TBT Osmond Family, Improvement Era June 1970

My family lived overseas during my elementary school years, so there are significant gaps in my cultural memory. The Osmond’s are one example of a big hole. Donnie? Marie? No idea. I get that they had big teeth and a singing variety show, but I don’t even remotely understand the phenomenon.

But I know there are plenty of Mormons (women, especially, most pushing 60, right?) who still harbor a special adoration for Donnie. This throwback is just for them, an ad from the June 1970 Improvement Era featuring the Osmond family: pre television show, I assume, because they were still willing to shill for an audio tape company from Ogden, Utah. Or was it their own company? The gadget featured is a tape recorder called an Osbro.

I love the line below the family names “Virl & Tom on Missions when Photo Taken.” It just couldn’t go unsaid. Ha.

As a mother of four boys myself, this photo makes me exhausted. I can’t help but see tiredness in the bags under Olive’s eyes. So many boys!

Osmond Family june 1970 Improvement eraIt’s another interesting example of Mormons utilizing “new” media.

28 Thanksgiving Scriptures and Thoughts

28 Thanksgiving Scriptures and Quotes

Every year I struggle to stay fully present through the Thanksgiving season. It’s so easy to get swept up into Halloween and Christmas, but I love the joys of gratitude and abundance that come from a fully realized Thanksgiving. This year I put together a few dozen scriptures and quotes to help me focus on feelings of thanks during the next month. Although Thanksgiving is on the 27th of November this year, there are 28 in total because there are four per page! Sorry this is not one file–I wasn’t able to combine the PDF’s and maintain a high enough resolution with a low enough file size. #wordpressproblems

E-mail me if you want one that has all seven pages.

Please feel free to print and share. I think these would be lovely to print and give to your Visiting Teaching sisters. Happy Thanksgiving!






Thanksgiving 6



Thanksgiving Sharing Time for Primary

Primary Show & Share

I love the holiday season, but I love it best when my kids feel a sense of gratitude for what they have and for what is coming. I am always on the lookout for ways to encourage gratitude, so when I was working in Primary I was pondering how to nurture it around Thanksgiving one year. And then it hit me–so simple and so awesome–a Primary Show and Tell! We sent home little invitations three weeks before our planned Sunday, making parents aware of our plan by including announcements in Relief Society, EQ and the Sacrament Program.

The day of our Sharing Time could not have been more simple. We had each class come to the front together, then share a favorite object or toy and express their gratitude. If the kids forgot their toy/object, they were allowed to just talk about what they were grateful for. No problem. It was sometimes silly, but mostly it bound us together with love for one another and all of the gifts God had given us! It was such an amazing way to get to know the children, too. I felt closer to them and they felt closer to each other.

I don’t remember doing this, but if I was planning this sharing time again, I would include a scripture or quote about gratitude to read in between each class. Later this week I’ll have a printable with dozens of scriptures and quotes about gratitude: stay tuned, they would be perfect for this sharing time.

And I’ve included a simple invitation for a Show and Share for the kids. It’s designed to be printed on half a page so you could include it in your sacrament program if you’d like.

We Give Thanks, O Lord

We Give Thanks, O LordThis week I am jumping ahead a little with several Thanksgiving and gratitude posts. I know we’ll all be busy with Halloween, so just pin these ideas and printables to review next week if you need to! I wanted to get this all kicked off this week because I have a couple of ideas that may need a little extra time to prepare: a Thanksgiving Sharing Time and a bunch of gratitude quotes and scriptures to carry you through the month of November.  Stay tuned…

Buy Yourself a New Bra (Giveaway)


Giveaway is closed! Thanks for participating. Whether or not you won, please pay a little extra attention to breast cancer this month.

As I mentioned last week, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month which is why the blog background is pink. In celebration of the work so many are doing to eradicate breast cancer and as encouragement to take care of yourself with preventive care and self monitoring, I’m hosting a bra giveaway.

I thought a lot about how exactly to set this up. What I’ve decided is that I’m going to send a $50 Visa gift card to my winner. I sort of wanted to buy a Victoria’s Secret card but I know plenty of women (like me) who would much rather buy 3 bras at Target instead. If you win the card, you *must* send me a selfie of yourself (fully clothed) and your new bra. You can hold it, or wear it, or put it on your head. It can be a lacy, frilly, underwire confection or a sports bra: I don’t care as long as you have spent a little time taking care of your ta-ta’s. (My friend Katie, a breast cancer survivor, calls her breasts ta-ta’s and I love it.)

How to enter this contest: just leave a comment here, only one per person, please. Make sure your e-mail is part of your profile so I can contact you if you’re the winner. I’ll pick one winner with a random number generator. This contest will close on October 24 at midnight California time. Terms and conditions are subject to change at my whim ;)

If you want to thank me for this giveaway, go get yourself a mammogram, schedule a check up with your GP, or at the very least, do a self check.

PS: I have to approve your comment before you can see it (cuz spam) so don’t worry if you leave a comment but you can’t see it right away.

Tips for Seminary Teachers

Seminary Powerpoint Lessons

My 16-year-old is having a great year in seminary. I’m so grateful for the time and effort his teacher puts in to helping create a spiritual experience for my kid. I think teaching Seminary is a grueling schedule, so I have a special appreciation for anyone who is serving our youth in this way.

In case you’re here looking for help for your seminary class, I wanted to point you to another resource that you might find useful: He posts PowerPoint slideshows for the seminary lessons he prepares, along with lots of tips and ideas for managing a Seminary class. He also has some great scripture mastery quizzes, study helps, and class activities. Obviously, it’s great for seminary teachers, but I think there is lots to help anyone who is teaching the youth in Sunday School, Young Men, or Young Women. Brother Richards has also been working on an amazing list of “Seminary Teaching Tips,” which I think would be great for newly called seminary teachers. Stay tuned for a printable and post on that in a couple of weeks!

TBT CTR Lesson Extras

CTR Kit Cover

The Throwback Thursday item this week is a fabulous, complete set of CTR Lesson extras. They come attached to a little notepad and then they’re slipped into this great green folder. They look like they’re designed to be peeled off for various lessons during the year. It makes sense that this would be a relatively cost effective way to distribute worksheets before every ward had a photocopy or mimeograph machine. I don’t have a date, but the CTR logo started being used in 1970. Click through for images of the rest of the booklet–it’s lovely!

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Career Interest Inventory

Career Interest Inventory printable

About ten years ago while we lived in Colorado I was a counselor in Young Women with a president named Julie Cox. She was a great YW leader! Once she taught a lesson about preparing for a career and kicked off the discussion with this Career Interest Inventory. I’ve kept a tattered photocopy for all these years and I knew at some point I would want to polish it up and share it here.

It’s not comprehensive or conclusive (no career quiz can *really* tell you what to do for the rest of your life) but I really like the lists of career opportunities and categories–I think they are eye opening. I also think self quizzes are a practical way to invite some self reflection.

This quiz would be useful for various lessons in Young Women or Young Men or for Family Home Evening. The printable is two full pages (copy them back to back if you can) and a page with two half-page sheets to make it easier to total up your answers.


Super Simple Tip: Easy FHE

Super Simple FHEAs with all of the “super simple” tips I post, I wonder if it’s worth sharing because it’s so extremely simple! If nothing else, hopefully this one can be a reminder of just how simple Family Home Evening can be. Simple enough to actually execute, week after week.

After hearing the gentle prodding at conference a couple of weeks ago, Randy and I recommitted to Family Home Evening. We had fallen out of the habit after our move, but really, there are always plenty of reasons why FHE won’t fit into a busy family schedule. That’s just life. I’ve come to believe that being brave enough to try again even after failing repeatedly (at FHE, at daily scripture study, at family prayer, at home or visiting teaching) is the most essential quality of a Latter-day saint. Consistency is hard. We are bound to slip up. We just have to be willing to try and try again.

Anyway. I’m easing myself back into the routine with a super simple FHE: this is the way we used to hold Family Home Evening for years. We don’t have a family chart with FHE jobs. Usually what happens is I’m in the middle of making dinner and I ask the kid who is bugging his brother to please prepare the FHE lesson instead. That child chooses a picture from the gospel art kit, reads the corresponding scripture and prepares to tell the family the story in his own words. Actual prep time is about 3 minutes. If the kid is especially whiny, it could take up to 10 minutes.

We usually hold FHE right after dinner, when everyone is still in one place. Sometimes it’s even at the table before the plates have been cleared! We usually pray, sometimes we sing, sometimes another child gets to choose a family game to play (tag is a favorite–go figure), sometimes we have treats, but a lot of the time, it’s just the scripture story.

That’s it!

At least 50% of our Family Home Evenings are centered around Gospel Art pictures. I love these spiral bound versions available at Distribution (they’re great for a Sunday bag, too) and the Nursery manuals on the left are also fantastic for quick FHE lessons.

TBT Meet the Mormons

Meet the Mormons Cover

Based on box office numbers, most of you have already seen the movie Meet the Mormons! I read that President Monson suggested the title, based on a film he’d used for missionary work in the ’70’s. The book I’m posting for Throwback Thursday today was published first in 1965 by Deseret Book. It’s about 8.5 x 11 inches, 1/2 inch thick, in full color with nice glossy pages. I had heard that it was related to the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York, but I haven’t been able to find any concrete evidence of that rumor.

It does seem like the World’s Fair impacted the church’s approach to missionary work in some ways: an article here at the Mormon Newsroom and here in the Church News are informative. It was after the World’s Fair that we started using replicas of the Christus statue. It was at the World’s Fair that they discovered how much it helped missionary work to pass out Book of Mormons (although at the time they sold them for .50 each!). Based on what I’ve read, it feels like the World’s Fair taught many leaders and future leaders the value of reaching people in their own language, metaphorically: with updated media materials and film instead of black and white pamphlets and dense charts. It feels like this book, Meet the Mormons, is an attempt to continue in that mode of proselytizing outreach. It’s generally quite light on text, especially compared to a lot of the stuff I’m reading from the 50’s. And it has plenty of pictures.

Click through for more golden vintage Mormonism…

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