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)! :)