As I was putting together the scripture posters for each month of the year, a few additional posters came to mind that I thought might be helpful.
First, the scripture for the YEAR: 2 Nephi 4:15. It doesn’t necessarily belong if you’re doing a monthly bulletin board that you rotate, but it would be a great poster to use as a teaching tool at the beginning of the year to familiarize the kids with the scriptures. It would be a good fit if your ward budget is smaller or you don’t want to switch your bulletin board every month.
I had a new friend ask about getting both side of the book–she’s doing a bulletin board where the scriptures are open. I am not quite prepared to do the second page on all the monthly posters, but I thought I’d do that for the year theme. So there are two posters, page 62 and page 63 of the Book of Mormon. It looks as if the scriptures are open to the year theme, 2 Nephi 4:15. There is no header or additional info on either poster–they are simply the scripture pages blown up. These are only available in the 24×36 size.
Next, a couple of posters with the Articles of Faith, without any header (they don’t say “I Know the Scriptures are True.”) I figured someone might like these for a bulletin board separate from the theme for the year. There are two pages per PDF download here: in the scriptures the Articles of Faith take up two pages.
I love the idea of using washi tape or a colored masking tape to outline the Article of Faith you’re working on as a Primary each month. You could peel it up every month as you move to the next one.
And finally, I thought it might be helpful to have a page with the Abbreviations for all the books in the scriptures. You can see, I think, how this would come in handy as everyone is learning where the scriptures are and what the abbreviations mean. It might be nice to have on the wall permanently as a reference for the kids (or for you?).
I mean. It’s really as simple as it looks. Grab some french fries containers from your fast food spot. Use your popsicle sticks with one name of each primary child per stick. I colored the tip of one side red, so when they have been chosen, we leave the red (ketchup) end up until everyone has had a turn. I used Sharpies for the names and the ketchup. We have one box for Junior and one for Senior.
*Hint. I also used my glue gun to affix four heavy magnets in the bottom of each french fry container (on the inside). This stabilizes the containers so they don’t tip over!
I especially like this version of popsicle sticks because it’s relevant to both boys and girls!
I’m pretty excited about the printables I’m sharing today! I plan to use them in our Primary, but I got them prepped early so you could use them too. They are big: designed to be printed as Engineering Prints at your copy shop. I’ll walk you through that process–it’s super easy and pretty inexpensive, don’t worry!
The theme in Primary for 2016 is I Know the Scriptures are True. So I have been thinking about the various ways I plan to reinforce scripture study with our primary children. I think it’s really important and valuable for the children to feel comfortable getting around in the scriptures: the actual books as opposed to electronic versions. Don’t get me wrong, I personally carry my scriptures on my phone–I love the electronic option. But I think everyone should also (or maybe first?) know how to find verses, stories, and topics in the old school books.
I created these posters as a teaching tool to help our primary kids get more familiar with the look of scriptures. Every month we’ll switch out the poster for the new month’s verse and take a few minutes to point out where to find the name of the book, the chapter and verse, the page number, and how to use and understand the notes, dates, and cross references. I haven’t yet decided if we’ll underline the verse on the poster (with a marker or colored pencil) or if I’ll use washi tape (like you see above) to highlight the scripture of the month. I’m leaning toward the washi tape option.
See! They’re really big posters.
You’ll also note that I’ve included the yearly theme, the monthly scripture reference, and the doctrinal theme for the month on the top of each poster. The Sharing Time outline includes a couple of Articles of Faith and one verse is from The Family proclamation: these are included as well.
I had these printed at Staples near my house. Load the file onto a USB stick if you’re going to do it in person. They are PDF’s and that should work perfectly for the copy center. Most shops like Staples and FedEx Kinkos also allow you to upload these online. Ask for an Engineering Print. It should be less than $5. For me, the 18×24 version was $1.99 and the 24×36 was $3.89 (California prices, too. I’m guessing Utah will be cheaper.)
These files are pretty big because I wanted to be sure you get a nice crisp copy.
I figured that some of us are going to need the smaller, 18×24 version. We have a couple of HUGE bulletin boards in our Primary room, but I have served in other buildings where there isn’t as much wall space available.
I have a couple additional extras along these lines tomorrow: Articles of Faith posters, etc. Stay tuned!
Update: Click here for a few poster extras.
I recently started walking with a new friend. As you’d expect, the walking is really secondary to the true purpose of our time together: we chat about life, children, and callings. At the end of our most recent walk, I came home thinking hard about how lousy Mormon women are at taking care of ourselves!
So many of the Mormon women I know are wrapped up in caring for others, serving at church, and volunteering at schools and in the community on top of regular adult responsibilities like work, homemaking, and paying the bills. Often, cultural expectations make simple self care habits seem lazy or selfish. Another complication is that Mormon women are often saddled with the unspoken judgment that unhappiness comes from lack of commitment to the gospel: if you just studied scriptures more fervently, prayed harder, or attended the 5 am session of the temple, you should be able to “earn” the happiness you seek. While many of these tasks are honorable and helpful, I have found that you can be doing all the right things and remain very unhappy.
Living a good life, even when you’re walking slowly in the direction of worthy, meaningful goals, can still be drudgery.
This is not the kind of life I am hoping for. This weekend when I was listening to Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk at the Women’s Session of conference, I thought more about my personal responsibility to practice happiness. Not just happiness stored up in the eternities, but practicing happiness now.
I grew up in the middle of the self help explosion, so over the course of my life I’ve heard lots of inspiring thoughts and ideas about happiness. I want to talk less about the feel good, quick fix approach and spend more time exploring actual tools, lists, and practical self care techniques that could actually affect change in the way I practice happiness.
In an effort to help others and help myself, I thought I’d share some happiness habits here. I’ll share a few things that have worked for me and I’m hoping to spend some time exploring a few new practices that could help us both.
This morning I wanted to share the single most valuable happiness practice in my life. It’s the Starter List. My husband, Randy, came up with this list, tailored just for me, and it has been life changing when it comes to managing my moods and happiness. It’s so simple, but I really believe it’s at the foundation of any other happiness practice, so we have to start here!
It’s this simple: a list of five components of my life that need to be tended to regularly. When I am feeling overwhelmed, glum, or negative and all of the items on this list are in good shape, then we start talking about changing or fixing other parts of our life. What usually happens is that I re-examine my list, tend to one or two items that have been neglected in some way, and then the rest of my life seems to be reshaped into manageable challenges. Taking care of these five areas of my life doesn’t usually fix the challenges, but taking care of myself helps me feel strong and smart enough to deal.
- Sleep–For me, everything starts with enough sleep. I’m a big believer in afternoon cat naps. 20 minutes at 4 pm can change everything, especially now that I have teenagers and my day is only half over at dinner time.
- Food–I do a bad job at feeding myself! I like to snack on sugar and sometimes I skip meals. When my blood sugar gets low, I get very grouchy. About half of the time, I can cope with anything better after a good sandwich. I also take an vitamin B almost daily! My body needs it.
- Sex–When I’m not connecting regularly with Randy, everything in the world starts to feel wrong. There’s a reason this one is in the top three.
- Scripture/Prayer–I’m only reliably happy when I feel a comfortable connection with God through regular scripture and prayer. For me this doesn’t need to be highly regimented or incessant, it just needs to feel personal and authentic.
- Temple–Attending the temple cleanses my spiritual palate and resets the context of my life. For me it’s always been a critical piece of my ability to see the broader perspective.
That’s it. The start list is that simple. When I am ignoring self care so profoundly that I’m not even taking care of these basics, I am a wreck and my family is suffering. This list is always a good place for me to start when I am checking in on my happiness. I bet your list is very similar–do you have one? What are the five fundamental things that need to be in check in order for you to function? Write it down. Think about each item on your list. Share anything that is different for you in the comments–I’d love to hear about them.
Over the next few months, I’m going to continue to post practical ways we can do better at replenishing ourselves. I’m aiming to always get these up on Mondays because lately Sundays are wiping me out. I like the idea of starting each week with a little bit of nourishment and encouragement. Practice happiness now, friends. Let’s see how it goes.
It’s all Primary Program all the time around my place these days! I’m thinking about how we’ll be practicing at church and I’ve decided that I’ll do a quick review of our expectations for practice behavior. I made a tabloid (11×17) sized poster to remind the children of how I hope they will act as we do our practices for the program, below. I plan to laminate this mini-poster and then review how the day went with the children: I’ll check the boxes or make an “x” if we need to work harder on that particular reverence item next week.
But I also made a smaller, more generic one (the one you see at the top) that you can print on a normal, home printer on regular 8.5×11 paper. It would be great to laminate and reuse weekly to review behavior in Primary.
My cousin’s wife (hey there, Emily!) posted the coolest Family Home Evening idea on Facebook a few weeks ago. They sat with their children and asked:
1. What do mom and dad do to show you we love you?
2. What would you like us to do more with you?
Their children are young, so their questions and answers were fun and simple (they want to play more Transformers and color). But I think these questions are so good to talk about with your children at any age! I am looking forward to seeing what my teenagers have to say…
We want to encourage our Primary children to listen to conference, so I put together this one page printable with a few games, images to color, and space for notes. It’s designed to be photocopied on both sides and folded in half. **Updated.**
It would be fun to send a packet home for each child with coloring pages and activity sheets, but we have a large primary! 100 packets with 10 pages each=1000 pages. (See, I do math!) It gets expensive quickly. Also, I’m not convinced most kids actually complete these packets: my boys never did. This one page sheet still gives the kids something to do and should serve to remind them to listen during conference.
We’ll also be emailing the parents with a link to the conference activity pages available on lds.org. I did a little round up of a few of my other conference favorites here.
There are lots of really great printables out there for General Conference. I thought I would pull together a few of my favorites!
Lds.org put together a packet, activity pages, and coloring pages. It’s at the top of my list. We’ll send this link out to the parents in our Primary the week before conference.
My favorite packet is this one from Kiki and Company. Nice clean lines, open for notes and coloring.
For older kids my favorite note taking sheets are the ones Nathan Richardson put together. I especially like his “So what?” section. Perfect for seminary kids.
Camille at Chicken Scratch n’ Sniff put together a printable paper chain to help in the countdown to conference. Each link has trivia or images that you read as you get closer to conference. I love this idea! A great way to introduce the family to some of the speakers they’ll be hearing during conference weekend.
Of course I’m including some of my own work here too My favorites are these one page note taking helps. There’s one for Priesthood and one for the Women’s session. They are still both labeled correctly since conference is the 185th session all year, but I updated the date on the Women’s Session. These are meant to be printed on both sides of one paper, then folded in half hot dog style.
I’ll be using this one page printable for the Women’s Session as both a notes page and a sort of reminder/invitation for my Primary friends. Remember that our 8-year-old sisters are invited to attend the Women’s Session–I’ll be handing this out to them as a reminder.
I’m loving this bookmark that I posted about last week.
I also still really like these labels. These are designed to be printed on Avery address labels and then used to help with taking notes. They will need to be updated after we learn who our two new apostles are, but the beauty of the labels is that they are adaptable–you can just use the ones you need. This set will still work for this fall.
Finally, my favorite worksheet for conference so far are these ones I designed for a Family Home Evening before conference. They correlate with this quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf about preparing questions for conference: “As you prepare for conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations.”
If you’re still looking for something different, I also put together an idea using Post-it notes for conference you might want to check out. And I made some printables to slip into a 4×6 photo booklet for conference last April. We had a lot of fun with those around my house this spring.
I also just added a one page printable that’s easy to photocopy for a big group of kids. (Like a Primary or a whole lotta cousins!)
I sat down to put together a worksheet for my Primary kids for General Conference and this is what came out. A bookmark! For teens or adults. Oh well! Sometimes you’ve just got to go with inspiration when it hits.
The content for this bookmark came from an lds.org article titled Ideas for Personal Study. I think most of the tips are intended for someone who is reviewing conference talks, but I like the idea of having this little bookmark handy with a notebook and a pencil *during* conference as well. We’re reminded to “take notes” during conference, but this little bookmark offers several very specific, original ways to think about the content that is being delivered. You could apply a different approach to each talk or keep a few running lists as you’re listening. I think this list is a good reminder that there are various simple ways to make conference a better, more individualized experience.
The bookmark is 3×7, with .5 inch around all the borders and in between each bookmark. Photocopy these onto colored card stock if you’re feeling fancy (a bright neon would be fun, I think).
Stay tuned for a Primary worksheet, I guess! I’ll be making one for our Primary and I’ll share it here too.
Hey there! It’s been a crazy week around here: four feverish boys, first week of preschool for my baby, two back-to-school nights. So I’m just getting around to pulling together sharing time for tomorrow. I really like keeping it as simple as I can. (Sometimes I have to restrain myself–I really enjoy going over the top!) I’ll be talking about John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
For the Junior Primary we’ll be discussing how to keep commandments. I have 10 images from an old Shauna Mooney Kawasaki sharing time book (love her) of kids keeping the commandments. We’re going to do a simple basketball game with a bucket and a ball. If they make the bucket they choose one of the images and we’ll talk about the commandment on the image. Super simple.
In the Senior Primary I’m looking forward to looking up the scriptures listed in the sharing time outline (Exodus 20:7, Exodus 20:8-10, Exodus 20:12, John 13:34-35, Mosiah 18:10, D&C 42:40-41). I’m sticking to the outline exactly, but I want them have their own copy of “My Gospel Standards” to work with. The only versions I could find were in full color. Ain’t nobody got time for that. (Translation: I can’t afford to print 40 in full color for a sharing time.) So I made my own super simple version of My Gospel Standards in black and white. It’s formatted 4 per page so I only have to make 10 copies for my whole senior primary. Hopefully they’ll keep it in their scriptures.
I won’t be using this tomorrow but I definitely think that I’m going to need a full page version of this one day. Here it is: