The school year is coming to an end, and summer will be upon us soon. Have you made plans for your family vacation yet? Whether you choose to go near or far you can incorporate an element of family history into your travel plans.
When some people think about blending family history with a road trip, they think of visits to cemeteries and courthouses. Depending on your family’s interest in research, this many not incite shouts of joy from your family members. But there are other ways to combine family history learning that will add to the happy memories of your family vacation.
Kids and teenagers can have powerful connections with their ancestors as they get to know them through photos and stories. Having an experience in a physical location with ties to an ancestor can leave a positive impression that will last forever.
A fun mobile app for iOS makes it even easier to visit family history locations on your summer vacation. The Family Nexus is a free app that integrates with your FamilySearch account to automatically plot 6 generations of your family tree. Family members will enjoy exploring the map or tracing the locations for a particular family member. Automatic alerts to your phone when you get near a place from your family history could encourage a spontaneous detour!
In addition to the free features, users can subscribe to unlock additional premium features. For example, subscribers can access photos and stories about their ancestors. They can also customize what life events appear on the map. It also allows you to “check in” and keep track of ancestral places you have visited. One of the newest features allows users to utilize the power of mobile GPS to update the precise locations of birth, marriage, residence, or burial locations.
An Android version is currently under development and is scheduled for release in August 2018.
Download The Family Nexus app and make new family history discoveries and connections on your summer vacation this year! Learn more at https://TheFamilyNexus.com/app.
Look at these fun block sets that are perfect for Christmas! Our Picnic tree has designed some block sets that bring the scriptures to life.
What a perfect way to spend some time with your family this Holiday Season. They have a 140 piece Nativity scene and a 150 piece set of Nephi & the Broken Bow (including an adorable Liahona!) They also have 6 mini-figures from the Bible that would be amazing in your kids stockings!
The figures are:
★ Moses (with the Burning Bush)
★ Noah (with Cane & Sheep)
★ King Solomon (with his Throne)
★ Goliath (with his Sword & Shield)
★ Baby Moses (with a Cradle & his mother, Jochebed)
★ Joseph (with coins and his mulit-colored coat)
AND- All of their sets are COMPATIBLE with Legos!
Our Picnic Tree is giving SugarDoodle followers a 25% off code to use on their entire order! Go to their website at www.ourpicnictree.com and use code STACKERS25 at checkout.
It’s that time of year again, and I have some AWESOME printables to share with you for this year’s primary theme, “I am a child of God.”
I designed these printables with a colorful moon and stars theme. The inspiration came from my 5 year old son. This summer my hubby and I took our family on a late night venture to the mountains. My 5 year old was absolutely blown away by the moon and all of the stars. He kept saying how the moon and stars just made him feel so special, and that Heavenly Father had to have made them just for him. As I was trying to figure out what design to do for this year’s theme of I am a child of God, his words just kept coming back to me, and I knew that I needed to incorporate the moon and stars into the design.
I have some FREE printables available for you to use as needed in your primaries this year. First is this Main Theme Poster. It comes in 7 different sizes, with JPG and PDF files (PDF for printing at home or a printing center, JPG for printing at a photo center. Sizes include 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, 16×20 and 20×30.
These Binder Covers are just what you need to help emphasize the theme this year! These Binder Covers come with all Presidency and class names with A and B options included. Need to combine classes? No problem! Just use the EDITABLE Binder Cover and edit the class name using Adobe Reader (or you can write it in).
I also have LOADS of additional printables to help you in Primary this year. These are available in the Sugardoodle Etsy shop.
Here is the BUNDLED PACKAGE! This package includes most of the printables that are available and is the best value! Items in this package include a Bulletin Board Package, Birthday and Gift Package, Classroom Door Signs, Classroom Door Hangers, Monthly Theme Posters, and Sharing Time Assignment Wristbands and Cards.
One of my favorite items are these Sharing Time Assignment Wristbands! When I was primary secretary, one thing that was SUPER time consuming was filling in the Weekly Theme for talks and such. So I decided to help make life easier for you by having the Weekly Theme already filled out for you! We also have Sharing Time Assignment Cards available as well.
I also have created TWO more designs to go along with the “I am a child of God” theme. I decided to stick with the nature theme. I designed another “Moon and Stars” theme, as well as a “Sun” inspired theme. Both of these designs can be found in the Sugardoodle Shop.
Years ago, I purchased a Boogie Board for my children. It was an instant hit. For those that don’t know what a Boogie Board is, it is essentially an erasable sketch board (a glorified etch-a-sketch). My daughter would draw on the board, push the erase button and the fun started all over again.
Recently, I was introduced to the newest version of the Boogie Board called Magic Sketch. Wow! It’s a game changer. The possibilities are endless. One of the biggest differences between the version I have and the one I’m reviewing is transparency. Their new board allows for stencils and templates to go behind the board so your child can trace alphabet letters, practice math facts, play tic-tac-toe, write their name, draw, etc.
They also provide several tools/stencils to create fun textures. Here are a few sample stencils (top pic) and the 8 writing utensils/stamps included in a kit. A complete kit includes:
Protector Guard (blue board pictured above)
20 Learning Stencils
20 Games Stencils
20 Art Stencils
The Magic Sketch could be used for car/road trips, church/General Conference and would make a fun birthday or Christmas present. Would you like one? Magic Sketch will be giving away 7 boards to those that enter this giveaway by commenting on our Facebook post (see below). The giveaway has been extended until October 6th, so enter now. The winners will be announced on October 7th, on Facebook.
Magic Sketch wants to know…How do YOU keep your kids reverent in church? Comment below to win!
My name’s Alex Balinski. Melanie’s been super nice to provide me this opportunity to tell you a little bit about a free family history service I recently started called Lifey.
Here’s a run down of everything you should know about Lifey.
What Is A “Lifey”?
So, to start off, let me define what a Lifey is. A Lifey is like a selfie about your life. It’s your life story in video format. It’s like a browsable, shareable video journal that you can embed anywhere online. I personally believe Lifeys are the best way to share your life story.
Currently there are two types of Lifeys we can create for you (they’re both free): Individual Lifeys and Family Lifeys.
Individual Lifeys are easy to prepare for and to record. They usually take 1-3 hours to record, though we’ve had some individuals create Lifeys that are 4+ hours long. The beauty of creating a Lifey, is that it’s free (it’d normally cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to pay someone to create a similar video autobiography), it’s long form (1-7 hours long) and it’s browsable (viewers can jump to whichever story/topic interests them).
Family Lifey Example
Below is an example of a family Lifey. Family Lifeys only take about an hour to record (depending on how many people are in your family).
Instead of a one-time comprehensive Lifey about someone’s life, a family Lifey is more like an ongoing family video journal where once a year you can take your family on a date to the studio and each take 5-10 minutes in front of the camera to share highlights from the previous year.
How Lifey Got Started
The story of how Lifey started goes back to the summer of 2006. I was attending my first term at Brigham Young University and I felt strongly like I should look into Broadcast Journalism. I attended BYU for two years, served a two-year mission in Argentina, and then finished my Bachelor’s degree at BYU. While studying journalism I felt impressed to create the Prepare to Serve project where we video interview returned missionaries about their missions, etc.
Then about one year ago I felt inspired to shift my focus to working on Lifey.
Why Record A Lifey?
I believe there is huge value in opening up, and sharing our ideas with each other. I believe every person has experiences and insights that they can share, that can be helpful to others.
Hands down the most prized family history possession I have is my Mother’s Lifey. I’m so grateful that we took a few hours to record my Mom’s Lifey. For many years to come my Mother will still be able to influence, and teach my children values, principles and testimony from her life experiences, because we recorded her Lifey. While reading a journal is good, nothing quite beats hearing and seeing my Mother share her stories in her own words. When I watch my Mom’s Lifey, it feels like she’s having a heart-to-heart conversation with me.
More Info About Lifey
We currently offer free video life histories at our office in Provo, Utah (if you live outside of Utah, and would like me to consider traveling to your state to offer free Lifeys in your state for a few days, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our service is completely free (you can leave a donation if you’d like).
A Lifey typically takes 2-4 hours to record, though we’ve had some Lifeys last longer.
Lifeys are recorded in front of a green screen (which works great, as long as you don’t wear a green top).
Lifeys are self-directed. When you come in, I’ll welcome you to the studio and get the camera, microphone and lights all working, and then I’ll press record, shut the door, and let you share however much you’d like to share from your life.
We encourage people to let their Lifeys be public, so their stories and insights are easily accessible for family and friends.
Lifeys are recorded in 4K.
Lifeys can be organized into however many stories/topics as you’d like (we once had an older gentleman come in and share 99 different stories/insights from his life).
Lifeys can also be used to organize any other YouTube videos (home videos, etc.)
If You’re Interested…
If you’d like me to create a Lifey for you or a loved one, feel free to email me at email@example.com. If you’d like to learn more about the Lifey project, you might enjoy watching the videos on the Lifey About page.
I hope you have a wonderful summer! The Gospel’s true!
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