Monthly Archives: January 2012

Family Home Evening {Slacker Style}

Lest you think that our Family Home Evenings are so structured and spiritual and preplanned… I bring you a nearly minute by minute account of our Family Home Evening this past Monday. To be honest, if everything wasn’t printed in a binder, it just wouldn’t have happened. Whenever I feel frustrated about our Family Home Evenings, I remember a favorite quote of mine from Neil A. Anderson:

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“Certainly there are times when getting the family together to read the scriptures does not stack up as a spiritual experience worthy of a journal entry. But we must not be deterred. There are special times when the spirit of a son or daughter is just right and the power of these great scriptures goes down into their heart like fire. As we honor our Heavenly Father in our homes, He will honor our efforts.”

And now, without further ado, Family Home Evening from the Slacker Family.

7:48 p.m.
Me: Gary? Should we start family home evening?
Gary is outside, changing a tire: Yes, give me a few minutes.

7:51 p.m.
I am changing a particularly smelly diaper.

7:53 p.m.
Gary: Sarah, are we doing family home evening?
Me: Yes, just a minute. Can you grab the FHE binder?

7:56 p.m.
Kids have gathered in the family room.
Me: Should we start with a song? Or a prayer?
Gary: Uh, let’s do a song first.
Me, glancing at the binder: It’s Choose the Right.
Gary: We know that one, right? (Hums a few bars, kids give blank stares.)
Me: Rebecca, go grab the Children’s song book.

8:01 p.m.
Me, singing the words to remind the children, then: Let’s sing the other one. We don’t know this version very well.
Gary and Sarah: Choose the right, when a choice is placed before you
(Kids mumble along)
Choose the right… there’s… safety… for hmm mm?
(Song continues to meander with words inserted and forgotten as we go.)

8:03 p.m.
(Rebecca mumbles a prayer blessing us to sleep well.)

8:04 p.m.
Me, glancing at manual:Jordan, can you go grab my scriptures? They are in my nightstand.

8:05 p.m.
Me: So, Nephi and his family are in the wilderness, just hanging out for awhile, when Lehi gets a vision. In the vision, the Lord tells Lehi it’s time to get packing and head for the promised land.
Nicole, opening up a picture in her Book of Mormon: Mommy, is this the picture?
(It’s a picture of the Brother of Jared seeing the Lord’s finger.)
Me: Yup. (I continue to tell the story, then wrap up.) Do we have a Liahona in our lives?
Kids: (silence) No.
Me: Yes we do, what do you think it is? (Holding scriptures up.)
Kids: Church? Prayer?
Me, holding scriptures higher: No, it’s something to help us know the things we should do.
Kids: The Holy Ghost?
Me, pointing to scriptures: Something that tells us the word of God.
Kids: The scriptures?
Me: YES. (We talk a minute about this.)

8:11 p.m.
Me: We have a game planned. Gary, should we do the game?
Gary: Uh, what time is it?
Me: Late?
Gary: Let’s do it later.
Me: Okay kids, we’ll do it later in the week. And I’ll make treats. It’ll be like Family Home Evening part 2.
Nicole: Cookies??
Me: Maybe.Gary, do we want to read scriptures?
Gary: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Yeah, okay. Can we give them melatonin first?
Me: Good idea. Kids, get your scriptures and Daddy is going to give you melatonin. Gary, are we catching up or just reading the next day?
Gary: Let’s just read one section tonight.

8:15 p.m.
(Jordan has read the first section, and Rebecca has asked if she can fall asleep.)
Gary and Sarah: No.
Gary: Should we finish the next section?
(The little girls wander off to play somewhere they won’t be bothered by our reading.)
Me: Yeah, might as well catch up now.

8:18 p.m.
Gary: Jordan, please go find your sisters and tell them it’s time for prayers.

FHE Made Easy – Jan Week 5

FHE Made Easy

Can you believe it’s the end of January? This month has flown by, and I’m still writing ’2011′ on everything! I hope you’re enjoying the lesson plans. If you love them like I do, feel free to grab the entire year‘s worth of lesson plans for only $10. Stick ‘em on your tablet, and you’re pretty much set! This week’s lesson is:

Week 5: Lehi and His Family in the Wilderness

Don’t forget to check the ‘prep’ and ‘needed’ sections so you are ready to go when your family is staring at you intently, ready for a lesson! Not like I’d know anything about that…

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Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool: O

O is for Obey Your Parents

Those of you who follow this blog faithfully know that this letter packet has been a long time in coming. I’ve been struggling with homeschooling, and it was easy to put off finishing these packets while doing 24 Days of Mormon Christmas and starting FHE Made Easy. The good news is, the newest packets of the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool curriculum is finally ready! Today we are featuring
O is for Obey Your Parents.

Note: The file was too large for uploading, so here’s a second download. Sorry!

{evil cackle}
Okay, this one makes me laugh because what preschooler doesn’t need a little extra reminder on obedience?  We’ve been working on obedience all week, and it’s fun to be able to remind Nicole about obeying your parents. :) Love that! All jokes aside though, obedience to your parents is a commandment (and great practice for obeying our Heavenly Parents as we grow older!), so this a wonderful time to teach about obedience.

Unfortunately, there isn’t an LDS movie on the LDS Media library that focuses on obeying your parents. However, there are a lot of other resources to get your brain moving on how to teach this important topic! There are a few primary lessons geared for younger children on obedience, and many articles from the Friend magazine. I liked this one called David’s Lesson for younger children, and Ben Obeys would be appropriate for slightly older kids. I really liked this article called Fire on the Prairie for a family home evening lesson!

The secular focus this week is “Outerspace.” Children this age are so curious about the world around them. Chances are, you’ve already had some conversations about the stars and the moon, so this is a good chance to broaden their horizons! The links on the Walk Beside Me Preschool Schedule have some really fun activities for discovering outerspace. One of my favorites is to make a “telescope,” because Nicole loves telescopes. (Thanks, Diego.) 

Another resource we absolutely love is Starfall. This week we discuss “long and short” vowels and Starfall has a really cute little game on the short O sound. I also found fun activities on Long O and Short O at Enchanted Learning, if you feel like your child needs some extra review.

If you just found the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool, start here, or check out our FAQ page. Please check out the Walk Beside Me Store for even more resources to teach your child at home. Purchases from this store help fund the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool.

FHE Made Easy Chart {Free Printable!}

Family Home Evening Chart Download

I know you’re crafty and artistic.
But I also know that if you’re anything like me, you don’t have time to be crafty or artistic.
If it weren’t for Pinterest, you’d have forgotten what it’s like to be crafty and artistic. You pin and hope for a time in the mystic future when you will once again, be crafty and artistic.

In the meantime, you have kids. Maybe you have a bunch of kids, or maybe you’re juggling kids and a job. Your days revolve around nap schedules and dinnertime and homework and tantrums and extra curricular activities and church callings and helping at the school and playgroups and cuddling with those little children.
It’s a lot of work, being a Mom. I know.
You’re trying to be a good mommy and you’re trying to do Family Home Evening with your family, but seriously. You can only do so much.

Wait. Where is this all going, other than a rant about my life??

Oh yes. So while you can craft your little heart out on those cutesy Family Home Evening boards, you might be like me… you might be just too darn stinking tired to even care.
{I judge you not.}

To make your life easier, I made you a chart. It’s cute, don’t worry. It involves no additional crafting, unless you choose to do so. You can slip it in a binder to use with your FHE Made Easy printouts and use a dry erase marker on the binder. Or, you can print one out for each week. Or you could frame it and use a dry erase marker on the glass, if that’s the way you roll. I’m all about the binder method. {More on that soon!}

Okay, I have officially relieved you of your crafty duties. With the time saved, go take a nap.

Book of Mormon Reading Calendars {Free Printable!}

Scripture Schedule

This year I’ve made a resolution commitment to read the Book of Mormon with my family, along with my commitment to do Family Home Evening all year. I am following along a chart I found at Sugardoodle, breaking the Book of Mormon into 15 to 20 verse chunks throughout the course of 365 days.

I’m kind of a freak though, and do better about not letting my kids destroy things that aren’t cute. So obviously, I had to come up with a cute chart, right? I made up a calendar for each month and they are so much cuter. Well. I think so anyway. :)

Also, because I have issues with losing things, and wasting paper, I shrank it down so I fit six on one page. Believe me, if I thought it was legible to fit 12 on one page, I would have done it. No wait, it was actually that my printer didn’t have a 12-to-a-page setting, and I was too lazy to mess with out. Legible shmegible. So if you’re all about the environment and junk, you can do it that way. Print it two-sided if you can figure it out you like that.

Okay, I was going to be all awesome and give you a version with the calendars on two pages rather than twelve, but my pdf program gave a very polite, “No thank you.” So to do this, when you press print, click printer preferences (or whatever it says on your printer program) and set it to print 6 to a page. Or print 2 to a page, or hey, if your printer is really cool, go ahead and do 12 on a page!

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