Category Archives: fhe

Year of Gratitude: I am thankful for Heavenly Father

Our family’s new year resolution is to work on gratitude (read more about it here). During the month of January we will be focusing on learning more about our Heavenly Father, why we are grateful for Him, and different ways we can express that gratitude to Him.

Each week we will discuss one of the following topics. I have also included a brief list of some of the resources we will be using to teach each topic. Many of the resources come from the Primary Partners/ Sunday Savers sharing time books that I bought years ago at Seagull Book for $2. Other ideas I found while searching online.

I am sure there are a million other cute ideas on these topics out there and if you know of any I would love to hear them!
Happy Teaching!

A Year of Gratitude: Our Family’s New Year Resolution

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.
Happy Teaching!

My Family Tree

For a family home evening we made a little family tree for my daughter’s exploration journal. It is a great visual to see that mommy and daddy have a mommy and daddy, and that these people happen to be grandma and grandpa! As an extension it would be WONDERFUL to include great grandparents (she has the cutest great-grandparents that hold a play group every month and she is named after another great-grandma) and aunts and uncles. And hopefully soon we can add a brother or sister!

Here is a simple family tree download that can get your kiddos started on their own family trees!

Happy Trails

This is that time of year when you can really take advantage of the great outdoors! A fun and very inexpensive (free!) activity you can do with your family is to go on a nature walk. There are trails everywhere- from the mountains to the beaches, from parks to prairies! And it is such a great way to create memories and get some good old fashioned exercise!

The teacher in me can’t waste a possible learning moment- I created an adventure sheet of different things we would search for on our walk. I stuck that on a clipboard, grabbed the family (and the camera), and we were off! I had my daughter color in with a pencil each of the items as we saw them during our walk (clouds, worms, trees, etc.) The great thing about using an adventure sheet is that it provides a visual reminder of what we did during our walk. Feel free to follow the link to download the file or use it as a guide to create your own!

We saw a small snake on our walk. . . it got my husband and I thinking about the family night activities we could have on trail safety and first aid. . . you can NEVER be too safe (you could even create your own family merit badge program and provide your kiddos with small badges or stickers every time they learned a new safety skill!)

Happy Teaching!

Easter Program Idea

I think a fun new Easter tradition for our little family will be to hold a special Easter program for Family Home Evening. I found this in the Family Home Evening Resource Guide:

Easter Program

Read John 3:16.

Have a narrator read or discuss the following: Even though he knew that Jesus would be cruelly treated, our Heavenly Father sent him to earth. He sent Jesus because he loves us. And Jesus loves us so much that he wanted to come. They both wanted every one of us to have the chance to go back and live with them. Is it any wonder that the angels sang for joy over this miracle of love, the gift of the Savior’s birth?

Sing “Silent Night” (Hymns,no. 204).

Read Matthew 19:13–14.

Have a narrator read or discuss the following: When Jesus grew up, he spent his time teaching the people how to live and how to be happy. He preached the gospel, healed the sick, and blessed the children. He loved everyone, and many of the people loved Jesus, too. He lived a life of service and provided us with a perfect example to follow. Never thinking of himself, he lived his life giving to others

Sing “I Think When I Read That Sweet Story” (Children’s Songbook, p. 56).

Read Luke 22:44.

Have a narrator read or discuss: Jesus knew that the time had come for him to suffer for our sins and die. He gathered his Apostles around him for the Passover feast, which was to be his last supper with them. There he taught them about the sacrament so that they would remember him and what he was about to do for them. He said something very important to them, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Later that same night, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and there he suffered for our sins to show his great love for all of us.

Sing “Love One Another” (included in this lesson; Hymns,no. 308; Children’s Songbook, p. 136).

Read John 19:17–18.

Have a narrator read or discuss: On Friday, after a long night of illegal trials, Jesus was sentenced to death. He was beaten and laughed at and spit upon. Then he was hung on a cross, with nails piercing his hands and feet, and left to die. Still, he never stopped loving. He forgave those who were putting him to death. While he hung there, darkness covered the earth, for men were murdering their Creator.

Sing “There Is a Green Hill” (Hymns,no. 194).

Read Matthew 27:57–60.

Have a narrator read or discuss: Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb on Friday evening, for Saturday was the Sabbath and burying people on that day was not allowed. Some women wanted to put special ointments on Jesus’ body to prepare it for burial, but they didn’t have time, so they planned to come back as soon as the Sabbath was over to finish preparing his body. The Sabbath was a long, sad day. Jesus was dead, and his followers could only wait and weep and think about him.

Sing “To Think about Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 71).

Read Luke 24:1–9.

Have a narrator read or discuss: The great rock was rolled away, and an angel declared that Jesus had risen. Mary Magdalene was the first to see him and she told his Apostles, but they did not believe her. Soon he appeared to others.

Then, as the Apostles were gathered together, “Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

“But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

“And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:36–39.)

At last they believed, though they were filled with wonder and joy. Jesus had risen from the dead and was with them again.

Although the events of the first Easter happened almost two thousand years ago, the story of Jesus does not end there. Still he lives, and still he loves us. He has again set up his Church on the earth so that we can have the blessings of the gospel. And that is the miracle of Easter. Jesus the Christ has triumphed over sin and death. He lives.

Sing “Jesus Has Risen” (Children’s Songbook, p. 70).

Bear your own testimony to your family that Jesus lives today, that he is directing the prophet and guiding his Church. Allow each member of your family to express his feelings and appreciation for the Savior and the Atonement at this time.

Sing “He Is Risen” (Hymns,no. 199).

Close with a prayer.

Of course I will need to modify it a bit to work with my little queen of wiggles. I encourage you to start a Christ-centered Easter tradition in your home this year.

Happy Teaching!

Joseph Smith Gets the Golden Plates Game

This is just a little role-playing game my daughter and I did one morning to help teach her how we got the Book of Mormon. We took turns being Moroni and Joseph Smith. Moroni would pretend to dig a hole, put in the golden plates, and put a big rock (or pillow!) on top to hide them. Then Joseph Smith would be sleeping on the couch. The angel Moroni would come visit with Joseph Smith and tell him about the golden plates under the big rock. When my daughter would be Joseph Smith she would get up, run and kick off the pillow, and shout with excitement that she had found the golden plates. Of course there is a very shortened version of what took place, but it is laying the foundation for lessons to come. 🙂

Happy Teaching!
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