This blog is filled with all kinds of tips, handouts and ideas that can help to motivate and fulfill your calling as a Visiting Teacher, and more because it is filled with helpful ideas for Relief Society related topics. We hope you will visit often, and don't forget to check out my other blogs too at:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 2009 Message



The link for the February Visiting Teaching Message is: http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,4945,2044-1-4782-1,00.html

Espaniol Maestras visantes - Mensaje Febrero 2009 - http://www.lds.org.ar/SocSoc/Maevisit/200902mensajefebrero.htm

Before I share my thought on the March 2009 message, I wanted to bring your attention to the two wonderful video clips that are located to the right of this message. They go along so well with this message, so I thought I would share them with you. One is from President Hinkley on "Lessons I learned as a boy", and "Save the Family" by Janice Kapp Perry and Joy Lundberg, Produced by Maurine and Scot Proctor, Edited by Truman Proctor. Enjoy!

As always, I like to share the thoughts, stories, feeling and promptings that come to me with each Visiting Teaching months' message. You will have ideas of your own as to how to present the lesson to the sisters you Visit Teach but since I am blogging... here are my thoughts....

As I began to read the different Quotations in this lesson, my thoughts were first drawn to The Family: A Proclaimation to the World (Proclamación al mundo) which starts out by saying in the second paragraph “All human beings – male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and as such each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose.”
The Proclaimation goes on to say in following paragraphs… “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”
Sister Julie B. Beck Relief Society General President said, “I have a testimony gained from pondering and studying the scriptures of a plan of happiness given to us by our Father in Heaven. That plan has a part for His daughters. We have the female half to take care of, and if we don’t do our part, no one else is going to do it for us. The half of our Fathers plan that creates life, that nurtures should, that promotes growth that influences everything else was given to us. We can’t delegate it. We can’t pass it off to anyone. It is ours. We can refuse it, we can deny it, but it’s still our part, and we are accountable for it. There will come a day when we will all remember what we knew before we were born. We will remember that we fought in the great conflict for this privilege. How do we meet this responsibility? We daily put our energies into the work that is uniquely ours to do.”

It is clear to me that Women have a divine destiny while they are in this mortal existence. Motherhood and the nurturing of children is that primary role, and this was given by the divine design of our Heavenly Father.

President Spencer W. Kimball said: “To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times.”

Women have the ability to influence lives, and most importantly the lives of their children. Some women may not have the opportunity to bare children of their own in this life, but they can still have a righteous influence through their goodness and example, in the lives of many children of this generation. It is our sacred duty and obligation, and we must put forth our very best efforts… with all the talents, skills and abilities that our Heavenly Father has given us to raise children in righteousness, in these “less than tranquil times.”

As I ponder the future and know not exactly what is to come,… what I do know is that one day Jesus Christ will return to this earth, and that He is going to need some valiant brothers and sisters to do the work that is left to be done. These individuals will most likely be our very own sons and daughters, and grandsons and daughters, which puts so much more emphasis on teaching our children right now, to love God, His word contained in the scriptures, to be temple worthy and willing to be Saviors on Mount Zion.

We must teach them to have strength to endure temptation, courage to do what is right. We must exemplify and teach honesty and integrity in dealing with their fellowmen, even when others do not respond likewise. We must teach our children how to pray, to repent and ask forgiveness, and experience the Atonement in their lives. The teaching list goes on and on. I pray that we will ponder our role in the “Divine Design of Womanhood” and do our parts to fulfill this glorious plan.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentine message to you!

I realize that what I am about to say really isn't about Visiting Teaching, or Relief Society, but in December, on the Relief Society page at LDS.org it was suggested that the sisters provide service to others and then blog about it. (Go to http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,4644-1,00.html to read about it) I don't believe that they mean to toot your own horn, but I think that when we understand what a blessing service can be to both the giver and the receiver, that it encourages others to step in and do more.

As many of you know through being dedicated readers of my blog and reading my profile, I am serving as a missionary for the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. I wanted to share with you my greatest Valentine of the day. This entire day has been filled with kind words and sweet expressions of love from different members of my family. My husband and I started off our day enjoying breakfast together at a restaurant. At Lunchtime, two of my husbands sisters and their spouses & a niece and my husband and I met for lunch together. One traveled from Idaho and one came down from Salt Lake. This evening, one of our children and her family also drove about an hour just to be able to spend a few moments with us for an hour or two before my husband and I had to leave for the evening, because tonight, yes, Valentine evening, my husband and I served as missionaries in one of the Addiction Recovery meetings in the Salt Lake area.

I have to say that tonight was one of the most wonderful meetings I have been to, serving as a missionary. Really good people who have simply made some mistakes, gathered in this meeting and shared the thoughts and feelings that were in their hearts. Hurt, sadness, pain and suffering were shared by everyone there, but in the air, there was still an overwhelming feeling of hope, and that came from our Savior Jesus Christ. As I looked around the room, I saw the faces of our Heavenly Fathers children who jumped for joy at the opportunity of coming to earth in the pre-existence, but after having been here on this earth for many years, have lived some hard and difficult lives. Every participant at this meeting were there because they had the hope in Christ... that His atonement would get them through one more day of sobriety. They suffer, and hope one day at a time.

Throughout this meeting, I was filled with an overwhelming love for these brothers and sisters. All of us come from the very same Heavenly Father, and began our journey in the very same way. It isn't until we arrive on this earth that we even had a clue as to where our paths would lead us and just how difficult the journey ahead mnight be. Some of us stayed on the straight and narrow path, and others took diversions along the way. No matter the diversions some people have taken, or the mistakes that they have made, I still couldn't help but feel such a love and compassion for them. I couldn't help but wonder if this love I was feeling is similar to what our Heavenly Father has for each and every one of his children. I believe that He wants everyone of us back with Him one day. I can't help but feel that He hurts when we hurt, and He morns when He sees His children fall. I also think He must cry tears of joy when He sees his once fallen children, lift themselves up, brush themselves off, repent and start back on their life's journey once again.

Love is what Valentines day is all about, and today for me has been a day jam packed full of love in so many different ways. Family is the best and service is what make this love so sweet, because if we had not been giving service as missionaries to night, we wouldn't have been able to feel such a warm feeling of love that was created through the presence of the Spirit. What a blessing it is to be able to feel the Spirit. I love it and being a missionary is the best! I hope that all of you will have the opportunity to serve a mission for yourself one day. You see, you think you are doing it for the benefit of others, but the blessings and love come back to you ten fold. We are all one big family and family is what life is all about.

One more quick note for those of you who don't know and because this blog post is about this subject.... I also have a blog called "Needing Help with Addiction?" located at http://needinghelpwithaddiction.blogspot.com/ I created it as sort of an extension of the service for those who are either suffering from Addictions or for family and friends of Addicts in particular in areas where they don't have access to this wonderful program of the LDS Church. (This blog isn't in any way an official part of my missionary calling, but I just do it myself to help others who might need it.) I share a weekly message on the particular step we are studying in the Addiction Recovery program guide, and I have lots of helpful resources and links, as well as reading material. If you or anyone you know are struggling with addictions, first go to LDS.org under Home and Family, then to Marriage, Famiy and individual Counseling and then under Addiction recovery program or go directly to this link.... http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html For more inforation and help then you could send them to my blog.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This was a snapshot taken of my "Creation Station" at the Alpine Stake Relief Society Enrichment. If you go to their site (listed below) you will find all the photos of the event, as well as all the handout downloads from each Creation Station. Enjoy!

Today I am participating in the Alpine Stake Enrichment meeting. I asked permission to share this wonderful event on my blog in the event that some other Wards or Stake Relief Societies would like to use the idea for their own enrichment. The general theme is taken from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk entitled "Happiness, Your Heritage. You can find it at http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-947-37,00.html

The theme for this Alpine, Utah Stake Enrichment is "Creating Happiness." They are having a program with Guest Speaker Nancy Murphy, and a special musical number "Fill the Well Within". Following this program the sisters will be dismissed to go into the cultural hall that is filled with "Creation Stations". The Tables are set up around the outside of the Cultural hall with different sisters presenting their ideas of Creating happiness in many ways. The Creation Stations include: Create an MTC at home (missionary prep for MTC experience), Add Life to your years (Planning a Church mission), Create a Learning Environment (BYU Literacy), Create a Simpler Life through Frugality : Less is more, Create peace Through Preparedness, Create Great Grandma Moments, Create Long Distance Grandmothering, Create Spectacular Imaginations, Create Comfort and Smiles with Volunteerism & community service, Create a house of order, Create Fabulous Family Reunions, Create Unity Though Family Traditions, Create More joy in the Golden years, Family Search, What an Adventure, Create Precious, Priceless Photographs, Creative Blogging (by yours truly), Create Scrapbooking Family History, Create Joy in Journaling, My big fat Family Record book.

Also going on is a Compassionate Service Project where the sisters will each make 15 meat pies to be contributed to the Food & Care Coalition in Provo, Utah. The theme for this is "Many Hands Make Light Work." Tables are set up with a production line fashion for making these.

In the center of the Cultural hall are 4 banquet tables with a huge beautiful floral Centerpiece in the middle. Refreshments will be served from these tables. There are about 6 round tables situated close by for sisters who want to sit down to enjoy their refreshments, or they can walk around with them while they enjoy learning about the different ways to create happiness, and make contributions to home, family, the church and society.

The link to the site that has all the handouts available for you to download and print off from each Creation Station is: http://alpinestake.blogspot.com/

When photos are available, I will add some for you to see how it all turned out. This is a terrific idea. Please make sure to read President Uchtdorf's talk and that should bring to you the spirit of what this event is all about. Enjoy!

Monday, February 2, 2009





I wanted to let you know that I will be doing a handout of some kind each month not only in English, but Spanish. I don't speak Spanish but a tiny bit, but I will try and do my best. I just found out that there is a Spanish LDS.org located at http://www.lds.org.ar/ for those of you who are bilingual and can read English but prefer to in Spanish. Great site! You can find the Visiting teaching Message in Spanish at http://www.lds.org.ar/SocSoc/Maevisit/200902mensajefebrero.htm Anyway... I have my first handout which is a Bookmark for those of you who speak spanish....Marcador de Libro. You will still need to go ot my other Blog that I store all my Visiting surprises and handouts for you, and you can find that at http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/
The English bookmarks are located there as well. Enjoy!

I love to hear from you and I do respond to everyone that I get an email from. (unless you don't give me your address) I love hearing about how you are using this blog to help with the "Work" in your ward Relief Society. Recently I have heard from 3 Relief Society Presidents in different States, and they are getting Ideas to help their own Relief Society sisters. I hope that you can continue to enjoy and use what I provide, as that is why I do it and knowing that I am actually helping in the Lord's Vineyard, then it makes it all worth it for me.

Set a goal to get your Visiting teaching done early this month. You have a Valentiney handout to take, and you could add alittle sugar cookie or something like that from you, or not. It is up to you. Of course there are tons of things you could do on this Valentine month so let your creativity go wild but just do it. They are counting on your visit.

General Conference Talks

Hear the words of the living prophets.
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
There is no question in my mind, that we who call ourselves Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are indeed Christians. Those who would say otherwise remind me of the words my Savior, Jesus Christ spoke as He hung upon the cross... "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This same Jesus Christ attoned for my sins, and died that we all might live.

What shall we give?

<>Other wonderful Christmas Videos, go to \http://www.lds.org/topic/christmas/christmas-videos.html

An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ

"This Easter and throughout the year, may we have uppermost in our minds His divine teachings, the unparalleled example of His pure love, and His willing sacrifice of self to accomplish the holy purposes of God, the Eternal Father." The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints"

This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!

My sister sent this to me today and I feel like it is an important enough message, that I wanted to share it with all of my blog readership. The words spoken are directly out of the mouths of our Prophets, past and present. Hear them, heed them. Love, Katie G. You can find this at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehD390q9G3k

July 24th - Pioneer Day

July 24th - Pioneer Day
Click on the picture and it will take you to the last post. Did you get your Visiting Teaching done by today? If not, just keep on trying, just like the pioneers. I would love to hear what you have learned from these wonderful Pioneer Women's stories. I know that I have learned alot about sacrifice, and persecutions of the early saints, and of a strong testimony that these Pioneers had to have to endure all that they did, and gave in establishing zion. Once again, I say, Blessed, honored Pioneer! If you would like to comment, please email me at ktgauger@gmail.com or click on the link and comment on the last story. Happy Pioneer Day! Love, Katie G.

July 22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr

July  22 -Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr
Copy and paste into your address bar and this will take you to the story of Maggie Anna Ferrell Orr, another of the wonderful Pioneering Women.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.

By now you should be alittle curious about your pioneer heritage.
Do you want to find out if you have Pioneer ancestry. This site is most useful to those who have had members of their family tree that belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the Mormon migration period of 1847-1868. By the way, the goal for this Pioneer Women Journey is about to reach it's end. You only have one more day to do your Visiting teaching, before the 24th of July, which was the goal. You still have time to push the proverbial handcart up the hill, so get out and get it done. Share a pioneer story with your sisters, and you have pleanty to choose from right on this site.

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!

My broken wagon wheel, hath bit the dust!
Wo is me, I am so behind on my own treck of keeping up wonderful Pioneer women posts. Actually I have a great excuse, and almost made it when I realized how little I have to complain about. Ok, so I am going to tell you anyway. My air conditioning has been off for 6 days now, and I am having to live in my basement, though my computer in upstairs. It is ten degrees cooler in the basement, but my main floor has been up to 92 degrees inside my house. Wo is me.... and what do I have to moan about. I began thinking about the pioneers in their covered wagons, crossing the hot, hot prairie, and their only hope of relief from the blazing sun is the cool shade of a tree, or a stream, or night time if it cooled off enough for them to actually sleep. I have not slept well until I decided to go in the basement. Wo is me. What do I have to complain about. I have been so sick from the heat and a medication change that I have been nauseated all day long. So what do I do... hop in my car and go to Walgreens and get some acupressure wrist bands that took away some of my nausea. Wo is me, but what do I have to complain about.... the pioneer women suffered without any relief. If herbs didn't work for them, or if they didn't have access to them, they just suffered. I feel so blessed to live in this day and age where even if I have to be inconvienenced by having no air conditioning, I still can go in my basement, or hop in my car and turn up the air full blast, or just drive down to a store and walk around and shop, or even go to the pool and cool down that way. You know that poem.... "Father forgive me when I whine, I have two legs, the world is mine"? I have no reason to complain, but you still didn't get the updates on the Pioneer women because I am still too sick and hot to stay upstairs long enough to do them. Count this one as an update and count your blessings along with me. The wagon might be broke for a bit, but once the wheel is back on, the wagon will keep on rollin. Now, I am going to hurry back down stairs and try to replenish the sweat that is pouring off my face and body with gatorade. Don't give up on me, I will be back! Love, Katie G.

July 17 - Handmade by the Pioneers

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride

July 16 - Margaret Alice McBride
....You know the drill... click on the photo and it will take you to the story of Margaret Alice McBride. Enjoy! Katie G

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee

July 15 - Julia Ann Chapman Lee
This story is told through the eyes of Julia's husband. It is a short but touching story, all to familiar to Pioneers. Click on the image and you will be directed to the story.

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston

July 14 - Louisa Miller Belleston
I thought it was important to realize that not all pioneers only traveled from Missiouri, Ohio or other Eastern States, but many were converted to the church and traveled from overseas. This story tells of the Church Emigration fund, and Louisa's family traveling first by boat and then on to Utah. Their travel took them 8 months to get there, with their fair share of challenges. Click on the picture and it will take you directly to the story.

July 13 - Mary Ann Payne

July 13 -  Mary Ann Payne
This is a cute little story about Mary Ann Payne that I found, and I know that you will enjoy reading about her. She is the top right photo. Click on the photo and it will direct you to the link that has the story. Enjoy!

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)

July 12 - Margaret McNeil (Ballard)
Click on the picture of Margaret and you will be taken to the link that you can read about her.

July 11 - Jane Jenkins Howe

July 11 -  Jane Jenkins Howe
Please click on the photo to see the history of Jane Jenkins Howe entitled - A WIDOW SUPPORTING HER FAMILY

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 10 - Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about Julia Anne Phippen Eldredge Evans

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett

July 9 – Camilla Dorothy Jacobsen Corbett
Click on the photo and it will take you to the link to read about this amazing Pioneer woman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman

July 8 - Catherine Gougar Goodman
This is a short story of a non-Utah Pioneer woman, who was taken by the indians as a little girl, and to read the rest of the story, you will have to click on the picture and it will take you to the link you need.

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler

July 7 - Elizabeth Case Miliam Wheeler
The life of this marvelous Pioneer woman can be found by clicking on the photo which will take you directly to the link. This woman is classic Mormon History as her story tells of her being apart of so many of the historical accounts in Nauvoo, Hauns Mill, handcart pioneers, and so much more. I found her story so interesting that I couldn't stop reading until it reached the end. It was also interesting to me that she was given 3 Patriarical blessings in her lifetime, and she was truely a wonderful woman. I know you will enjoy reading about her as I did. Love, Katie G.

July 6 - Pioneer Cooking

Since all of us cook, I thought it might be interesting to find out what Pioneer Women cooked, how they did it and recipes they used. I found quite a few recipes, but I would like to open this one up to you and if you have any authentic pioneer recipes, please send them to me and I will add them to this post. My email is just to the right of this page.

Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
http://visitingteachingsurprisedocuments.blogspot.com/2009/07/pioneer-recipes.html

I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!

July 5 - Ann Parker

July 5 - Ann Parker
Sorry I am so late posting this story, but click on the photo and it will take you to the link where her story will be told.

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)

July 4 - Margaret Ann Howard McBride (My Ancestor)
I had to post about someone very special to me on this day. I chose one of my ancestors whose trek took her with the other ill fated pioneers of the Martin Handcart Company. I could not locate her photo, so I substituted one of her son's wives photos. Click on the photo and it will take you to the account given by two of her sons, of what she and her family dealt with after joining the church.

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw

July 3 – Elizabeth Simpson Haigh Bradshaw
I hope that you are enjoying so far, the stories of these wonderful Pioneer women. I hope too that your testimony will strengthen as you read about those who came before us and the unimaginable things that they had to do to pioneer the way for us to have what we do in our wonderful church. My gratitude and love for them has deeply increased, and I would echo the words in the hymn..."Blessed, honored, Pioneer!" Click on the photo of Elizabeth and it will take you to her history and for more reading about Elizabeth, you can go to http://students.ou.edu/G/Erin.R.Ging-1/story3.html Also there is another account of Elizabeth found in a book that you can read by going to this link... http://books.google.com/books?id=rzkAcWtngX4C&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=BRADSHAW,+Elizabeth+Simpson+Haigh&source=bl&ots=UJEtgTZ4Sf&sig=2h_qWhKeYEiK6hM8ev95tiRuu2M&hl=en&ei=kHE-SpW4JpDosQOe94n0CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block

You can find the posting of a marvelous Pioneer woman, whom I have chosen to spotlight on my other blog that is located at http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ and just click on the link and it will take you there! I hope you are having some good Pioneer fun!

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker

July 1st - Anne Eliza Leavitt Baker
Did you think I forgot? Actually my life became so hectic today, that I am just getting some time to make my first Pioneer woman post. I hope you will enjoy reading about these marvelous women who came before us. I hope that you can feel their courage and understand that we too have a purpose for living in our generation. We are the generation that lives to prepare for the second coming of Christ,though none of us know when that will be.... and with that I will just say... Keep your wagons rolling along in good works, do your Visiting Teaching, strengthen your sisters through your testimony and determination to get your visiting Teaching done. Click on the photo and it will take you to the link where you can read about our Anne, who is most likely the woman in the middle front of the photo, holding the baby.

Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.

You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/

I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
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Downloading

When you click on the pictures or ideas that I have on my site for you to download, sometimes the picture ends up really large. What you need to do to size it is to go to the "page button" then click on zoom. Take it down to 50% and that should fit better on your screen for viewing . Also, if you right click "save picture as" then save it to a file on your computer, you can size it using your own desktop publishing program and then print it off with my compliments! Enjoy!

A February Enrichment Idea

A February Enrichment Idea
"The Hearts of Angels" dinner & program. Click on the picture and it will take you to where you can find the entire program written out. Once you get to the site which is my Visiting teaching surprise, make sure to scroll down a ways because there are alot of other great ideas, printables and handoust before you will find this wonderful "Angelic' program. Enjoy!

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?

Enrichment Ideas Anyone?
I have also been enrichment leader from time to time as well as have been asked to do many projects for Enrichments. I am not sure if anyone would be interested in some of my ideas, but if you are, please leave me a comment and I will respond. One thing that relates to Visiting Teaching that I wanted to share is something I have taught for many years, and in fact my Daughter in her Park City ward just used this idea in their Super Saturday last week for the second time. It is Glass etching and it is really pretty easy and turns out to be a great project. The etching I do is etching glass casserole or platters with the name of the person who will receive this gift or for whomever is signed up for the class. I have given etched casserole dishes as wedding gifts and have taken many casseroles, rolls, cakes, and all kinds of goodies to people, and always get my dish back, because it has my name etched in it. Go to http://visitingteachingsurprise.blogspot.com/ to get instructions.

Gardening with Kids

Gardening with Kids
Read the idea below

"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea

This is an email I received from a wonderful sister as well as a new Relief Society President about an idea that they will be doing as a theme for their activities for this year. (if you have a great idea to share, please email me at katie1956gauger@mindspring.com and we can add it to all the other terriffic ideas!

Dear Katie,
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho


SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....

Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots.
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