested doing acts of service as a gift.
I gave each child a glass votive with a flameless tealight inside. I put one on the table in the front and turned off all the lights. "Is that light very bright?"
"No" I then told everyone to turn on their lights. One by one, they brought it up and put it next to mine.
"Is the table very bright now?"
"YES!!"
I explained that each one of us can shine our light by doing service and making those around us happy. When all of us are doing service, together we can light the world! I challenged the kids to do service for someone everyday in the month of December.

At www.mormon.org you can download an advent calendar with different ideas of acts of service everyday. I really liked the idea of a calendar and wanted to create one for my Primary children. Lucky for me, I am a member of an awesome Facebook group for Primary Presidencies and several sisters had the same idea. I used many of their ideas and added some of my own to create this advent calendar using the same daily themes as the one from mormon.org.
 One day I will figure out how to make a PDF and share it here, until then, here is a picture of the calendar I made for my primary kids. I told them that if they colored in each day after doing service and then turned it in to me, I would give them a special treat.
In addition to the advent calendar on mormon.org, there are also videos for each day of the month. I love service and encourage all of you to take on this challenge!