Sabbath Day Fun!

October 30, 2011 § 1 Comment

Dear friend,

This month I was lucky enough to teach one more time in Relief Society.  I have been so grateful for this calling it has been a security blanket for me through the last 7 months.  I am going to miss being in Relief Society with all the wonderful Heber City 3rd ward women.  When I was driving over to meet with the member of my bishopric that was going to extend my new calling to me.  I thought to myself, “What if they are releasing me?” and I just started to cry.  Teaching is nerve-wracking and I am a little obsessive about the time I put into it, but I have been so blessed to have the privilege of being with these ladies each week.  I am teaching a lesson tomorrow based on {this} talk by Elder L. Tom Perry called The Sabbath and The Sacrament.

I had been thinking about this lesson for the last 3 months or so and trying to improve my efforts in this area.  Rod and I have always been really strict about purchasing anything on Sunday and we knew that we were supposed to rest from work and attending sacrament was pretty important but passed that, I wasn’t sure what we should be doing.  So the research began and out of that came a lesson, and some fun activities and resources for keeping the sabbath and having fun at the same time.  And since I am a compulsive sharer I am posting it here because-well- I love you.

First is the “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” Box.  I got this idea from an article in the Friend magazine.  This box can be used one of two ways.  The first, is that you can keep all the supplies that the kiddos would need for Sabbath worthy activities in the box and add to it as you come up with more.  The second, is that you could make the contents a surprise and put in different supplies each week for the kiddos to use.  Here are some ideas:

  • Art supplies, notebooks
  • Flannel stories {I made my lid flannel covered so it just pops off and can be played with}
  • Church magazines and stories
  • Armor of God felt people
  • Gospel Art Picture Book
  • File folders with activities done on previous Sunday’s
  • The “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea book
  • The “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea can
  • If you do the surprise version you could change it out for games, books, movies, or whatever the supplies you need for the planned activity.
I just covered the lid with felt and the bottom with contact paper.  I also made some free printables for you that you can decorate your box with.
The next idea I had was I wanted a book that had my favorite ideas in it and blank pages so I could write in good ideas that we try or ones I find along the way.  So, the  “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea book was born.  You can staple this or use this binding tutorial to put it together.  It begins with quotes from LDS leaders about keeping the Sabbath and then gives a Saturday Checklist for preparing for the Sabbath.  The rest of the book is my favorite ideas I found and received and created through the process, at the end I printed extra blank pages to record the favorite things we try.
And then, I also made a  “I Can Keep the Sabbath Holy” idea can.  This can is filled with strips of paper that you can print off with ideas I came accross or write in your own on the blank ones.  The idea is that if you are idealess or if the kiddos get bored they can pull a slip and-Voila!- there is fun idea ready to go.  Hint: only put the ones in you are prepared to do:)
The last thing I wanted to share are some fun links to find more ideas on this fantastic subject:

After reading this talk and the time I have spent reading other articles and talks I have on the sacrament and the Sabbath I felt compelled to thank our Young Men, those that prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament each week.  The sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day and these young boys are entrusted with this responsibility.  I thought if these young men were thanked each Sunday how would that effect the choices they made the rest of the week-if they knew how grateful we are for their sacrifice in serving how would that effect their lives…

We are going to take a moment tomorrow and write little thank you notes to these boys and after Fast Sunday I am going to deliver them with a treat to tell them thank you from the women of the Relief Society.  If you would like to copy, here are the printables.

{Thank yous}

If you get a chance read or watch Elder Perry’s talk or if you want a quick read just take a look at this scripture in the Doctrine Covenants 59:9-13.  This scripture is pretty explicit about what we should be doing on the Sabbath.  I know that if we strive to keep the Sabbath our families will be protected, we will feel increased blessings and we will have more joy than we can handle.  The most important thing I took away from this talk is that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.  This day is the Lord’s and it is a small price to pay for all that he has given us.
To the 3rd ward ladies, thank you, thank you for giving me such a wonderful oppurtunity to learn and grow from your testimonies and love.
xo Ash
PS if you download anything or if you just enjoyed the post, drop me a line I would love to hear.


October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear friend,

I told myself no posting this week-it is a little hectic around here.  Between halloween parties and costumes, lessons at church, new calling, new way of eating, and fun with the fam I didn’t want to feel obligated to the blog but I can’t resist.  Just quick…I wanted to post pics of my first ever non-flat cake.  This took me way longer than it should have,  I had made a disaster in my kitchen when I was done, and it looks nothing like the craziness I had planned but I still think it is cute.  I am quite proud of it.  It went to the Scouting Cake Auction in my ward, I think it fetched 50.00, so task accomplished.  McGilly loved the frosting and I think is now creme filled but we had fun.  At the cake auction my favorite was an icake.  A cake that looked exactly like an edible iPad, genius!

Oh yes, and my favorite part.  McGilly was standing on a stool coloring on her notepad and all the sudden she said, “Ash, your turn.”  Then when I turned not believing my ears she had her arm outstretched handing me her crayon.  What?  So, still in disbelief I took the crayon drew a heart and handed it back to her.  What do you think I heard about 60 seconds later.  This time I hesitated to see if she would keep saying it to get my attention, and yes she did.  “Ash, Ash, it’s your turn…..Ash, Ash.”  I don’t know what to think, but I do know that is what her daddy calls me so…what a little stinker!  The cutest thing is that the /sh/ is emphasized and so darn adorable.

I am such a lucky mom!

If I don’t post again before Halloween-have a safe and happy holiday!

xo Asssshhhh

Free Poster Print

October 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

Dear friends,

Walgreens has a special right now until the 22nd- a free poster 11X14 when you use this code: PSTR4LESS!

So in honor of the cool deal I am uploading my favorite picture I have taken of the temple just for you.

{Click to Download}

xo Ash


Crafty Shmafty Playgroup | Paint Chips and Eric Carle

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Courtesy of Miss Chavah and her cute craftiness.

Dear friend,

This Monday was our second Crafty Shmafty playgroup.  Here is what we made!

First we made paint chip matching games {on pinterest everywhere, originally from here}  this activity not only supports beginning sorting and classifying skills but strengthens fine motor skills.  Be careful with too young of children because the clothespins can be a little pinchy.  We got our idea from this tutorial but we made some adaptions to make them last longer.  The first change we made was to use contact paper to laminate the cards and then we used Modge Podge to seal strips of the color to the clothespins.  Also, I made an easier version with single colors instead of shades.  Hints: don’t go to  Walmart for your paint chips because there are 6 shades to a paint swatch and some are too close for an intermediate game.  We just cut the swatches down to 3 colors to make it a little easier.

 This next set is a print-cut-laminate craft.  I found these wonderful printables on the lovely 1+1+1=1 blog.  The first one is a set of matching cards for the animals in Eric Carles book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  I made the set and then added it to one of our pouches and included a small board book that we had and the sequencing activity on the same site.  The second activity is a counting activity that I added to a book I had by Eric Carle called, My Very First Book of Numbers.  The file did not show the numbers in my viewer it just had black smudges so I covered them with white stickers and I am planning on writing the numbers on the back with permanent marker  and letting McGilly write it on the front with a dry erase marker as a separate activity {of course this activity will come when she is a little older}.

The last activity was CD case mazes, I found the tutorial on the wonderful blog Giddy Giddy.  I made a few adaptions after my trial and error.  You have to make sure if you are using a clear CD case, the older kind with the plastic insert that holds the CD, you need to put the paper lining on the outside and not inside the case under the Wiki Stix-they do not stick very well to paper.  Also I tried the cheapy slim CD cases I had around the house next, and they were perfect because they didn’t have the open space between the bind of the CD and the front cover.  Also, they are just the right width for the ball so the ball can’t jump the maze walls.

I hope you enjoy making these for your kiddos and thank you to Rochelle, Jamie, and Chavah for the fun playgroup!  If downloaded our last crafty shmafty playgroup or invite for your own playgroup leave a comment and let me know how it went, I would love to hear from you!  Our warm fuzzy game was by far the most downloaded.

Here is the supply list for this activity, just click and print.


xo AshLee

A Kaleidoscope

October 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

 Dear friend,

I love Autumn!  This is the tree in front of my house…it is stunning.   From my bedroom window I can see the deep red leaves at the top and from my front room window down stairs I can see all the golden oranges along the bottom.  This week, just like this tree has brought some stunning changes.  From previous posts you may know that I was a teacher in Relief Society {an organization in my church for women 18 and over} Last time I checked it was the largest women’s organization in the world.  This is our motto:

“Charity Never Faileth” stems from the first Relief Society meeting. The sisters were asked by the Prophet Joseph Smith to assist the brethren “in looking to the wants of the poor—searching after objects of charity, and in administering to their wants.” The sisters took this call to heart and became a society devoted to seeking out the poor and needy. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 452.)

I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching the 4th Sunday lessons based on the words of our modern-day prophet, Thomas S. Monson and his apostles.  For the last six months my life has been immeasurably blessed by this calling, it has served as a proverbial security blanket for me-giving me just the right lessons and focuses I have needed at just the right time.  I love the sisters in my ward, their strength, their faith, their kindness, I have grown to finally feel a part of my ward family.  It is amazing to be a part of something that helps all of us set our aims upward, to think of others first and to draw us closer to our savior, Jesus Christ, and our Father in Heaven.

Last week I was extended a new calling which meant I would have to be released from teaching in Relief Society and the calling was being a part of the new Young Women’s presidency in my ward.  I was called to be the new secretary.  I have served these young women before as a Girls Camp director and as part of the Stake Team at girls camp {Young Womens is the organization to support the girls 12-18 in the LDS church to “Come Unto Christ”}.  These are some of my favorite people in my ward-they are brave, strong, beautiful girls who in such a precarious stage of life are standing strong and already aiming upward.  I am overjoyed to be able to serve them in this calling.  I am part of a team of wonderfully strong and spiritual women that I can’t wait to get to know better and be able to serve with and learn from.  The greatest part about this change is just like my calling in Relief Society I know my Heavenly Father knows where I need to be, he will qualify me for this calling, and if I seek out and listen to his guidance I can be his hand in the lives of those I serve.  Through this service I know I will be given opportunities to grow and will most definitely be blessed by the strength and testimonies of these wonderful young women.

I am so grateful for growing older, I find that wisdom is one of my most prized possessions and the interesting thing about wisdom is that you can not seek it out in college credits, true wisdom is a gift of life.  I look back at myself when I was the age of my Young Women and I am so grateful for the experiences I suffered and was blessed with that have brought me to this point.  The lens through which I view the world is uniquely mine and it is beautiful, and complex, and seems to get clearer as I move forward.  I know that the richness and acuity of my lens is from viewing the world with my Savior by my side .  I have so much more to learn which is so amazing and so exciting.  I know it isn’t always going to be easy and at certain times I may even resent it. But, because of this pearl I possess-that is my testimony, I know I will endure and I will emerge refined and closer to the potential He sees in me.   I am so grateful that I have a knowledge that I will never stand alone and if I lean on His arm and allow Him to guide me I will look back on my life and see nothing but a kaleidoscope of joy.

I am grateful for my Savior and even if others in this world don’t believe I am Christian, my Savior and I know the truth.

xo Ash

I wanted to share with you the theme of the Young Women, we recite it each week-

We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him.
We will “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live
the Young Women values, which are:
Divine Nature
Individual Worth
Choice and Accountability
Good Works
Integrity and
We believe as we come to accept and act upon these values,
we will be prepared to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants,
receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.

Just fantastic!

Pirate Party Free Printables!

October 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

Dear friend,

Last weekend my cousin Tiff threw a pirate party for her cutie little girl that was turning 4.  When McGilly was turning 1 I made all these printables for a pirate party but then decided to go simple since she wasn’t really even going to know what was going on-I finally got to see these printables in action and now I am sharing them with you!  Tomorrow I am going to post a party planner with games, food, crafts, and music to use at your party.  Take a look!


This is the invite, it can be given presented in lots of ways but the idea was to create an invite that was cheap to print and interactive.

  • My idea was to print this on 11X17 and fold it in 6th’s and put in a  5X5 black envelope {When you fold it that way and put it so the bottom middle panel shows it says, “You are invited” as soon as they pull it out.  Then deliver with a mini sized watercolor set or a set of crayons so that the invited child could color the invite.
  • My cousin Tiff rolled it up like a treasure map and wrapped it with an eyepatch.
  • Another fun idea would be to clean out pop bottles and roll up the invites and slide them in and then recap…did you know you can ship just about anything?  Take it to the postoffice, have it weighed, use a permanent marker to address them or slap on some labels and ship.

These are the thank you cards.  Tiff had her cutie sign the cards and she put them in the favor bags {her favor bags included: a pirate flag, a pirate telescope, candy from the pinata, a captains hook, a cardboard pirate hat, and all kinds of goodies gathered in the treasure hunt and pinata blow out.


Check back soon for a party guide with all kinds of ideas from this party and my pirate week I celebrated in my kindergarten class.  For now I hope you enjoy these pirate printables.  Download them below:

{Banner Alphabet}

{Happy Birthday Banner}

{Cake Topper}

{Cupcake Toppers}

{Pattern Paper}

{Invitation Back}

{Invitation Front}

{Pirate Icons}

{Thank You Card Girl}

{Thank You Card Boy}

{Thank You Inside}

Thanks for visiting,


Understanding the Abrahamic Covenant: a free picture ebook

October 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear friend

Quick post this morning.  I was perusing the blog that introduced me to scripture journals and I found this digital picture book that she published that explains the Abrahamic Covenant with such simplicity that I was amazed!  I had to link to it so I would have it forever.  I am going to print it and put it in a binder to use as McGilly get older.  All I can say is- wow and if you have even the slightest interest go take a look!

xo Ash

First Haircut @ 18 months

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment



Dear friend,

Last week on McGilly’s 18 month milestone she received her first haircut.  What did she think of it-you ask?  She absolutely and unequivocally hated it!   Why I wonder do they throw such a fit?  At one point I had to hold her just like I do at the doctor during temperature taking, it was crazy.  All in all she survived it and even made amends with the lovely hair stylist when she let McGilly play with her bright orange phone.  McGilly called her husband and her friend Hilary before it was over but just like a proverbial peace pipe they parted friends.  I was thinking an a-line bob, McGilly was thinking a fly by trim with tears-guess who won?

How did your little ones first haircut go?

xo Ash

Scripture Study Tips from a Pro

October 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

Dear friends,

I found this wonderful lady through my cousin Dani on Facebook and I was stopped dead in my tracks.  On her Blog she goes by The Red Headed Hostess and this is a tidbit from her About page,

“My life hasn’t been what I thought, but has been exactly right.  After  working at girls camps, studying abroad in Israel, working at a youth corrections facility, attending the University of Utah, and working at a youth summer program across the country, I began teaching Seminary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “

My favorite thing she shares on her blog is scripture journals.  She gives a simple and effective way to record the spiritual thoughts and learnings that you encounter.  In this way it is effective across differing denominations.  For conference {a time for those of my religion to gather together from accross the world through TV broadcast and in person, and hear the modern-day prophet and his apostles and leaders speak}  this last week I got a stack of note paper and filled it front and back.  This is great but what inevitably happens is I put it in a stack in a cupboard and it isn’t very useful after that.  So, after seeing this scripture journal method I created my own and have been transferring the most meaningful of my notes into my journal.  I also have been using it during our family scripture study and I can’t wait to use it at church today.  The best idea I got from her post about it is that her goal is to fill one for each of her children as her legacy to them.  Just in the small amount I have added to mine I see in it’s pages a stream of learning and my testimony shaping on the pages for McGilly to be able to read  and provide her with advice even after I am no longer here on Earth with her.


{Check out this amazingness here}


{Learn more of my faith here}

Halloween is in the Air

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

 Dear friends,

I had to show you this cute face!  These were taken last Halloween, our first Halloween with McGilly.  We were the three little bears, the Three Bears Bop, was her favorite song at the time.  We went trunk or treating at our church and visited with family.  It was fun fun.  This year we are taking our inspiration from another one of her favorite songs, if you follow {this link} you will get a hint.  My other idea stems from my love of Harry Potter books and would require a Hermione, a Harry, and a Hedwig, guess who would be hedwig?  But I feel like I would rather her have some idea of what we are.  The only thing I can’t decide is what the Hubby will be-maybe I will design a front and a back of a t-shirt that is a sun and the rain or he could be the rain spout?  Hmmm, I going to have to think that through-who wants to be a rainspout for Halloween?

Well this post is also to share with you some free printables and activities for Halloween.  Also, watch out for a wonder hour post of cool science experiments coming your way because I think science experiments just seem to fit this month so well-who am I kidding I love science every month.

The first set is for the grown-ups:

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  • Candy Bar Wrapper by Twig & Thistle
  • Invitation by Twig & Thistle
  • Treat flags by Twig & Thistle
  • Pumpkin Kid {Pumpkin Carving Invite} by Black Apple
  • Spider Border by Ambrosia Girl
  • Spooky Jar Labels by Wash. Rinse. Repeat

Click here to be taken to the links on PINTERESTor to the design blog {just scroll down to Halloween}

The second set is for the kiddies:

 I think these are awesome!  Minieco and Ambrosia girl are two great minds that think alike.  What a more perfect activity for a rainy October day!

 Okay, this beats all.  Over the Moon has brought you this awesome preschool packet with the cutest illustrations ever!  I am tempted to print a few of the pages on cardstock, cut out the cute halloweeners and make a banner for my front room or McGilly’s room!  I was tempted to make this it’s own seperate post because I want you to make sure to go out and see it!  BONUS-I just found counting cards that go with it!

This is another one of my favorites. This is a treat box, you cut, fold, glue, and it’s the cutest treat box you’ll ever find!   This illustrator creates free printables for a website called We Love to Illustrate that I absolutely LOVE!  I think all the illustrators that share are fantastic but I am always drawn to Bee’s illustrations and this is from her.  Make sure to go out and see their new printables for October-can I just say again I love them!

These are some fun writing sheets for you or the kiddies-bonus they come in all different themes, thank you A Little Hut!

And there you go some wonderful printables from talented and generous artists {my favorite kind} to get your Halloweeniness, yes I said Halloweeniness, happenin’!

xo Ash

Where Am I?

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