Monday, October 8, 2012

Gift Making: Bead & Fabric Necklace (Serving Others)

For this activity we made necklaces with fabric and wooden bead balls. Our plan was for each of the girls to make 2 and be able to have a second one to give away as a gift... turned out only having time to make one, but I think the girls were very happy with thier one :).

What you will need:

  1. Pieces of fabric that are about 3 inches wide and 40 inches long (or how long the fabric comes). Bascially very long and skinny pieces. A tip: the smaller the print, the cuter the necklace. Where the piece is only 3 inches wide, you only get to really see the fabric if the print is smaller. Small polka-dot and stripes seem to be really cute.
  2. Beads that are about 20 mm. This is the best deal I could find for them online:
  3. Sewing machine and thread
  4. And if you're really good... an iron (we skipped ironing)
What you do:

  1. Fold the piece of fabric in half the long way and sew it together with the wrong side out
  2. Using a safety pin to help feed through, put the fabric right side out
  3. Now that you have a tube, put some beads in the tube and tie knots between them
  4. After you have your beads where you want, sew the two ends together... and Voila!

One of the girls sporting a few of the necklaces. Sorry it's blurry!

Sewing the fabric together. It was important to me that each girl did the sewing themselves. Some of the girls were nervous while others were experienced sewers. I think it was really good for the girls who have never used one before... some of them were at least able to learn that there is a peddle that drives the machine. 

The smaller the print on the fabric, the better you will be able to see it once it's a necklace

A very pregnant me helping one of the girls turn her fabric right side out.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Article of Faith PowerPoint

At my house, we have our computer hooked up to our TV. I have been doing this for a while but it just occurred to me to put this on the blog. Its really nice when some of the girls get to activity days a little early, or if we finish early... to have this up for the girls to look at. Basically it's a PowerPoint to help them learn their Articles of Faith where I take more and more words away with each slide. Here is an example of Article of Faith 1:

*** UPDATE *** I have put these calendars on my new ETSY, along with many of the other files!! If you would like these files, along with many of my other files right away... you can visit:

Articles of Faith Pass Off

Last year we had an Article of Faith Tournament where the girls were able to pass off quite a bit of their Articles of Faith. We are going to do that again this year and in preparation for that I made an Article of Faith Pass-Off for them. I did it in Word, so if anyone would like me to e-mail to them, let me know. Here is what it looks like in Word:

 I fit two per page and last year we bought little star stickers so the girls could put a sticker on each article they passed off. If you don't want to get stickers though... you can just color in the star. So I printed this off, trimmed the edges and glued it on pink card-stock.

And Voila! Each girl can have their very own pass-off list with the articles to reference. If I were really good, I would get these laminated and I would have made it a little smaller ( like I did last year) so the girls could fit it in their scriptures... but this year I wanted the text to be a little bigger.

*** UPDATE ***

I have put these calendars on my new ETSY, along with many of the other files!! If you would like these files, along with many of my other files right away... you can visit:

Frame The Proclamation on the Family (Developing Talents)

For this activity, we got free copies of the The Proclamation on the Family from the distribution center and then got poster board that we cut in half. The girls decorated the poster board around the proclamation with what thier family meant to them. We told them to decorate it with what thier family is now and what they want thier family to be someday.
We also read a few sections of the Proclamation and talked about it for a minute. Here is what some of the girls came up with:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

“I am a child of God” Plaque (Basic Requirements)

I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows to late.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I'll live with hime once more.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.

For this activity we made "I am a child of God" plaques! Because the only thing we didn't have already (paper, glue, scissors...) or got for free (wood) was the "I am a child of God" di-cuts, each girl got to make a plaque for a total of $5! What you would need:

  • Wood (I used some wood that my parents had left over from building their house)
  • Scrapbook paper, colored paper
  • Ribbon, stickers, bows... whatever you would like to decorate them.
  • Glue
  • "I am a child of God" di-cut (my sister has a machine and made them for us. She charged us for the materials - $5. I'm sure you can buy them or just use letter stickers)
  • Scissors
So at first each girl got a piece of wood. Then we had them pick out their scrapbook paper.

Then they shaped the paper around the piece of wood, making creases in the paper to know where to cut the extra paper out of the corners.

Then they glued the paper to the wood (it was actually MDF, which I think worked better for these). Then the girls picked out what colored paper they wanted, placed the "I am a child of God" di-cut onto the colored paper, then glued the colored paper onto the scrapbook paper.

Then they glued their ribbon on, put some thumb-tacks on..... 


We even had time left over for some of the girls to make a second one for girls who coudln't make it to the activity :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eat Healthy! (Learning and Living the Gospel)

For this activity, we talked about the importance of being healthy. I was actually pretty impressed with what the girls already knew. We started with talking about "my plate". It's no longer the food guide pyramid, but this. I actually like this much better, especially for kids to know what they should be eating.


Then we went thru two other "10 tips" from this website: These were the two I chose to go over. My first vision of this activity was to make a few healthy snacks that the girls could go home and make themselves. I think by giving them some general guidelines and then some snack ideas, we were able to accomplish that.
After going over the information from the choosemyplate website, the girls were able to pick a few things from Sister Thomas's garden. We talked about some of the healthiest things for us to eat are FRESH fruits and veggies... and you don't get much fresher than right from the ground! (we also talked about frozen being better for you than canned, and steaming veggies in as little water as possible to keep more nutrients)

 Then with some of the veggies from the garden and some we got from the store beforehand, we used my juicer (Yes...I watched the movie "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" and immediately got a juicer) to make some yummy juice! We used apples, carrots, spinach and some peaches. The girls loved it. We only had enough juice for each of the girls to try, but they all wanted more :)

Dive into pool safety (Developing Talents)

Each year since I've been doing activity days, we have a pool day and the girls just LOVE it. I used to be a lifeguard and swim teacher so naturally, I love the pool too. We spend the first part of it talking about pool safety and then the second part letting the girls play and do whatever they want. This year we must have scheduled poorly cause not many girls could make it... it was a little more fun and less instruction. Here are a few of the pool safety things I did go over:

  • If you ever see someone drowning and you cannot touch the bottom, DO NOT go in after them. No matter how nice of a person they are, they will use you as a floatation device. What you do is throw something to them... right next to them so they can grab on. In a situation where you have something you can reach to them and pull them to the side, you get on your stomach by the pool deck and then reach it to them so they don't pull hard and you end up in the pool. The girls practiced saving each other a few times
  • We talked about the importance of knowing how to float. If they were ever stranded in water... the best way to save energy is to float. First we had them jump in the pool from the side and then get onto thier backs. Then since they all have younger siblings I told them to go home and teach thier younger siblings to do that. Then we had a floating contest.
  • Last year I went into a little bit of CPR and rescue breathing... this year I could tell they just weren't in the mood. Bottom line: always get help from 911... especially around a pool deck. Then here are the basics: If someone isn't breathing and they have a pulse, they need rescue breathing. If they aren't breathing and they don't have a pulse, they need CPR. The American Red Cross and take it from here.
Then the girls had races, I helped them a little with thier strokes :)

If you are feeling particularly excited for this activity like me... you can send out invitations, found HERE.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Visit Pioneer Village (Developing Talents)

For this activity, we went to the Pionner Village museum in Provo, Utah. 

Here is information from the Website:


Sons of Utah Pioneers Village

Location: North Park at 500 North 500 West.
Step back in history at the Pioneer Village. Get a glimpse of what life was like before our modern conveniences. The village features pioneer buildings and furnishings, wagons, farm implements, and a blacksmith shop. Special features include an ox lift (used for shoeing oxen), a restored covered wagon and a cabin built in 1853.
Village Hours: Summer hours, beginning May 31st, are Monday 5-8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome. Special group appointments are available by calling 801-377-8294 or 801-375-9299. 
Fee: There is no charge to visit the village; however, donations to help with restoration and maintenance are welcomed.
Mark your calendar for our Summer Special Events:
Pioneer Craft Fair: June 9th
Pioneer Day: July 24th
Pioneer Craft Fair: August 24th
I think the girls had a really great time learning how things used to be. I feel like I even got a better appreciation for what we have now compared to then. I think their favorite part of the tour was at the end when they got to play with some of the toys that the pioneers would have played with in their school house.


Friday, July 6, 2012

New Calendars

New Calendars :)

I am posting these instead of just putting them on the side so they are bigger... I still haven't figured out how to put a document on here that allows ya'll to bring it up in word so you can edit them yourselves... but here they are nonetheless. As always, if you want me to e-mail them to you in a word document, just let me know.

*** UPDATE ***

I have put these calendars on my new ETSY, along with updated calendars (2014 &2015) and many of the other files!! If you would like these files right away... you can visit:

Personal Fitness: “Camp PAD” (Developing Talents)

So we wanted to talk to the girls about the importance of physical fitness and starting to get in the habit of being active while they are young. At first I wasn't positive what I wanted the "CAMP PAD" to include because some of our girls are a lot more active and competitive than others... and I definately didn't want to turn activity days into some sort of drills hour.  Most of them play sports, dance and have a good idea about most of that. Then I got thinking maybe they don't know that much about other kinds of ways to be physically active. I know many of the families have passes to community centers so I figured maybe we could introduce them to the classes that you normally see there. So...the main things we practiced/did were stretching, yoga, pilates and zumba. I printed most of the following off and had them to show the girls as we practiced them.

First I told them the difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise and that basically aerobic is when they go for a while and breath a lot (using oxygen) and that anaerobic is short burst of energy like sprinting and uses energy in their muscles (I guess I did get something out of my college degree!).

Then we started with going through some stretching exercises.... there are a lot on the internet to choose from, but also included some of my own favorite stretches.

Then we went on to Yoga and tried these positions, learning their names:

along with the Sun Salutation, a basic Yoga movement.

"Sun Salutation or "surya namaskar" is the basic foundation for the power yoga practice. Surya Namaskar literally means "obeisance to the sun". The Sun Salutations are a complete workout in themselves and thoroughly warm up the entire body, preparing it to awaken to the benefits of the postures." - Sol Power Yoga

I was going to do some pilates next but we ran out of time and the girls were really excited about Zumba. Here are the pilates things we would have done:

Zumba... I could be wrong but Zumba to me is basically dancing, with someone leading. According to wikipedia, "Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba's choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, and some Bollywood and belly dance moves. Squats and lunges are also included.[3] "

So for Zumba I asked for volunteers to get up in front of everyone and do a few dance moves and the rest of us would follow. We had the music turned up loud and just started dancing. Every once in a while a girl would scream out "freestyle" which meant do whatever you want. We were outside but I had my phone with you-tube hooked up to our stereo and two of the girls (sisters) knew a dance to "Waka Waka" ( and led the rest of us in the dance. I thought it was a perfect example of Zumba and the girls really liked it.

After that it was time to end so we had some popcycles and I think the girls had a blast :).

Daughters’ and Dads’ Summer Fun (Serving Others)

For the Daughters’ and Dads’ Summer Fun activity we met at a park for pizza, rootbeer floats and kickball!

Kickball is a really great sport cause you can kinda choose your level of physical fitness and most everyone can participate. All you need is some grass ( we were lucky to have a park with a baseball field), a kickball (you can get them at big five and i'm sure many other places) and I just used cardboard for the bases. We got some pizzas from Costco and had watermelon and carrots, with root beer floats as our drink and dessert. The first thing we had everyone do is fill out a sticky name tag that I made with "two truths and a trick" (also known as two truths and a lie... but we decided to stay away from "lie") Each father and daughter wrote down two things that were true about themselves and one that was not. Then while we were eating dinner and playing games, they were to go around and guess which of the three statements was the "trick". Its a good way to help conversation and get to know each other a little better.


This was my example:

Name: ___Nicole_____
 1. I speak french

2. I lived in Alaska

3. I had 8 bridesmaid and no groomsmen.

The girls must know me better than I thought... most of them guess correctly... I have never lived in Alaska :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Love To See the Temple (Serving Others)

We are very fortunate to live in Utah and be close to so many temples. For this activity, we took the girls to the temple to walk the grounds. Being the summer... we were few in numbers, but still had a good time. We asked the girls to dress in Sunday clothes and bring their journals.

The Provo temple is on a hill so we started at the bottom and as we walked the sidewalk up to the temple, we sang "I love to see the temple". I had printed off the lyrics for them to use and then to put in their journals:

I love to see the temple.
I’m going there someday
To feel the Holy Spirit,
To listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
A place of love and beauty.
I’ll prepare myself while I am young;
This is my sacred duty.

I love to see the temple.
I’ll go inside someday.
I’ll cov’nant with my Father;
I’ll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God, I’ve learned this truth:
A fam’ly is forever.

Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry, b. 1938
© 1980 by Janice Kapp Perry.

When we got up the hill, closer to the temple I had girls sit on the bench while I shared a message about temples. I actually couldn't find the exact message that I shared... but all you need to do is go to and find one that you think is right for your girls. Here is one that was on the homepage today by President Monson:

Turn toward the Temple

“Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple?” President Thomas S. Monson said, and then he answered his own question: “Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings.”
Citing examples of those throughout the history of the Church who have made great effort in order to attend the temple, he said, “There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, or too much discomfort to endure. … The saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort.”

What Is Your Sacrifice?

“Today most of us do not have to suffer great hardships in order to attend the temple,” President Monson said. “Eighty-five percent of the membership of the Church now live within 200 miles (320 km) of a temple, and for a great many of us, that distance is much shorter.”
But, President Monson said during his address at the April 2011 general conference, personal sacrifices may still be necessary. “If you have been to the temple for yourselves and if you live within relatively close proximity to a temple, your sacrifice could be setting aside the time in your busy lives to visit the temple regularly,” he said.
“If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.”

Renewed and Fortified

President Monson also made this promise to those who will face toward the house of the Lord: “The world can be a challenging and difficult place in which to live. We are often surrounded by that which would drag us down. As you and I go to the holy houses of God, as we remember the covenants we make within, we will be more able to bear every trial and to overcome each temptation. In this sacred sanctuary we will find peace; we will be renewed and fortified.”

After reading and chatting about the message, I gave the girls a few minutes to write in their journals how they felt and what they were planning on doing in their lives in order to be able to go into the temple one day. I also gave them a "future temple recommend" and showed them my temple recommend.

After they wrote in their journals, we got permission to bring the girls into the waiting room in the temple. That was nice because they got to see inside the temple enough to see that all the workers were wearing all white. They all seemed very interested and thought it was really cool just go get inside the doors just a little. 

I didn't have this ready for when we went... but this would have been a fun hand-out for them the take home. You can get it HERE right now, or you can e-mail me and I will send it to you when I can (I try to check my e-mail about once a month)

Mothers’ and Daughters’ Spring Fling (Serving Others)

For this activity, Sister Thomas and I (ok... mostly Sister Thomas) put together a dinner for the mothers and daughters. When everyone got to the activity, we had them fill out the following questions (not all the girls had moms with them) :

What is something special about you?

What do you like to do with the person(s) you brought?

What is something that you especially like about them?

After we ate dinner, I read the cards outloud and everyone had to guess who the card was talking about. It was fun for the mothers and daughters to hear what thier each of them had to say about one another. Also the mothers got to learn more about each other.

If we were to re-do this activity, I would have changed how we prepared the meal a little. We had spaghetti, tomatoe sauce and alfredo sauce, garlic bread, salad and fruit. I think the girls would haved liked to participated in making the meal. The girls could have come over an hour before their moms and with a meal like spaghetti... they would have done a great job preparing it for thier moms.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Plant a seed: Enjoy Earth’s Beauty (Developing Talents)

For this activity we had quite a bit planned but actually finished early (which never happens!)

First we had the girls bring thier scriptures and we talked about faith from Alma 32.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

After having a discussion on faith and how its likes a seed, we planted a seed!

We gave each of the girls a cup and had them put potting soil in it. We gave them each three marigold seeds and then watered the soil. The girls are going to take them home, put them by a window in thier homes and make sure that the soil is always damp. Hopefully we will have some success and hear about it later!

Then after planting a seed, we had the girls "nourish thier bodies" with some mud! We gave the girls pudding (mud), oreos to crush up and put in thier pudding (dirt) and some worms. They loved it and made fun of each other for eating "mud" and "dirt".


And if you want this as a take home, you can give them this to hang up in their room or put with their scriptures. It's found HERE: