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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!

Home and Visiting Teaching Calling Cards

I had a fantastic request from a reader named Jim who is figuring out his calling as a Home Teaching supervisor. He wants cards that he can give to families in his ward to inform them of their home teachers. We often assign the teachers but leave the families wondering who is supposed to come by for a visit–his idea is to encourage visits by getting everyone the information. I think it’s a really useful idea and I quickly agreed to put one together. You can see the general idea below.

Of course the initial request spawned several variations. First, here’s what I came up with for Jim’s original request. They are designed four per page, meant to be cut in half twice.

There’s a copy below that you can simply print, cut, and fill out. I also made a version that is an *editable* PDF. To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of luck with these in the past–I find there’s a lot of variables that I can’t properly account for. Please let me know in the comments if they are working for you!

I layered in 5 text boxes to fill in. The way it worked for me is that clicking on the green box below spawned a new box in Safari. I was then able to click inside each box on the form and fill it out. I think it would be smart to “Save As” when you are finished filling one set out. You might have to do up to 10 pages for all 40 families you have assigned Home Teachers.

This has also worked well for me with Adobe Acrobat.

Next there’s a nearly identical version for Visiting Teaching.

I wanted a similar one for Visiting Teaching but with a different quote. This is still designed to give to the sister who is being visit taught (so she will know who her visiting teachers are).

Alright, so now that the specific request is covered (I hope that works for you, Jim!) I wanted to put together a similar card meant for the Visiting or Home Teachers. There’s a spot for the Sister who is being assigned or called on the far right (write it in vertically) and room for a companion and three sisters to visit. The editable version has text boxes for these spaces *except for the vertical sister being assigned. Sorry! Editable forms do not rotate to run vertical.

Also, please note that I left these blanks very open to accommodate your adaptations. In the three rows I would include the name of the sister, her phone number and email on the second line (the one with an @) and then a birthday on the third line. You also have room for an address, but honestly, doesn’t everyone just use LDS Tools for all those details? You could choose different info if it works better for your Relief Society.

Samesies for Home Teaching.

 

 

Book Review: Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families

Go Buy This Book!

My Mormonism runs deep in my bones: it is the faith of my fathers. My life’s work–my children–is bearing the fruit of this faith. Undeniably one of the more unique aspects of my religion is the doctrine of family. A child of divorced parents, a great-great-great-grandchild of polygamists and pioneers: my understanding of family has been subject to a mature interpretation of Mormonism itself. Capturing the clarity of our doctrine on family while simultaneously allowing room for the complexity of true family life is this lovely book by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, the authors of Girls Who Choose God.

Families Counsel Together

 

The book is not a narrative story: it’s organized around fifteen key ideas that would easily lend themselves to lessons for Family Home Evening, Primary Sharing Time or Visiting Teaching. Short paragraphs support these key ideas, reinforced by quotes from leaders. Similar to their earlier books, each key idea also includes questions that provoke discussion and thought. For example, in the section titled “Families Creat and Celebrate,” the questions include: How do you create with your family? What is one of your favorite family traditions? And, what tradition would you like to start? The quote is from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Our birthright… is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things….Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before–colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.”

Families Work and Play

It’s hard to over exaggerate how lovely the illustrations are, all by Caitlin Connolly. Each one is imbued with rich symbolism and imagery that complements the key idea at hand. The art is a stark departure from much recent work for LDS children. It is so much more brave and opinionated. It reminds me of the kind of art work in My Turn on Earth: memorable, evocative and bold. Highly stylized, but purposeful. I love it.

Our Heavenly Family, Our Earthly Families is exactly the kind of book I am happy to support in every way and will treasure in my home for years to come. Pick up a copy online or at your local church bookstore.

2016 Spring General Conference Printables

There were a lot of changes last fall, so I updated most of my conference printables to reflect the addition of three new apostles.

Labels for Conference 2016

First up, the labels for conference. These are some of my favorites: meant to be printed on Avery 5160 address labels (1 x 2 5/8 inches), they add a little bit of fun to General Conference note taking. They are super flexible and could be used for all ages. One sheet has general leaders and a second sheet has pictures of topics that are likely to be covered during conference. The idea is that you could affix a label at the top of your page and then take notes below. A few years ago I printed copies of these labels for my Primary class and sent them home along with a small notebook and pencils.

If, for some reason, you’re having trouble with the PDF’s above, I re-saved them as lighter files below. I think the resolution looks fine, check them out.


I updated these labels for Fall 2016: this PDF includes the new General Primary Presidency.

One Page Conference coloring page 2016

Next is a one page conference coloring page. There are lots of conference “packets” out there, but if you’re making copies for a whole Primary with 100 kids, copies get expensive quickly! This printable is just two pages, meant to be copied front to back and folded in half. It’s very simple but provides some opportunities to color and doodle.

Note Pages for Conference

I also have a couple of note taking sheets intended for the Women’s General Meeting and the Priesthood Meeting. Both of these meetings are held on Saturday nights and my experience has been that I am often responsible for younger friends attending these meetings with me! Which means I like to bring something to help them direct their attention to the speakers and topics addressed, like a simple page to take notes. There are two available, both intended to be photocopied front to back and then folded in half hot dog style (long).

I was searching for different quotes for the Women’s Meeting notes pages but I ended up being happy with the ones I already used. However, I found the following quotes related to covenants that I really liked. Just for you!

Sisters, strengthen yourselves by seeking the source of true strength—the Savior. Come unto him. He loves you. He desires your happiness and exults in your desires for righteousness. Make him your strength, your daily companion, your rod and your staff. Let him comfort you. There is no burden we need bear alone. His grace compensates for our deficiencies. Your strength will strengthen others— your children, your husband, your friends, and your sisters in the gospel. That strength will flow back from them to you when you need it.

Chieko N. Okazaki, Strength in the Savior, Ensign, Nov. 1993

Covenants can keep us and those we love spiritually safe and spiritually prepared by putting first things first. For instance, when it comes to families, we cannot afford indifference and distraction.

Bonnie D. Parkin, Oct 2002

What a different world and Church this would be if every Latter-day Saint sister excelled at making, renewing, and keeping covenants; if every sister qualified for a temple recommend and worshipped more often in temples; if every sister studied the scriptures and doctrines of Christ and knew them so well that she could teach and defend those doctrines at any time or place. Think of our combined strength if every sister…prayed unceasingly as the Lord has commanded. If every family had family prayer daily and had a family home evening once a week, we would be stronger. If every sister was self-reliant enough to be able to give freely of her knowledge, talents, and resources and if every sister’s discipleship was reflected by what she said and what she wore, we would be immovable in that which is correct.

Julie B. Beck, What Latter-day Saint Women Do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable, Ensign, Nov 2007

Sisters, prepare yourselves and your families to receive the blessings of the covenant. We do this by keeping the commandments, by seeking the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, and by transforming our beliefs into action.

Barbara W. Winder, Striving Together: Transforming Our Beliefs into Action, Ensign, Nov 1984

28 Thanksgiving Scriptures and Thoughts

Edit:

Hey friends! I’m reposting this from last year because I don’t want to replace it with anything better! I still like this printable very much. There are 28 quotes and scriptures on gratitude that can help focus your thoughts this season (and would also be perfect to “ponderize”). Consider this thought from Thomas S. Monson: “My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.”

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! There’s also a file at the bottom with all seven pages in one file.

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

Thanksgiving1

Thanksgiving2

Thanksgiving3

Thanksgiving4

Thanksgiving5

Thanksgiving 6

Thanksgiving7

 

Favorite General Conference Printables

Favorite Conference PrintablesThere 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.

Notes Pages

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.

Get More Out of Confernce bookmarks

I’m loving this bookmark that I posted about last week.

Labels for General ConferenceI 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.

Labels for Conference (this one has people) and one with Topics

Questions for Conference Questions for Conference for kids

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.”

Conference photo booklet

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!)

 

 

 

Get More Out of Conference bookmark

Get More Out of Confernce bookmarks

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.

Stuff I Like for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day gets quite a bit of press around here, for a few reasons. First, I have to come up with something for the women in my life. So it’s on my mind.

Second, it’s always a thing at church. I’ve put together Mother’s Day gifts for the whole ward before and I know a lot of wards continue this tradition. I’ve helped Primary children DIY crafts for their mom for at least ten years, on and off. Mother’s Day celebrations are part of Mormon life.

Third, I’m doing my part to defend the family! I’m only partly kidding. I know a lot of people have complex feelings about motherhood and mothering and commercialism and Mother’s Day, but I really believe that it’s worthwhile to try to be the kind of person to celebrate the day. I think it’s the moral high ground to set aside any grievances and find joy in the Primary children singing to the most important woman in their life. If Mother’s Day is difficult, well, I think it’s good for the soul to strive to be a bigger person by smiling for others who do get joy from Mother’s Day. I say this as one who has shed a tear or two on Mother’s and Father’s Day. Ignoring or minimizing Mother’s Day does no good for the cause of family and women.

Blah blah blah: you’ve heard this all before. Too much chit chat? Down to the nitty gritty. If you’re still on the search for something for Mother’s Day, this post is a big fat round up just for you.

Mother's Day Printable Tags

Mother’s Day for the Ward

If you’re going to do something for every woman in the ward, just make it chocolate. Personally, I would prefer a Diet Coke with pebble ice on Mother’s Day (and every Sunday, honestly) but then there are the Pepsi lovers! Too much conflict. Plants suck. Cut flowers don’t even make it out to the car. Cookies or dipped strawberries just feel like a consolation prize and they’re never really good or fresh. Just get some good chocolate, anything German, or Rittersport mini’sDove chocolate; or Lindt Lindor’s. Don’t get those Ghirardelli chocolate squares. They suck.

I created the super simple tag, above, that is easy to photocopy (black and white) and attach to anything at all because it just says “Happy Mother’s Day.” The square one is here and the oval one is here.

mothers-day-questionaire-sm-1

Mother’s Day with Kids

I’ve been in Primary forever, so I’m always on the lookout for projects to do quickly and with a whole bunch of kids. I always get a kick out of the questionnaires. I keep the ones my kids make for me and put them in my scrapbook. I like the one above, but there are lots of options. I’ve always liked Martha’s Mother’s Day newspaper printable. Please don’t do those coupon books. I have never once been able to redeem them successfully. They are the “non-gift” gift.

Awesome Mothers Day Certificate

I am also a fan of Mother’s Day certificates. I made a couple last year. Some for the kids to customize with crayons. One meant to be printed in full color.

Mother's Day Acrostic Coloring PagesI also really love this acrostic poem printable from last year (and the kids can color it in).  Check it out here.

Leave messages for your Mom on her Car

For teens, I like the window chalk option that I just posted about this week. Honestly, though, my favorite thing to get from my teenaged boys are funny cards. I like to see what they think is funny.

Mother’s Day for Real

Every few years, it feels like it’s time to do a really heartfelt Mother’s Day gift for Mom or Grandma. Whenever I get that feeling, I know it’s time to break out the vintage photos. Scrapbooks, photo garlands, family tree art, family artwork: all just different versions of presenting vintage photos. I think there’s nothing better.

Custom jewelry is a nice option too: Vintage Pearl has lots of great options, customized bracelets are great (you could get one for each name of the kids), and Etsy has just endless options available for customized jewelry.

I think it is sometimes nice to choose something that’s personal but not necessarily “child” oriented, like a necklace with moms name on it (see Grace Personalized for tons of cool choices) or something from her hometown or state. (What about a t-shirt from Stately Type?)

 

Family History and Photo Management

Photo Store and ShareEven though I think I am disinterested in Family History, it turns out I do Family History all the time. Because I spend quite a lot of time keeping track of our family photos and ephemera. Which for me = scrapbooking.

I was asked to share my strategies on this topic at an evening Relief Society meeting tonight: I made this worksheet to send home with the ladies. I think photo management comes down to Storing and Sharing.

To sum up, I basically use Smugmug for long term/archival style photo storage and iPhoto to gather photos. I think it’s very important to make photos as accessible as possible, by having them available both digitally and as printed photographs. I also think it’s best to use a variety of storage possibilities, both cloud services and physical storage like hard drives and USB style items. I believe this limits risk of loss.

The archivists at the Library of Congress agree. They recommend the 3-2-1 rule: Keep at least 3 copies on 2 different types of media, with at least 1 copy in an entirely different location (to prevent loss from fire/flood/theft, etc). Click here for more information on Personal Digital Archiving.

I also think that our purposes in sorting and organizing photos has fundamentally shifted. For our parents and grandparents, holding on to and preserving an identifiable photo was the most important goal. Because photos were rare and clear, crisp photos were even more elusive.

For my generation, I think the goal is editing the vast volumes of available images. If things continue at anything close to the current pace, there will be hundreds of thousands of photos of Jonah by the time he hits middle age. I can’t imagine anyone, even a wife or child, who would be interested in sifting through that kind of volume of images, no matter how well organized or slick the database or slideshow. The sheer number will eventually make photos inaccessible. The digital revolution and the ease of storing and sharing photos has made it more important than ever to choose and distinguish the very best shots to preserve. And to keep that number within a reasonable range.

So there is some tension between storing everything and editing it to a manageable volume. You’ll have to find the right balance for you and your family.

My friend Anita has spent quite a bit of time on family history for her ancestors. She asserts that every life needs only 6-10 images: a cute baby or toddler photo, an image as a child or teen, a photo of the family they came from, a glamorous or professional bridal or mission age photo, a wedding photo, a picture of the family they created, a photo in middle age, and perhaps an elderly photo.

I believe Anita is right! And I think that should take the pressure off anyone who is worried about comprehensive or chronological scrapbooking. Additionally, I believe long life histories mostly go unread! I think a 10 page life history is more than enough. And it should include lists, not just text. If you’d like to write a memoir or more comprehensive life history, I think that’s a lovely achievement, but I don’t think it should replace the shorter life history. I think the shorter life history is more likely to connect with grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

If you’d like to store and share your photos, I think the worksheet above provides several good options. But keep in mind the long view and purpose of family history (think short).

 

 

Women’s Session Notes Pages Spring 2015

I like to have a simple “notes page” to take to the Women’s Session. It helps me to keep my thoughts focused when I have something in my hands. I’ve made a few of these notes pages in the past. This year I decided to make one that is easy to photocopy (black and white). It’s two pages but it’s meant to be printed or photocopied front to back and then folded in half, hot dog style.

Womens Session Notes Pages Spring 2015Instead of making it all lined, I sectioned it off into rectangles. It seems like this would make more sense for the kind of notes (and doodles!) I like to pencil in. Also, I think the front is conducive for doodling (and patterns) too! If you wind up using this note page and doodle all over it, please send me a copy! I’d love to see it in action in your hands. Just snap a picture with your phone and send it to me at greendavis at gmail.com. Or instagram it! I’m @rachel_evans_davis.

I’ll be making another one of these for the Priesthood Session on the 5th. My 16-year-old probably won’t use it, but I think my 12-year-old would appreciate it 🙂

I just updated this for Fall 2015, click below for one with the new date. You might want to check out other printables for conference–a did a round up over here.

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