Monday, November 30, 2015

Countdown to CHRIST-MAS Nativity

Tis the season to be Jolly...and busy!

Forgive my short post, but I wanted to share this project with you all, with little time to make it fancy! So bare with me, but here it goes!

I have spent the last couple of years putting together a Nativity-centered Christmas countdown with scripture, song, and video links for each character in the Nativity.  The idea is that you look at your December schedule and traditions that you are already doing with your family.  Then use this document to put a Christ-centered focus on your tradition.  Or if you are looking for some new ways to celebrate, there are some of those as well!

Choose whatever order you want to study the characters in, and you can study one each day, or study each one for a few days to have something to study every day until Christmas.  Tailor it to fit your family's schedule and traditions!

The document has hyperlinks to all scriptures, songs, and videos so you can used your phone, tablet, or computer to access everything you need.  That way you can even use it when you are on vacation! 

Click the picture below to download the document!

This was inspired by Emily Freeman's A Christ-Centered Christmas 
See my post from last year for more details and a link to buy her awesome book:

CHRIST-mas Countdown Begins! Five ways to put Christ back in Christmas!

Click Here to Download the Countdown!

Have a very merry CHRIST-mas!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Because of Him

If there is only one blog video you ever watch, that I post, this should be the one!  There are not words to describe the feeling it will give to you!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Easter Week Countdown

Happy Easter Everyone!
A few years ago I was talking with a group of people about what they were doing for Easter weekend.  Then one of them said, "Why do we have Easter anyways?  I know it's not about bunnies, but I can't remember.  Isn't it something about Jesus?"  I was SHOCKED!  So, I explained that Easter is really about the Atonement and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It just made me so sad that so many are clueless as to the true meaning of such an important holiday!

So two years ago I made a goal to make Easter more meaningful at our house.  We began doing a countdown to Easter, much like we do for Christmas, by watching a short video clip every day of the events that happened in the last week of the Savior's life.  We culminate the week with a visit to the Mesa, Arizona Easter Pagent where they perform a free pagent about the life and final week's events of Jesus Christ.  It's awesome!  If you live in Arizona, I HIGHLY recommend it!  You can find the information on it here.

Additionally, this year there is a website you can go to for a series of special messages/videos emailed directly to you to help you celebrate the season and the Living Christ!  Check it out HERE!

Anyways, I wanted to share the video that I made with all of you!  I did have it divided into chapters by day, but for some reason Youtube didn't upload it that way, so you'll have to skip forward to each day as you go.  Hope you enjoy and are better able to remember the reason for this season!

Palm Sunday 0:00
Monday-Cleansing the Temple 5:45
Tuesday&Wednesday-Jesus Teaches in Parables 7:13
Thursday-The Last Supper/Intercessory Prayer 8:14
Good Friday-Christ is Condemned 27:27
Saturday-The Burial:Christ Visits the Spirit World 39:44
Easter Sunday-He is Risen! 43:16

© 2014 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

4 Small and Simple Ways to Make a Big Difference With Your Children

Morning Messages
Are your mornings as chaotic as mine?  Everyone running around trying to get ready in time to go here or there?  Seems like that is much of today's society in general.  However, there is one time that can be an eye of the storm to your mornings...breakfast!  It's more than just the most important meal of the day.  It can be one of the most important moments as well!  Add a little Morning Message and it's become a chance to set a positive tone for everyone's day before they enter the chaos of the world!

I used to read while I ate my breakfast.  As a kid it was the comics from the newspaper or of course the riveting text on the back of the cereal boxes.  When I grew older I used the time to study the scriptures since it was one of the few solitary, peaceful times of my day where I could really concentrate and contemplate.  Then, I had children...At first it was easy to keep that routine since I only had one baby and she was usually nursing or sleeping while I ate breakfast.  Then, she grew older and I felt kind of guilty for ignoring her while I read and ate.  She wasn't old enough to converse with either, so I was no longer sure what to fill the breakfast conversation/study void with.

Then, one day I realized that just because she wasn't old enough to converse, didn't mean she wasn't old enough to listen.  So, I ordered my first copy of the inspirational children's magazine, The Friend, and began reading an article a day with her.  Little did I realize that she was ACTUALLY listening and learning from these articles at a very young age!  It was amazing to me, and continues to be as we've added more children to my home.

Thus the birth of our Morning Messages.  Each morning we read a message from The Friend Magazine, sing a song to align with it (which I usually choose on the spot--no prep here! and the songs can be listened to and downloaded for free HERE!), and have a mini-discussion about the topic of the day (which is based on whatever the next article is--again no prep!).  It's become our morning ritual and daily devotional.  Something I plan to continue as my children get older, just with messages then from The New Era youth magazine.  Even my little toddler who can't fully utter the words, begs for Morning Messages, pointing to the magazine when I forget!

Scripture Stories
Anyone with toddlers and pre-schoolers at home understands the struggle to get a few moments of peace while you take a shower and get ready for the day.  At the same time, I'm always looking for ways to instill values while my children are still young and largely influenced by home life and teachings.  At our house we kill two birds with one stone because of the awesome radio program I found called Scripture Stories!  It is basically an audio-recording of a book-club done by children where they read and discuss scripture stories from the New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Old Testament (yet to come).

You can find them on the Mormon Channel links HERE!
The pictures on this page that do not say Mormon Channel are the links for the picture stories that they are studying in their "book club."

As a mother, I love this program for the spiritual development it helps to produce in my children.  As a former elementary school & college teacher I love it because of the comprehension skills it develops as well!  It's exactly the kind of discussion I used to do with my students and has innumerable lessons in communication skills and reading comprehension development!  

Most of the programs are anywhere from 20-30 minutes long, and afterwards my children watch the video of the scripture story that goes along with the discussion they just listened to.  If your children struggle with the auditory, you can have them follow along in their own copy of the scripture stories books (for visual learners), or play something like blocks while they listen (for your kinesthetic learners).

Family History Friday

Since there are only so many articles in the Friend Magazine, and we didn't have enough for every weekday of the month, I decided to supplement with stories from our ancestors on Fridays, or show my kids some things from  It has already become a favorite as they love looking at pictures and hearing stories from their ancestors!  When it is the week of a grandparent or great-grandparent’s birthday then I make sure we study them that week and incorporate their favorite foods and activities throughout that Friday!  It’s a work in progress but I love it already!  This last week we studied my grandma since it was her birthday and we played dolls, board games, and sewed just like she loved to do.  I forgot to get her favorite foods, but it was a fun day for all of us and brought back some great memories for me!

Family Home Evenings
If you don't already, set aside one night a week (we do Mondays) to have a little spiritual thought or lesson followed by a family activity and of course a tasty treat (my children's favorite part...okay maybe mine too! :)) This Website has some incredible resources for teaching your children just about any topic you can imagine.  You can search by topic to find lessons, activities (both on and off the computer), videos, images, you name it!

These four things are so simple and basic, but they can make a world of difference in the spirit and feeling that permeates your home!  Try them out and let me know how it goes for you!

© 2015 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 2, 2015

Primary Activity: Following the Footsteps of Jesus

 When I served in the Primary Presidency we did about one big activity a year with the kids.  Since I did this one before I started the blog, I sadly don't have any pictures of the activity to share! :(  However, it was one of the favorite ones in my book so I wanted to share it for those of you serving in the Primary to use if you want to!  I spent a lot of time putting it together so I'm all about sharing the love and saving time for others!  Especially with the Primary theme this year centered around Jesus!

This activity is a walk back in time with characters from the New Testament dressed up and telling their story in the first person!  There are four stations and each one involves a first person account of an encounter with the Savior, a discussion, and an activity or handout to go with the topic!  
Check out the links below for all the details to teach your children about the Savior in a fun and memorable way!

Please contact me if you'd like the Word document for this to alter...Googledocs always alters them so that's why I saved them as PDF's.

© 2015 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved

Boot Camp (Building Our Own Testimonies) Primary Activity

A couple of summers ago my Primary Presidency put together this outdoor activity for the kids at church to have fun and learn about how to strengthen their testimonies.  I don't have a lot of details written down, or pictures since I hadn't started this blog yet then, but I thought I'd share what I do have in case anyone would like to use our ideas!

We dressed up as drill sergeants and had the kids marching in rows, chanting from station to station as they went!  We had four stations for the activity and when the kids arrived we divided them into Platoons with two Primary teachers in each group as their captains.  

These are the stations we did:

Obstacle Course: Overcoming the obstacles of life through our Savior, Jesus Christ
(We walked them through the obstacle course with a short lesson before doing it.  Talk about how sometimes life is easier, sometimes more difficult...and sometimes we just can't do things on our own.  Have one part of the course where they HAVE to have help by a priesthood holder to get through it and talk about how the Savior can help us through those times.)  

Drills: Testimony Relays
(For this you can have them do a small relay of your choice with an Article of Faith they have to recite, scripture to read, or something like that as part of the relay.  Let them help each other if they get stuck and talk about how sometimes we need each other to help strengthen our testimonies.)

Make A Title of Liberty: Standing for Truth in the Wars of Life
(These were made out of wooden skewers and small pieces of white cloth...a short lesson given on the Title of Liberty and then they were given markers to create their own Title of Liberty representing what was most important to them).

Letters to Missionaries: Supporting Your Comrades

(A short mini-lesson on the importance of supporting and helping each other before writing a letter to the missionaries from our ward.)

At the end we all met up at the "Mess Hall" for closing remarks, prayer, and a treat!

Mess Hall: Feasting on the Word of God: CTR Shield Cookies

Here are all the files if you want to use them:

Please contact me if you'd like the Word document for this to alter...Googledocs always alters them so that's why I saved them as PDF's.

 © 2015 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved

Church Teacher Training Lessons & Handouts

I was recently released from serving in the Primary Presidency in my ward at church. (For those of you who aren't Mormon, that means I helped lead and organize the teachers of the children who met in our church building.)  Over the three years that I served, I was primarily in charge of leading the teacher training sessions we had once a year.  I saved my lessons and handouts and felt maybe I should make them available for anyone who may find them useful in training teachers in other churches and wards as well!  Hope it's helpful!  I'll also be sharing more activities that we did, so look for those coming soon!

Lighting the Fire Within & Put Out Fires While Doing It! (Primary Management Lesson)
Primary Management Lesson Handout

Incentives & Positive Reinforcements for Teaching Primary

Becoming A Shepherd of God's Children

Savor the Sweetness of the Spirit Through Quality Teaching (Lesson & Handout)

© 2015 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Tips to keep your New Year's Resolutions going past January! :)

Tis the Season for Goal Setting! 
Okay, so I have to be honest today!  I'm a TOTAL slacker this year when it comes to setting goals.  I'm six months pregnant with my third and have hit survival mode with life in general, so although I've written my goals for this year (generally), I have yet to even hit the print button on my computer and make them official yet!  And it's almost February!!!  

Well, now that my confession is out of the way...fellow slackers UNITE!  If you are like me and haven't taken a moment or two to set your new year's resolutions this year, then this post is for you!  If you have, and have already fallen off the bandwagon, this post is for you too!  If you've set your goals and are already working like a mad-man/woman on them then good for you, and maybe these ideas will help you keep those goals past January! :)

Here are 5 Tips to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions Going Past January!

1.  Put it on Paper
So here's another confession since I seem to be in the mode for that today.  I used to never write down my goals.  To be honest, I figured if I didn't write them down or tell anyone about them, then if I failed, no big deal; only I would know and no one would be the wiser for it!  Now you're probably wondering how those goals went for me...yep, you guess it!  I failed miserably at most of them!  It's a true fact that most goals that are not written down and shared, are also not accomplished and achieved!  You sew what you reap...and reap what you sew when it comes to goals.  A difficult to accept, yet true fact of life!

And don't just write them down and tuck them away somewhere!  You need to display them so that you will see and read them frequently.  My solution was to put them up on the wall of my bathroom.  After all, as a mother there are few places I actually sit and think these days, and sadly that's the most peaceful of them! :) (Even if little fingers are often found creeping under the door).  You mothers know what I mean!  It's one place you will visit frequently and always need good reading material, so why not have it be your goals?! :)

2.  Keep it Minimal
One of the biggest mistakes we make in setting goals is that we have too many.  As I've looked at many goal sheets over the years, I've discovered they often have at least ten or sometimes more places for goals!  In my opinion, that's way too many to keep track of!  And you know what that means...they just don't happen!  Choose four or five categories and narrow your goals down to those.  In my house we put our goals into four categories:


These are based off of the scripture found in Luke 2:52
"And Jesus increased in wisdom (intellectual), and stature (physical), and in favor with God (spiritual) and man (social)."

I figure if the most perfect person that ever lived could categorize his improvements in four areas of life then certainly I don't need to go searching for more!  It's enough just to try to do that!

3.  Make Them Measurable and Specific
Far too often we set our goals so generally that even we don't know if we've really achieved them!  I used to always set goals like: eat more healthy, read more books, exercise more, lose weight, be more patient with my kids, etc.  This not only sabotages your goals, but can lead to discouragement, thinking you haven't succeeded when perhaps you've made more progress than you even realize!  

Instead set goals like: eat a full serving of vegetables at every lunch and dinner, only have one or two desserts a week (one portion size), read five books this year, exercise five days a week, lose ten pounds, play with my kids individually for 15-30 minutes a day, etc.  These goals can be measured and are more likely to be achieved.

4.  Break it Down
Get Monthly Goal Sheet HereMy husband helped me with this because he is quite the organized goal setter!  One year we worked together to develop a goal sheet to help us track our progress throughout the year on our new year's resolutions.  After we've written our four main focus goals for the year, then each month we sit down and write a monthly goal that will help us grow closer to achieving our goal for the year in that category.  Then we break it down even further into what we are going to do each week to reach that monthly goal.  Don't fill in all the weeks at once!!!  Do one week and then at the end of that week, assess how well you did and what you need to do to improve the next week.  Some goals will carry over for several weeks as well.

Here is our goal sheet if you'd like to print some for yourself!  Just click on the picture and it should take you to the free download!

Get Weight Run Chart HereIf you have a weight loss goal, my husband also developed this sheet which you can click on and print to help you along your way.  The lines on the left are to record weight goals in five to ten pound increments (each square up is another pound).  The numbers at the bottom represent days of the month.  You put a dot at your weight each day and then connect the dots to make a line of progress throughout the month.

The lines and boxes at the bottom are to write and record progress on small goals such as: exercise, drink 8 glasses of water, no desserts, no eating out, full serving of fruit and vegetables, etc.

5.  Don't Give Up!
So you messed up one day, or one week, or one month...that's okay!  Too often we see small failures as reasons to throw in the towel!  I do this all the time, saying things like, "Well, I already ate brownies and ice cream on Monday so I guess my whole week is shot, might as well have dessert every day!"  This is SO not true!  Just because I messed up today, or was too busy, or forgot, does not mean it's over!  Just as is quoted in the beloved Gone With the Wind, "Tomorrow is another day!"  

New years are not the only new beginnings!  God has given us the gift of sleep...(praise him for that!)...and thus renewal each morning of a NEW day!  Don't let yesterdays failures determine tomorrow's destinies!  With the help of those we love, and especially the help of the Lord, we CAN do anything that is worth doing!!!

May the force be with you! :)
© 2015 Leaflet Radiance All Rights Reserved