Monthly Archives: August 2016

Primary Music Book

I have been the Primary Pianist multiple times now and one thing that has made me a little crazy is having a folder of sheet music with all the songs that are not in the Primary Children’s Songbook.  Sometimes I can’t find the sheet music of a particular song in the moment they need me to play it.

Many of you probably already do this and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier, but I now organize the music by title, making it a cinch to find!

I leave this particular binder in the piano bench at church so that the other wards can use it as well.  This is clearly up to you, but if you label the front of the binder saying, “Please leave this in bench when not being used”, it hasn’t been a problem so far.

I also use the front cover to keep articles from the church magazines that might be helpful to Primary, like this little gem from the April 2010 Friend Magazine.  It encouraged using some of your Primary children as pianists for various songs in your Primary program and/or Primary on occasion.  We actually did this in our ward a few years back and it was a great success.  Each month the Friend magazine usually has a simplified version of a hymn or song from the Children’s Songbook.  I tear them out and include them in this binder just for this very purpose.

For any of you that have been a Primary pianist, what tips do you have?


Melanie D.


Teaching children to save money

Years ago, I purchased a book called, “The Parenting Breakthrough: Real-Life Plan to Teach Kids to Work, Save Money, and Be Truly Independent” by Merrilee Boyack.  From that book (which I LOVE by the way), I created a plan to help teach our children the importance of earning and saving money.

We first purchased a posterboard for each child.  Each posterboard had enough space for six paper printouts on each side.  Each paper you see taped to the posterboard represents a one year period.  Each month is listed along with what the child needs to put towards their savings.  Below that are two squares — one for the child and one for the parents (we match what they save).
When the child reaches their monthly amount and puts it into savings, they get to put a sticker on that month.  When mom and dad match the amount they deposited, we put a sticker on our box.  The amount they owe each month was determined by my husband and I in advance.  We made a plan of how much we wanted them to save over the years to have for a mission, marriage, school, etc. and made a plan accordingly.

Each time their birthdays roll around, the amount they owe increases.  In the beginning, when they were small, they only owed $1 a month.  They would help do extra work around the house or for grandparents and would get soooo excited when they could put their money into their account.  As time went on and they started owing $5 a month or more, they really had to get creative and figure out how they were going to make that happen.

How have my children earned their money?  Babysitting, shoveling snow, mowing lawns, cleaning out cars, soccer refereeing, dog sitting and more.  One summer we temporarily had a cotton candy machine and made up a whole bunch of cotton candy and sold it throughout the day.  We divided the earnings between the children that helped and it helped get them ahead.

Do they ever fall behind?  Yes.  Sometimes with school work and life, they fall behind, but they understand that when an opportunity comes for them to make money, it will go into their savings first.  When they are caught up, they can choose to get ahead or have some extra spending money.

Not only that, there have been a couple of occasions where we have had to remove some of the stickers.  One of my sons was almost a year ahead of schedule and was doing wonderful!!  However, at church they did a fundraiser and sold some coupon books.  My son was given three books to sell and unfortunately he lost them all.  He had to take money out of his savings to cover the lost books, leaving him barely on schedule (savings-wise) and no longer ahead.  He learned his lesson and has never had money taken out of his account since.

Find what works for your family.  We’ve adapted the original idea into something that has worked for us.  Saving money is much easier in bite size pieces than trying to come up with a huge amount all at once.  It’s an important lesson for our children to learn in responsibility, self-reliance and budgeting.  How do you teach your children to save money?





Printable Locker Decor Quotes

Hi friends,
Have your kids started school yet?  Our neighborhood starts in a few weeks.  I thought it would be fun to make these printable locker quotes.  They are short and simple, but can have such an impact on daily life.
These quotes are great to use as a gift  for Young Men and Young Women who are starting school. These can be used in lockers, but would also work great as room decor (and not just for teens).  I plan on using the “be still” quote in my family room, and the “Return with Honor” quote right next to the front door.   I think all of these quotes can be helpful to any of us at different times.  How would you use these quotes?

This package comes with 4 quotes in 3 different sizes (3×5, 4×6, and 5×7) and can be purchased here.

Melanie B.
SageWood Ave. Designs

MeckMom’s Teaching Tips: My favorite online quiz game for LDS classes

Need to add a little energy and excitement to your class? Want to see how much they’re actually learning in your lessons? It’s time to try my favorite online quiz game; Kahoot! Check out this short video to find out how to incorporate this fantastic, free game into any LDS class, FHE lesson or mutual activity.


To create your own free account go to

To make your own free quiz game go to

To access the quiz in class, have the students any browser on their smart device and go to

Kahoot is an easy online quiz game...perfect for any LDS classroom

Kahoot is an easy online quiz game…perfect for any LDS classroom