A lot has happened of good things have happened to our family the past 6 months- my husband graduated from college, got a new job, we moved into a new house,… things were looking great! I knew I wanted to work on expressing gratitude as a New Year’s resolution. We had SO much to be thankful for! And I knew that I didn’t want this to just be a personal goal- but something we could all work on as a family. I envisioned a whole year of meaningful journal writing and all our FHE lessons centered on gratitude.
And then we were hit with an unexpected trial (I won’t go into detail about it now, let’s just say it’s a road bump on our blissful journey). I wanted to wallow in self pity, but knew in my heart that now more than ever my family needed to focus on gratitude.
Lift up your hearts in praise to God;
Let your rejoicings never cease.
Though tribulations rage abroad,
Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”
Hymn #122: Though Deepening Trials
I am hoping that the focus of our year of gratitude will help us to more easily recognize all of our blessings, express gratitude to others & in our prayers for specific blessings, and strengthen our family. We have already built a foundation of teaching polite behaviors with our daughter, but I want to immerse her in the deep happiness that comes when we are truly grateful. Including recognizing and expressing gratitude when things aren’t going our way.
Here is our plan:
We have 12 monthly gratitude themes that are centered around gospel teachings: Heavenly Father, Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ, Prophets, Scriptures, Bodies, Country/Home, Covenants, Plan of Salvation, Family, Extended Family/ancestors, and Service. Each monthly theme also has sub topics in gray shaded boxes. (I went through old family home evening books and highlighted topics of gospel study I knew our family needed, then just inserted them throughout the year.)
You can’t have a family home evening planner without a binder!
Inside the binder are our individual gratitude journals where we will be writing down things that we are grateful for each week and lesson plan ideas for each theme.
Our 12 monthly themes divider pages for the gratitude binder.
Here is a free printable for you- print the pic below and create your own gratitude journal!
Well it is almost 1:30 AM and I am grateful for my nice warm bed that I am about to jump into! If there are any files that you would like a copy of, please feel free to email me and I will send them your way.
Ring in the New Year with your little ones by creating some fun countdown bags! I originally read about this idea here and fell in love! I love that this idea helps to teach kids about telling time!!!! Yay for fun math/party integration!
Each bag contains a simple surprise- it can be a treat (yes I will raid the old Halloween candy for this!), a game/puzzle to do together, even a familiar toy who snuck inside the bag to celebrate New Years with my Boo. I will have the bags all mixed up- every hour during the countdown I will tell her the time and she will have to locate the correct bag in order to get the surprise. But of course she will get it anyway!
There are some adorable clock bag printables (click here) but I wanted to make some kid-friendly ones. Feel free to just click on the pic, download, and use to celebrate New Years!
I created some half hour clocks too- I was going to try them with my daughter, but thought that they might be a little too much this year.
FYI I was told by my husband that the hour hand on the clock is behind the minute hand. Oops 🙂