Tuesday, 30 November 2010

PJ The Elf - One of our family traditions

In my family we have always had a Christmas Eve tradition one which probably most people have..... Opening one gift on Christmas Eve. And it never fails that the gift is always Pajamas. One of my sisters changed the tradition with her family a few years ago and has shared the idea with each of us. Every year there is a knock at her front door now and presents are left on the doorstep. (Her mother in law lives near and can do this for her) The gifts are pajamas left by PJ the Elf. You see PJ is one of Santa's helpers. He is the one responsible for making sure all children are in their pj's and tucked up in bed before Santa gets to the houses. So he leaves PJs for all the children to get into and then go straight to bed. I love this idea because it makes it seem as though Santa is really near. Last year two of my sisters co wrote a poem to attach to the Pj's and I love it so I thought I would share it with you all!

You have been good so Santa has said,
Now put on your pj's and go straight to bed.
Your jammies will keep you so nice and cozy,
from the tip of your toes to your cute little nosey.
So hop into bed, dream of reindeer in flight
For Jolly ole' Santa is coming tonight!

-Brittney Robles and Misty Kelly

The kids still get to open one gift from under the tree but now instead of it being Pj's they get slippers. I love traditions! We have loads!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

Firstly Im sorry there is no Family Home Evening this week. It is my 7yr olds School Christmas pagent this evening, early I know tell me about it. So that is what we are doing for our FHE tonight. So there wont be a lesson. But There will definitely be dessert! I made our favorite Coconut Cream Pie for dessert tonight and thought I would share the recipe with you.

Best Ever Coconut Cream Pie:


3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1 (9-inch) baked pie shell, recipe follows
1/3 cup toasted coconut
Whipped Cream for Garnish

In a nonstick 1-quart saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, coconut milk, and 1 cup milk. Scald mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch together to make a slurry. Whisk egg yolks with salt in medium bowl. Temper yolks by adding 1/2 cup scaled milk mixture to yolks and whisk well. Add yolk mixture and slurry back into milk mixture and whisk vigorously over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut, vanilla, and butter. Whisk until uniformly incorporated.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill the pie completely, about 2 hours.

To serve, top with toasted coconut and a dollop of whipped cream.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Family Home Evening - Thanking Others

I know another Thankful FHE. This week being Thanksgiving in the states I just wanted to do one last Thankful one on a topic we hadnt really talked about yet. Which is Thanking others. I would never want anyone to think my children were ungrateful for a kindness or service which was provided. I think that thanking others is so important which is the reason for this lesson. I hope it works well for you too!

Opening Song: Children all Over the World (pg 16 Childrens Song book)

Opening Prayer:

Lesson: Mommy (Or whom ever else is reading this :) )

Start by reading the story of the ten leppers Luke 17:12-19 or you can just paraphrase I like to have the kids read from the scriptures and then paraphrase so they understand better:

One day as Jesus was going to Jerusalem, He saw ten men standing outside a village. They could not go into the village because they were lepers. Leprosy is a disease that causes large sores on the body that spread and hurt. When the ten lepers saw the Savior, they asked Him to heal them of this terrible disease. Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests. When they did as the Savior told them, they were found to be healed.

When one of the men discovered that he was cured, he went back to the Savior, fell down at his feet, and thanked Him. Ten men had been healed, but only one went back to thank the Savior.

How do you think it made Jesus feel when the one lepper went back to him and said Thank you?

How do you feel when you do something nice for someone else and they say Thank you to you?

Does it make your heart happy to say Thank You to others or when others say Thank You to you?

Draw a Big Heart, Im going to tape together 4 pieces of paper and draw the heart on that so it is a BIG heart. Then tape this to a wall or somewhere the children can see it.

Ask the children to draw inside the heart kind things other have done for them which they would want to say thank you for. If they are a bit older and can spell or need practise with writing maybe have them draw and then write the words.

Read My Thank You Song (1986 November Friend):

I’m learning to say “thank you”
For so many, many things.
I tell my sister “thank you”
When she helps me on the swings.

And I say, “Thank you, Mother,”
When she helps me brush my hair
And “thank you” to my daddy
When he takes me to the fair.

I have a big, tall brother
Who can reach high on the shelf
To get my books and toys
That I cannot reach myself.

So when my brother helps me,
I say “thank you” right away,
Then take the books and toys he got
And run outside to play.

Soon I’ll be seeing Grandma,
And I’ll know just what to do.
She’ll say, “My, you’re looking pretty!”
And I’ll laugh and say, “Thank you.”

When she gets down her cookie jar,
Filled with goodies just for me,
I know that I’ll remember
To say “thank you” cheerfully.

I’ll practice saying “thank you”
Every time I think I should.
It makes me very happy
To be showing gratitude.

And when the day is over
And I kneel to say my prayer,
I’ll say, “Thank you, Heavenly Father,
For my family’s love and care.”

THANK YOU is sometimes called a "magic word". That's because it makes people feel good. When we say thank you to others we are acting like the Savior taught us. We make others want to continue to do good and our hearts become more thankful.

Bear your testimony about how good you feel when you are thanked for your efforts. Share how an attitudee of gratitude brings you closer to Heavenly Father.


(1) Make Thank You Cards for someone who has done something nice, A Friend, A Teacher, A sibling, Grandparents and tell them how much you appreciated the kind thing they did.

(2)Leper Cross Word:

Closing Song: A Song of Thanks (Childrens Song Book Pg 20)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Family Home Evening - Gratitude

I know not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving but we all have things to be Thankful for. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving a lesson on Gratitude :) Enjoy!

Opening Song: I am Glad for Many Things

Opening Prayer:

Read D&C 59:7
Why has Heavenly Father commanded us to be Thankful?

Read The Thankful Game - The Friend May 1994:

Alison knew it was going to be a bad day. The world outside was gray and drizzly. Mommy told her she had to clean her room. And—worst of all—there was a big bowl of cold oatmeal on the table that she still had to eat.

“I wish it was tomorrow already,” she mumbled.

Mommy looked up from the computer where she was working. “Oh, things aren’t that bad, are they?”

Alison nodded without saying anything more.

“Well, then,” Mommy said, “why don’t we play the Thank-You Game. Find a reason to be grateful for everything you can. No complaining is allowed. If you can do it the whole day, I’ll give you a surprise.”

“That’s a funny game,” said Alison.

“I’ll help you begin. Why are you grateful for oatmeal?”

Alison thought a moment. “I guess it’s better than a bowl full of bugs to eat.”

“Well, that’s a start,” Mommy chuckled.

Alison gobbled down her oatmeal, to get it over with. “I’m grateful I have orange juice to help wash the oatmeal down,” she said.

Then she went to her room. It was a mess! How can I be grateful for a messy room? she wondered. “I know—I’m grateful I have all these toys to play with.” She hummed as she put them all away.

The drizzle outside turned into a freezing rain that tap-tap-tapped against the window. Alison pressed her nose against the frosty glass.

I’m grateful the rain comes so that the flowers don’t get thirsty, she thought.

When her room was tidy, she got out her play dough. She made funny shapes with it and squished it through her fingers. “I’m grateful for things that feel good in my hands,” she giggled.

Alison was having a busy day. Soon her eyelids began to grow heavy.

“I think it’s nap time,” Mommy said.

Alison was going to complain, but she remembered that it wasn’t allowed. She climbed onto her bed and reached for her stuffed rabbit. “I’m grateful I have Charlie to snuggle with,” she told Mommy.

The Thank-You Game got easier and easier. It wasn’t turning out to be such a bad day, after all!

That night Mommy looked pleased. “You played the game really well, Alison,” she said, “Here’s your surprise,” She gave Alison a strip of bubble-gum-scented stickers along with her usual hug and kiss.

Alison smiled. “It turned out to be a really nice day,” she said. “I’m grateful for bubble-gum stickers and hugs and kisses and you!”

Question: Is it easy to always find things to be Thankful for?

Read Alma 37:37

Talk to your family about what it means to “let thy heart be full of thanks unto God”.

Bare your Testimony about some of the things you are Thankful for and why.

Closing Song: Im Thankful to be me

Activity: Tonight we will be starting the Family Home Evening Phantom in our ward. This is always so much fun. Our children have loved starting it in other wards and it is just a lot of fun to hear wisperings from ward members the following Sunday. All you do if take some of your FHE treat to a family from the ward, Knock and run. Of course the next week it is then their turn to do the same. Here is the note you attach to the treats so they know what is happening:

I also found this really cute one for Thanksgiving. If we were back in the states we would do this instead because it is adorable!

And if you dont fancy either of those ideas here is a nice picture for the children to color.Thankful Coloring Page

Happy Family Night!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Toffee Popcorn

Tonight I decided it was a Toffee Popcorn night. It is so easy to make and absolutely delish!! So just incase you feel the need to have some Toffee Popcorn here is the recipe:

1 cube butter (1/2 cup, I use margarine)
1 cup corn syrup (For our UK guests this is Golden Syrup)
2 cups brown sugar

Melt together in large pot over medium heat and cook and stir until soft ball stage. (test a drop of mixture in cold water and if holds its shape when pinched into a ball, its cooked)

Turn off heat and slowly add;

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla

Mix until marshmallows are just about melted and pour over a large batch of popcorn. I used 4 bags tonight but it will depend on how big your bags are.

Pour onto a baking tray. Once cooled Enjoy!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Autumn Wreath

I love the idea of a dried fruit wreath. I saw something in town a few weeks ago and immediately thought hey, I can do that!! Here is what I came up with:

This wreath was so easy to do and it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish. Brilliant plus the supplies cost me 1/4 of what it would have cost to buy it. Here is what I used.

Variety of Dried fruit, I bought oranges and apples at a craft supply store.
Baby Pine Cones
Cinnamon Sticks
Thick Ribbon
Floral Wire

Literally all you do is thread everything onto the floral wire.

Next just pull the two sides of the wire together to the shape you want.

Thats it, easy peasy lemon squeezy as the Brits say here :)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Family Home Evening - Blessings

As we are now in the month of November I thought it would be appropriate to talk about our blessings. I hope this idea works for you and your family.

Opening Song: Count Your Many Blessings

Opening Prayer:


For the Object Lesson you will need:

A small cup
Dish full of water
Saucer to place under the empty cup

Ask the children to name blessings which they receive from our Father in Heaven. Every time they say a blessing they get to take a spoon full of water and put it in the cup. Quickly the cup will be completely full. My daughter said " Ummm Mommy the cup if over flowing" PERFECT. I then explained how this is just like our blessings from our Father in Heaven. He wants to bless us. He gives us so many blessings that they are overflowing as long as we are worthy to receive them.

I asked the children then what we have to do to be worthy to recieve blessings from our Father in Heaven.

Next we read 1 Thessalonians 5:18

How can we thank Heavenly Father for all the blessings he has given us?

We discussed through our prayers meaning we can pray and tell heavenly Father thank you. We talked again very quickly about the 4 steps of prayer. We also talked about how we can thank him through our actions, ie being nice to our brother and sister :)

Bear your testimony and make sure to ask the children if there is anything else they want to discuss or anything they dont understand.

Activity: I have decided to do a Thanksgiving Decoration for our FHE activity. I have printed about 15 different color leaves I will then let the children write some of the blessings they are thankful for on the leaves I will then tie the leaves together and make a swag out of them to hang across our mantle until Thanksgiving to remind us of all the things we are thankful for. Here is a picture I found on google of something similar to what I have in mind:

Dessert: Homemade Cinnabons <--- Link

This is the best recipe ever if you are making homemade Cinnamon Rolls. It is tradition in my family to have Cinnamon Rolls and Hot Chocolate in the winter A Lot!! So starting tonight we will be having these. YUMMY

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Thanksgiving Turkeys

Yesterday after school the kids were begging me to do two things. First make Tom and Jerry cupcakes and second to do some kind of craft. So we made the cakes and while they were cooking we did a Thanksgiving Craft. I seriously dont have any Thanksgiving decorations so I was excited to get some more stuff done. Here is what we made:

I had some squares cut from 2x4's for a craft I never got around to so we cut a turkey body and feathers out of Foam and just glued it all together.

Here are the supplies we used:

I think they turned out pretty cute. I have lots more ideas lets see if I can get around to making them in time for Thanksgiving :)