Welcome to my little corner of the world wide web. :) What a blessing modern technology is. I'm so grateful for the websites and ideas that others have shared that have helped them to be successful in their homes, their service in the church, or in life in general. Thought I'd pass on a few things I've learned along the way on my life-long mission to become a better wife, mother, and in my service in the church. Thanks for stopping in!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's a wrap!!!

We FINALLY had our program today.  The kids did amazing!   What a treat to have this be the way my time as the Chorister wraps up as I was released today as well.  I will miss this calling!  Jealous of the rest of you who get to keep on singing with the wee ones but I'm excited to work with the young women of the ward as well.  May have to plan a special musical number for the girls just so that I can keep on singing. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012


So the only thing in this church that never changes is the fact that everything always changes. :)

I was just called as a Counselor in the YW presidency today.  I will miss my little primary munchkins so very much but I am excited about the new calling as well.  While I am officially in YW now, I am still in Primary as we have two weeks until our Program.  It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks trying to juggle that schedule.

Tonight we were sitting around the table and I was joking that "Mormon Mama on a Mission" has come to and end.  So sad! Guess I will just have to start sharing YW activity ideas on here instead as I've really enjoyed sharing my ideas (well, some were borrowed) on this blog.

Good luck to everyone who has yet to do their Primary program. Congrats to everyone else that already has finished up their program and can breathe a sigh of relief!  That will be a very happy day! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Scare" away the scary

Just two weeks of practice left before the Primary program.  I feel like the kids are ready.  They absolutely nailed it two Sundays ago during music time and did so again this Sunday. There were just three little "scary" spots in the entire run through (they actually weren't that scary but it went well with my theme for this last Sunday) so that's what we called them. :)

The kids kept messing up a few words in Choose the Right, not totally confident in the second verse of When I am baptized, and one word they kept getting wrong in another song. All pretty easy fixes.

I brought in a scarecrow and attached three crows to him. I explained to the kids that we needed to scare away the crows.  Each of the crows had the trouble spots listed on the back.  I watched for the kids who were singing extra well and called on them to come up and pic a crow.  Once we polished that particular area, the kids flew the crow away and we moved onto the next crow.


Once we finished up with that song, I taught them a cute little Fall version on Popcorn Popping called "Five Little Pumpkins" that I found here:

I didn't think that Sr. Primary would want to try it out but they were even on board.  I brought in a pumpkin to represent our Pumpkin patch.   Great day and so happy that the kids are doing so fantastic in preparation for the program.  Should be great!

If anyone wants the crow clipart, let me know! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Voice

So today I found the secret to a successful singing time in the form of the Swivel chair.  While I have never actually seen the television show "The Voice", I understand, and like, the concept.  I thought I'd try it out with the kids today by having three judges come in to judge the kids' performance on the program songs.  

All I can say is "why, oh why, didn't I try this sooner"?  It was a smashing success and so very easy.  The primary presidency gave me the full hour to polish everything up with the kids.  For the first 25 minutes (before the judges came in), we ran through almost all of the songs, using our "Bubble gum Bob" (previous post) to help gauge how well we were singing.  Once we'd run through the songs, I called the judges in to put the kids to the real test.  THE KIDS.  WERE.  AMAZING!!! They knocked it out of the park.  I knew that Junior primary had it in them.  Originally I didn't have that same confidence with the Senior primary but they stepped it up in a huge way today.  Brought me to tears...happy tears.

How it all went down:  I tracked down three swivel chairs at the church.  Actually, my husband tracked down three swivel chairs at the church-I should give credit where it's due.  :)  I set them up at the front of the room.  I had the three judges come to the front of the room and sit down facing AWAY from the kids.  Once we started singing, the only way that the judges would turn around is if the kids "WOWed" them with their singing.  I told the judges to really make the kids work for it. The judges played the part up so well and the kids went right along with it.  After we finished the song, the judges would critique the work and give any constructive suggestions to help us improve the song.  So much fun.  So productive.  This is the kind of day that makes me love this calling oh so much!!!

*If you need swivel chairs, check your clerk's offices and bishop's office.  I'd imagine they'd be willing to part with them for a couple of hours.  After all, it's for a good cause.

"BOB" and his bubble gum

I'd seen this adorable bubble gum idea here.

While I loved the idea, I didn't want to make a completely new guy so I decided to do a little makeover on Bob instead.  He's kind of fulfilled his purpose this year in our singing time so I thought he deserved some bubble gum for all his hard work. :)

I just cut a dime-size hole in his mouth.
then inserted a pink balloon.
 I had one of the teachers come up and stand behind the poster where he blew the bubble for Bob.  As the kids sang the song, the teacher would blow it larger, and larger the better they sang.   I stepped aside at one point because I thought the balloon was going to pop, they were singing so well.

I inserted a new balloon for Sr. primary and had a new teacher blow the balloon for them.
To go along with the bubble gum idea, I also found this bubble gum machine in one of my F.H.E. kits that I did ages ago (those kits sure have come in handy with this calling).  I just put the name of each of the program songs on the back.  I invited a child who was participating very well to come up and pull a bubble gum off to see what song we'd sing next.   Turned out to be a very fun singing time but we were able to accomplish a lot in the process.  I love it when we can do those two things simultaneously.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Song Hospital

I had pinned this idea a while back and figured now was a good time to put it to use as we have a few songs that need to take a trip to the "Song Hospital" for some minor surgery.  

What you will need:
*White Lab Coat, Tongue Depressor, Stethoscope, Otoscope, RX pills

I had to adapt this idea as I only have a child size Dr. coat so I will be utilizing the children a little more than myself for this activity.

To begin, I will explain that we have a few songs that need to make a trip to the Singing Hospital where a doctor will evaluate our songs.  I will choose a child that sang the opening song very well, come up and put on the dr. gear.  I will explain to the dr. that they will be observing our song to see what needs to be done to make our song healthy and well.

Once the doctor is ready for the evaluation, I will explain to the children that there are three things we will be working on that day.

1-  When I hold up the Otoscope (I'm actually just using a little flashlight), they were to open their ears and listen to the words and message of the song.  This is where we will fix any tricky wording spots in the songs.  This will probably be our main focus as it's the second verses in a couple songs that we are still struggling with.

2- Once we've repaired the words, we will move on to the Tongue depressor.  When I hold it up, that is their cue to open their mouths and throat nice and wide to project as much volume and clarity as possible.

3- When I hold up the Stethoscope, that means I want them to feel the song in their hearts.  How does it make them feel?  How does the song make the Dr. feel?

As soon as we begin singing, I will let the dr. walk around the room with her stethoscope for observation out toward the children so that he/she can get a really good listen.  I am assuming that when the dr. is in a particular section, that section will really give it their all.  They love it when someone focuses in on them in particular. 

After we finish the song, the Dr. will give us their professional opinion as to diagnosis and treatment options.  Each time we sing the song, I will call on another child who has been very good about participating to come up and be the dr.

As the dr. is speaking, I will take notes of any parts of songs that still may need some extra attention.

Here's the dr. costume which I just so happen to have on hand from my son's preschool graduation program this year.  It's so cute!

If the kids do a great job with repairing our songs, they will get a little RX pill from the Song Hospital before they are discharged to help keep the injuries from returning. Whatever works, right? :)  
here's the song hospital label I made, if you want to right click and save it to your computer:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

College Football Kickoff

 With this being the kickoff week for college sports (it also seemed to be the kickoff for all of my kids sports as well-busy week), :) I thought it would be fun to pull our football field back out for a little friendly competition between the "Moroni's Musettes" (girls) and the "Army of Helaman Harmonics" (boys). We will continue to work on the program songs, as well as I may throw a few other songs in there as well to give a little variety.

This game worked wonders with the boys earlier in the year.  Some of the oldest boys are my biggest challenge in Sr. Primary (challenge meaning that they don't love to sing, they are REALLY great kids though).  I was lamenting over this with one of the teachers.  She has a son who falls into that same age group.  She suggested that it wasn't that the boys didn't like to sing but that the biggest issue is that the songs are so high.  Light bulb moment!  Truth be told, I even have a hard time with some of the higher songs as I am very much an alto.   I remember my brother not loving to sing at that same age for the same reason, his voice was trying to get a little deeper and so it cracked at any given moment.  I'm sure that's uncomfortable and embarrassing for those boys.  Oh the joys of getting older! :)  I will say that these boys sit so reverently though so at least they aren't disruptive in any way. Hopefully pulling the football field back out may encourage a little more participation tomorrow.

To give credit where it is due...long ago, I got the football field idea here.

here's the clip art I made for the teams if anyone wants them.  Just right click on the images and you can save them to your computer. They are nothing special but they work.

I have a ref shirt that I will have one of the teachers put on.  The girls will sing the song and the ref will determine how far to move them down the field.  We'll do the same thing with the boys.  Each time we sing the song, the ref will move the football further up the field, depending on how well the kids sing it.  When someone score a touchdown, mission accomplished!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BOB is fully armored!

Remember this guy that I presented at the first of the year? Go here for more info. on Bob.

Well, here we are at the end of August and Bob is sporting his full armor.  Yeah!  We've "learned" all of the songs for the Primary program so each piece of armor that corresponds with each song is on him BUT we definitely have many areas of different songs that still need work. 

I was trying to figure out how we could keep working on Bob even though he is already fully geared.  Then, the other day, I saw my little 5-year old playing with a rubber shield and a plastic sword and I had a light bulb moment.  YES, Bob has on all of his armor BUT some of his armor is not as strong as it needs to be...just like my son's rubber shield (a lot of good that's going to do him if he goes to battle). :)  I decided that we would review all of the songs we are doing for the program and determine the strength of each piece of armor. 

I chose three different armor strengths:
Rubber-meaning that the song is very weak and needs a lot of work to make it as strong as possible
Sterling Silver-We're getting there but we definitely could be stronger
Titanium-Couldn't possibly get any stronger.  Nailed it!

Last Sunday I presented this idea to the kids and showed them the little rubber shield.  They totally caught on to what we needed to do to help Bob and they worked hard to ensure we had him covered.  We definitely still need work on some of the second and third verses of songs (thus the Sterling Silver).

Here's how Bob looked after Sr. Primary this last week:

This week (tomorrow) we will focus on some of those weaker songs (especially the Rubber song-yikes!)  As a whole though, I am very happy with the kid's efforts and I think we will be just fine by the time the program rolls around.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Spin the Singer

I saw this idea here and thought it would be a great way to make the repetitiveness of fine tuning our program songs more enjoyable for the kids.  While we've learned them all, there's still lots of problem spots that need some work.  Anybody else with me on that one?  We still have two month but the sooner we have them polished, the better.

Anyway,  the idea is to place papers in a circle on the floor with lots of different styles of singing a song.  In the center of the circle is a spinning chair (which my husband happens to have at the church as he's the ward clerk-so glad I don't have to haul a chair to church). :)

Then you pick 2 kids-a spinner and the person who will act as the spinee in the chair.  
After the spinner gives the spinee a whirl, wherever the spinee's feet are pointing when the chair stops, that's the way we will sing the song.  Should be simple and easy!

Here's the layout, minus the chair... 

Here are the actions I created.   If you want me to send you a copy of the PDF I created, just let me know.  I'd be happy to do it! 

UPDATE:  A big THANK YOU to Kerri who posted the actions on Scribd for me.  Looks like it's not as difficult as I was thinking it was going to be to get them into a PDF form on here.  I will try to go that route from now on.  Here's the link to them there:  Spin-the-Singer-Actions  Thanks Kerri!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Getting the Bugs out" music time idea

Oh this sad neglected blog. We had such a busy summer (can't believe it's already over).  I'm trying to get back into the swing of things now.  All four of my kiddos are off to school this year so that should leave me a little more time.  First time in 13 1/2 years that I haven't had a little one in tow with me every day.  It's going to be strange...and sad...and way too quiet around this place. :)   

As the primary program nears, we have "learned" all of the songs, yet many of them leave much to be desired.  As a Child of God is definitely one of those.  I'm not sure why the kids didn't take to this song as well as it's such a beautiful song.

I decided that we needed to do some fine tuning.  One of the teachers suggested that her kids weren't singing it because they didn't remember the words.  Sometimes we learn the songs but then we move on and don't practice it again for awhile (my bad).  I decided that if that class was struggling with the words, maybe there were others as well.  I figured we might as well start back at square 1.  

I made a poster with all of the verses (we have the chorus polished so I didn't put that one on the poster).  I added a bunch of detachable bugs to the poster.  Tomorrow we will focus on "getting the bugs" out of this song, whether it be learning the words, or working on dynamics.  I am bringing a fly swatter (clean of course). :)  As we polish the different verses, I will let the kids come and swat one of the bugs.  The goal is to be "bug free" by the end of singing time.

Another fun idea I had for this as I have an adorable bee costume lying around...I will have one of the children wear the costume and buzz around the room as the children are singing.  If the bee spots a child singing "BEE-autifully" he/she will sting them.   Every person that gets a sting will get a little candy bug after sharing time.  I don't think I will need to do the candy bug with Jr. as they just LOVE to sing for me but Senior may need a little added incentive.

Should be an enjoyable day and hopefully we can finally master this song!  The program is sneaking up quickly.

***If anyone would like the poster, I have it saved as a pdf, and I'd be happy to email it to you. You would just have to take it into FedEx/kinkos to have it enlarged (or you can do what I did and just enlarge it at home on the printer and piece it all together-a trickier route but definitely cheaper).

I also created a pdf of the bug clipart if you would like that.  Just let me know.  

Good luck polishing up songs for the program everyone! :)
This is my cute little guy who "stung" the kids.  I failed to mention that the "sting" was just a dot sticker. That's how I knew who got the bug candy at the end of singing time.  Turns out the kids sang FANTASTIC in both Jr. and Sr. so they all got stung.  Love it when that happens. :)

Feeling the Savior's love through music

It was a very difficult summer for our Primary.  Senior primary in particular, as we lost two boys (brothers) from our ward who were killed in a horrible boating accident on the lake.  The sadness and the senselessness of this accident (caused by a drunk boater) left the children, and all of us leaders brokenhearted. One of the boys was in our Senior primary.  To put him into words, if there was ever such a thing as a living, breathing cartoon character, it would be him.  He was the life of primary.

The Sunday after the accident I didn't know what to do.  I didn't even want to do music time.  I didn't think I'd make it through even a verse, let alone a whole singing time without breaking down.  I kept praying trying to know what I should do.  My husband had bought me some flowers a few days earlier and they'd cheered me up on many occasion.  I woke up one morning and saw these flowers and felt prompted to make a bouquet of "love" for the kids.  Death is such a confusing thing for children to understand (sometimes for us adults as well) but I wanted them to understand that even though sad things happen sometimes, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is watching over us.  

To the bouquet my husband gave me, I added a bunch of hearts with songs that bore witness of that truth-Our Heavenly Father loves us. I had children come up and pull out a heart (that had the names of the songs on the back), we talked about how that song helped us to know that our Heavenly Father loves us, and then we sang the song.

One thing that I want the kids to understand as I serve in this calling is that good music can comfort, uplift, teach, and strengthen us.    The spirit was very strong and I think that it brought comfort to the children.  I know that it did to me at least.

Summer Olympics 2012

So I know that Olympics are almost over and I am a little late in posting this but it could still be done for a couple more weeks.

I have to give credit where it is due as most of the ideas on here came from here (love her site).  I just changed it up a bit to work for our primary. 

To kick off our olympics, the kids passed around the torch as we sang our first song.  Whoever was left holding the torch at the end of the song, was our first athlete.

On the board, I had listed all of the events that the kids could participate in that day.  The first athlete came up to choose their event.


Most of the events I did exactly as the above mentioned link so refer to her site for more in-depth descriptions, as I'm feeling a little lazy (or maybe just tired) tonight. :)

For the High Jump, I had several songs listed on post-it notes.  They were stacked one on top of the other, up the wall.  The athlete chosen for that event jumped as high as they could to grab a note.  That was the next song we sang.

 This was our diving event- Each of the little divers, had a name of a song listed on the back. The first diver to make it into the jar was the song we sang next. 
For the javelin, I did several strips of tape on the floor about 1 ft. above each other.  I wrote different ways/people to sing the song: girls only (boys were aiming for that one), :) boys only, whistle the song, snap the beat of the song, etc). 

For the javelin, we used a straw.  The kids just threw it as far as they could.  Wherever it landed was the way we did the next song.

For Volleyball, we tossed a balloon around as we sang the song. The person that had the "volleyball" when the music stopped was our next athlete. 

Our last event was Basketball.  I had some star baskets in Red, White, and Blue that were perfect for his as we were team USA (wish I would have gotten pics of this).  In the bottom of each basket, I had a song listed.  The athlete would throw a small ball towards the baskets.  Whichever basket they made the shot in, we sang that song.

In the end, our team took the gold (especially Junior).  I really enjoyed preparing this music time as there's such an energy buzzing all around with the Olympics. 

***If you want any of the signs or logos I made, just let me know and I will shoot them your way.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

"I spy" gospel principles

Where this is a fifth Sunday, I thought it would be fun to wrap up the month by reviewing different ways that "Jesus Christ has taught us to Choose the Right"-which was the theme for April.
I have a hard time throwing the Friend magazines out.  We had years' worth of the magazines stockpiled.  However, we do so much with the Friend online now that it seems pointless to keep the paper copies.  They just collect dust. Last year I decided it was time to get rid of all but the current year's issues but before I did, I took out a ton of the pictures that I thought I could use for something at a later date.  Turns out that this was that perfect "something".

I found several of the pictures that went along with the theme and different ways that we can choose the right.  I numbered the songs 1-8 and then found songs that corresponded with the pictures.  Then I broke out the "I spy" scopes that I made awhile back for a different activity.

Here's how singing time will go down-assuming it will go as planned. :)  I will place the different pictures around the room.  One child will come up and pick a number (1-8) out of a basket or bag.  The pianist will play the song that corresponds with the picture.  I will give her a key beforehand of what each number represents so that she knows what song to play.  The child will have to use his/her "I spy" scope to find the song on the wall.  They can get help if they don't know what it is.

Once they've found the picture, we'll briefly talk about how that picture represents a way that we can choose the right.  Then we will sing that song. Easy Peasy!

Here's the songs I selected...
1- Boy reading Scripture- Search Ponder and Pray-109
2- Boy playing basketball- Jesus said love everyone- 61
3- Gospel Standards- Choose the Right- hymn book-
4- Joseph Smith- Follow the Prophet-
5- temple- I love to see the temple-95
6- Earth- As a child of God
7- Body- The Lord gave me a temple- 153
8- Sunshine-Jesus wants me for a sunbeam-60

Should be a very simple activity but I'm hoping it will wrap up the theme for the month in a way that the kids will understand the principle behind it.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Crying Mother

If you are looking for a great way to get the kids excited to sing on Mother's Day in Sacrament meeting, this little lady may very well do the trick.  It certainly did with our kiddos.  

This is the "Crying Mama".  I'd seen this idea years ago (on Sugardoodle I believe) when I was the enrichment leader.  I've never forgotten it because it seemed like such a fun idea.  I'm so excited to be in a calling that I can use it on now.

Here's what you do.  

Step 1:  Make a mama.  I just made up a pattern but I'm sure you could google a mother and that would work even better as my drawing skills leave much to be desired. :) 

 Step 2:  Cut out the mama.  

Step 3:  laminate her so that she is waterproof, 

Step 4:  Punch holes out of the center of her eyeballs (large enough that the spout of a spray bottle can fit through the eyeball.  HINT:  I had a little problem with the makeup and eye color running down the mama's face as I cut out the eye holes AFTER I had laminated them .  Cut out the eye holes prior to laminating.  Make sure that the eye holes on the mama are a tiny bit SMALLER than the eye holes in the laminate. This will ensure that the paper is not right up to the edge, which could create running. Sorry if that doesn't make sense.  I can't think of how else to describe it. 

Step 5:  Place the spray bottle through the mama's eyes and hold by the spray bottle.  

How it went down...
I started out singing time by asking the kids if they've ever seen their mom cry happy tears.  We talked about how sometimes when moms feel the spirit or are very happy about something, they cry.  I told them that we wanted to make our mothers cry happy tears on Mother's Day with our beautiful singing.  

Since we didn't want to give away our singing surprise to our moms before Mother's day, there was no way that we could test out our singing on them before then.  Instead I introduced the "Crying Mama" to the kids.  

As we worked on the different songs for Mother's Day, the kids had to try to make the Mama cry.  This worked like a charm. The kids sang with so much power and energy and we seemed to learn the songs in a snap this go round-always a nice treat.  


I made sure that I didn't squirt the kids but that the tears were streaming down the mama's face instead so that I didn't have any kids in tears instead.

I walked around the room and so that every child felt like they were the one that made the mama cry.  I think it's important for each child to feel like they are an important part of singing time.

Anyway, thought I'd pass this idea along as it was so effective for us.  Have fun with your Mother's Day song prep.  It's always one of my favorite times to have the primary sing.  They love their mamas and it really seems to show on Mother's Day.  

"Spring Fever" meter

I feel like I have been M.I.A. from this blog for way too long.  Things are finally settling down a bit after our move.  Fortunately we had a couple weeks after the move where I didn't have to do my calling as we had general conference one week and then sacrament only the next week (they'd just refinished the wood floors in the gym and the smell was a little too much for everyone).  So I had a few weeks off from my calling.  It's nice to get back into the swing of things though and spend some time with my favorite little peeps.

I don't know about you all, but here in Georgia, Spring is definitely in the air, as my allergies can attest.  I thought it would be fun to make a "Spring Fever" thermometer to measure the level of "Spring Fever" with our singing in Primary.  Spring Fever is different than a typical fever.  Spring Fever symptoms include:  Excited, Enthusiastic, Energetic, and Expressive.

What better way to determine if they had these symptoms than through their singing.   Fortunately, if the kids had a high level of Spring Fever, there was a special remedy/pill to treat it (jellybeans that I'd found on clearance after Easter).  
As we sang several different songs that went along with the theme for the month, I called on different children to come up and control the meter. This worked really well as I only called on the kids that seemed to have an extra high level of "Spring Fever".

While this was a very effective music time tool, and I will definitely use it again, I am going to have to come up with a better system for the lever that rises.  It was just kind of loose and wobbly under the board. 

To make the meter...

1.  Glue the meter wording onto a poster board. 

2.  Use a second layer of poster board to make it extra sturdy

3.  Cut out a 2-inch strip in all layers (where the meter will show).  I did this with an x-acto knife and it worked great.

4.  I secured another 3"wide x14" long strip of poster board to the back of the poster (right behind the area that was cut out.  I secured this strip to the top and the bottom.  This held my lever to the back of the board and made it possible for the lever to slide up and down underneath this strip. Like I said, I will come up with a better system for this and pass that information along when I do.  There's a better way I am sure.

***If anyone wants a copy of the Spring Fever meter, let me know and I will email it to you.  

Happy Spring to you all!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Moving on!

I haven't been very good about posting the last couple weeks but we are in the process of moving-TODAY!!! Thus, the post at 3 a.m.  I've been up all night just thinking about today.  So excited!  Figured I'd get caught up on here since I can't think of much else to do at this hour.

For tomorrow, I thought it would be fun and EASY (EASY being the honest reason) to do something that corresponds with our move.  This has nothing to do with the theme for the week of  "I am blessed when I choose to follow the prophet" but I figure that if I even show up tomorrow, I am doing good, right? :)

The kids are going to help me pack up for the big move. I put several items in a bag.  I want to make sure that I pack up these particular items for the move as they are some of the most important things to me.  I will call one child at a time to come up and pull out an item.  They will try to guess why that item is important to me and then put that item into my little suitcase.

Items include:
Picture of Family (definitely want to take them along)-  A happy Family
Scriptures- Book of Mormon stories
Picture of Jesus-   I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ
Popcorn (food-can't live with it, can't live without it) :) - Popcorn Popping
Towel (important to keep our bodies clean and pure)- My body is a temple

Obviously this music time would only really be applicable to someone who's moving but who knows, maybe one of you are as well and this would work for you too. :)  Have a great weekend!

UPDATE:  I actually was able to tie this into the theme after all with some last minute thinking.  I told the kids that I wanted to make sure that I had all of the things necessary in my new home to have the spirit there.  The prophet has taught me many things that I can do to have happiness in my home.  Then we went through all of the items in the bag and talked about how those items can bless our home.

Lucky You

Thought I'd take advantage of St. Patrick's Day while presenting the theme last week as they seemed to go hand in hand in a strange sort of way. :)

The theme for Week 3: God’s prophets and apostles speak to us in general conference.

I first introduced Lucky the Leprechaun and explained that Lucky is trying to find his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I then explained that while we aren't trying to find an actual pot of gold, we are seeking a different, much more valuable "pot of gold".  Our pot of gold is to return to live with our Heavenly Father someday.  While we don't follow a rainbow to obtain our "pot of gold", if we follow the prophet and our church leaders-whom we will get to hear in conference in a few short days- and if we hold to the iron rod, we will be able to reach our "pot of gold" as well. 

I had a child come up and pick a shamrock.  Each shamrock had a song on it that corresponded with a gospel principle that we will be hearing about in conference next week that can help us return to live with our Heavenly Father (or at least I assume we will hear about all of these topics)
Follow the Prophet-110
Choose the Right-
As a Child of God
I hope they call me on a mission-169
I believe in Being Honest-149
Do as I’m doing (following the prophet-s example)-276
A happy Family (loving our family)-198

After they'd picked the song, I had a child come up and move Lucky across the rainbow (he's on a large clothes pin that just moved right along the top of the rainbow). 
Depending on how the kids sang on each of the songs, Lucky could try and reach his pot of gold each time.  If they sang really well, they'd move him all the way across.  The kids loved this for about the first 4 songs but then we changed it up and played Hot/Cold with one of the songs while a child tried to find the hidden Lucky. Turned out to be a fun, effective singing time.  Hopefully the kids have a greater desire to listen to conference next week so that they can reach their "pot of gold" someday.

 clipart (right click to save to your computer)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weather Wheel music time

If you don't want to read my life history and what inspired me to do this particular activity for singing time, and you want to get right to the point, just scroll past the italics. 

So last Friday was the most scared I have ever been (weather wise) living here in Georgia.  The weather here can be so unpredictable.  One day it's 70 and sunny, next it 35.  Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining.  I grew up in Idaho so I'll take this kind of weather in March any day. :)  We knew that last Friday was going to be a rough night after watching all of the news footage from the devastation in Alabama-and that's what was headed our way.  However, I usually take weather forecasts with a grain of salt because USUALLY nothing happens like they predict-or so it seems.

So at about 9 p.m., the storm started rolling in pretty hard.  I turned on the weather to see what to expect.  There was a tornado watch and a tornado warning.  I kept a close eye on it but things didn't get too scary until about 9:30 when the weatherman started talking about a tornado on the ground that was within a few miles from us.  He started naming the streets within it's path and then I knew that we should be very worried.  The sirens started going off and it was time to take cover.  I sent my two munchkins that were home down to the basement.  I had one daughter off at a friend's for the night and a son off with some buddies.  I called my daughter's friend to make sure they had headed to the basement. All was well at their home so I just needed to track down my 13-year old son.  Before he'd headed off for the night, we had him write down the phone numbers of the friends he was with.  Unfortunately he has some penmanship issues (putting it nicely) :) and every phone number he'd written down for his friends was so illegible that I just kept calling wrong numbers.  If that's not motivation for me to want to get him his own cell phone, I don't know what is.  SO stressful when you can't find your child-and there's a tornado headed right for them!

The hubby decided that he'd head out to find him.  I was so upset and in tears.  I didn't want him to go, and yet I did. Didn't matter what I said, he got in his car and was heading right into the thick of it.  I just sat at my computer, watching to make sure there was not a shift in the direction of the twister.  About 15 minutes later I got a call from the hubby that my son was alive and well.  They hadn't even known there was a storm out.  Crazy boys!

They headed home just as the tornado headed east and we were in the clear of that particular twister.  The sirens went off a couple more times over the course of the next few hours but fortunately there was nothing but rain and hail to be too concerned about during the night.  Definitely made me want to take the weatherman a little more serious next time.  I swear they are always wrong but it just takes one time when they are actually right to earn my trust back. :)  

Anyhow, this whole experience got me thinking...all night long the weather man had been warning that it was going to be a bad night and yet I still sent my kiddos off.  How often do the prophets warn us and ask us to prepare ourselves, and yet we just don't listen-sometimes we think we know better, sometimes we think their counsel doesn't apply to us.   Take Noah for example.  The people didn't heed his counsel and thought he was a foolish man.  We know how that turned out for them all.  Or there's Joseph in Egypt.  Had the people not listened to him and prepared for the famine, they would not have survived.  This month we are focusing on Listening to the Prophet, as the Prophet is the mouth piece for our Heavenly Father.

I started the activity by briefly telling the kids about the above scary incident.  I then explained that had I listened to the weatherman earlier, it could have saved me a lot of grief.  I would never have let my kiddos head off for the evening had I taken the weatherman seriously. The result was that I was frantically trying to find my family when there was no time left to prepare.  The prophets work the same way, and if we heed their counsel, we will be kept safe from physical and spiritual storms of life.

I then called on kids to come up and spin our weather wheel (I didn't use my kisses jar because it was Fast Sunday).  I used a "Twister" game board spinner.  I covered the whole thing with white paper and then divided the spinner into 8 sections.  I attached one clip art to each of the sections.

We've already polished the song for March so I thought I'd just make this a fun day.  Here's the songs I did...

Sunny-Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam (this is a great one to engage the little Sunbeams as I made each of them a big sunbeam that fits on their head). They come to the front and wear them every time we do that song.  They are some busy little bodies so it's nice to break the music time up a little bit for them.  

Gloomy- If you chance to meet a frown.  I was surprised that a ton of the kids didn't know this song.  It was one of my favorites when I was in primary.  I think it will be a new favorite for these kids as well.

? (I told them it had a ? because sometimes the weather is so unpredictable, you never know what you are going to get- The child up front got to pick the song.

Windy- I let the child pick the song but we sang it really fast, since the wind blows really fast 

Snow- Once there was a snowman-that was a given, right? :)

Rain- The Wise Man and the Foolish Man- This is one of the songs for the program this year and I had no idea whether the kids had ever even heard it before.  Most of Senior Primary already knew it.  That made me so happy as it will make for a much easier month of teaching it down the road.

Calm and Clear- Search, Ponder, and Pray- we talked about how the scriptures and prayer can help us to feel calm, peaceful, and clear minded as we use them in our lives.

All in all, I think this ended up being a very effective lesson. I think the kids really understood the importance of listening to the Prophet and heeding their warnings. 

I do now know how to add documents into the blog (thank you Iheartprimary), but I've got to head off right now. If you want me to email you a PDF of the clip art, just let me know.  You can even just save the clip art  (just right click on the image and choose "Save as").  That way you can save it right to your computer.  I'm not sure if it will be a little bit pixelated that way though.

Anyway, hope you have a nice, SUNNY day (the forecast is calling for sunny and 70 this week in Georgia so I'm quite certain that I will)!  :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Traffic light singing aid

(click to enlarge image for directions)

A friend of mine had told me about this idea and I thought it'd be a fun addition to our singing time.

Where we'd polished our February song, I thought it would be fun to use to review January's song.  Is anyone else having a hard time with that song? I love it but it seems like I can't get a  lot back from the kids on that song.  I know it's in a pretty high key for me, which makes it hard for me to sing with much power, but that shouldn't be a problem for the kids where their voices are high.  Anyway, I wasn't sure if it's that they don't remember the words or just aren't putting a lot into it.  I thought this would be a fun way to keep reviewing it.

To preface the activity, I explained to the kids that just like choosing the right and keeping the commandments keep us safe from many things, traffic lights keep us safe from harm as well.  Just like the commandments,  they protect us.  

To use the traffic light for singing time, I brought a flashlight that would illuminate each of the colors.  I picked a name out of my singing jar and had that child come up to work the flashlight.  When they wanted the kids to sing, they'd flash the flashlight behind the "green"; "red" to stop-obviously.  At first we'd decided that "Yellow" would be teachers sing but the teachers were apparently feeling a little shy so we decided that "yellow" would be to hum.  That worked MUCH better! :)

I think in the end that we spent more time on the "yellow" and "red" but that's okay.  It was a fun way to change it up a little bit.  The kids seemed to really enjoy it. 

And BTW, I realized AFTER I took the picture that the stop light is upside down.  Yet another blonde moment. :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stand for the Right

 I made this chart this morning.  Apparently I did it way too early and wasn't fully awake yet since I left the last line off...sheesh!  I figure for the last line "Stand for the Right", I will just have the kids stand up for the action.  That way it will seem like it wasn't an accident that the line is missing off the poster. :)

(I did the words as a word bubble coming from President Monson's mouth)

Our Prophet has some words for you,
And these are the words: "Be True".  "Be True".
At work, at play, In darkness or light
Be True, Be True, and Stand for the Right.

If anyone wants the clip art collage I did, just leave a comment and I will send them your way a.s.a.p.  (One of these days I will figure out how to add PDF files on here).

I love it when songs are short and sweet like this!  Everyone enjoy a much easier month of teaching the new song! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meet "Max" conducting dog

When I was first called as Chorister I browsed the web for fun ideas for Singing time.  I came across a cute idea on Sugardoodle for a Conducting Elephant. I liked the idea a lot but I didn't really want to make an elephant so I kind of put the idea in the back of my mind.

Last week I was trying to come up with a fun way to make the monotony of learning a new song a little more enjoyable for the kids.  That's where Max came into play.  We have a dog named Max who LOVES music.  If I sit down to play the piano, he climbs right under the piano and lays on my feet-literally.  Music sends his tail wagging.  That gave me the idea of making a "Max" conducting dog.  He was pretty simple to make and made such a huge impact on the kids.  We probably sang Choose the Right 5 times today until we had it polished and the kids just kept singing their heart out because Max wagged his tail even harder when they sang their best.  I just had a different child come up and wag his tail each time we sang it. The kids were very cute!

I had debated even pulling Max out for the Sr. Primary because I thought they'd think he was silly.  I decided to give it a try anyway.  Many of the older kids know my dog Max so they thought it was awesome that he'd made his way to Primary to hear them sing. :)  

This is the best singing time I've had in a long time with the Sr. Primary, surprisingly enough. Max will definitely be paying a visit again!

Max was feeling a little shy with all of the kids so he turned around while they sang (this way the kids could see him wagging his tail).  It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures how Max works but the kids just stuck their hand through the hole and into the sock to wag the tail).  Clear as mud?  No?  Sorry.  Hard to explain.  If you have any questions, let me know.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letters from Heaven

I probably should have done this post BEFORE now since it's more Valentine themed and Valentine's is TODAY.  I figure February is a month of Love though so this activity could work all month long.  Right? :)

Typically I use sticks (with the names of all the kiddos written on them) to choose my helpers for the day.  Unfortunately my sticks have been out of date since we had all of the new sunbeams come in, and many kids move up to Sr. primary at the first of the year.  

In the meantime I have just been calling on kids, trying to choose kids I hadn't picked before.  It's so hard to keep track of who I've called on and I could tell a few kids weren't super happy about that fact.  It was stressing me out. I finally tracked down a new roll this week and decided to do something fun for the month of February, instead of going back to the sticks.

I bought a big bag of Hershey's kisses and wrote each one of the kid's names on the bottom.  Tried it out this past Sunday and it worked like a charm.  I picked a kiss out each time I needed a helper.   After that child helped me, I gave them their "kiss".  Once their kiss is gone from the jar, they won't get called on again until every child has had their kiss pulled as well.  That way, everyone will get chosen to be my helper this month.  This will make my life so much easier. I threw a couple blank ones in there as well in case we have visitors.

here's a copy of the label I made (if anyone wants to use it).  I had a different one for Sr. but I cannot find it on my computer anywhere.

For our singing time, I'd seen a really cute letters from Heaven idea here .  While I didn't have a big mailbox to use for the activity, I did have a bunch of smaller mailboxes that our family uses to give each other "Love" notes during the month of February.  I put one letter in each mailbox.  I used my "Super Singers" jar to call the kiddos up to pick a letter.  There was a "love" related song in each of the mailboxes with exception to one.  In one of the notes from heaven, it said "sometimes Heavenly Father wants to bless us just because he loves us".  Instead of singing a song for that letter, I gave them each a little conversation candy heart.

label for the Letters from Heaven if anyone wants it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Choose the Right" Football Game

I am in a zombified state so I don't know if this whole idea will pan out like it's playing out in my head. Things always seem better in my head than they play out in reality. :)

Anyway, I'd found a cute idea on a blog that used Choose the Right symbols.

Using her idea of holding up the symbols, I made multiple symbols for the key words in the song "Choose the Right". I will pass out a symbol to each one of the kids (I was able to fit 12 symbols on each page).  Every time their word/phrase is said in the song, they will quickly stand and hold up their symbol.  If by chance that gets a little rowdy, I will just have them sit and hold up the symbol instead.  I am hoping this will break up the monotony as we learn the song but also to help them focus on the words that are being learned.

"Choose the Right"



Once we've gotten the words down on the song pretty well, I will pull out the football field poster I made (because hey, it's the Super Bowl, and the boys will get a kick out of it).  :) 
I got the football field idea here.

I have a ref shirt that I will have one of the teachers put on.  Each time we sing the song, the ref will move the football up the field, depending on how well the kids sing it.  We will keep singing it until we get a touchdown.  I did two footballs just in case I decide to break the kids into two teams-the "Army of Helaman Harmonics" and "Moroni's Musettes". :)