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Starting this year, our church is focusing on encouraging families to teach their children the gospel in the home and to study it for themselves. The church is to be a support to that teaching and learning. We have a new curriculum that we use in our homes as well as in our church that focuses on teaching about Jesus Christ and studying the New Testament for this year. It is called the "Come Follow Me" program.
In reality, we have always known that as parents, it has always been our responsibility to teach our children the Gospel and the church has been there as a support. So, we are really excited about the extra support we are receiving in this effort. Our children who live in our area talked with my husband and I and we all decided that we would get together on the first Sunday of each month to discuss what we are studying in our homes. The rest of the time, we will study as individuals and separate families. My husband and I make it a habit to read the scriptures together and discuss them every evening. Getting together with our children and grandchildren once a month is a great change of pace and a way for us all to stay connected and to learn from one another. It is wonderful to be involved in the teaching of our grandchildren as well.
January 6th was the first Sunday of the year! Alicia and her family were still here from California, so my husband and I were so excited to be hosting the first family gathering at our house. We knew it would be a challenge with so many adults and children mixed, so we talked and planned how we would run the evening and discussion. Here is what we did. Hopefully, if you are implementing this program in your home, our outline of events will give you some ideas.
Start Time and Dinner:
We decided to start our "evening" at 3:00, after naps and before kids were getting cranky and tired again.
By request, we made our dinner a taco night because my kids love it when I do tacos. So, we started out with fun and good food. We had beef for meat eaters and vegan beans for non-meat eaters and all of the rest of the delicious taco fixings.
I also made dessert, the best chocolate chip cookies ever and ice cream. But, we saved those (mostly) for after the discussion and activity.
We started our discussion with a song and a prayer. We didn't have what you might call a lesson, but we sat down and everyone shared the thoughts we had about the topic of study and any insights we had gained. My husband facilitated the discussion. During this time, I had found some coloring pages for the little ones that they were able to color in the middle of the room as we adults talked. Not everyone shared a thought, but that was okay. The things that were shared were very insightful and thought provoking.
Next, we decided that an activity would be a fun way to spend the evening, allowing a little more involvement for those too shy to share their thoughts in the discussion and the kids were even able to join in a little as well. (Our oldest child there was only 3) We have a family game that we like to play when we get together that we called The Sentence Picture Game. My husband had the idea to adapt it to our topic of discussion. We use the game Telestrations to play, but we don't play according to that games directions and this time it was even more of a variation from the original game. I explained the game a couple of years ago on this post. This time, we instructed everyone to write a sentence on the first page of the little dry erase game booklet that had something to do with what they had studied or thought about when it came to the past week's lesson. Then, we passed the books around the circle and the next person read the sentence and then turned the page of the booklet and drew a picture of what they had read. Then, next person looked at the picture and wrote what they thought the sentence had said, and so it went, alternately around the circle drawing pictures and writing sentences until each person ended up with their original booklet. The outcome of the game was really funny, but not irreverent and we were able to hear what each person had originally thought of. The nice thing about the Game Telestration is that you don't have to cut up and give everyone stacks of little papers and there are a lot of the booklets in the game, so the oldest children were able to draw pictures in their own booklets as well.
In advance of the evening, I had painted and used my Cricut to decorate picture frames that we can add scripture verses to as the year progresses. Each family that hosts can decide on the scripture that we add to the frame for that month. Since the first week's theme was about being responsible for our own learning and then doing something about it, we chose James 1:22.
One of my favorite parts of the evening was when we ended the evening with a song and a prayer. We have a favorite family hymn that we have always sung together since our children were young entitled, "Choose the Right." We started singing it to end the evening and our little 15 month old granddaughter ran into the middle of the group and started dancing away with her hands up in the air! It was so adorable! After that we all enjoyed the cookies and ice cream. It was a great evening. I am really looking forward to next month.
I think that the mixture of food, fun, truth, honest feelings and love are what made the evening a success. Next month, Lindsey and her family are hosting and I am so excited to see what they plan for us all!
If you are also using this program in your home, we would love to hear your ideas that have worked well for your family! Drop a line in the comments.
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We have mentioned before that we are a game playing, competitive family! When we get together for the holidays, the games come out and we have so much fun. Sometimes, when we don't feel like gathering around a card table or sitting on hard chairs, we all lounge on the couch and play trivia games. We don't necessarily play by the rules, but we ask the questions and crack ourselves up trying to come up with the correct, or if not correct, then the funniest answers. These types of games are a great way to get to know one another a little better, so we thought that today, at the start of this new year, we would let you get to know us better by answering a few of these trivia questions from a couple of our favorite games. That's why we call today's Friday Faves Trivia Truths!
We have taken today's questions from two of our favorite trivia games. They have a lot of fun questions and incite a lot of laughter. The games are The Game of Things and Loaded Questions.
Question #1: In an emergency situation, what would be your strength?
Alicia-her efficiency Helen-her preparedness skills Lindsey-her level headedness Maddy-she stays calm under pressure.
Question #2: What compliment embarrasses you the most?
Helen-all compliments Lindsey-"You look like you've lost weight!" Does that mean you thought I looked fat before? Alicia-"You have curly hair!" Is that a compliment? Maddy-she says all compliments as well because she doesn't like being the center of attention.
Question #3: Things that taste better than chocolate? Oh come on now!
Lindsey-Maybe Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Chocolate Drizzle? Alicia-Sushi? Helen-Salmon? Maddy-Peanut Butter and Chocolate!
Question #4: What would you like to test for a living?
Maddy and Alicia both say-Mattresses. They would nap on any of them. Helen-My niece Amanda tests ice cream for Haagen-Dazs and I would like her job, except I am not a microbiologist. Lindsey-She already tests people's ability to obey the law.
Question #5: What is the 1 thing that is preventing you from being the greatest person in the history of the world?
Lindsey-My student loans. Helen-My natural klutziness. Maddy-I'm not tall enough! (?) Alicia-I'm to lazy.
How would you answer those questions? Give us your answers in the comments!
Another game that is super easy to play while lounging on the couch is Scattergories! We've been enjoying this one a lot this season.
Finally, I was given a game that does require sitting around the game table, but it is so much fun, it is worth getting off the couch! It is called Cover Your Assets! I have failed to win at it yet, but it is so much fun. I love this description of the game, "Whooping, hollering, contagious laughter, and gloating are possible side effects of this game."
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. But, all opinions expressed are my own.
Oh My Goodness! You Guys! We have been having the BEST rain here in Phoenix because of Hurricane Rosa and the weather feels amazing! It actually feels like we might get to have Fall! AND, this weather is just in time for Frugal Fun Day, which is tomorrow, October 6th. So, for Friday Faves we are asking:
What do you love to do for fun on the cheap?
1. For a nice romantic choice, Letters to Juliet looks so good! You can rent it for 1.99 or purchase it for 7.99! I think I am going to talk my husband into this one for us to watch together.
2. If you have kids who love horses, The Silver Brumby stood out to me as reminiscent of
The Man from Snowy River. You can rent it for 1.99 and buy it for 3.99. We just rewatched The Man from Snowy River on Netflix for free.
3. When Maddy and I were in Disneyland last Spring, we saw some Pixar movie shorts in the theater in California Adventures. One that was super cute and perfect for younger children was called Piper. This cute film about a baby bird learning to provide for himself is now on Prime for just 2.99.
Now, let's do some things that get us out of the house!
Besides roasting marshmallows and making s'mores, you might enjoy making and using Stuff 'em Sticks, something that we told you about here.
Frugal Fun in the Phoenix Area
Phoenix, where the weather is sometimes hot but never snowy, lends itself to many activities for everyone that are pretty inexpensive!
*In the hot weather there are many pools available in the city parks, as well as splash pads and there are Water Parks available as well. Pioneer Park and Rio Vista Park's water pads are two that we have been to and they are both fun and free!
*There are lakes in the city that are stocked for Urban Fishing. Kids under 14 can fish for free, just the parent needs a fishing license. One day a year there is a free day when you don't need a license at all and some parks offer fishing instruction.
*The libraries offer nice places to relax from the heat and they offer story times and other activities. Phoenix libraries also offer passes on a first come first served basis that will get you into city attractions like the zoos (We have 2), botanical gardens and museums.
*If you aren't able to get a pass to the Phoenix Art Museum, you can attend on Weds from 3:00-9:00 pm, On First Friday (discussed farther down), or second Sundays when prices are reduced to a voluntary donation.
*There are two super fun and free factory tours that are popular in Phoenix, for all ages! The Stuffington Bear Factory teaches the history of teddy bears and those who attend the tour can even purchase and stuff their own bear. And, Cerreta Candy Company takes you on a chocolate tour and demonstration and ends with an opportunity to make and purchase a chocolate pizza!
*There are tons of trails in all of the desert mountains, such as the White Tanks, South Mountain, North Mountain, Thunderbird Park, Camelback Mountain. Phoenix and the surrounding areas are a hikers paradise. Just remember to always carry water!
*In the Spring, there are multiple teams who come to Phoenix for Spring Training at the various sports complexes! That is a great time to take part in the Great American Pass Time at a reasonable price! It is called the Cactus League. Here is the link to find the teams, stadiums and schedules of the games. Bookmark it because the 2019 schedule isn't up yet.
*The Arizona State Capitol Building Museum is an amazing and FREE place to visit. One of the most fascinating things within its walls is the exhibit of artifacts from the USS Arizona.
*First Fridays in downtown Phoenix is one of the nation's largest self-guided art walks. There is also a complimentary trolley tour to the various hubs. There is music playing and there are food trucks! I know that my young adult children have enjoyed this event at various times.
Wow! The more I write, the more I realize how much Phoenix has to offer! So, if you come to visit, bookmark this list to get you started! It is funny how when you live in a place you forget about the hidden gems that are there. I have been to most of these places, but it has been years for some of them. I told my husband that we need to start going back and revisiting some of these. HEY FAMILY! Come and visit! I have a list of places to take you!
For a nice list of frugal Fall fun, you can print off this bucket list we made last year! I hope it gets your own ideas flowing! Be sure to comment and let us know what your idea of frugal fun is.
Thinking of starting a blog of your own? We recommend Weebly! They are now teamed up with Square and really going places!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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