New and refurbished ideas for LDS Primary Music Leaders (a.k.a. Primary Choristers)

Friday, November 23, 2012

MUSICAL MISSIONARY

I like to have at least one singing time a month that goes along with the monthly theme. For this month's theme "I Can Choose to Be a Missionary Now" I am getting my inspiration from this Month's "Bringing Primary Home: I Can Choose to Be a Missionary NOW" in the Nov. 2012 Friend.  I just thought the speech bubble Q&A idea would be fun to use in Singing Time.  I'm also getting inspiration from the Sharing Time Idea #4 in the Oct 2007 Friend. 


Basically I'm going to tie in the missionary theme by briefly
talking about how the songs we learn in Primary teaches us about the gospel and when we learn these gospel principles, we are able to be a missionary now by sharing these things. I'm also going to read some portions of the preface in the  Children's Songbook to help emphasize this. Keep the talking part to about a minute.  I will be doing the singing portion a little different for my JR than my SR group.

JR

  1. (Setup) Have the picture of the boys posted in the center of your board. You can print the one page version or if you have a large Primary, you may want to print only that page larger in poster format. You can click on the "How To Helps" tab above for how to print in poster format. Just make sure you only have that page selected to print so it doesn't try and print all the pages in poster format.
  2. (Setup) Have the song/answer speech bubbles posted randomly around the room or on the outside edges of your board for the children to select from.
  3. Explain to the children that this boy (pointing to the boy sitting back on the bed-you could give the boys names if you want) has lots of questions to ask us and we are going to help this boy (pointing to the boy holding the scriptures) answer those questions by thinking of which Primary songs will help answer them. Point out you have several songs around the room that they can choose from.
  4. Post the first question speech bubble next to the boy sitting back on the bed and ask the Primary the question. Let a child select a song/answer speech bubble to put on the board by the boy with the scriptures.
  5. Sing the song. Ask them to listen to the words as they sing to find the answer.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for as long as you have time for.

SR
  1. (Setup) Have the picture of the boys posted in the center of your board. You can print the one page version or if you have a large Primary, you may want to print only that page larger in poster format. You can click on the "How To Helps" tab above for how to print in poster format. Just make sure you only have that page selected to print so it doesn't try and print all the pages in poster format.
  2. Explain to the children that this boy (pointing to the boy sitting back on the bed-you could give the boys names if you want) has lots of questions to ask us and we are going to help this boy (pointing to the boy holding the scriptures) answer those questions by thinking of which Primary songs will help answer them. Here are some variations of how the SR can figure out the songs.
    1. Just let them think of songs from their memory.
    2. Give them a list of songs to select from combining the ones you have chosen as well as others.
    3. Give each class/group a copy of the topical song guide from the Children's Songbook to find a song.
    4. Give each class/group a copy of the Children's Songbook to look through.
  3. Give each class one or two of the question speech bubbles (depending on how many you have in your Primary and how much time you have). You could just type the questions on paper and cut them out to hand them out and you post the speech bubbles later as you go through them. Give them a few minutes to find a song to answer their question. Let them know they also need to know the part of the song that answers the question the best. You could also give them a hint by letting them know that these are songs they already know.
  4. When time is up, post the first speech bubble question. Have a spokesperson in the class that had that question come up and give their song title and the part of the song that answers the question. You can post the answer speech bubble if you like.
  5. Sing the song. Ask them to listen to the words as they sing to ensure they have the right answer.
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for as long as you have time for.
  7. Your kids may come up with other songs than you and that is all right. You can sing that song if your Primary knows it and/or you can show them another song you thought of.
Let them know that there are many ways to be a missionary and share their testimony and sharing their testimony through song is a wonderful way they can do it.

Another way you could present this is how it is suggested in the Sharing Time Idea #4 in the Oct 2007 Friend, by having someone come in and be an investigator.

For the attached visuals, select the song speech bubbles you would like to use and print and cut out. I've made probably more than what you will have time to sing. For the Book of Mormon question, I've done a speech bubble for a song I taught my Primary for last year's scripture theme.  It is Hand in Hand Together from the May 2001 Friend magazine. My kids really love this song. I'll have to post the visuals for this sometime. If your Primary does not know that one, you can do "The Golden Plates". For the prayer one I've done a separate one for Jr & SR. I've also made blank speech bubbles as well in case you want to come up with your own, or you can print blank ones for your SR kids to write the song titles in to post on the board. Just note which speech bubbles point toward the boy with the questions and the boy with the answers so you have them pointing in the correct direction.








Musical Missionary

Saturday, November 17, 2012

THANKSGIVING SPIN & SING-A-STORY

As I mentioned in my last post here, here is another option I've used in conjunction with the spinner, but you can use it in other ways.
Spin & Sing-a-Story of Thanksgiving.

The concept of the story part I got from A Children's Songbook Companion book, so it is not my original idea; however, I did rewrite it for my taste and revised how to present it using my spinner and the songs we knew. You can still present the story using the turkey cut out from the previous post here or if you don't want to use a turkey visual to present it, you could use it in a book format as originally mentioned in the companion book. If I had done this in a book format, I would have used a thin binder with page protectors with the storyline pages inserted and the facing page for each left blank to insert the pictures after they had answered and picked the correct picture.  I just noticed a great blog here that posted this same book idea.  It is so wonderful the many great ideas and variations floating around out there.  My file for the First Thanksgiving Story I wrote is attached below.

So here is how I presented it with the spinner. I've also inserted comments for the book version as well.
  • Post the pictures on the board or around the room randomly.
  • Number the back of the feathers (I used the medium feathers only). Although there are only seven parts to the story, I kept the eighth feather blank on the turkey. If the spin landed on the blank one, they just pulled it out and another child took a turn. This allowed at least an extra spin just for the fun of it. If you want to present the story in order instead of by the random spin, don't number the feathers. As each feather is picked, just go in numerical order. The kids will have fun just spinning/plucking the feathers and won't notice that you are being sneaky and going in the order you want to.
  • Have each story statement numbered on a key sheet.
    • If using the book format, number the story statement pages and insert those in the page protectors leaving the facing pages blank for the pictures that are posted to be inserted later as you go through the story.  
  • Let a child spin the turkey and pluck a feather or pluck a feather from your other turkey visual aid.
  • Read the appropriate story statement and let the children give the answer to fill in the blank.  Let them also select the picture that fits the answer. To make it a little more difficult for the SR kids, have the pictures turned over on the board so the kids can't see them, then post the song titles facing front over the back of the correlating pictures. Let the SR kids figure out which song is correct for the answer then remove the song title and turn over the picture.
    • If you are doing the book version, you would insert the picture in the appropriate place in your book in the page protector.  You could set the open book upright on the table or on an easel to display the part of the story you are on while you sing.
  • Sing the song that correlates with the picture.
  • Repeat until done.
There you go. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!







First Thanksgiving Story-Nalani

TURKEY SPIN





               HAPPY      
     THANKSGIVING!!!


Here is another way to use the  Big Wheel Spinner I made here. I know this wheel spinner isn't something many of you will make, so I do have another option I'll tell you about later.  




This is how I made this Turkey Spinner

  • Cut out some small sized feather shapes from various colored card stock and adhere permanently to the back of the turkey so that the turkey isn't so "naked" by the time the other feathers are pulled out.  Laminate the combined body and feathers. Decorate the feathers making a squiggle line with glue and glitter.
  • Cut out some medium sized feathers from various colored card stock, laminate and attach popsicle sticks to the bottom of the feathers so they can be inserted into the styrofoam turkey body.  Decorate making a zig-zag line along the top of the feather with glue and glitter.
  • Cut out some large sized feathers from various colored card stock and laminate. Decorate making a swirl design at the top of the feather with glue and glitter. Adhere two square pieces of the loop side of Velcro on each of the corners of the feathers on the back side. Leave the hook side attached to the loop so it is easier to know where to place the hook side on the spinner. Attach the large feathers on the spinner equally. Make sure your feathers are short enough to allow a space in the center for where the turkey body will be attached.
    • I don't have a template for the feathers to give you. The shape is just a rounded, rectangular teardrop I freehanded at the time. The size would depend on your spinner. I did eight feathers for each size.

Small feathers and turkey
Medium feathers
Large feathers














  • Turkey Body
    • Print and cut out the turkey body. File attached. Attach the small feathers to the back and laminate. See small feather instructions above. After it has been laminated, you can glue on some large google eyes. It gives it a more fun and animated.
    • Get a round styrofoam disk about 6" x 1 1/4". With some brown craft paint, paint around the edges and about an inch into both of the flat sides of the disk—you could paint it completely, but it will be covered with paper anyway.
    • Back side of disk
    • After the paint is dry, glue a circle of brown card stock on each side with a hot glue gun. The paper gives the Velcro something to stick to.
    • Take a 2" strip of clear Velcro and cut lengthwise down the center so you have 2 long, skinny strips. Adhere both of the loop sides (soft & white side) of the Velcro strips to one side of the disk.  Leave the hook side (clear & rough) of the Velcro mated to the loop side. Remove the release liner of the hook side of the tape and adhere it to the spinner wheel in the center. The Velcro allows it to be removed so the spinner can be used for other games.
    • Take a square piece of clear Velcro and attach the loop side to the front of the disk in the center. Leave the clear, hook piece mated to the loop. Remove the release liner from the hook side of the square piece of Velcro on the front of the styrofoam disk and center and attach the turkey and small feathers that have been laminated together onto the styrofoam disk.
  • Insert the medium sized feathers with the popsicle sticks around the styrofoam disk. They will be between the large feathers on the spinner and the small feathers on the turkey.
HOW TO SPIN AND SING
  • If laminated, use wet erase markers to write on the back of the large feathers the songs and page numbers to sing.
  • On the back of the medium feathers with wet erase markers, write "how to sing" the song, e.g. clap to the rhythm, staccato, fast/slow, your teacher's favorite song, etc.
  • Let two children come up and each takes a turn to spin. One spins for the song and one spins for the "how to sing".
  • Now, spin away!!!

I've attached a file with a turkey body and some ovally-shaped feathers if you want to just make a turkey that you can post on a board and have the children pick feathers from to choose songs. You could leave the feathers off and scatter them on the board or around the room and have the children pick/find a feather, add it to the turkey, then sing the song. There are colored feathers if you want to print on colored card stock or a black and white one you could use to color them in yourself. Just print how many feathers you want your bird to have.

Instead of a poster, another option, if you want more of a 3-D look, is to get a bigger and fatter styrofoam disk or ball, cut in half and paint, adhere the turkey you've cut out, use smaller pieces of popsicle sticks to adhere to the bottom of the feathers and pluck the feathers out or stick them in the turkey for the songs. You may have to weigh the styrofoam down a little so it won't topple over as easily.

I'll post another way I used this with a Sing-a-Story next.






Sunday, November 11, 2012

SUCCESS!!!

YEAH!!! Program day finally came!  It seemed like forever in getting here with all the changes and extra church activities we have had in our ward, but now we are done and I couldn't be more proud of those kids.  They sure sang their little ol' hearts out for me and and, of course, their parents.  Even brought some tears to my eyes as I could feel their sweet spirit in their voices. I was a little nervous on whether it was going to turn out or not after our Saturday practice when things didn't seem to go right, but today was pretty darn perfect. The children's sweet spirit always seem to make the program special no matter what happens. The kids really pulled it out. I'm a toughie and don't use any visual aids or words for the program. Yep, I like them to learn the songs well and they did marvelous! I was unsure if our smaller Primary this year could get the volume to fill the chapel and overflow, but they did it. Yep, I'm as proud as a peacock right now for such wonderful kids. And I'm especially proud of the children I called and challenged to do solos and musical parts; all for the first time too! What a wonderful experience for them and treat for the congregation. It has just been amazing watching these children grow and learn and develop a love for music and these beautiful Primary songs over the few years I've been teaching them. Just thought I'd post a quick update on how our program went.

Oh, yes, can I just share a tidbit that just <<<hugged>>> my heart? I had so many children give me hugs before and after the program. It is moments like these that is just the cherry on top—it makes all the hard work, long hours and gray hairs worth it. Yep, I'm a proud mother hen.  

I had hoped to post some program helps in the previous months, but didn't have any time to do that. Sorry to those of you who emailed me and asked. There is always next year, so I'll try and post some later. 

Now folks, I guess it is time to plan for next year. I will try and post some planning forms and helps that I use to help me.

I would love to see your comments on how your program went. Also, please share anything special that just hugged your heart. You just gotta love those moments!

Friday, November 9, 2012

CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD


One of my favorite Primary songs

during Thanksgiving time is
"Children All Over the World."
I just love the happy, swaying melody.  I've made a flip chart you can download below. I also made some fun posters that I got the idea from the book, The Children's Songbook Companion which was originally designed to be a lesson manual for the Children's Songbook. I embellished the posters some. I will try and take pictures and post as soon as I can.  Here is a lesson plan and some ideas on presenting the song to the children that I put together last year


LESSON PLAN WITH VARIOUS IDEAS TO USE
  • Say one of the foreign words for "thank you" in the song that the children may not know then ask:
    • If you know what I said, raise your hand.
    • What? you don't understand this word?
    • Do you think that Heavenly Father understands this word?
    • There are children that live all over the world and they speak many different languages.
    • Do you think Heavenly Father understands all those different languages?
  • I want you to listen while I sing to find out if Heavenly Father really does understand all the children around the world. [YES]
  • I want you to also listen for the word I said (repeat the foreign word "thank you" in the language you chose earlier) and see if you can figure out what the words means.  [THANK YOU]
    • Sing then receive answers
  • Post flip chart on the board so teachers can sing with you.
  • Listen again and this time count how many different languages I sing for "Thank You." [6]
    • Sing again and let the teachers sing with you if you want then receive answers.
  • SWAY & FREEZE
    • Tell the children to follow you carefully swaying side-to-side with their bodies and arms but they must freeze when I stop singing.
      • The piano stops as well. It is helpful for the pianist if he/she sees your arms swaying so he/she knows when you stop and so the pianist can stop.
      • Stop and freeze after each short phrase only working on a section at a time. Here is an example of a section of the song cut into four phrases.
        • Phrase 1: All over the world at the end of day
        • Phrase 2: Heavenly Father's children kneel down and pray
        • Phrase 3: Each saying, "Thank you" in his own special way
        • Phrase 4: Saying, "Thank you. Thank you." In his own special way
      • Repeat swaying and singing going through each phrase with the children repeating each phrase a time a two before moving to the next phrase.
      • Repeat the process when you are ready to move to the next section of the song.
  • Make sure you help the children pronounce the foreign words.
  • CHILDREN POSTERS
    • Make and use posters for the children to hold up while they sing. The kids do love the posters. Another fun thing to do with the posters is to have the teachers come up and be the "poster children" holding them. The kids get a good laugh out of that. I'll post the ones I made as soon as I can.
  • BELLS
    • Invite 4 children to play the bells on the words “THANK YOU” (all languages) & after singing “He loves them” at the end of the song.
      • This is great to start doing when you want to practice just the last section of the song on the "loves them" part. This can give a nice break from the Sway & Freeze activity. Have them ring the bells 2 times all together on the echo part of "loves them" and after "every one." After they get the end of the song down, sing the whole song through and incorporate the bells when ever "Thank you" is sung as well.
    • I used the following tone bells: Low A, D, F#, & A. You could add G if you want 5.
  • OTHER POSSIBLE QUESTIONS TO ASK
    • Write the following questions on pieces of paper and attach to different flags from around the world or print another set of flags from the flip chart and cut out and attach the questions or put the questions in a bowl to pick from. As you are learning the song, have a child pick one of the questions and have the Primary listen for the answer as they sing the song.
      • What do Heavenly Father’s children all over the world do at the end of day? [Kneel and pray]
      • What does each child say in his own special way? [Thank you]
      • Who hears them? [Heavenly Father]
      • What else do we learn about Heavenly Father? [That he knows, loves and understands the language of every person.]
      • Tender voices are heard where? [All over the world.]
      • You could have them figure out which country each language is from in the song.
        • Gracias: Spanish
        • Malo: Tongan
        • Wir danken dir: German
        • Tak: Danish
        • Merci: French
        • Kansha shimasu: Japanese
BEAR YOUR TESTIMONY that Heavenly Father does love every single child around the world no matter where they live, what they look like or what language they speak and that Heavenly Father does understand you when you pray to him.

Hope that gives you some fun ideas for teaching the song.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I PRAY IN FAITH: SING-A-STORY SKIT

I wasn't able to get this posted earlier as I originally hoped. There were some technical difficulties with uploading to Scribd but it is working now, so here you go.

Last year I decided to teach "I Pray in Faith" during Thanksgiving time. It is not a song we would normally think of for a song of gratitude, but if you think about it, prayer is an important way that we can talk to our Father in Heaven and share all that we are thankful for. I like throwing something else in the mix than the typical thankful songs that remind the children of things they are thankful for, like one that also teaches how they can show their gratitude.

This can also be tied in with this week's theme of I can be a missionary by setting a good example by being an example of prayer.  Another way to tie it in is you could point out that missionaries have prayers with their investigators. This helps to teach the investigators about the importance of prayer, many of which may not even know how to pray.  Maybe you can think of something even better to tie it in.

"I Pray in Faith" lends itself nicely to a Sing-a-Story and that is how I introduced it. The children were just glued to the presentation, were amazingly reverent and picked up the song quickly because they were engaged in what was going on and were comprehending the importance of prayer and how to pray. Mind you, the script is a pretty simple story line, but simplicity in understanding helps to make things easier to learn. If you are not sure what a Sing-a-Story is, click here for an explanation and click here for an example of another way to present a Sing-a-Story with an Easter theme.

The Easter example link above uses narrative stories, pictures and several songs that correlate with the stories and pictures. For "I Pray in Faith", the Sing-a-Story is a song specific skit singing the words of the song as part of the script. This helps the children to hear the words to the song in a purposeful manner and let's them focus on the words and their meaning. When you present this, make sure you bring out the actor in you and act the part throwing in some fun "drama" to make it interesting and engaging to the children. All you need are a few simple props, someone to help act as your BFF (best friend forever) in the skit and some courage if you are a little shy to have that attention on you as you sing your parts. Oh, you will also need your pianist to help out too. 

Here are the props you will need:
  • 2 chairs
  • 2 dolls
  • 2 bathrobes to be placed on the back of the chairs
  • A large, cushy pillow or two to kneel on if you and your BFF have tender knees like me (optional)
Here is the script. I will include a link to a downloadable pdf version at the bottom of the post.


“I PRAY IN FAITH” SING-A-STORY SCRIPT

PIANIST:  Softly play melody of first verse as the girls come in.

Really have fun with this skit and act it up.

Girls come in through the door holding their dolls and walk to the front of the room while laughing, jabbering and giggling like girlfriends do. Sit down in chairs as if on the edge of your bed or plop on the floor and start playing with the dolls.

YOU [excited]
I’m so happy that you could sleep over tonight?

BFF [excited]
Me too! We should do a sleep over EVERY weekend!

YOU
That would be soooooo cool! But I bet our moms won’t let us do that.  [Yawn] I’m really tired. We better get ready for bed before my mom gets MAD at us.

BFF [sighing & rolling eyes back]
Yeah, you're right.

Girls get ready for bed by taking shoes off and putting on the bathrobes. 

BFF
[Shake hands by face while opening eyes wide.]
Hey, before we go to sleep, let’s tell some scary stories.

YOU
[Clap hands in excitement.]
Ooooo, that would be so fun,
but I need to do something first.

[Kneel on a pillow or the floor and fold your arms and bow your head in prayer.  BFF sits on a chair holding her doll with a curious look on her face at what you are doing.]

PIANST: Play melody of the first 9 measures during the “praying” part.

During the following dialog, sing the song parts A cappella, which is easier to do or have the pianist play each phrase as you sing.

BFF [whispers after music stops]
Hey, what’s that you are doing?

YOU [singing]
I kneel to pray everyday.

BFF
Everyday?!?!  Why?

YOU [singing]
I speak to Heavenly Father.

BFF
You speak to Heavenly Father?

YOU [singing & nodding head in a yes manner]
He hears and answers me
When I pray in faith.

BFF
Oh! I see. Well how do you pray?

YOU [singing]
I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”;

BFF
Then what comes next?

YOU [singing]
I thank Him for blessings He sends;

BFF
Hmmm, that sounds like a good thing.
What else do you do?

YOU [singing]
Then humbly I ask him
for things that I need,

BFF
What do you say when you are done with your prayer?

YOU [singing]
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

BFF
That is cool!
Will you teach me how to pray too!

YOU
Yes!  I’ll teach you.  You need to remember though;
the most important thing about prayer is to
make sure you PRAY IN FAITH.

Your BFF kneels next to you and
both of you begin to “pray.”

PIANIST: Play melody of first verse as they pray.
After the Sing-a-Story presentation, I also used a visual imagery visual for the board instead of a flip chart to help in teaching and practicing the song. That allowed me to have my hands free so I could also use some simple actions and ASL to help in teaching each phrase.  The link to the visual imagery is at the bottom of the post as well. For the four parts of prayer speech bubbles, I've included them with the blue background as well as a white background if you prefer to not use as much color. Just print on card stock, cut, laminate and adhere a magnet on the back of each if you use a magnetic board.

I Pray in Faith

ASL & ACTIONS (Remember you are doing these the opposite of the children so they can mirror you.)

I kneel to pray [ASL: Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.
every day [ASL: day] With your left hand and finger pointing upward, rest your left elbow on the back of your right hand then lower the left hand until your arms are together. The moving hand represents the sun moving across the sky and the horizontal arm represents the earth. 
I speak [ASL: talk] Alternate the index fingers on both hands back and forth from the mouth to represent people talking. 
to Heavenly Father [ASL: God]  With fingers together, point up to heaven then bring downward over the center of the face as a sign of respect.
He hears [ASL: hear] Point to the ear. 
and answers me [ASL: me] With index finger, point to your chest. 
When I pray  [ASL: Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.
in faith [ASL: faith] by pointing to your temple then bringing your fists together or just bow your head on the word "faith".

I begin by saying [ASL: begin] Stick the index finger of the left hand between the first two fingers of the right hand and twist. Or you could just hold up the #1 finger and point to it with the pointer finger of the other hand.
"Dear Heavenly Father" [ASL: God]  With fingers together, point up to heaven then bring downward over the center of the face as a sign of respect.
I thank him for blessings he sends: [ASL: thank] Bring the palm of the hand close to the mouth and extend the hand back out, almost as if you are blowing a kiss, but without the pursing of the lips. Do it about three times until you finish that phrase. 
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need [ASL: ask/request] Bring the palms of the hands together out in front of you pointing outward, then bring the hands towards the body still clasped as if in prayer.
In the name of Jesus Christ [ASL: Jesus] With the middle finger of the left hand, point to the center of the palm of the right hand and vice-versa. This represents the nails that were pierced through Jesus' hands. 
Amen [ASL: Amen/Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.

Don't forget to point out to the children that these are the four important parts of prayer and their order. You could also explain to them that when you say "Amen" after someone has said a prayer, it means that you agree with the prayer.

Believe me, an engaging Sing-a-Story is well worth it. Whenever I've done some version of a Sing-a-Story, it has always been amazing how the children are mesmerized by it and how you can feel the spirit as they absorb and understand the gospel message. Go ahead. Give it a try!!!









I Pray in Faith Sing-A-Story Script-Nalani

I Pray in Faith Viz-Nalani

Saturday, November 3, 2012

WHERE AM I?

For those who have been wondering where I am, I'm still here!
(Barely sometimes.)
Yes! I am alive and kicking. 
No! I have not fallen off the face of the earth. Although, at times I have felt like I was about to. The past few months have been a whirlwind of stressful and busy activity with family, extended family, friends and work and I haven't had one moment of breathing time to do much else let alone post the things I had hoped to post during this break from learning new program songs. 

I imagine most of you are done with your programs by now. LUCKY YOU!
I'm sure the programs have been as wonderful as they always seem to somehow turn out with those sweet little spirits and voices—no matter how much might have gone wrong. Alas! I wish I could say mine was done and I could move on to other fun and seasonal songs just for the joy of singing them. Our program should have been done last week, but we had a surprise Stake Conference thrown our way which happened to get scheduled on the day we were to have our program. That caused our program to be bumped for a couple of more weeks. Am not excited about that since that will only leave me ONE Sunday before Thanksgiving to sing autumn and Thanksgiving songs.
SIGH!!!

I'll have to admit also that it has been a bit difficult this year for our Primary to really practice the program songs when it seems we have been only meeting in our ward about every-other week the past two months with a special Priesthood and Relief Society meeting, a stake conference, a temple dedication, General Conference and another last minute special stake conference.  WHEW! Lots of churchy things happening.  I'll secretly admit though, it has been nice to not have to plan singing lessons each week with all these breaks, but on the downside, it is really hard to get the songs fine-tuned when you only get to practice 15-20 minutes every-other week.  It is hard to keep those songs in the kids brains with such big breaks.  Fortunately, I think they are doing pretty well, but I'm a bit more worried on whether we can get the volume we need since our Primary quickly shrunk by half this year with a lot of families moving out and so many of our older children graduating from Primary. It is soooooo hard to see them grow up and leave, especially when you have been with them for a few years. It feels like when your own kids start leaving the nest. 
SOB!!!

For those of you who have emailed me wondering if I am still going to post, I most certainly am still planning on it. I really have missed posting. I love connecting with all of you out there in Primary Singing Land.  I'm going to try and get at least one post done on Saturday, so check back!!!