Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Back to School Decorations

I've been MIA for a while on this cute little blog and I thought I'd jump back in by sharing a few fun new home decor things!  

I have been loving this chalkboard sign!  It's so fun to customize each season, month, whenever really!  I followed cute Cherie on the chalkboard design this month, hung up a little DIY apple banner I made out of felt and some new wreaths on the doors.

I've also been baking up a storm.  This cake was for a "Thank You" to my sweet cousin.  It was a a Reese's lovers dream with chocolate layers, peanut butter chocolate ganache, chopped Reese's in between each layer and topped with chocolate ganache and extra peanut buttercups it was hard to give away! ;)  I'd love for you to follow my baking instagram page @ruthannebakes!

We've been slowly getting new home decor throughout this year and another recent addition are these open shelves I found on Etsy!  I can't find the direct link anymore or even the store, but they've got tons of options if you're in the market.  

Here's the sources for everything on the shelves:  ABC decoration, ceramic crayons and pencil, green apple sign, white cake stand-Target Dollar Spot (all old), mason jar apples, apple block and apple banner-made by me,  chalkboard with ruler frame-can't remember :/ but would be a super easy DIY with THIS chalkboard and wooden rulers!

This was taken before I wrote on the chalkboard on the top right corner.  I am LOVING these chalkboard markers-I even use them at church!

Another adorable shelf thats new is this coat wrack/shelf!  You can find it HERE!  Seriously sweetest people to work with and I've wanted a shelf like this for so long!  Here's whats on top:  ceramic crayons-Target (old), apple block-made by me, crayon vase-made by me but easy DIY!  You can make the crayon vase with the base of a a circle cardboard box, Crayola crayons, hot glue and fake flowers!  

Here was my recent chalkboard/wreath/cake situation previously.  This was a s'mores cake with chocolate cake layers, graham cracker crust, toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate ganache and chocolate buttercream.  Topped with chocolate covered marshmallow bears for my sweet Grandma because she loves them and we were celebrating her birthday!

You can find these dark green wreaths HERE!

I'm loving the new staple decor items in my house that make it fun to decorate and switch up the space whenever i'm feeling it!  Next will be Halloween decor! 

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Search for Gold in the Scriptures

How can studying the scriptures help me learn about Heavenly Father?

Throughout the ages, prophets have revealed truths about the nature of God.  As we diligently study their testimonies in the scriptures, we can learn about Heavenly Father’s attributes and increase our faith and testimonies.  The better we understand the nature of our Heavenly Father, the better we understand our own divine potential as His spirit children. 

Questions I asked during this lesson:  
What happens to those who do not have or do not use the scriptures? 
Why are scriptures important in helping us understand God?

Read: Alma 37: 8-9, Mosiah 1:3-7

We watched the video-The Blessings of Scriptures.  Which talks about people that went to great lengths so we could all study and have the scriptures.  We then wrote on the board truths about God.  I had the class find a scripture and then write what it teaches us about God.  

The central purpose of all scriptures is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.  -Elder Christofferson

We are blessed with so many different kind of scriptures:  the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and even words of the prophets from General Conference.  I hope that we realize how lucky we are to have all of these. 

Studying the scriptures kind of reminds me of searching for gold.  You can’t just go to any old place and search for gold right.  Just like learning about the Godhead you have to search in the scriptures to learn more about them.  You have to have a purpose when you are searching for gold and you have to have a purpose when your studying the scriptures.

When we search the scriptures we find GOLDEN information about the Godhead.  How to find gold in the scriptures:  Prepare with prayer, Ask questions, Study the words, Search for testimonies, Be diligent and always keep learning.  Think of what others ways we can find gold in the scriptures.

I’m so grateful for the scriptures and for the blessings they are in my life.  They have helped me learn about Heavenly Father and have made it so I have a testimony of His love for me and the rest of His children.  I hope and pray that we can keep searching the scriptures for this golden information about Him and learn to become more like Him.

How cute are these little bags of gold?  I loved how it had an old fashioned feel with the drawstring bags.  I filled them with chocolate gold nuggets and wrote on the front GOLD with a Sharpie to get the look I wanted.  I also had a little printable cut out for them to take along with a little bag of gold.  You can find the free printable below.

Find the 'Search for GOLD in the scriptures!' printable-HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Book of Mormon Youth Sunday School Lesson

How can the Book of Mormon help me strengthen my faith 
in the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

This outline/handout is from so long ago that I can't even find it on the Church of Jesus Christ's website!  Whoops.  Hopefully this will still be helpful and honestly we always need the Book of Mormon and need to realize how it can bring us closer to Christ so I think this lesson is applicable any time!

The first thing I try to remember to do is write something relating to the lesson on the board.  Most of the time I write the lesson topic or main point of the lesson.  It's a great way to get the class thinking about the topic and keep their minds focused on the topic throughout the class.

We watched this Book of Mormon Intro Video.  I shared a story about others asking me about the Book of Mormon and asked them how they would react and what they would say to their friends if that happened to them.  If you're stumped luckily it says right on the cover- The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The primary purpose of the Book of Mormon is to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ.  It is packed full of examples of faithful disciples who had faith in Him and received the blessings of His Atonement.

We also read the Introduction of the Book of Mormon as a class. And I asked them-Why would another testament of Jesus Christ be so important for our day?

“We need our own secure and settled faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and we need help in strengthening our families so that this faith flows into the hearts of our children and grandchildren.  Faith in Jesus Christ, when solidly anchored in our souls, brings true conversion, and in its wake come repentance, honest discipleship, miracles, spiritual gifts, and enduring righteousness.  This is an important part of the divine mission of the Book of Mormon.”
Elder Andersen

I then asked them to find a scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ and His Atonement in the Book of Mormon then be ready to share it with the class.  We then discussed how the Book of Mormon strengthened their testimony of Jesus Christ.  I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon.  My testimony really started growing and thriving when I read it sincerely and learned more about Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith.  

 I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, 
and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding 
by its precepts, than by any other book.
Joseph Smith

I loved this topic!  It's a great intro for the Book of Mormon.  Another super fun idea would be to challenge the class to read the Book of Mormon for a class party, or even to give out a reading schedule to help keep them on track.

I went the route of chocolate as I usually  like to do! :)  These adorable chocolate Book of Mormons look tricky but really they are a breeze to make once you get the hang of it.  Cut black cardstock paper a little bit larger than the white page (printable you'll find below) you'll glue on, add two Hershey's chocolate Nuggets side by side on the black cardstock with glue tape (this stuff makes the whole process go SO much faster.  Then use the glue tape to attach the cut white paper to the chocolate, they will fit perfectly on top, crease down the center a little with a credit card to leave an indent.  Use tacky glue to attach the ribbon, sometimes I would attach the ribbon to close to the middle top before I put on the chocolates so it would sit nicely when I could fold it over and glue it again on top of the pages.  Let dry!  It's a process for sure but I love the end result!  

If you'd like the free printable for the Book of Mormon page you can find it HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Donut Forget to Pray

How can I make prayers more meaningful?

If you don't know that I love donuts yet, I think I might be doing something wrong. ;)
I just think they are so cute-it's just a bonus they are fun to eat too!

So that I hadn't used donuts yet in a lesson or handout was pretty shocking to me.
So I decided to change that!  And this YW lesson topic was perfect for that!

I want the girls to get use to writing in their journals so I encouraged them to take them out right at the starting of class and write down impressions or promptings they get throughout the lesson.  I started with asking them some questions I just wanted them to think about:  Are my prayers sincere?  Do I say prayers that are repetitive or without meaning?  Do I treat prayers like a wish list?

I told the girls to remember that Heavenly Father is our Father, He wants to help us and loves us so much.  He knows our needs and desires.  He wants us to communicate with Him, He's always just a prayer away.  I hope we pray as if He's there and is listening because He is!

As we make a habit of approaching God in prayer, we will come to know Him and draw ever nearer to Him.  Our desires will become more like His, we will be able to secure for ourselves and for others-blessings that He is ready to give if we will but ask in faith.

We talked about how we can make our prayers more meaningful so I passed out a little sheet of paper that is the perfect size for them to put in their journals and to read!  Here's how you can add some SPRINKLES to your prayers and make them more meaningful!

We talked about what we could add to this list like:  preparing our minds, listening, faithful effort, praying out loud, pause, ask forgiveness, ask questions, keep a prayer journal, traits we'd like to work on, who can we serve or help-someone who is sad/sick or in need, gospel topics we are trying to understand, family concerns, etc.

We also talked about meaningful experiences we have had with prayer.

Sometimes when we pray, it's like we're picking up a phone, ordering groceries, and then we hang up the phone-we put in our our order, and we don't think any more about it than that.  
But if we take a few minutes just to think about our particular need in a given moment, 
then prayer becomes more meaningful.
President Gordon B. Hinckley 

I've learned that when I make a habit of praying it becomes natural and more meaningful for me.  I encouraged the class to make a habit of praying.  Prayer isn't just for times when we are in trouble or in need.  We should have constant communication with our Father in Heaven.  We always need to be in connection with him and know what He'd like us to do.

The next activity we did is A Dozen of Meaningful Prayers.  I told the girls to think of something or someone that has been on their minds lately.  I wanted them to write it or the persons name under the donut.  Once you pray and ACT/do something to help with your prayer, you can color it in. The goal being a whole dozen prayers that you've prayed about and can see how you have helped with those prayers. 

Which brought us into the next topic of acting and helping with our prayers.  We usually wait entirely on our Heavenly Father for answers to our prayers and I think we forget that we can do our part and help.  

Often, the answerr to our prayer does not come while we're on our knees but while we're on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.  Selfless acts of service and consecration refine our spirits , remove the scales from our spiritual eyes, and open the windows of heaven.  By becoming the answer to someone's prayer, we often find the answer to our own.  President Spencer W. Kimball taught this concept when he said:  "God does notice us, and he watches over us.  But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs."
Elder Uchtdorf

I have seen this SO many times in my life.  Especially when it's something simple but incredibly kind, usually it just makes my day brighter-so hopefully we can be in a position to make others happier and make life more enjoyable for them!

We talked about how our prayers can be answered in a different way
than we expected and shared stories.  

Heavenly Father hears your prayers.  He may not always answer as you expect, but he does answer-in His own time and according to His will.  Because He knows what is best for you, He may sometimes answer no, even when your petitions are sincere.
True to the Faith

God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dream, just as He always has.  But He can't if you don't pray, and He can't if you don't dream.  In short, He can't if you don't believe.
Elder Holland

Our Heavenly Father wants to help and bless us.  Those blessings require effort and work on our part.  The first being to pray!  So DONUT forget to pray!

As you can tell I got really into this lesson!  I gave little 'DONUT forget to Pray' tags with a donut eraser along with the Dozen of Meaningful Prayers activity, a 'Donut forget to pray!' sticker for them to put in their journals, how to make their prayers more meaningful paper, and a quote page (which makes it super easy to get anyone to read quotes out loud during the lesson and skip quotes if necessary, I also love that they get to keep all the quotes/scriptures/etc. for later pondering and study), and of course for a treat I gave Donettes!

I have LOADS of donut decorations from Olivia's birthday party so I just pulled a few out of our donut party box.  I made some donuts out of cardboard and painted them to look like donuts, then used them for the chalkboard decoration, I had mini popsicle sticks painted to look like sprinkles, a small picture of Christ with a small girl is always ideal for Young Women lessons I think,  a small donut decoration from the Target Dollar Bins and a super cute cake stand full of a variety of the Donettes.  I love to keep all my supplies or handouts all in one place so THIS tray was the perfect size for that.  I also love to do something fun and memorable on the chalkboard.  Even if it's simple I know that I look at the board a lot during class so this is a great way to give some inspiration for what they can put in their journals and to keep their mind on the topic at hand.

Even if you don't teach or are in YW, feel free to do this for a primary, FHE, a summer activity or ministering handout/love note!  There are so many options with these lesson ideas.

If you'd like any of these FREE printables feel free to find them below:  

'DONUT forget to PRAY' tag [page 1]

'A Dozen of Meaningful Prayers' activity

'DONUT forget to keep your prayers meaningful!' print [page 3]

'Donut forget to pray!' stickers (Need to print on sticker paper!) [page 2]

DONUT forget to Pray Quote Page

If you are interested in more Young Women lessons, I have several you can find HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Commandments Lesson

How do the commandments help me learn to be more like Heavenly Father?

This lesson is from quite a while ago.  I haven't shared several
youth Sunday school lessons, relief society handouts and some young women handouts and even some recipes and parties.
I'm hoping to share more of them as time goes on!
But if you have something you'd like to see first let me know!

I started this lesson asking the youth to imagine that they are riding along a mountain road, near a steep cliff, with a guardrail along the side of the road.  As you are imagining this I want you to think about the following questions-How are the Lord's commandments like the guardrail?  How are they like the road or street signs?

We talked about why Heavenly Father has given us commandments:  to help us understand His will for us, commanded to love, we obey the commandments because we love Him, to receive celestial glory, warnings, guidance, help, strength.

We read:
D&C 82:8-10
Matthew 22:34-40
Section from Forget Me Not talk from Dieter F. Uchtdorf

In the Forget Me Not talk Elder Uchtdorf talks about how "understanding the 'what' and the 'how' of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the 'why'."  I encouraged the youth to look deeper and notice the beauty that surrounds us, look more closely at the "why"s, when we realize why we are doing what we are doing it becomes sweeter and more meaningful to us.  I also asked them to think about-Why they come to church?  Why do they follow the commandments? etc.

We also talked about street signs and their different meanings.

We made a list of attributes of God.  We then talked about how specific commandments can help us develop those attributes and become more like our Heavenly Father.

Other questions I asked are:  Hoe does this affect the way they think about God's commandments?  How might it affect their attitudes toward obedience to the commandments?  How might it affect the choices they make?

When we focus on the WHY of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we realize commandments are like specialized instructions almost like a road map of life from our Heavenly Father.  Even if life gets ROCKY, if we stay on the ROAD of obedience we will return to our Father in heaven.

For the handout I wanted to give mini Rocky Road candy bars.  A full Rocky Road candy bar is always an option too, I just love the mini ones for handouts.  It happened to be fast Sunday when I gave this lesson so I didn't actually give a treat, I just ended up giving the tag and the youth was able to take one if they wanted.

Find the Free Printable for the 'Rocky Road Commandment' tag-HERE!

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, June 17, 2019

The Adventure of Life YW Lesson

Plan of Salvation:  What is the purpose of life?

After some unexpected health problems at the end of 2018 I had a little mandatory break from lots of things.  One of them being church activities and teaching the sweet Mia Maids in my ward.  I was so grateful to get back into the swing of things as soon as I felt up to it and I ended up giving my first YW lesson of 2019 in February!  It was a great topic to kick off the year and teach, I felt/feel like I have a LOT of life experience now. haha

I started with telling them about where I had been and what happened.  Maybe one day I'll go into more detail here on the blog, but for right now lets get back to the lesson outline.  I brought a big box of tissues for myself because I was 95% sure I was going to break down during the lesson, and I gave little packets of tissues for each person because life is hard!! It's a great adventure, but sometimes it's just hard and its ok to cry!

We talked about the Plan of Salvation-Our eternal experience can be divided into three main parts:  premortal life, mortal life, and life after death.  We focused on mortal life for the lesson!  When we know we lived with our Heavenly Father before we were born and that we were sent with a divine purpose we act differently, we view trials and challenges differently-with an eternal perspective.  We are able to answer questions like-What is the purpose of life and why are we here?  We came to earth to prepare to have an eternal family, bless others and build His kingdom.  We are here to become more like our Heavenly Father.  Life makes more sense and you're able to answer those tough questions when you understand the plan of salvation.

I made these pictures years ago for a Relief Society lesson and I was so happy I could use them again.    If you've got cardstock, colored pencils and markers and some time
and you could do something like this too!

"You are now experiencing mortal life.  Your spirit is united with your body, giving you opportunities to grow and develop in ways that were not possible in you premortal life.  This part of your existence is a time of learning in which you can prove yourself, choose to come unto Christ, and prepare to be worthy of eternal life.  It is also a time when you can help others find the truth and gain a testimony of the plan of salvation."-True to the Faith

We watched and talked about Bobbie the Wonder Dog! A story about an amazing dog that followed his family home no matter what he went through he still kept going and trying!

Bobbie's journey home is like our own journey back to our heavenly home.  We all go through different adventures in this mortal life.  Life has fun, hard, sad, upsetting, and amazing times, just like any great adventure.We talked about how finding our way back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ makes our life more meaningful and better!  We build more meaningful relationships, appreciate life and the people in it much more! And how knowing this affects our daily decisions.

Mortal life can be hard.  It can be really hard sometimes and we'll experience things that we don't like, but they'll help us on our journey home.  They'll help us become more like our Heavenly Father and we'll be able to help others while we are becoming like Him.  We just have to keep the end goal in sight and keep an eternal perspective.  We must use this time we have here wisely.

"No, following the Savior will not remove all of your trials.  However, it will remove the barriers between you and the help your Heavenly Father wants to give you.  God will be with you.  He will direct your steps.  He will walk beside you and even carry you when your need is greatest."
Dieter F. Achtdorf 

I am so grateful to know that we are not alone in this life.  
He will help us through this adventurous journey!  I love the scripture Proverbs 3:5-6! Look it up, love it, memorize it!

We then talked about how knowing this can help us deal with challenges and trials that come throughout our lives.  I gave time for the girls to write in their journals and put a little Come unto Christ airplane sticker so they'd remember this lesson.  Along with a little boarding pass that I wrapped in brown cardstock and some cute pink and white twine!  I also had to give some luggage because well I had to! :) I found these on Amazon HERE and then filled them with some Jolly Rancher Jelly Hearts and Dove chocolates.
I hand wrote the Come unto Christ tag for a special touch.

I hope they remember that life really is an adventure.  It's all about perspective and how we choose to look at what happens to us.  We also might not like the stop we are in now or the detour we take, but we need to remember that's not where we are staying.  It's like passing through a town that you don't love, just keep going and remember it's not the end of your adventure or your final destination!  When we follow Christ and come unto him, this mortal life is put into perspective.

Life is different for each of us.  We all have a time of trials, a time for happiness, a time for making decisions, a time for overcoming obstacles, and a time for taking advantage of opportunities.  Whatever our personal situations may be, I testify that our Heavenly Father is constantly saying, "I love you.  I sustain you.  I am with you.  Do not give up.  Repent and endure in the path that I have shown you.  And I assure you that we will see each other again in our celestial home."
Elder Claudio D. Zivic

Shared a little sneak peek on my Instagram of how I set it up for my class.  I used these cute pink decorative luggage cases for even more decor.  And my favorite IKEA frame with a little sign for the Baggage Claim!

Once class ended I told them to remember to get their luggage from the baggage claim and remember their boarding pass so they can be ready for their journey.  I told them that there are a few things we need on this adventure and I packed one necessity for them to make it a little better-something sweet!  

On your journey back to Heavenly Father you will soon realize that this journey isn't just about focusing on your own life.  No, this path inevitably leads you to become a blessing in the lives of God's other children-your brothers and sisters.  And the interesting thing about the journey is that as you serve God, and as you care for and help your fellowmen, you will see great progress in your life, in ways you could never imagine.
President Uchtdorf

I also mentioned how we can and should help and serve others along the way.

This mortal life is a journey.  At times we can feel sad, overwhelmed, mad and not like the place we are in right then but don't focus on that.  If we see life as an adventure and keep a positive outlook with an eternal perspective in mind we will enjoy life.  Change your perspective and change your life.  You'll be able to see your journey through different eyes.  I pray that we may all come unto Christ and focus on our heavenly home as our goal.  This life is a great adventure and I hope we choose to follow Christ all along the way!

Below you can find everything I gave the girls including the FREE Printables!

Eternal Boarding Pass

Come unto Christ Airplanes-will need to print on sticker paper!

Mini Vintage Suitcases

Baggage Claim signage

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Lost and Found Gospel Treasures-Restoration Lesson

The Apostasy and Restoration-Why was a Restoration necessary?

A few months ago I taught this lesson to my Mia Maids class and totally loved it!  Honestly I love every lesson.  I love to find fun and unique ways to get excited about the lesson and then share them with the girls.  

This lesson was about Lost and Found gospel treasures.  There were many gospel treasures brought to the earth by Jesus, during His mortal life.  We learned how the gospel treasures were found again when Joseph Smith restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth and why it is so important. 

On the board I had all of these little gems/treasures labeled with things that Jesus Christ established while he was on the earth along with writing on the board-Lost and Found Gospel Treasures.  When Jesus Christ died the things he established here on earth went away or were corrupted.  There was a time when the world didn't have the full gospel because of this.

Things we read:
Amos 8:11-12
Apostasy and Restoration of the Gospel in True to the Faith

We talked about how our lives would be different if the gospel had never been restored.  We are so blessed with the treasures the gospel gives us like temples, Priesthood and sacrament.  We talked for quite a while about the jewels and treasures on the board, talking about each one in depth and how it is a blessing in our lives.  We then talked about how we can personally apply what we've learned in this class.  We have journals for each girl so I also encourage them to write in their journal and give them a little sticker to go along with the lesson that they can remember what it was about.  

For a handout I gave chocolate coins and a cute little jewel container full of cadbury eggs.  I had to put it in a treasure box because hello I've got to carry on the theme! haha

Find the free printables below!

Lost and Found gem sticker print

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.