Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wise Men Still Seek Him

We don't know exactly how many wise men were seeking the Christ child so many years ago.  Tradition suggests 3, but only because of the three gifts mentioned in the scriptures.  We do know that they were indeed wise, good men seeking out the King of Kings in the form of a little child.

Here are some ideas for a family activity night that could be based on the scriptures about these good men. 

Hide and Seek
Mom and Dad or older siblings could be Mary and Joseph.  The rest of the family could dress up in their best wise man attire with turbans and sashes, carrying small battery operated candles from the dollar store.  They could travel throughout the house finally finding Mary and Joseph seated by candlelight.  The "wise men" could present their gifts.

A short lesson about the symbols of the gifts that were presented to Jesus could be given.
  • Gold symbolizing kingship and royalty 1 Timothy 6:15  Also invaluable to a young couple who would soon have the expense of traveling to Egypt to save their child from Herod.  
  • Frankincense used in priesthood ordinances and burnt offerings representing the Lord's priesthood and His role as the Lamb of God to be sacrificed on our behalf John 1:29.  
  • Myrh a bitter oil is associated with burial in the New Testament John 19:39-40, symbolizing the bitter cup Christ would drink when He suffered for our sins. 
(New Era magazine Dec. 2011, by Rebekah Atkin)
Seeking Christ
This would be a great opportunity to talk about what we can do to always seek the Savior.  The wise men traveled great distances to find the Savior, honor Him, and present gifts to Him.  What can we do to remember Him and honor Him and feel His presence in our life everyday, not just at Christmas?  How can we be His hands in helping others?  Make a plan to do service one day a month as a family having a regular set aside day, maybe Sunday afternoon to write letters or visit someone lonely or sick.  Pondering and seeking ways to help our family seek the Savior has brought about some precious experiences to our family through service and study in the scriptures.  Wise Men Still Seek Him could be your family motto for the year as you intentionally plan ways to bring the Savior and His atonement into the fore front of your family activities.

Some more ideas:
The Wise Men night would be a great time to play the wise man game we have played for years in our family.  We have 3 wise men figurines that are safe for little hands and have been put into service for years.  They simply travel through our house each day getting closer to the baby Jesus.  We take turns hiding them and finding them and for some reason our children loved this game.  The wise men could occasionally leave a word of inspiration, a scripture, a quote or a treat behind. 

For an art project that goes along with this theme, the wise men can be created from hand prints.

A wise man cake could be made with a round cake decorated with a paper crown.  Singing "happy birthday" to Jesus would be fun for children and remind them again whose birth we celebrate.

Sing "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem"

Another simple game for children that we have played is to find the fancy button that fell from the cloak of one of the wise men.  We have hidden that button so many times!

Video Presentation
We are so excited to share with you a resource that just became available online called "The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos". These videos are beautiful vignettes of the accounts of Christ as recorded in the King James version of the bible. To view, simply go to:
Click on the picture to link to the video "The Wise Men Seek Jesus"

We hope these ideas will spur creative ways for you to have fun with your family and as the wise men of old, seek and find Him.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Quotes: Printables!

Shannon- over at  created some beautiful print-outs of incredible testimonies of Christ's birth by men who are Special Witnesses of Christ.

These are great to ponder on and to display in your home.

Click here to link to her post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Christ: The Real Gift of Christmas

Have you found this website yet?

It is an incredible resource for your Christmas preparations!

You may download beautiful Christmas music under the "Christmas Resources" tab.

OR you may want to share the Christmas Videos with your family.

There are coloring pages and tradition ideas as well.

Here is a video I enjoyed today. I love that President Monson says we should focus on people, not things. It's about love and giving, not the actual gifts.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Planning Notebook: Organizing Tabs

My planning book is starting to come together. It may seem a little odd thinking about Christmas so early, but consider this "planning stage".  There is much celebration to come!

Here are the organization tabs I came up with. They are sized to be pasted into a standard sized composition notebook using the "glue in" method (see instructions below).

This is what they look like:

Here is the PDF file if you'd like to use these for your own notebook. Follow the link to Scribd website then click the download button on the bar along the bottom of the page.
(I created these in PowerPoint, so if you want that version email me: alunt29 AT gmail DOT com )

You're welcome to use these how you want.

For the "Glue in" method you'll need:
3 sheets of white card stock paper
Glue stick

-Print the PDF file out on card stock.
-Cut out around the red dashed-line.
-Decide roughly how you want the tabs to overlap and how many pages you want in each section.
-Slide the left edge of the paper along the top of a glue stick (see pic)

-Press edge into the crease of your notebook. Take care that there is only glue at the edge of the paper. -Close the book until glue has dried.
This secures your tab, yet keeps it free from the pages in the book, so if you need to move it to a different spot you could do so without much damage.

Happy Planning!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Learn Silent Night in ASL

My best friend taught me the signs to Silent Night several years ago and it has been special to me ever since.

To refresh my memory, I did a search on YouTube for videos. There are several versions, but this is the one closest to what my friend taught me and the signs are very clear. It only has the 1st and last verse, though.

The signs help me focus in on the beauty of the words and music.  As you become more comfortable with the signs, they can be very expressive and beautiful too.

Perhaps this could be part of a family performance on Christmas Eve?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Planning Notebook: Fabric Covered Composition Book

I've been working on preparing my planning notebook for this Christmas season and here is what I came up with: a fabric cover for a composition notebook.

Cute with the covered button, don't ya think?

The red fabric says "hope" "peace" and "joy"

Side pockets allow the cover to easily slip on and off the notebook

I LOVE that it is reusable, so I can start with a new notebook next year using the same cover... OR I can choose to whip up a new one.

Some of the tutorials I looked at include: My Patchwork and V and Co. Pretty much I looked at their ideas and then made up my own thing as I went.

Now I am on the hunt for things to help organize my notebook.
To mark my different sections I want to use movable tabs OR I'm toying with the idea of using ribbon book marks.

To decorate, I have pictures of the Savior which I have cut out of old Ensign magazines. But I want a snazzy cover page, which really highlights the focus of Christmas and the purpose of this notebook... I'll let you know what I come up with.

Over at Christmas Your Way, they have some free printables that are super helpful in establishing structure to your different sections. You could scale down the size so you can paste pages, such as the calendar, into your notebook, OR just copy the general structure and hand-write your template in. I like to have the freedom of being able to personalize my notebook but also like having something to work off of.

This notebook is now set to start plugging in my plans for gift giving, budgeting, activities we want to do as a family, etc. But I also want this to be a place I can record spiritual experiences and impressions, so I'm making sure I have plenty of room for writing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Time to Start Planning Again

It's been a long time since we've posted, but we are still here... and we're getting ready for a new Christmas season!

Have you caught the Christmas spirit yet? The bug caught me this morning as my iTunes randomly picked up some Christmas songs. I was busy reading, and didn't really take notice of the change in songs.

Then the Hallelujah Chorus came on. And I stopped.

Listening to the beautiful words of praise for our Lord and Savior really moved me.

The spirit in my home changed in an instant. Music is that powerful and I'm so excited to have these beautiful songs permeate my everyday. 

Music about Jesus Christ makes Christmas all the more special.  My goal is to sit and ponder on the words of often heard songs and really let the meaning sink in. A song a day sounds reasonable right? But of course my default song will be Hallelujah Chorus.

This week I'm working on putting my planning notebook together.  Have you started yours?

It's time to get started! Check out the left side bar for ideas :)
The important thing is to start writing now and get those planning juices going.
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