Posted in brilliant ideas, church, coping, kids, Teaching

Cut and Paste Noah’s Ark lesson

This lesson goes with the Primary 6 book, Lesson 8


Imagine you have a Sunday school class of 11 year old kids. You are trying to teach them about the Old Testament.

This was me several years ago and I was at a loss of what to do.

Here’s why:

One of my kids couldn’t read really at all. So having her read a scripture at all. Ever. Was. torturous.

Having someone else read didn’t solve the problem either because she wouldn’t pay attention at all and would cause problems when other people read because she couldn’t pay attention for that long.

Then one of my other students was a bit ADHD and really had no patience for any kind of long “discussion” at all (and by long I mean more than 30 seconds).

I felt like as 11-year-olds they should be learning a bit more of the details of the scriptures but I wasn’t sure how to get there without reading…or talking…for too long.

After the first couple weeks of basically complete disaster lessons, I came up with this idea because it kept their hands busy and it was something that shifted very fast and kept their attention. These lessons were for the most part 10 times more successful than any other attempts with a regular lesson.

What I did was I started drawing these pictures and cartoons and things to teach the lesson. I’d like to say I spent hours on them but honestly most of the time I was scrambling to finish them during Sacrament Meeting while wrestling my then two-year-old boy and two girls. How I ever did even one is a miracle.

I got them copied before class and that was it, gather up some good scissors and glue sticks and we were set.

The first 5-10 minutes was spent cutting out the pieces: they were old enough to do it themselves and I would sit with them and chat about school and their week, etc. Depending on the need, I would direct them to sort the pieces before we started.

I also cut out my own to use as a model while we talked.

Next, I went through the lesson, told stories, discussed and all the while putting the whole thing together. When we finished, they were supposed to color it…but to be honest, they rarely did, haha.

I was stoked for all the info we got through, how much they focused, and how much they actually retained (I would give them small quizzes about the previous weeks’ lesson as we cut out pieces and I could ask them anything it seemed! Amazing!!!)

Their reaction wasn’t as stoked, more like “huh. Cool.” when it was time to go, like “wow, that wasn’t miserable,” which coming from 11 year olds is a compliment, right?

This is my handout for Primary 6 (green book), lesson 8: “Noah and the Flood”

This is what the handout looked like at the beginning:

Then once we went through the lesson, the finished product looked like this:

The handout was intended to prompt me to explain each part so we actually discuss the whole story. I didn’t really write down a script, I just picked up pieces and discussed them as we went along.

Here is the script as I remember it:

First, what story do you think we are going to talk about today? Yes, It’s Noah and the Ark. (glue on Big Noah). How would you feel if the Lord asked you to build a boat when you were no where near water?

Who was Noah’s wife? (glue her next to Noah) What was her name? What do you think she thought about her husband’s project?

Who else was on the Ark with Noah? Can you guess? Yes, he had three sons and his sons had wives (glue them along the bottom of the boat like they are getting on)

What are their names? Japheth, Shem and Ham (glue their names over the top of each couple)

Alright, now what else was on the Ark?

FOOD! (Glue on two baskets of apples) Noah and his family had to bring on enough food to last for however long they would be on the boat so they had a lot of preparing to do to store enough for the journey. How much food do you think you would have to bring if you were going on the Ark?

What else did they bring? ANIMALS!

Now, when you were younger, I’m sure you always just heard “two of each” but actually, for some animals, they brought SEVEN of each…whY? Because they used some of them to actually eat! So They brought 7 of the birds like the chickens and the geese because they intended to eat some of them for dinner during the journey.

Glue on the animals they did NOT eat: the pigs, the cows, the elephant, the giraffe, the crocodile, and the bugs. Next to these animals, glue on “x2”

Next glue on the birds and glue next to them “x7”

Now who else was on the earth at this time? Did Noah have any other relatives?

Well, the first one that is pretty significant is Noah’s Grandfather, Methusaluh. Now Methusaluh was the last relative in Noah’s line that was alive he died ONE YEAR before the flood started. Methusalah is an interesting guy. His father was Enoch! And even though he was good as well, he was told to stay on Earth when everyone else was taken to heaven. He saw the VERY BEST people could be, and he also saw the VERY WORST they could be. He saw his friends and relatives taken up to heaven and he saw his friends and relatives reject the gospel and turn away from God. And if you look at when everyone older than him died, Methusalah was alive when ADAM was alive and even all of his great great and great grandfathers. He could have and probably did meet in person all of his “fathers” since Adam himself.

Now, here is a basic map of Adam and Eve’s children. We know the story of Cain and Abel but the scriptures say that Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters that are not mentioned by name.

Now after Cain murdered Abel and became wicked, anyone who was associated with him came to be called “The brethern of Cain”


Posted in church, Getting Organized, Getting Started, primary chorister, Teaching

This is what happens when “Pie-o-neer” Children meets Musical Chairs

This was a bit of a grand production day…but it was really fun

I wanted them to learn the song “Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked” (which most of them did not know) because it was July and we were trying to do Pioneer stuff

So first, we made a “pie”

I was inspired by THIS post

I told the kids they had a choice of graham cracker crust or oreo crust because I didn’t have time to make the pastry kind (LOL, they didn’t get the joke but my pianist laughed)

On the back of each piece (which we put together as we went–this is how it would look when put together) was a survey question:

The person who chose the piece got to choose which choice was the winner (first) and then we surveyed the group. Whoever chose the same preference as the person got to come up

These people (up to 6–sometimes there were too many, sometimes not enough but we worked it out) came up and sat in the chairs that I had labeled 1-6

Once these 6 people were positioned, I called up another person to choose the flavor of the pie:

These different “flavors” (I told them these were Lemon, Pumpkin, Cherry, etc) had instructions for HOW we were going to sing the song:

So then we all sang the song, doing whatever thing it said.

As we sang, the 6 kids walked around the chairs like Musical Chairs.

Once the song was over, they all sat down and I had someone come up and choose one of the small numbers that I had folded up on the table (I chose Jr Primary kiddos for this)

The number they chose was the “Winner” and that person got to come choose the next crust and the process started over.

NOTES: For this activity I just wrote “Pie-o-neers!” across the top of the board with chalk. The next week, we did something else with Pioneers and I wrote “Pioneers” somewhere again on the board, and one of the Jr primary girls looked confused and told me “that’s not how you spell that!” LOL

Posted in church, Getting Organized, primary chorister, Teaching

“The People Who…” Review game

This game doesn’t really have a name

This was a last minute thing that came out pretty well 🙂

So there were these colored papers up when they came in.

I split them into two teams and called up one person to choose a box

Behind each card was two things: first was how many points this round of singing was worth–5,10,15pts, etc

Next thing was WHO from each team would be singing that round. So depending on the makeup of the team sometimes everyone sang and other times only a few

I got these from HERE. I was out of color ink that Sunday and the colored ones are cuter if you are able, FYI.

At the end of each song I had one of the presidency vote which side sang the best and awarded points from there.

The cool part about this game was not knowing how many points that round would be worth. In fact in the end, the one team was like 30 or 35 points behind and this little Sunbeam came up and chose the exact amount they needed and they won the round and tied the game 🙂 super fun!

Posted in brilliant ideas, Bullet Journals, coping, Getting Organized

Why I’m Hooked on a Bullet Journal

So I started doing a bullet journal the week that school started…

I’ve wanted to start one before but never had the right book for it…

When we were school shopping, I found the perfect one and thought…this. this is it.

So far I’ve really enjoyed it and here’s why:

1. It validates how crazy my day was. Sounds funny but really, it helps me realize that yes, this day was insane! You don’t have to act like it wasn’t and hello? of course you are tired! You did a billion things today!

2. It helps me be a little creative. I don’t always draw a picture in my entries but I like to and it helps ease that creative itch, ya know? I feel like at least I wasn’t a completely productionless artist today…

3. It’s not a big deal BUT it is. I feel like I have recorded my day! Let’s be honest, I’d love to be able to sit down and make a long, thought out, reflective, life changing entry in my journal every day but pffff….I have 4 kids, a job, a husband and a slipping grip on my sanity and hardly any time to spare. This is fast and satisfying and Done.

4. I record things here that have no other outlet. I mean just so many small details that I’d like to remember and can’t unless I have something to remind me. So many small experiences that would never feature as a main event even if I kept a journal…here is where they are. When I have bad dreams…I mean its not something I would even remember after even one day or even tell anyone, but I’ve often thought about how one night of odd weird dreams effects my day…or if the day before produced them?

5. It helps me see my life as a cycle instead of just a series of random days. I try to summarize each day of the month in one word and it’s crazy how each month unfolds. Sometimes it’s a wonder I get anything done at all looking at it

Posted in church, coping, Getting Organized, Getting Started, primary chorister, Teaching

Choose the Right Temple Matching Review game

Program is coming up… …so I opted for a review game. I was inspired by this idea (even tho all I can see if the picture of the cards) but I thought that having it straight matching would take too long…and be too hard for the little ones. So I figured a little more CTR action and then…temples?

So the game was called Choose the Right… Temple” because you had to match them, get it? So choose the right temple to complete the phrase? (not sure what doctrinal repercussions this could have on their little minds, maybe one day they will struggle deciding which temple to marry in because I told them to “choose the right temple” like that’s a thing but I guess I’ll risk it)

Green cards had the beginning phrase of one of our 8 program songs and then the temples had the other half of the phrase.

(I chose phrases from each song and didn’t choose words from either the beginning or the chorus on purpose–gotta have it kinda hard, I mean really!)

That Sunday I had both Jr and Sr primary together and we just divided the room in half and said those were the teams.

Whenever one team got a match, I put the cards under their Team 1 or Team 2 names (that I wrote in chalk) to the side to keep track of the score.

Whenever one team got a match we sang that song. We ended up singing 6 songs and just did the last 2 pairs for points sake–we did sing all verses on all the songs as well so if we hadn’t we could have probably finished.

Whole thing took about 25 minutes NOTES: I realized the point of the rule “if you find a match, you get another turn.” The first person to choose generally doesn’t get a match because they are just pulling random cards, after that though, the next team has a better chance of finding a match. The team that won had that advantage I started to realize as the game went on… so one time I gave the other team some “better singing” points to try and balance them out a bit better but they still won.

Posted in church, coping, Getting Organized, Getting Started, primary chorister, Teaching

Duck Duck Sing Review Game

Feel like getting a little rowdy in Primary?

Here’s a fun review game for you:

Now first, I played this with a fairly small group…Sr primary was about 10 kids so we just did a huge circle and everyone played.

Jr primary was larger so I had a small group come up and take turns being in the circle.

Basic idea: one kid comes up and chooses a duck. Each duck has a song on the back.

Now we sing that song and as we sing, one person (I chose a new person to be It other than the duck selector but could be the same person) walks around patting each person on the head (In Jr primary we discussed how to do this softly LOL) and walking around.

Whenever the person stopped and RESTED their hand on one person’s head, (again we discussed doing this softly but also firm enough for the person to know they were selected), they had to fill in the words to the song.

This was supposed to be just a few words and the other kids were supposed to stop singing but they mostly didn’t stop and the kid looked at me and if they were saying the right words I just said “switch!” and they did and new person kept walking until the song was over.

If they didn’t know the words, I just shook my head and the person kept walking, no big deal. (tried not to have this be some public shaming game haha)


Overall the kids loved it, they liked messing up the chairs I think… and it was a bit louder but it was fun.

Jr primary often had a hard time choosing a person and would just walk around and around…. even after I told them they had to…still just walked around… oh well…

Sr primary had a hard time choosing anyone of the opposite sex…boys chose boys and girls chose girls so had to stop them and make them choose certain people at times so everyone got a turn. Maybe next time you could do boy/girl seats and make them count out a certain number…maybe ducks could also say a number? that way it would take some fear out of selecting a person?

Posted in brilliant ideas, coping, Getting Organized, Painting, Teaching

Four Popular Art projects Your Child could Do Today: Day 1 “The Desert”

I see things on Pinterest all the time and think, wouldn’t that be fun to do? But its all so random and seems like we never get to them.

So I went through a bunch of ideas and put them together under themes that seemed more managable.

This is the series of “Art Classes” that I designed and thought someone out there would like to save some time and use.

Each class has four activities that go around a central theme. Each activity (not counting the prep time you might spend) is about 15 to 20 minutes long.

If you wanted to do all four activities at the same time, figure an hour or so.

If you wanted to do one activity a day with your child, you could spend 15 minutes doing it and then do other things. (So instead of Day 1 it would be more like Week#1)


Folded Snake:
Sun Texture:
Slinky Lizards:
Qtip Desert Animals:

Missed a Day? Check out these also:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Posted in church, Getting Organized, primary chorister, Teaching

Sing or Dare?

You have to do this game next Sunday

I made two sets of each thing: musical notes and surprise emojis:

I did 4 for Jr and 4 for Sr and made them different colors so I wouldn’t get them confused and have to try and figure out which was which (and there isn’t a huge difficulty difference so it would have been fine but just gave me a little peace of mind)

So the board only showed 4 of each at a time:

I put the words to the song we were practicing (the flipchart) up there too inbetween the title and the notes/faces

Then I just called a person up and they got to choose a Note or a Face. If they chose the “Dare,” then they did whatever it said to do:

I believe the orange is Sr and green is Jr

I kept calling people up until someone chose a Sing. Each Sing card had instructions to sing 1 of the 3 verses and one haf them singing the whole song so we sang the song 4 times:

Each Song card also had instructions for HOW we were going to sing it as well

NOTES: This was a really good Sr and Jr game, both ages really enjoyed it and enjoyed having the choice to sing or do something funny.

Posted in brilliant ideas, coping, trampolines

How to dig an in-ground trampoline and not go crazy Here’s How:

Step 1: find a trampoline that will fit in the space you want to use

In our case we needed a rectangular shape so that we would still have some yard left for other things

Step 2: ORDER IT right now otherwise you’ll just have a huge hole in the ground with nothing to put in it!

Step 3: order only the trampoline and disregard offers to have it installed professionally because you totally got this and geez, it’ll be cheaper right? Those install places charge a fortune!

Step 4: rent a backhoe for the day and start digging!

Step 5: have everyone watch and even have them “help” dig so they all feel involved

Step 6: keep digging and digging…at some point measure to see how deep you really need to go

Step 7: build the frame for the sides and put the trampoline in the hole

Step 8: fill in around the tramp with dirt. Call everyone over to help you and then fill some more. Wait for the dirt to settle and then fill in more… repeat over and over for about a week

Step 9: see that mountain of dirt? Just get used to that being there

Step 10: call everyone you know and ask them to come over and get some free dirt. Advertise on yard sale sites and talk to everyone you know about taking some dirt away.

Finally, use the leftover railroad ties and dirt and create a gigantic flowerbed thinking this will use up all the remaining dirt

Step 11: that uses a lot but not all of it. Resign yourself to the fact that you have a mound of dirt there and whatever. Let a year go by.

Step 12: get fed up with the dirt one day and just spread it out all over the yard on top of the gravel and then go get more gravel to put over the top of the dirt and give your arms a real good workout until about 1am

Step 13: after the padding completely falls apart 6 months later, order a new one and wonder why you didn’t do that from day 1. This one is so much better!

Step 14: put the kid’s basketball hoop next to the tramp, why did you never think of this before?


Posted in Uncategorized

4 Apps that Help Me Fold Laundry

It’s the ever-present evil: laundry

Everybody has it; it never goes away and it’s constantly building.

When my husband and I were first married we had two loads of laundry a week: one of colored clothes, one of whites.

In those days my husband did the laundry because he said he liked it and I told him “well that’s great you should do what you like…”

I think of those days and I think how cute is that? one load of laundry for 7 days of life…

Now here we are Ten Years Later with four small children in the house and we have a load of laundry EVERY. DAY.

If I miss a day and either don’t run a load or don’t fold a load–for example on Sunday when I take a break and don’t do laundry–that means that on Monday I have two to three loads of laundry to fold.

However, this last year I feel that I have come to be at peace with laundry and this is why:

My main problem when I do laundry is that I feel stressed and I feel anxious that I’m never going to finish.

I sit and fold laundry and I think to myself “how many minutes of my life are being wasted away while I fold underwear?”

And even after the laundry is folded I look at huge stacks of clothes and think to myself “Why do we have all of this and how am I ever going to put it all away?” For years I had baskets in baskets of clean clothes lining the walls of my bedroom that never went away. It seemed as soon as I folded them there was another load that I had to fold and so I thought why put the basket of clothes away when I have all of this to add to it? So I would spend the afternoon folding more clothes and putting them in baskets and then not putting those clothes away either and so it was a never-ending cycle of clothes everywhere piles of clothes to be folded and piles of clothes that need to be put away that never were.

So my main goal this last year has been to completely distract myself and I do that by using either my phone or my tablet and by using one of these 4 apps:

1. Netflix

I know you might be thinking this isn’t necessarily an app,  why don’t you just turn on your TV?
I do that also but I find that a lot of times when I am folding laundry that I am trying to be quiet because the baby is taking a nap.

So I use my tablet or my phone because I can put headphones on them.

(and by the way if any of you are thinking what to get me for Christmas you could get me this new Roku box that you can plug headphones into the remote 🙂 this would solve my TV problem…. I’m just going to put this link right here for you just you know if you were to need it later you know it’s here for your convenience:)

My second problem is that when I’m folding laundry (if I am folding it when someone is not sleeping) and the kids are home I am usually doing it to escape the kids for a few minutes and have someone not be talking endlessly to me and find a little bit of Solitude. I find that I am especially sensitive to sound and so I often don’t like the TV and prefer my phone because the overall volume is quieter and when my kids walk in to ask me a question the volume is not so loud that they feel they have to talk even louder to talk over it ( and they talk loud enough as it is)

Third reason is that I can’t keep track of a remote to save my life. Watching Netflix on my phone means that all I have to do is touch it and it pauses and I don’t have to worry about where my remote went amid my pile of laundry so that when someone walks in or the phone rings I don’t have to worry and scramble to try and press pause on my show so that I can hear them.

And finally besides Logistics of watching TV I have developed what I call Laundry shows. These are shows that I really only watch when I fold laundry and these are also shows that I don’t feel right watching and unless I am folding laundry I am never in the mood to just watch them without doing something at the same time.

My laundry shows have been a huge list of different things from Drop Dead Diva to The Good Wife to my current show Haven and also include when available shows like The Vampire Diaries or Grey’s Anatomy. Laundry shows are ones that I watch while I fold and that distract me from the fact that I might be folding laundry for the rest of my life.

This way if I need to fold laundry for an hour that’s totally fine with me because that means I get to watch the entire show in one sitting.

2. Audible

This is my second favorite thing to do while folding laundry. The problem with Netflix is that at some point I run out of shows either because I watch them all or because this season has not been updated yet or because my show gets canceled.
Audible is the same thing as watching Netflix only there’s no visual which in many ways it’s a good thing when you’re trying to match socks. A lot of times especially with laundry it’s hard to keep looking at the TV and so Audible is a good alternative because now I can read a book while also keeping my hands busy and not having to look up.

I like Audible also because of the different voices that you get of people reading the stories. I especially like to listen to books where the reader has an accent because it sounds so cool like in this book that I read:

This functions much the same as Netflix because it keeps me distracted from the fact that my entire bed is covered with clothes so I don’t care that this will take me 3 hours to do because my book is 10 hours long so I actually I am disappointed that I don’t have more time to fold laundry now what are the chances that I would ever have that feeling?

I like Audible also because while watching Netflix is entertaining it’s not always intellectual. At least with audible I can say things like oh I just read that book even though I didn’t really read it I listened to it while folding my husband’s t-shirts but it still sounds like I’ve been making good use of my time right? So while I can tell you I just read this book called The Power of Habit and it was so good! you don’t have to be very impressed that I found a time because actually I did it while folding onesies and my husband’s work shirts.

3. Habits

The last app that I like is one that’s just called Habits
This is an app that you can enter something that you want to make a habit and then all it does is put it on a list with the date and every day whenever you get it done you get to put a little check next to it. The app tracks how often you complete your task or rather how often you’ve clicked on it to say you were done.

I like this because it makes me feel like I finish something. On this app I have a multitude of chores that I want to accomplish in a week. Not all of them are daily tasks necessarily; some of them are weekly ones but it’s a good way to keep track of how often I actually do things

I have three different categories on my list for laundry: run laundry, fold laundry, and put away laundry. Those three categories to me are three very separate jobs that require a certain degree of concentration. In my book if I can get all three of those done all in the same day I get a special treat. The reason that I list put away laundry as part of the deal is because I hate it. I hate putting away laundry even though I found it doesn’t really take that much time but whenever I look at a huge pile of laundry I would rather do anything then put it away.

Piles of folded laundry sitting there make me think of a hissing snake. I don’t want to touch it but I wanted to just go away and I don’t want to have to deal with looking at it. I found then that putting it away and having my bed and my room clean of laundry makes me take a big sigh of relief every time I walk into my room. I’ve started to even say to myself as I stare at a pile of laundry “you like your room cleared out, you like your bed clean, you want the laundry to be put away.” and then when none of that works I say to myself “just do it and you’ll feel better.” And I am right of course but I still hate putting away laundry so far I haven’t come up with anything to help with that other than just getting it out of the way and forcing myself to do it.

4. Township

This may sound like a silly one but seriously this has helped me.
The basic gist of this game is that you compete to produce things.  Each item has a timer and each item Builds on the next. So for example, in order to make bread,  you have to grow wheat.  Once you make bread,  now you can use the bread to make a sandwich. You compete to make the most of a certain product and to be successful, you have to be prepared.  Some products take hours and hours to produce and if you aren’t prepared,  there’s no way to make what you need in the time limit. So if you’re smart then you make the products that take the longest all the time so that if you suddenly need them you don’t have to wait 15 hours to start from square one: you already have the basic materials there that you can put together quickly.

The basic lesson I’ve learned from this game is that everything has a time limit.  You know that the washer takes a certain amount of time to run.  You know the dryer has a time limit too.  Folding the laundry takes a set amount of time–sometimes a little more sometimes a little less-sbut each load that you do is going to take a certain amount of time to fold,  then it’s going to take a certain amount of time to put away.

Now it doesn’t matter in the end when you do these different parts of the laundry cycle but it sure makes it a lot easier if you don’t have to start from the beginning and it’s also a lot easier if you take care of it a little bit at a time.

The laundry is not going away. It’s not like your kids are going to stop making messes or stop wearing clothes. You want your kids to have clean clothes to wear; you want clean clothes to wear. That’s definitely an underlying goal overall and so like the game if you can look ahead and plan for things that you know are coming then you’ll be much better off and be able to do the things that you wanted to easier and faster because you planned ahead.

So not that this app/game helps me to do laundry but I think it’s helped me have a better attitude because I think all laundry is is a game. Laundry is a task and I know the steps and I know that this game is one that’s never going to go away so it might as well be a game that I am good at and that I figured out how to do as quickly and as well as I can so that I can move on to other things. Stop acting like this is something that you are afflicted with or that is so difficult. It’s a basic task and a basic problem; all you have to do is go through the motions and it will be taken care of.

Happy Laundry Day!