Monday, January 26, 2015

Zentagle Pumpkins!

It's a simple fall craft that we made for Autumn last year.

White mini pumpkins
Sharpies: Any color
Zentangle designs (found on Pinterest or Google search)

Simply draw your designs on each section of the pumpkin.

I didn't spray the pumpkins with clear spray paint,  but you could if you felt like it.

Fun little project!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Be the Good bench

When I saw this on Pinterest, I knew I wanted it somewhere in my life everyday.
The original was painted on pallet wood as a wall hanging. She used her Cricut to make the stencil. It's lovely. Her sign inspired me to make my own. Hers is more professional, but mine is good enough for me.  

I don't have a Cricut or a stencil, but I didn't want to wait for one. So I hand-painted mine on the bench I built that had been sitting in the woods next to my house for a year or so. It isn't perfect. But good isn't perfect, it's just good enough.

Funny little story: The neighbor boys (who are all good boys, but are jumping to conclusions) think a bad guy stole the bench. I wonder what they will think of the "bad guy" when they see "he" returned it with this uplifting phrase on it. 

BElieve THEre is GOOD in the world by BEing the GOOD.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

CUT, STUFF, DRILL and TIE: Quick and Simple 5-Gallon Bucket Seat Cushion For the Youth Pioneer Trek

Trek Buckets. They hold all your personal gear for 3 days while you hike 20+ miles with youth reenacting the Mormon Pioneer Trek during the middle of the 18th century. They also serve as a seat. The seat cushions I had seen on the internet were inspirational, but not exactly what I wanted. So I modified many of the posts I've seen and came up with this. Keep in mind, this project is FUNCTION over FORM at its FINEST!This project took about 15 minutes, start to finish.
I wanted it to be removable so it could be a pillow as well as a cushion. I wanted it waterproof so I could wash it off. I wanted it thick enough to actually keep my backside comfy. 

  • No glue. 
  • No staples. 
  • No wood. 
  • No velcro. 
  • No sewing. 
  • No hassle
  • Removable. 
  • Waterproof (depending on the fabric of your backpack.) 
  • Can be pillow and a seat cushion. 
It's as simple as
 Let's Do This!

I started with these materials:

  • 1 drawstring back pack, about 13"x16"(you know, the free ones handed out for marketing purposes)
  • 1 5-gallon bucket with lid from Home Depot (that already had "Let's Do This" printed on it)
  • 1 22x22x2 piece of camping foam (also at HD in the packing/moving section)
  • 1 drill with the 3/8" drill bit
  • 1 kitchen knife
  • 1 sharpie marker (not pictured)

I found a Corelle dinner plate that fit snugly inside the lip of the lid. I traced the plate on the foam with the sharpie.  I was able to get 4 circles out of mine. (I made two bucket cushions). I cut out the circles with the knife. 

STUFF: I stacked 2 circles, one on top of the other and slid them into the backpack, just like a pillow case.

Then tightened the bag.
DRILL: Just drill a hole in the center of the bucket lid large enough to pull the strings through.

TIE: Pull strings through the hole, and tie a knot.

It should be tight enough that the cushion will have very little movement on top of the lid.

 All done! Let's hope it actually works on the trek. I'm a trek rookie, so this ought to be interesting!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"Who, What, How" Song Review and AP "Do as I'm Doing"

For singing time today, I reviewed the songs from last year.  We also sang "Do as I'm doing" in between each review song.

For the "Who, What, How," I had 3 jars labeled that way. I put songs to review on slips of paper in the "What" jar.  But for very reverent songs, like "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," I wrote on the slip of paper next to the song title, "REVERENTLY, NO-HOW," because the song was too sacred to sing it flippantly or in a silly way.  Before we sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," I told the children my reasoning for not singing it with a "How," and then asked them to sing the song with all of the heart they had, because the Savior means too much for us to take Him lightly. The Spirit came very thickly when I shared my testimony of the Savior just before the song, and the reason to sing it with the most reverence you can muster.  The room went so quiet. I was blessed.

I wrote different categories of "who" (i.e. people with socks, people with sisters, people with blue eyes, etc...) on slips of paper and put those in the "Who" jar.  I wrote silly ways of singing (like "Mormon Tabernacle Choir," "spooky," "whisper," "country," and put those in the "How" jar. The songs that weren't too sacred, we sang in the silly ways. So fun.

In between each review song, I had two different envelopes with craft foam pieces that had actions written on them. I would ask a reverent child to come and pick out an action and we would do that action for the song "Do as I'm Doing."

For Juniors, the actions were simple: clap, snap or flick, hop...

For Seniors, that's not going to fly. I had reverent helpers pull out an Advanced Placement Action. These were not your standard "hop, clap, or blink," actions. Oh no. Not for super grown-up Senior Primary!  This picture shows some of the AP Actions we did.

The granny dance was hilarious. I let them interpret it however they liked. We had some kids with imaginary canes, some with walkers, some with back aches. It was priceless! We got down and boogied! And still kept the Spirit, even while having fun. We had a ball!

I love my calling.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hula Hoop

August 18, 2013
I used an idea from another chorister, but I can't remember where I found it. I used a hula hoop and a jar. The songs were printed on paper and cut into strips, then put in the jar. The kids picked out a strip of paper to choose which song.

I had another child be the hooper. The pianist had to play the song straight through without stopping, no matter what we did. We had to sing while the hula hoop was up, and stop when it dropped. Then when the child picked it up again, we had to join the song wherever the pianist was.

Worked great.

August 11, 2013
I just retaught "Holding Hands around the World." I used props for each phrase, had a child hold up the prop to remind us what to sing, then sing through the song. As they learned it, I would take away a prop (having the child sit down) and the children had to remember what the phrase was without the props.

We also reviewed the sign language for "Families Can Be Together Forever." I led into it with the action song "Do as I'm Doing," Then I said we have another action song we need to work on, and signed the first phrase without speaking to make them guess. They love guessing.

Good times.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Primary Chorister for a year. Song reviews: Sign Language, Song Scramble, and Catch the action

I've been the primary chorister for about a year now, and I intend to write down what my lessons/singing time plans are each week so I can remember what I've done.  So far, not so good. I haven't done a thing about recording them. I'm so inspired by organized women. That is not my gift.

But today, I hopefully will make some progress in recording my progress.

We are reviewing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and "Families can be together forever."

For "Families," we will use the sign language for "Families Can Be Together Forever," and since I taught them the sign a few weeks ago, that's an easy, no-prep review.  (If you click on the link, the song is down at the bottom of the page, and it's a video download that shows the sign language.)

For "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," I will be scrambling the flip chart I used to teach the song.

Round 1: 
I will tape the pictures under the chairs, have the children reach under their chairs, hold their picture, and when their picture/phrase is sung, they will stand and stay standing till the song is finished.

Round 2: 
Now with the kids standing,  as a group we will have to sing again to put the children/pictures in order up in front. So, as their phrase is sung, they now walk up and put themselves in order.

Round 3:
With these kids up front, I will then have everyone sing as I remove different pictures. They now have to sing it by memory. We will probably sing it two or three more times.

This could be overkill, most of them know it well enough. But it should really solidify any unsure parts.

If we have time, we will play a quick round of "Do as I'm Doing" with a game I call "Catch the Action." I will write actions on pieces of paper, roll the papers into balls, and then launch one at a time. Whoever catches it, opens the ball and reads the action--and that's our action for that round.

That should be it, not a ton of prep, hallelujah.

For "Catch the Action," I actually used foam shapes, you know, the craft foam cut outs that are about 4 inches across that you find at the dollar store. I used circles, flowers, and egg shapes in different colors, wrote the action on a foam piece, and then flung the craft foam piece like a frisbee. Fun stuff.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tangled Halloween

Why do I allow my kids to talk me into these things? REALLY!

So, last year my kids wanted to be Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from the movie Tangled. 

Alright. I check to see if I can buy them. Well, no Rapunzel dress in my dd's size and absolutely NO Flynn Rider costume anywhere!

I must attempt to make them. Ugh. I am so stupid.
 But, when I saw my dd next to Rapunzel, I was pretty thrilled. And so was she. More pics are below with an explanation of how I made the wig.
 For Flynn, I made the vest out of blue corduroy, with drawer pulls as the vest clasps and paper brads as the studs in the sleeves. Definitely not washable. The belt was off an old dress of mine. We had the satchel and pants and white shirt.  We actually snipped out pieces of my son's hair and glued it to his chin for the beard. Then filled it in with some eye liner. Add a frying pan and we are pretty close to Flynn.
 Now for Rapunzel's wig. I got two large skeins of bright yellow yarn. Gosh, I hope I can explain this. I took two kitchen chairs and placed them 180 inches apart from each other. Then I wrapped and wrapped the yarn around the chairs, back and forth, until I had unravelled each skein. So, I had a large oval of yarn stretched across our kitchen and into the family room. I then went to the center, at 90 inches and tied a strand of yarn very tightly around all the strands to create the part in the wig. Then I sewed by machine the part in the wig to the tights. Yep, girls' tights-clean, of course. I had already tied off the legs of the tights so the underwear section became the head. I cut the legs off just above the knot. I wish I had a picture. Anyway, I sewed the center of the yarn onto the knot and around the knot of the wig. Then I pulled the tights over a helmet to keep the wig still, and then plaited the braid.

 It's a 5 piece plaited braid that I had to watch over and over again until I got it. The video's here: 5 piece plaited braid.  Then I hot glued the flowers in.
 I also made the purple dress. Like I said, stupid, stupid, stupid.
 But not only did she wear it for Halloween, She also wore it to Disneyland to meet the princesses. That was priceless.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Please, please watch this.
If you want rights as a parent, you need to know this.