Overstuffed: March 2017 Overstuffed

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Model for Christlike Service—3 Steps to Serving Others With More Compassion

This post is written in partnership with mormon.org as part of the Easter 2017 #PrinceofPeace campaign. To find more peace in your own life, click here to learn more. 

How to serve others with more compassion | a model for Christlike service | prince of peace | mormon.org | First observe then serve | #princeofpeace | Linda K. Burton | Jesus Christ served with compassion | 8 principles of Peace


A few days ago I opened Facebook and the first thing on my feed was a post that tagged my dear friend Marianne. Her sister had posted a lovely picture of the two of them together and written a beautiful tribute to Marianne, but I had to read it several times before I finally understood that Marianne had passed away the day before due to complications of pneumonia.

I have spent much of this week mourning for the loss of my friend, thinking of the many ways she has blessed my life, and reading through the many tributes to her that have been posted on her Facebook Timeline. I read story after story of Marianne's service to the people around her. Every single tribute I read about her life mentioned her amazing capacity to serve others with love and compassion and shared personal stories of the ways that Marianne had touched their own lives. Everything I read only solidified what I already knew about Marianne: She was an exceptional spirit with a strong testimony of Christ and a gift for serving others selflessly.

Some quotes from her obituary:

Marianne was Christ-like from the start.

Marianne loved to involve and serve others.

Throughout her life, Marianne loved deeply and filled her days in the service of others. We are certain she will continue to serve while in our Father's care on the other side. She will be dearly missed.


I met Marianne when The Maestro and I were newly married, with a 9-month old baby Bria. We had just moved into a larger apartment and Marianne and her husband were neighbors of ours. We became close, and Marianne helped me often with Bria—even sitting with us at church every week and bringing toys and books for her to play with. Even though she did not have children of her own yet, Marianne loved education and had a wonderful collection of things to share with my little daughter.

Marianne playing with Bria in 2003


A year later, when I was pregnant with my second daughter and suffering from hyperemesis and barely able to function, Marianne continued to help me with Bria. Even though she was still finishing up her college degree and had a job, she came over several times a week and took Bria on adventures so I could rest. Bria adored Marianne. They were the best of buddies and Marianne often brought her home with a new outfit or toy.

I was so thankful to Marianne during that time in my life. I am not the type of person who easily accepts service, and I would have never in a million years felt comfortable asking friends to take my child during that time. But I didn't have to ask Marianne. She just called me up one day and told me which times she would be taking Bria and that was that. She didn't give me a chance to protest or claim I didn't need her to do that, she simply saw my need and did something about it. I don't know if she ever knew just how much her selfless act blessed me, but I am eternally grateful.

Marianne and her husband with 2-year-old Bria. 


This Easter, mormon.org is helping us to focus on eight principles of peace that Christ—the Prince of Peace—exemplified and taught. Serving with compassion is one of those principles (to see the other 7 principles of peace, click here: Prince of Peace).

I learned an important lesson from Marianne's compassionate service to me.  Service is something that I desire to do, but it doesn't come naturally to me the way it did for Marianne. She taught me that asking someone how you can help them isn't the way to serve compassionately, nor is it the way that Christ serves. Most people will not feel comfortable telling you what they need most. Marianne taught me that it is best to observe the needs of others, think of ways you can personally meet those needs, and then serve selflessly. True compassion observes on its own.

3 Steps to Serving Others With More Compassion


1. Observe the needs of others
2. Think of ways you can personally meet those needs
3. Serve selflessly


This lesson has been reiterated in a 2012 talk by Sister Linda K. Burton titled "First Observe, Then Serve." Marianne had the innate gift of being able to observe the needs of others and do what she could to help them, but all of us can learn to serve as Christ did.
First observe, then serve | Serving with compassion | 3 steps to serving others with greater compassion and Christlike service

Download this printable by entering your email into the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.


This week I have tried to be more aware of the ways I can serve those around me as a way to honor Marianne's memory. I am working on opening my eyes and seeing what others need. I am working on being less selfish with my time so that I can use more of that time to help others. And, finally, I am working on allowing others to serve me.

I say that last part because that is something else about service that I learned from Marianne. A few years after we had both moved away to different states while our husbands pursued their doctoral degrees, Marianne wrote a personal note to me in her annual Christmas card. I have to paraphrase, because I couldn't find it in all of the bins downstairs, but she thanked me for sharing my Bria with her so generously. She went on to explain how that had been a hard time for her because she had wanted a baby so badly (she did go on to have two children) and it wasn't happening for her. But because I shared my own daughter so willingly it helped to take away some of her sorrow.

Leave it to Marianne to turn around the great service she offered to me and thank me for serving her. But that note helped me to realize that by allowing others to serve us we actually are blessing their lives. I know that I am blessed greatly in many different ways when I look beyond myself and do my best to serve as Christ would serve. I think that is the secret that Marianne has always known—she actually received more from her service to others than she believed she gave.

Help me honor Marianne's memory by heading over to mormon.org to learn more about how you can develop a closer relationship with our Savior and find more peace in your life by watching a beautiful video and learning to serve more compassionately.

Monday, March 27, 2017

How to Organize and Save Kids' Artwork Without the Clutter

When my first child was in Kindergarten I started to realize what keeping all of her artwork and school work would mean. And any mother who has had a child go through school knows it, too. It means piles and piles of paper.

It's paper that means something, certainly, but I am a minimalist at heart and it is tough for me to hold on to all of it without feeling overwhelmed. Now that my first child is a junior in high school I know even better—I would probably need an entire extra room to hold all of the wonderful art and amazing writing my children have created over the years.

It just isn't possible to keep it all.

But you can't just throw it out either! All mothers know that kids will somehow find the artwork you threw in the garbage, even if you carefully hid it underneath banana peels and yesterday's newspaper. It doesn't matter how well you cover it up, because your child will figure out that you threw away their masterpiece and they will never forgive you for it.

Okay, so they'll forgive you, but they will make it even harder for you to get rid of the 20 drawings they did after school today because you've lost their trust. As a mom who doesn't want to drown in paper clutter, it becomes a conundrum.

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Here are a few ways you can save your child's masterpieces while still staying organized:

How to Organize and Save Kids' Artwork


1. Display the Very Best


One of my good friends frames one or two of her children's very best art pieces each year. She has a lovely gallery of really cool kids' art in her stairwell, and I always love to look at it. It makes her kids feel special and adds a really fun personal touch to her home decor.

I always mean to follow suit, but I have not done it. I do have a few really wonderful pieces saved for just this purpose, so maybe it's time to just bite the bullet and spend a few hundred dollars on frames. The walls in my stairwell are completely bare right now! The smiles on my girls' faces would be totally worth any money spent, so I think I know what one of my summer home improvement projects will be!

2. Save just a few items each year in a folder or binder


I have a folder for each year in my filing cabinet. In it, I only put my favorite artwork and writing. The girls love to occasionally peruse those folders and enjoy laughing at the cute things they wrote or the funny way they used to draw faces. Because I only saved a handful of things each year, it is not at all overwhelming and is easy to keep organized.

3. Save the rest digitally


When my first daughter was in Kindergarten, smart phones were not a thing—in fact, I think the year she started Kindergarten was the first year I even had a cell phone at all! Since I was already worried about the paper clutter that I knew would begin to accumulate as my children went through school, I began to scan her school work on a weekly basis.

At the end of the year, I burned all of her work onto a DVD and made a cute little case for the disc with her Kindergarten photo on it. We have very rarely looked at it, but it's nice to know it's there.

Now we have smartphones, and that is the biggest blessing of all! I have recently discovered the Keepy app, which is the perfect way to organize and store your children's art and school work digitally.

keepy app | ideas for saving kid's artwork


How is Keepy different from other photo sharing apps?

Keepy was built specifically for the purpose of sharing kids' masterpieces. It is easy to organize the photos you upload by child. See photo below of my Keepy account for an idea of how this is set up.

Keepy app


Keepy allows you to add voice recordings, video, and text comments to describe the photos. Others can also add their own comments via voice, video, or text.

You can also upload just a video of a moment you want to remember, or perhaps a voice recording of your child. I know that I love going back and listening to the way my kids sounded when they were littler—the way they pronounced words, how much higher their voices are, and just how darn cute they sounded!

Keepy is very affordable, even for the upgraded version. You can download the free version, which allows you to upload 5 photos/videos per month, or you can pay just $9.99 per year for unlimited uploads—about 85 cents a month!

Keepy allows you to make fun photo gifts out of your children's art via the Keepy Store. You can make magnets, mugs, cards, canvases, coasters, and even beach towels (among other things). I love the mug and apron I have with my children's artwork on them that I ordered via another website through the elementary school. But I really like how Keepy gets rid of the middle man—no worries about lost order forms or forgetting to send a check to the art teacher—you can order the items yourself, right from your smart phone.

The items in the store are ideal for Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts.

Keepy app | photobook | Mother's Day gift | Father's Day gift


The photo books (pictured above) are one of the easiest ways to keep your kids' art accessible to them without cluttering up your home with paper. And you could also order canvases or art prints to hang in your stairwell—which might be easier than trying to find frames for all the odd-sized art you want to display.

Keepy allows you to invite and share your photos with your kids' biggest fans. They will love to see the comments from their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins whenever a new masterpiece is uploaded. It's a great way to share it without having to share it to all of your Facebook friends.

My minimalist self is very excited about all of the options that Keepy offers for me to stay organized and clutter-free while still making my girls feel special as I save their artwork.

You can get the app on IOS, Android, or Kindle Fire. Click here to download: Keepy App

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Easy St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes


I wanted to make some rainbow cupcakes with a pot of gold for St. Patrick's Day, but I procrastinated. I had wanted to use these AirHead Extremes rainbow candies for the rainbows, but I couldn't find them anywhere in my small town and I had no time to order them online.

So, as most procrastinators do, I improvised.

Instead, I was able to find some of these rainbow colored Twizzlers, and figured I'd be able to make them work somehow. And honestly, I really do love the final product.

Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow Cupcakes

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Materials needed:

Yellow Cake Mix—because we are gluten-free, I use this one, which is easily found at most grocery stores.

Green Frosting—I was pleased to find this very green funfetti frosting at the grocery store, saving me from dealing with food coloring.

Baking cups—I used silver ones since that is what I had on hand, but it would probably be more fun (and more apropro) to use metallic gold baking cups or these fun St. Patrick's Day themed baking cups.

Rainbow Twizzlers—Note, licorice is NOT gluten-free. I made some cupcakes without the rainbows so that they would be safe for my Celiac daughter. If you choose to use the Airheads instead, those are also NOT gluten-free.

Rolos—Rolos are gluten-free, so you could make some cupcakes with just the pots and not the rainbows.

Plain M&Ms—I just picked out the yellow ones. You could also use yellow Skittles instead.

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Directions:

1. Bake the cupcakes according to directions, let cool.

2. Frost with green frosting.

3. Cut the rainbow licorice into thirds, making sure to have one of each color of the rainbow.

4. Stick the licorice straight down into the frosted cupcake. You'll want to have it go all the way to the bottom of the cup so that it stands up well.

5. Stick one yellow M&M into each unwrapped Rolo.

6. Place the Rolo onto the cupcake next to your licorice rainbow.

7. Put another yellow M&M or two next to the Rolo on top of the cupcake.

8. Use the funfetti sprinkles that came with the frosting to finish off the look. You could also use green sanding sugar or these gold sprinkles.

Easy St. Patrick's Day cupcake idea | decorate cupcakes for St. Paddy's Day | Green cupcakes | pot of gold treat idea | rainbow cupcakes for St. Pat's Day | how to make St. Patrick's Day cupcakes | Fun treat for St. Patrick's Day


These cupcakes were super quick and easy to decorate and turned out incredibly cute for the small amount of time put into them.

Looking for more fun St. Patrick's Day projects?

St. Patrick's Day Mason Jar Gift

St. Patrick's Day Lucky Printable

Thursday, March 09, 2017

March 2017 Bonus Visiting Teaching Printable

I especially loved the quote by President Uchtdorf in the March 2017 Visiting Teaching Message:

"Though we all have weaknesses, we can overcome them. Indeed it is by the grace of God that, if we humble ourselves and have faith, weak things can become strong."

March 2017 visiting teaching printable handout | Dieter F. Uchtdorf quote | Indeed it is by the grace of God that, if we humble ourselves and have faith, weak things can become strong. | LDS quotes | weakness becomes strength | Ether 12:27


I get fixated on my weaknesses sometimes. Because sometimes it feels like I will never be able to overcome them. I really appreciated how President Uchtdorf stressed that we CAN overcome them—but we have to be humble and have faith and rely on the grace of the atonement.

And that is what I have trouble with most.

Having faith that those weaknesses are not some permanent part of me!

If you are looking for a different quote for March visiting teaching, click here: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me visiting teaching handout.

This visiting teaching handout comes four to a page. For these smaller quotes I like to laminate them with my personal laminator, and then use magnetic tape to turn it into a fridge magnet.

To download:

Enter your email address into the form below and the file will be sent to you via email. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.


Enjoy!

March 2017 visiting teaching printable handout | Dieter F. Uchtdorf quote | Indeed it is by the grace of God that, if we humble ourselves and have faith, weak things can become strong. | LDS quotes | weakness becomes strength | Ether 12:27

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

April Fools Day Mystery Dinner Menus for Kids {free printables}

I'm not a big prankster on April Fools Day—or any other day for that matter. But I still wanted to find a fun way to celebrate April Fools Day with my kids. I remembered that I had done these mystery dinners at church youth activities before, and I figured they would be a fun way to celebrate April Fools Day with my kids without having to also pull off elaborate pranks.

As it turned out, my girls absolutely loved doing it and now look forward to it every year. Each year, I come up with a different theme for the mystery dinner and then create the menus around that theme. We've done Disney princesses, Superheroes, and colors so far.

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The girls love it because it's a lot of fun, but I love it because it's super easy. It takes less work than dinner on an ordinary day because you don't even have to set the table! And there is no need to plan a special menu with special food because it's the menus and the activity that make the meal fun.

How to plan a mystery dinner for April Fools Day


1. Print out your menus. 


There are three menus you will get with your download: Princesses, Superheroes, and Colors. You can give each child a different menu, or give everyone the same one. It's up to you!

To download the menus, enter your email address into the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.


2. Decide on the secret code.


There are ten items on each menu. You just need to jot down quickly which item goes with which part of dinner. Don't worry—you don't need ten courses! Things like plates and utensils are part of the menu, which is the very thing that makes this dinner so fun!

Here's an example, using the Princess themed menu:

Ariel—fork
Aurora—main dish
Elsa—dessert
Snow White—fruit
Cinderella—spoon
Pocahontas—drink
Belle—plate
Tiana—bread
Jasmine—vegetable
Rapunzel—napkin

Remember, only Mom and Dad know the code!

April Fools Day mystery dinner printable menus for kids


3. Don't set the table!


Call the kids to dinner and explain that Mom and Dad will be their servers tonight, and that they will each receive a menu that they will use to place their dinner orders.

We usually have them order in three courses:

First course—3 items
Second course—4 items
Third course—3 items

If you have time and you're feeling like drawing it out, you can do four or five rounds!

4. Set a timer for each course.


Plan ahead how long you will allow for each of the dinner courses. 5-10 minutes is generally plenty of time.

5. Have a fun and silly dinner!


What makes this fun for kids is not only do they not know what they are ordering, they might receive dessert first without a utensil to eat it with or a plate to eat it from. How funny is it to get a pile of spaghetti without a plate or a fork?

Some kids will have a great time eating with their hands or without a plate, others will prefer to wait until they receive the proper utensils. Either way, they'll have a blast and you'll be the best mom ever for planning such a fun April Fools Day activity.

Little will they know just how easy it was for you to do.

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Happy April Fools Day!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

What Are the Best Pens to Use for Paper Planners?

I love paper planners. And I love pens and markers. In fact, part of the reason why I love paper planners so much may just be because I love color coding them with pens and markers! I've done a big review of paper planners, but I thought it would be a good idea to do a review of the best pens to use with paper planners, too.

Mostly because that meant I got to play with pens!


There are a few key elements that I look for in the pens I use in my paper planner:


1. Color—I like the color to be bold, bright, and easy to read. I color code my planners, so being able to tell the difference between colors is also very important.

2. Ink flow—A smooth, consistent ink flow is best.

3. Bleed-through/smearing—Nobody wants the ink to bleed through to the next page or to smear everywhere!

4. Price—As much as I love pens, I don't want to have to break the bank to buy good ones.

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In this post, I will review ten different types of pens and their pros and cons. Some of these are pens I already have and use, and the rest are popular pens that I purchased to see how they stood up to my favorites.

There are a lot of really great pens out there, so this is by no means an exhaustive list! I saved my very favorite for last (make sure to scroll all the way down there!), but there are several pens on this list that I really like and would recommend for planning. Other than saving the best for last, these aren't in any particular order.

This post uses affiliate links for your convenience.

The Best Pens for Paper Planners


1. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens


The Staedtler triplus fineliner pen is an excellent pen to use with a paper planner.
These German pens are very popular in the planning community so I was excited to try them out.

(Pictured with the Tools4Wisdom Goal-setting planner, which I am currently LOVING.)

Pros:

The Staedtler Triplus Fineliners come in a nice carrying case. I didn't know that I would love that as much as I do, but I really love it!

Dry safe. The company claims that these pens can be left uncapped for days without drying up. I chose not to try it out.

Great colors. I purchased the 10-pack of pens, and the colors are just as brilliant as advertised. If you are a serious color-coder, you can also purchase them in 20-pack, 36-pack, or even 42-pack varieties.

Smooth writing. These are a felt tip pen, and the writing is quite smooth.

No smearing.

Cons:

The darker colors bleed very slightly through the page.

Price:

Around $10 for a pack of ten.

2. Paper Mate Ink Joy Retractable Ballpoint


The Paper Mate Ink Joy is a great and inexpensive pen to use with a paper planner.


These pens have been my go-to planner pens for some time.

Pros:

Vivid colors. I like the bolder colors, but some packs only have more pastel colors, which I don't love quite as much.

Smooth writing. For a ballpoint pen, they write like a dream.

Super cheap. I used to be able to get an 8-pack for just $3.00, but I can't find that deal anymore. Still you can get a 24-pack for only $8.99.

Cons:

Not a huge variety of colors. Even the larger count pen packs have several repeats of colors.

No carrying case. Yes. This is now a con, and I never knew it before.

Price:

$8.99 for a pack of 24 assorted colors.

2b. PaperMate Ink Joy Ballpoint


The Paper Mate Ink Joy is a great and inexpensive pen to use with a paper planner.


Before I found the Ink Joy retractable pens, I used these.

Pros:

They write exactly like their retractable siblings and come in all of the same colors.

Cons:

They have lids that don't tend to stay on very well. As you can see from the photo above, I have only managed to retain one lid out of the six pens I was able to find.

No case.

Price:

They are more expensive than the retractables as well. You can get a pack of 9 pens in assorted colors for $8.99.

3. PaperMate Flair


The Paper Mate Flair is an excellent pen to use with your paper planner.

These are another very popular pen amongst the planning community.

(Pictured with an Erin Condren Planner—a popular paper planner that I have used in the past and quite liked.)

Pros:

Felt tip, but doesn't bleed through at all.

No smearing.

Nice, vivid colors.

They have a carrying case!

Comes in different tip sizes. I prefer a very fine tip, so the one I tried out is the ultra-fine tip. You can also purchase them in medium-tip.

Cons:

None.

Price:

About $8.00 for a pack of 8 colors.

4. Zebra Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint


Z-grip | pens to use with paper planners


I purchased an assorted package of these pens and used them for planning a few years ago.

Pros:

Inexpensive. You can purchase an 18-pack for $10.00.

Cons:

Spotty writing. The ink just doesn't flow smoothly.

The colors are not very vivid, and some of them don't even show up well on paper.

Though they are inexpensive, the Ink Joy ballpoint is even more inexpensive and writes much better.

No case.

Price:

$10.00 for 18 pens.

5. MagnaTank Gel Pens


Magna Tank gel pen | best pen for paper planner


I used these pens exclusively for planning for about a year.

Pros: 

They hold a lot of ink, and therefore last forever. There is a reason they are called the MagnaTank.

Gel ink. I do like gel ink slightly better than ballpoint, even though I tend to use the ballpoints due to their cheaper price.

Cons:

The roller balls got stuck all. the. time. It drove me crazy (how did I use these for a whole year?)!

Cheap construction. The pen would unscrew constantly.

Inconsistent ink flow.

No case.

Price:

$5.77 for a set of 2 in one color. I could not locate the multi-colored pack online.

6. Uniball Vision Needle Rollerball


Uniball vision needle | best pens to use in paper planning


I ordered these pens last week after seeing them recommended online.

Pros:

Very fine tip.

Waterproof and fade-proof.

Smooth ink flow. I really enjoy writing with these pens.

Cons:

The colors are duller and darker than I prefer for planning.

The ink smears before it is dry.

The darker colors bleed through the page a little.

No case.

Price:

$8.33 for a pack of 8 assorted colors.

7. Sharpie Ultra Fine Point


sharpie ultra fine point | paper planners

I was surprised to learn that the Sharpie Ultra Fine Point is a popular pen with the paper planner community.

Pros:

Love the ultra fine point.

Great colors. You can get them in a variety of bold, vivid colors.

Inexpensive. A pack of 24 assorted colors (no repeats) is only about $14.00.

Cons:

Terrible bleed-through. Your planner needs to have super thick paper before you'd be able to use this pen for planning. Great for writing on card stock weight, though.

Stinky!

No case.

Price:

$14.47 for a package of 24.

8. Foray Advanced Ink Retractable Ballpoint


What is the best pen to use in a paper planner?


These were another pen that I saw recommended online.

Pros:

Super smooth writing. The pen just glides right along, just like a gel pen, even though it isn't.

Cool ergonomic grip.

Good colors. Not as vivid as some of the other pens, but they are still nice.

Cons:

No case.

A little spendier.

Price: 

$15.39 for a package of 8 assorted colors.

9. Pilot G-2 Retractable Gel Pen


Best gel pens to use in paper planner


These are my husband's very favorite pens and are also a favorite with the planner community.

Pros:

Gel ink for very smooth writing.

Smear-proof.

Refillable, if you would remember to refill them.

Nice rubber grip.

Cons:

The colors are too dull for my taste.

No case.

Price:

$7.34 for a package of 8 assorted colors.

10. Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Ink Pen


Pilot Frixion | Awesome pen to use for paper planning


Everyone raves about these pens, and so I figured it was high time I actually try them out. I love them and they are my new favorite pen for planning, so I am glad I finally tried them!

(Pictured with my current planner, which is also my all-time favorite planner—The Mom on the Go Planner.)

Pros:

Gel ink.

Refillable.

Very smooth writing and ink flow.

Great vivid colors.

They come in a carrying case!

Nice rubber grip.

No bleed-through.

ERASABLE. You guys, this is life changing. I thought they would be like the erasable pens of 20 years ago, which I never liked. But this thing erases as good as a pencil would, and it erases easily—no elbow grease required.

Here's an example:

Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pen | Perfect erasable pen for planners


I wrote a goal to pay off a credit card in my Tools4Wisdom Planner. But—oops!—I wrote the wrong credit card. Instead of crossing it out, I erased it, and you can barely tell.

Isn't that amazing???

Cons:

The ink does smear a little before it's dry, but it dries quickly.

Slightly more expensive than I like, but the erasability makes it okay in my mind.

Price:

$12.69 for a package of 7 assorted colors.


Conclusion:


The Pilot Frixion was definitely my favorite pen. It had everything I really want in a planner pen, plus it is erasable. I hereby crown it the best pen to use for paper planners.

Other pens I really liked and would be perfectly happy using are the PaperMate Flair, my trusty friend the PaperMate Ink Joy, and the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

March 2017 Visiting Teaching Handout

The visiting teaching message for March 2017 is "The Enabling Power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement." At first, I didn't know how it was different from February's message, but after reading it, I recognize that we are talking about different things that the Atonement does for us.

visiting teaching | March 2017 visiting teaching message | handout | printable


In February we talked about how the Atonement is evidence of how much we are loved by God. This month, we are talking about how the Atonement gives us the power and the strength we need to do hard things. I particularly loved the quote about Nephi being bound by his brothers and how he didn't pray that his circumstances would be changed, but that he would have the strength to change them himself.

A few years ago, our family theme was "I Will Go & Do—I Can Do Hard Things" and the scripture in Philippians 4:13 was the verse we used. Of all the family themes we've done over the years, I feel that one was internalized best by my children. They know they can do hard things because Christ will help to strengthen them.

March 2017 visiting teaching free printable handout | Philippians 4:13 | I can do hard things | The Enabling power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement | visiting teaching message March 2017


That is the scripture I used for the main printable this month. You can get a printable with a longer quote from the message here: March 2017 Bonus Visiting Teaching Printable.

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To download:

Enter your email address into the form below and the printable will be sent straight to your inbox. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.


I recommend sending the file to a photo center such as Walmart or Costco if you don't have a good photo printer at home. I print mine on this Canon printer which does an excellent job. I print it straight onto 5x7 photo paper so it is ready to go into a frame for my sisters.

March 2017 visiting teaching free printable handout | Philippians 4:13 | I can do hard things | The Enabling power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement | visiting teaching message March 2017

P.S. I noticed while writing this post that I spelled Philippians wrong! The file that will be sent to you has been corrected but I am too lazy to fix the photos/files in this post!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Southern Utah's Hidden Gem—10 Things to Do Near Kanab, Utah


In 2009 we attended my brother's wedding in Phoenix. We were living in Cedar City, Utah at the time, so the drive was only about 8-9 hours. We had a lovely weekend celebrating my brother and his new wife, and then we drove home. On the drive home we hit some major weather and then literally watched the transformer in Kanab go out when we were a few miles away. We had planned to gas up there, but when we arrived to the entire town being out of power we were forced to find a hotel in Kanab and stay the night.

I'll never forget trying to check in and pay—the hotel staff was using candles and flashlights to see by and since the computers were down, they were manually checking us in somehow. Once we were checked in we had to climb a couple flights of stairs (no elevators!) to get up to our room by the light of The Maestro's little flip phone.

Until recently, that was my only real experience with Kanab–driving through many times on our drives between Arizona and Utah (we lived in the Phoenix area before living in Cedar City), sometimes stopping to eat or gas up, and then our epic power outage adventure.

       
Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


Since that night spent in Kanab, we've learned that Kanab and its surrounding areas have some pretty amazing things to do! Its perfectly central location to many different locations makes it a perfect vacation spot. If you're looking for an awesome vacation in Southern Utah, don't overlook Kanab and its proximity to activities that your family will really enjoy.

10 Things to Do Near Kanab, Utah 
(No Power Outage Required!)

1. Visit a National Park—or Three!


Three national parks are within a 90 minute drive of Kanab. If you are hoping to visit several national parks in one visit, staying in Kanab will make that easy.

Bryce Canyon National Park (1 hour 30 minute drive from Kanab)

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Bryce Canyon has the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. A hoodoo is an oddly shaped pillar of rock that is created by erosion. Looking at photos is pretty awe-inspiring, but to see it in real life should be on everyone's bucket list!

Zion National Park (40 minute drive from Kanab)

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Zion National Park offers many different hikes and some of the most breathtaking scenery you'll ever see. The Maestro and I enjoyed hiking the Narrows slot canyon, but I was way too scared to try Angel's Landing—but perhaps you are more daring than I am! Even without that hike, we found many things to do and I would love to go back again to do more.

Grand Canyon North Rim (90 minute drive from Kanab)

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Grand Canyon | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


The Grand Canyon is another one of those destinations that ought to be on everyone's bucket list. I went as a child, and I'll never forget it! The North Rim is 90 minutes from Kanab and provides an excellent day trip that you and your family will always remember.

2. Waterski at Lake Powell


Lake Powell, specifically the Wahweap part of it, is a beloved vacation spot for my mom's side of the family. She used to go every year, and during my childhood we still went often. Even if you don't waterski, it's a fabulous place to boat, swim, or just lay in the sun. Wahweap is about an hour from Kanab.

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


3. Play at Duck Creek 


Duck Creek Village is about an hour's drive up Cedar Mountain from Kanab. We drove past it many times while living in Cedar City and in Arizona, but we never experienced it until this past summer. The Maestro's family met there for a family reunion and it was fabulous!

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


We had access to mountain lakes for swimming, clay shooting, ATV riding, hiking, and more. The kids loved it. My favorite was a hike to Cascade Falls that overlooked Zion National Park. It wasn't too difficult (perfect for young kids) but provided some gorgeous scenery.

4. Off-Road at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes


About 45 minutes away from Kanab is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The red rocks of Southern Utah create a unique red/pink sand that is not only cool to look at, but super fun to play in! Most of the park is open for ATV riding, which is a popular activity there, but there are also areas for hiking and just playing in the sand.

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes


5. See the Grand Staircase National Monument


My girls love to visit any National Park or National Monument, even if it's just to get the stamp in their National Park Passports. The Grand Staircase National Monument is right in Kanab, so you can head to the visitor's center and grab your stamp or you can stay a bit longer and try out some of the hikes and enjoy the beautiful scenery that is unique to Southern Utah.

Southern Utah travel | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Family Vacation | Grand Staircase


6. Visit the Kanab Heritage and Heritage House Museums


We love to visit museums wherever we are vacationing. It's a great way to learn more about the area and the history you are seeing during your visit. Kanab has a heritage museum that will teach you about its pioneer history, native American information pertinent to the area, and see cool artifacts.

Find more information here: Kanab Heritage Museum and Heritage House


Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase


7. Visit the Little Hollywood Museum


Another fun museum to visit in Kanab is the Little Hollywood Museum. There you can see many of the original movie sets used in old western films and TV Shows such as The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and Lassie. They make it a fun, immersive experience with actors. Even though I've never been much of a western movie lover, I want to take my family there!

Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase | Little Hollywood Museum


8.  Attend a Local Festival 


Kanab has three local festivals that are not to be missed if you are visiting at the right time.

February: Balloons and Tunes

Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase

During the Balloons and Tunes Festival, the balloons are launched three mornings and there is a Battle of a Bands competition on Friday and Saturday. It includes a street fair and several other activities.

June: Jacob Hamblin Days 


Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase

Jacob Hamblin Days is a festival that celebrates the pioneer and western heritage of Kanab and Kane county. If you love rodeos, this is the festival for you.

August: Western Legends 


Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase


The Western Legends festival celebrates the Old Western movie tradition of Southern Utah. You'll see live performances, meet celebrities, see a parade and tractor pull, and lots more fun.

9. Take a Pig for a Walk at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary


I was surprised to find out that one of the coolest tourist features in Kanab is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary! At first, I thought it was a normal humane society, but they have so much more than just dogs and cats. There are horses, parrots, bunnies, pot-bellied pigs, and turtles as well as dogs and cats. You can take tours and see all the animals you want to. My kids would be in heaven at this place! More information can be found here: Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase




10. Stay at Parry Lodge


Finally, if you're looking for a cool place to stay while you're vacationing in Kanab, try the Parry Lodge. It was founded in 1931 by the Parry brothers and has hosted many Hollywood stars like Gregory Peck, Maureen O'Hara, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne while they were filming in the area. The accommodations are beautiful!

Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase

Kanab has something to offer to everyone! For even more information on all Kanab has to offer you for your next family vacation, be sure to check out the following links:

Visit Southern Utah
Twitter
Facebook

This post is sponsored by Kanab Tourism.
          
Southern Utah travel | Family Vacation | Kanab, Utah | Grand Canyon | Zion National Park | Bryce Canyon | Duck Creek | Near Cedar City | Lake Powell | Grand Canyon | Heritage House Museum | Best Friends Animal Sanctuary | Coral Pink Sand Dunes | Grand Staircase