Thursday, November 9, 2017


Hosting a Holiday Cookie Exchange can be lots of fun.  It can also be very simple and easy to do!  For Activity Days two years in a row, we decided to host a cookie exchange for our combined activity with all the ages groups.  The first year was very simple and worked like a charm.  The second year, we made it too complicated and it ended up being a lot more work for the leaders than was necessary.  So keep reading to find out why the one year worked and the other didn't.  You'll get some great tips that will save you time, energy & money!

The first year we:

1.  sent out an invitation
2. chose as leaders to have each of the girls, along with us, bring a dozen cookies to exchange.  These cookies can be home made or store bought.  Whatever is easiest for the girls and their family.  
3.  We kept the activity to an hour time frame after school at the church.
4.  We set up tables and chairs, provided heavy paper plates for the girls to gather their new cookies on (since the trays they brought were already holding the cookies they brought).
5.  We also made hot cocoa and brought cups and napkins for the girls to enjoy a drink with their cookies if they wanted to eat one or two while they chit chatted with one another.
6.  Lastly, we provided a simple paper ornament they were able to glue together to take home to hang on their bedroom door knob, their family Christmas tree, or where ever.  It was a simple Christ Centered Message to send them out the door with from their leaders, until the new year.

Clean up was quick and the girls were all smiles.

The second year:

1.  We repeated all the steps from the first year and also added more.  We chose to have an activity in another room.  A game, and also an extra craft.  We had a lot of girls.  So we figured we needed to do more to shuffle them through the cookie exchange in an orderly fashion, when all it did- was create more work for the leaders, more chaos for the girls, and less time to focus on the simplicity of the cookies, cocoa and chit chat.  Which is really what this gathering was supposed to be.  It made for a lot more to clean up as well.  We learned our lesson.  The lesson we should already have known... Keep it Simple.  Most always, less is more!

HOWEVER- I did like ONE extra thing we did.  We talked about the Scandinavian tradition of St. Lucia.  She is the giver of light that represents the light of the Savior.     

I have provided the Cookie Exchange Invitations we used, along with the Christmas Ornament Tag we used for both years.  I did get permission to use the artwork for the image of Christ.

Here is an updates version of the St. Lucia handout we used.  
You can right click and copy the handout right from here.  I do not have a pdf of it at this time.

If you print this Christ picture with the gold frame you can punch a whole through the top and add twine or ribbom to make it a paper ornament to give to the girls to have as a take away.  They can even use it as a book mark if they chose.

Monday, July 31, 2017


THIS is a great lesson!  One that not only little people need to learn, but a lesson that is is good to be repeated to all of us young and old every now and then.  We all have occasion to fall into the trap of being a dipper.  At least I do, and I'm pretty sure, I have to cover my bucket every now and then so others don't dip too much from me either!  Let's face it- When we take responsibility for our actions and our attitude at home with family, or out with friends or at school and work, we make the world a much happier place for everyone.  Our days go smoother, our world stay brighter!

SO- this concept is nothing new.  I read this lesson years ago, and happened upon it again a few months ago.  I created a few printables of my own and made it easy to download and use for any of you who would like to teach this to others.  Believe it or not- I shared it with my family for FHE, Family Home Evening last month, and my son, who is 16 had his friends over for a devotional last night at our home.  He was in charge of giving the thought and "lesson".  He chose to read this story and even gave the guys the handouts. (And he's a picky dude-doesn't let mom in on teenage social life very often...sound familiar?!)  Voila!  My sneaking suspicion would be that they took it to heart and hopefully keep this simple ideal in mind.  Something must have gone right because they asked to have their picture taken together outside as a group.  Which never happens with teenage boys, right?!

Here are a few printables to help you share this lesson with your audience.  Family, Students, Activity Days, Scouts, YM, YW, Relief Society or workers- you name it!

Enjoy and remember...Don't be a Dip!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Sometimes we just need a new start...on the basics.  The basics at our home seem to get lost in the business of daily life.  The kiddo's and sometimes parents alike need a good visual reminder of what we are accomplishing daily with regard to the simple habits that form a healthy bedrock of discipline for our lives to grow upon.

This habit tracker is such a fun and easy way to help in habit forming. It is a simple printable weekly tacking sheet that includes a few daily habits that help form kids health and happiness.  Each Sunday would be a good time to pull out a new form and have it close by to track your habits daily.  

Download the Hello Happy Habits printable HERE. 


Have a beautiful day & check back often as our site 
continues to grow & add more content!

Love, Candy

Friday, December 9, 2016


Our next way of serving is this! 

We have decided to show our support to the men in blue this year is by sending a treat box basket up to our local police department.  The officers spend so much time serving our communities.  
This is just a small token of appreciation we can offer to add a little joy to their routine.  There really are so many ways we can make a difference in people's lives.  Can you imagine if we all took time to  add a little pep in someone else's step?!  Sky's the limit on the love and joy we can bring to others. 

So what we did is filled a basket with small packages of M&Ms with a darling little tag attached to each one.  We took it over to the our local police department for them to keep in an area where the officers can easily grab one to go. 
We put a sign on the basket that said "thank you for your service please take a treat before you go out on your route today and remember how thankful we are for your protection". 

You can download the printable HERE

Thank you all for visiting!
Love Candy


 Another one of our 25 day in 25 ways service ideas is to purchase some warm and fuzzy socks to give to the elderly. We chose to give them to some residents in the care center in our town.  It is such an easy and simply service that anyone can provide.  How great would it be for an FHE sometime through the winter months to do this with even the smallest of kids.  Read instructions below.  You can also print out our darling Warmest Wishes Tag to attach to them.

There are lots of fun ways to give socks to others.  Have you seen the cute Cupcakes that you can make with socks?  check out our Pinterest Board for ideas we have pinned from other creative sources, but first- here are the easy instructions on how to make a sock tree! 

1.  Take tags off of socks and lay out one on top of another.  
2.  Stagger the top sock just about a 1/4 inch over from the other.  This helps to create a longer tree when you roll them.
3.  Start with the ankle side and slowly roll tightly.  You will want it to roll outward to create a long line.  Not rolling like a cinnamon roll.
4.  Once they are rolled, just take the toe side of the socks which should appear at the "bottom" of the tree and tightly tuck the toes into the rolled socks themselves.  
5.  We used a small toothpick to attach a red ribbon which we tied in a bow.  We then stuck the toothpick into the top of the socks to top the Christmas Tree Socks! So easy.
6.  To package, we used a cellophane baggie.  Added some dollar store white shreds and folded and stapled the top.  I don't have it pictured here, But the tag was attached to the side of the bag.   

Here is the cute tag you can print.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Today we chose to write a small note to someone who has been a great influence for good in our life's.  We also chose to buy a small $3-$8 gift to go along with each note.  
Wrap the gift and give it to them anonymously.  Each person in our family gave 1 gift to 1 mentor, coach or teacher.  One of the gifts was as simple as a bag of Gummy Bears that my husband new his mentor liked.  Really, it's the words that count the most.  Right?  For someone to know that because of them, they made someone's life better.  How great is that?!  

Here are a few note card printables each containing a quote at the head that applies to being an example to others.  We really liked the quotes we found and thought they were a great fit for a letterhead for this simple service act.  You can download the printables by clicking on the download buttons below.  When they are downloaded, they are sharp and of good quality.  

The first quote reads,

"I've learned that it's not what I have in my life, 
but who I have in my life that counts."

The second quote reads,

"The role of a great leader is not to give greatness to human beings, 
but to help them extract the greatness they already have inside them."  


Thursday, December 1, 2016




A little over 10 years ago, I had a neighbor show up with a darling wooden star wand painted a beautiful Christmas Red.  Attached was a poem explaining the magic this little wand held.  To this day it remains one of the best neighbor gifts our family received.  We used and used our Service Star for years.  Even outside of the holidays, our kids and us as parents alike would pass the star around when we found it laying somewhere and brought a little extra light to our life.  Our wand broke a few years ago & I never did get around to replacing it.  So this is why I wanted to start our 25 days of service count down with the Service Star!

If you'd like to make one too, here is what we did this year.  We got small dowls from our local craft store.  They were about 12 inches in length.  I wanted to keep it simple and purchased thin wooden stars that were only .50 cents a piece.  We painted them with craft paint and sprinkled some glitter on the paint while it was still wet so it would stick.  It only took us 20 minutes to do.  Very easy project.  We then wrapped a ribbon around the top for added cuteness and printed out the poem tag, punched a whole in the top and slid it up the dowl.  It stayed secure on its own. 

 here is a picture of the one our family was given.  It is a red wooden star attached to a wooden dowl.  The red paint has gold sparkles in it too!  Or you could even make one out of material and stuff it. Then put a wooden dowl through it.  Or hey- even a fun felt star would work!  The posibilities are endless.  It's really about the idea of the star.  What it represents right?!  

service star wand
HERE is a little more about the Service Wand I wrote on my family blog back in 2008.  I also talk about how I used the concept of tue service star for a Sharing Time idea in Primary.

The fun thing about this Star Wand, is that is has been going around in our family for a few years now. When we moved, I had it put away, and sure enough once I unpacked it, somehow it started up again just by laying there in my room. We all do kind deeds for one another, but this has been a simple reminder for us, when we aren't necessarily thinking about it. When a parent hears from their child "Mom, aren't you going to do something nice? You've had the star for a few days." Sometimes it will be forgotten by a family member, and they will not pass it on, so it sits, or gets put in the toy box, and Mom or Dad sometimes get busy and put it on the shelf, or by the magazine rack. But it is only a matter of a few days or weeks once in a while, even a month will go by...and then, sure enough, it is "found" again by someone. And once again a kind act is gentle done, and the surprise of the Secret Deeds Star is alive.

PS. I Actually took this idea and used it for a Sharing Time. I punched out little red paper stars and attach them to a brown paper wand. I thought of it last minute, so next time I would have attached them to popcicle sticks. Anyway, each of the kids got one to take home and do a kind deed for a family member.

 I have included a printable version of the poem for you below.  I will attach these to the star wands with a ribbon or twine before giving them out to a few families think will enjoy these!  So if you would like these tags to print just click below.  There are 2 different stlyes.