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Choose the Right Primary Program 2017

I promised a friend I’d share a version of our 2017 Primary program, “Choose the Right,” by the end of July! Ha. The last day of the month still counts, as we all know from Home and Visiting Teaching.

 

Today I’m sharing a copy of our program, available in Word or as a PDF. It’s more specific to our ward than the generic one I usually share for a couple of reasons. 1) I incorporated classroom experiences into the program. You’ll see what I mean if you read the program: one child from each class is sharing a story about something they learned in their Primary classroom. I think it’s a great way to share what the children learned during the year and really highlight the work our wonderful teachers are doing in a more public setting. 2) We had an ongoing program called the CTR Bear. Perhaps I’ll share more about that later this week. It’s sort of a twist on Flat Stanley, where a stuffed teddy bear with a CTR t-shirt goes home with one family per week. The family takes a few quick pics of the children “choosing the right” with the CTR bear and shares the pics on our private Facebook page. The kids report on their experience during Primary opening exercises. We have a  section where the kids report on their CTR Bear experience during the program. I doubt it will be applicable to you! You could switch these up for personalized lines from children about a time they chose the right. 3) We had a 10 Commandments Summer Challenge. So the kids are going to repeat the 10 Commandments as part of the program. I’m not sure if your primary did that? You could adjust a few of the lines and keep the same framework.

 

Please feel free to use, share, and copy.

I also put together an easy to photocopy program cover to be used on the day of the program. Fold them in half and place announcements and the bulletin info inside. These would be adorable colored in by the Primary kids. *Don’t use crayons if you’re going to run them through the copy machine AFTER they are colored in. The crayon will melt the copy machine.

There’s also a PDF of a quarter page invite/flyer. You’ll need Acrobat or a photo editor to adapt these for your ward.

Good luck friends!

Book of Mormon Doctrinal Mastery 2017

As promised, I put together a set of Doctrinal Mastery printables for The Book of Mormon. These are scriptural references that LDS seminary students will be studying during 2017.

Obviously these work well in a seminary classroom, but I use these often for FHE and this year I’ll be throwing them in letters and packages I send to my missionary son, too.

There’s also a set here that are sized to a quarter page. The first set is what I call “personal” so if you printed seven pages you’d have all 25.

And then this set is what I call a “classroom” set. It has only one scripture per page, so it’s 25 pages with four of the same scripture per page. It would work well if you wanted to print the smaller size off for a whole classroom.

Then there’s a quick one page printable with the icons and a summary phrase. I think this is perfect for study and review.

I know I’ve mentioned before how much I appreciate seminary teachers. They played a fundamental role in my son Josh’s testimony. I know it’s different depending on the person and the circumstance, but for a variety of reasons Josh’s seminary teachers were much more influential on him than his Young Men or Sunday School leaders. I am so grateful seminary filled the void.

When I make any additions to the Book of Mormon Doctrinal Mastery set, I’ll just add them to this post. I find it makes Pinterest link backs easier and keeps everything in one spot. So the next variation is the condensed one-page printable. The text is very small but if your printer is worth it’s salt, it’ll be readable.

The Living Christ Printables

I was moved during conference this year at the mention of the document The Living Christ. I always feel nourished and encouraged by a focus on our Savior, never more so than during the Easter season. In celebration of the holiday, I resized this special document into three poster sizes: 24×36, 18×24, and 8.5×11. These larger sizes should be easy to print as engineering prints at your local copy shop.

I’m playing with the idea of memorizing it together as a family. Title included, it’s 731 words. I liked all the ideas that this blogger implemented: check out her methods for memorization. I am thinking we’ll go a little more low key and put an engineering print on the wall and use washi tape to “black” out sections as we learn them.

And finally, here’s one that’s two per-page. The ratio of the document does not exactly work to fit the standard 5×7 scripture size, but they’ll turn out to be smaller than a standard size so they’ll fit nicely anyway.

My 5 Favorite Fonts and How to Use Them

I get a lot of questions about which font is used on various printable sets on the site. It makes me laugh a little because my font preferences and choices are so predictable–and rather consistent. I seem to reuse about 5 fonts all the time. I’ve included links but they’re all really easy to find online.

First. I love all variations of Montserrat. But I do spend a lot of time on tracking with this font which basically means I like to spread out the letters in each word. In Adobe this means tweaking the character tracking–it’s usually at about 100. In a program like Word you can easily accomplish the same thing by finding a feature called Character Spacing. Your goal is to spread out the word horizontally. It makes the difference you can see below.

Open Sans is my workhorse and it’s another free Google font. It looks great online. It has a completely different feel if you use it all caps or mixed case. It also looks vastly different depending on the thickness of the line. When I have a fancy font or script for a headline, I always pair it with Open Sans for balance. It’s kind of like beige house paint: it doesn’t attract attention and it’s not fancy, but it covers up endless mistakes. If I’m searching for a good match for any other font, I always start with Open Sans and move from there.

Both Montserrat and Open Sans are also incredibly useful because of how many options you can employ. And you can almost always confidently blend different versions (thin, italic, bold, etc) of the same font in every single way and still come out a winner! Right now the Thick/Thin trick is being used all the time, like the headline you see below:

It’s just Montserrat Semibold and Montserrat Light. I would use this with a straight face as a title on almost anything. Here’s another example of this trick in action that I noticed on Friday:

This Thick/Thin trick is everywhere right now.

Museo Slab is an old favorite. It’s based on a font called Archer which was designed originally for Martha Stewart’s magazine. I think this was the first font I paid for! It has a little more personality than the first two fonts, so I use it more sparingly. It feels like a modern take on traditional.

Every once in a while I need a swoopy, fancy script. My go to fonts are Wisdom Script and Sign Painter. A couple of important notes on these kinds of fonts: never use tracking (never spread out your letters) on a font that is connected like these. You can see an example with Wisdom Script, above. Those cute little connecting swoops look terrible when they’re not correctly linked up. I find that I often need to size up when I am using these fonts: they are hard to read if they are small.

Sign Painter has recently replaced an old favorite: Coffee Service. Check it out if you think it’s more precisely your style.

I do have a couple of go-to traditional fonts. Trajan Pro and Garamond. Sometimes you just need something that looks a little more conventional.

Finally, a tip on mixing fonts. There is a general rule of thumb floating around that it’s best to combine a Serif with a San Serif font (lots more on that idea here). It’s a good start. On top of that principle, chew on this: everything you’ve learned about matching your clothes or the pillows on your couch applies to your font choice too. Unless they really *match, closely related colors have a high risk of clashing. Colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel have a good chance of complementing each other. There’s a similar principle at play with fonts: very simple looks cool with very fancy. They’re at opposite ends of the complementary font style wheel, so to speak. A fancy, swoopy font is like the color red: you can use it but a little goes a long way. Unless you’re a professional, don’t try to do an all red room. You’re probably going to produce a monstrosity. Same thing with fonts: avoid using lots of fancy fonts (even if it’s the same one). Very tricky unless you’re a professional.

*Like I mentioned earlier, you can also mix up all kinds of variations of the same font and it all goes together well (almost always).

When in doubt, keep it simple and you’ll be just fine.

Women’s Session Notes Pages, Undated

I’ve had several requests to produce a Women’s Session Notes Page that is not dated. Also inspired by the recent adjustment to the Relief Society purpose statement I changed up the quotes and added the new statement. The notes pages are meant to be printed two sided, then folded in half along the long side. I left tons of space around the edges to accommodate even the most persnickety printer: note also that you could easily add your ward or stake name (or the date) on the top or bottom of the front page.

Please print, copy, share, enjoy!

Simple Missionary Family Home Evening Ideas

Next month the youth in our ward are participating in a missionary month. The Young Women and Young Men leaders have planned special lessons and activities to help familiarize them with missionary life. Many of these will take place on Sunday, others will replace weekly mutual activities. Some of these activities will naturally include our Primary children: families will be inviting youth to their homes for dinner, just like the real missionaries. Families will also be taught by the youth as they practice sharing the gospel.

To help make this missionary month a more full family experience, we’re switching March to the November Sharing Time theme: I Can Choose to Be a Missionary Now. Our sharing time lessons will be pulled from November. We’re also going to send home the following one-page outline with several simple ideas for Family Home Evening. It’s meant to be photocopied and folded in half. I pulled the story from The Friend (July 2016) and the other resources from various spots on lds.org.

It’s so simple that I thought I’d share it below.

Choose the Sprite gift tags

 

I like the way my “Choose the Rite” logo tag turned out so I’m sharing it here. It’s meant to be attached to a bottle or can of Sprite! I am using one that is black and white printed on yellow card stock (clean and cheap, just the way I like it).

There’s a full size version PDF below (if you want the jpeg, just right click on the image above and save it, sweetie). There’s also a full page version with nine of these images per page that you could easily cut into nine separate tags. Easy.

Are you into the full color? It’s available below.

We give a small token gift to our Primary kids on their birthday! In 2014 we did pencils and silicone CTR rings. Last year we did these fun whack-a-pack self inflating balloons. This year every kid is getting a vinyl CTR sticker in one form or another. I ordered them from Heather at JDM Designs. They were inexpensive (about $25 for 100 vinyl stickers). Email her for more info: heather@myjdmdesigns.com.

My original idea was to give everyone a block with the CTR sticker on it. Something decorative you could put by your bedside or at your desk–something that would just show up around the house and remind kids to choose the right. But when my 11-year-old saw the vinyl sticker he wanted to stick it on his phone, on his mirror, on his notebook. Basically he was way more interested in the vinyl sticker and way less interested in the block. So I quickly switched gears and decided to give the Senior Primary the vinyl sticker itself… with a small can of Sprite, just to make it fun.

And that’s why I have “Remember to Choose the …rite” gift tags 🙂

 

2016 Cub Scout Updates

Cub Scouts just revamped their whole program. Fun!

Below you’ll find updated tracking sheets as well as a “Welcome to Cubs” booklet. It’s designed specifically for LDS Cub Scout packs, so there is no Tiger tracking and there is Religious Knot and LDS Faith in God info too. If you’re interested in a one-page Faith in God printable, I created one that is available here.

The biggest difference is that there are 3 fewer adventures required during the Webelos/Arrow of Light year, but they also shifted and reorganized almost all of the other requirements for every adventure in all three dens. Why not? The details are here and the FAQ’s are here.

Just to be clear, though, the ENTIRE program is now different. For example, check out Call of the Wild for Wolves, old compared to new. You can’t say to your den “Complete Requirement 6 in Call of the Wild.” They are completely different with this revamp. I would say about 80% of the requirements and advancements have been reshuffled and changed. I don’t think the changes will feel very different to the boys–the activities they do at den meetings will feel about the same. But the organization and tracking is VASTLY different. All the printed materials are obsolete. This is not a minor shift. Heads up.

screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-5-13-27-pm

Here’s the one-page update. This one page could follow one (LDS) child through his whole Cub Scout career. Assuming that the Cub Scouts don’t revamp the entire program again in one year. There’s also some space for various electives at the bottom. Click to get the printable below.

2016-individual-cub-tracking

Then I’ve got one sheet for each pack: the Wolf and Bear dens have three tracking boxes per page. The Webelos/Arrow of Light pack has two per page. These are better suited for use with a whole den. You could fit 2-3 boys per page.

I like the simple pamphlet I put together for our pack. It explains Cubs in very broad strokes. It’s updated with the new details. It’s designed to be printed in color, two-sided, and then folded in half. I like to use this at our Baptism Preview.

2016-welcome-to-cubs

welcome-to-cubs-interior

Good luck!

 

My Gospel Standards printable posters

my-gospel-standards-printable-postersI pulled the images and format from the My Gospel Standards printables into three sizes of black and white posters. The first one is just standard letter size–easy to print and photocopy. The other sizes should all be inexpensive and easy to print at your copy shop–we’ll be using the black and white on a bulletin board in my ward!

The 24×36 size should be printed as an “engineering print” and should be about $4.

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