Monday, August 30, 2010

Primary Sacrament Meeting Program Review

My Primary counselor called me on Friday and told me that I would have singing time and the time usually used for sharing time. Sister Friendly was out of town and her substitute had to bow out. What was I going to do?

After some consideration, I decided to combine an old game... "Don't Eat Pete" with a game we played last year.

Here's how it worked...

First I asked 2 of the children that were singing well to come up. One child was sent outside the room while the 2nd child chose which picture was "Pete". I gave the chooser one Skittle candy.

The child came back in the room and started choosing the magnetic boxes (I bought them at Walmart - $3.88 for 3 boxes) under the pictures. They got to eat or keep the one Skittle that was in each box. When they went for "Pete's" box, everyone shouted "Don't Eat Pete". His/her play was over. That child then picked a game piece. This is how they saw it.

This is what was written on them (click on the picture to get a bigger view.)

The next part of the game required the children to follow the instructions on the game piece. Most of them had one of the Primary Sacrament Meeting Presentation songs on it, there were a few that had other instructions. The children then (in most cases) sang the song. If they did a good enough job, I moved the flag up each rock the number of Skittles that the child had just earned (anywhere from none to 5).

I do have 2 flags, but only used one in this case. The goal was to take the flag to the top of the mountain in the amount of time that we had. They did a great job. I only refused to move the flag once. It was towards the end of the 45-50 minutes that I had and they were getting a little tired of it all. They didn't sing very well despite the fact that I had all the words for that song. The refusal was meant to be a wake up call and it was.

There were 2 things that I didn't like about this game. The first was that I just had so many parts to the game that I had to be reminded to move the flag or give them their Skittles, etc. Not a huge deal.

The second was that some of the children did not like the shouting of "Don't Eat Pete". They were plugging their ears.

Every child and almost all their teachers played the "Don't Eat Pete" game, but I still handed out some Skittles to each person at the end of Primary. I chose Skittles because we have children with peanut and milk allergies.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Flutter Flower Shirt

As I often do, I was surfing the web for great craft ideas and came across this wonderful shirt and decided I had to try it.

I went to Walmart and bought 2 identical shirts that were on sale for $3 each. I then cut part of one of the shirts into 1" to 1 1/2" strips and then cut those strips into 2" rectangles that looked like this.

I cut those rectangles and sewed them as the blogger suggested and this is what they looked like.

I used fabric glue to glue them in place on the shirt and this is what I came up with. It looks even better on me then it does on the table, but the pictures I took look horrible, so you'll just have to imagine it.

If you'd like to see step-by-step instructions, you can find them here. If you decorate the t-shirt as I did, you will probably need at least twice the number of flowers that she used.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Primary Girls Activity Day - the sling

I searched a little on the web and found an idea for Primary Girls Activity Day that sounded really good to me. It fulfills two requirements. The first is from "Learning and Living the Gospel". It is "Tell a story from the Book or Mormon that teaches about faith in Jesus Christ. Share your testimony of the Savior." The other one is from "Developing Talents". It says "Write a poem, story, or short play that teaches a principle of the gospel or is about Heavenly Father's creations."

A few meetings back, we started talking about Book of Mormon stories that teach about faith in Jesus Christ. My girls did not know the Book of Mormon stories very well at all. I had to basically go through and tell them the stories so that they could pick one that they would like to focus on. When I explained that we were going to do a play for our parents, they decided that they would love to get their arms chopped off. So we chose the story of Ammon and the Lamanites.

We spent several weeks writing the play. We've practiced it a couple of times now. We still need to make props, costumes, and sets. Yesterday, I thought we could branch out just a bit and make slings for all the girls. That way Amman could learn how to "kill" a Lamanite with a sling. What fun we had!

I went to the local leather shop and bought a bunch of leather scraps for $4.

I also bought some camo cording at Walmart (I found it in the hardware section). It was about $4. I made a cardboard pattern that was 2"x4" and used my ruler to mark the center of the cardboard just about 3/8" from the ends. I used my Big Bite to punch a hole at those marks.

I then marked the leather using the cardboard pattern and cut the leather pieces out. I did that myself because I didn't want to waste any leather. I also marked the position of the hole. The cording was cut into 48" lengths.

When the girls got to the meeting, they cut the cording in half.

I had them burn the ends of the cording to stop the fraying of the cord. Because it is a plastic-type material, this is the best way to stop the fraying.

They then punched a hole in the leather using the Big Bite.

Now we tied the cording onto the leather and made a slip knot in one end to hold the sling securely on one finger.

And voila! the finished product complete with our stone of choice... a large marshmallow.

The girls had a blast trying this new toy out. Since we have Activity Day at my home and it is so hot outside, a marshmallow worked great. If our Ammon ever gets good enough to actually use the sling with the marshmallow, it won't hurt the Lamanite too badly. I didn't think to take pictures while we were actually doing this activity, so I've recreated what we did and included a clip from Youtube that shows how to use a sling.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Singing Time

I had a great Primary Singing Time this week. It was about as much fun as I have ever had in this calling and that is saying a lot!

It was based on this this website that I love. She has activities that work with my personality and strong points. I found this use for an ipod. I also found this cookie making idea. I then combined them for my singing time yesterday. I also changed them so that the chance for success was much better. I don't like setting children up for failure and then rewarding them for that failure.

The activity had 2 facets as do most of my singing time activities. The first facet was a game that we played between the boys and girls. I would have a representative from each group come up one at a time and I would let them listen with the earbuds to the song from the Sacrament Meeting Presentation on the ipod. They would then hum to it. I didn't limit the number of notes. Instead I let them hum until I saw looks of recognition on many faces and hands going up. I learned as I was standing there that many children cannot hum a tune, even if they can sing it. (Side note: If you ever want a totally quiet Primary, have a child hum and have the children try to recognize the song. There was NO extraneous noise at all!) I let one 3 year old hum the entire song and even I couldn't recognize it, so I told him to sing it and they all knew it then. As this was preliminary to the main event, I didn't make this particular part of my singing time very hard or time-consuming.

For the second facet of our singing time, I had this posted on the board...

I told the children that I was going to make cookies based on how they sang the song that they had just recognized. If they sang well, I would put the good ingredients (the black words) into the bowl. If they sang badly, I would add the bad ingredients (the red words). I would then make the cookies and we would have them as a snack at the end of Primary.

I made cookies before I came to Primary to hand out, since I knew that there would not be enough time to cook them.

Those children sang their hearts out! It had been a long time since they had sung many of the songs, but they tried sooo very hard. I started out with easier songs to remember, then moved on to the harder ones.

I had a 3 year old who would sing an ahhh sound as loud as she could if she didn't know the words. I ended up mouthing the words to her so she would sing them and she did!

We ended with more ingredients to add but I told them that I would finish them in the kitchen. There was not a bad ingredient in the batch. I had planned it so it would end up that way. I knew those children would respond to this challenge in this way.

I will probably do the second facet of this activity again, as we get closer to the Primary Presentation for Sacrament Meeting. I will be much harder on the kids and I will redo my recipe so that if they earned the bad ingredients with a poor performance, I could cook it up and give it to them to taste. I don't think I would give them the good cookies. I would then do the same thing a week or two later and see how they did, since they would know what my standards were at that point.

Time with Grandma

When my grandchildren are about 10 months old, I begin a one-on-one time with them on my bed. I keep a selection of books that I only read to them there and they have a very, very simple activity that we do there. It is simply called "The Sponges".

I have made many of these over the years because they wear out, but I always make more because they seem to love the activity. It is similar in theory to the Tupperware Shape-O.

But it is for a much younger age group. I did at one time try different shapes in the lid, but for the age group I target, it doesn't really work.

So a quick tutorial, though you probably could figure it out on your own.

First, I buy sponges.

I haven't bought them in years, but used to be able to find them in the dollar bins at the grocery store.

They are always flexible, wet or dry.

I then take a cheap plastic container leftover from cottage cheese, sour cream, etc and outline a hole about the size of a half dollar.

I cut it out and make sure that there are no burrs around the cut area. If there are, I recut.

I then cut the sponges into 1 1/2" shapes. They can be any shape. I didn't cut any out this time since the sponges last much longer than the containers. Here is why I'm replacing the lid...

Here is the finished product.

Of course, the children adjust the activity to fit their age.

This activity has been popular with each of my children and grandchildren. It is not pretty, but they love it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


It's past time to update Jeanine's condition, but it is hard to do because there is little to tell. I told her that I was going to do it, so here goes.

Jeanine is still on Torisel. At this point, it seems to be holding the cancer at bay. She has had few side effects from this treatment and yet, she still has issues that make her uncomfortable or in pain a good deal of the time. Part of that pain, of course, is from the tumors in her liver. Her treatment does not promise or even claim a minuscule possibility that it can shrink her cancer. At this point, the doctor is simply trying to prevent any growth in her known tumors and prevent the growth of new tumors.

Other pain comes from the side effects, for the most part, from the Vicodin she takes to handle the pain from the cancer in the liver. She finds herself needing that Vicodin every 4 or 5 hours.

Jeanine is finding herself more and more tired depending on the activities she is engaged in. She is considerably tired after her treatments on Fridays. Yet, she is still able to work, do what needs to be done around the house (though she has hired someone to do her yard work,) and take care of her responsibilities in her ward. She appreciates your concern and love and continues to like to visit with you. Thank you for your continued support of her.