Friday, May 18, 2018

You've Been Noted-- Free Music Card

Free printable card for music teachers or students!   This hand-lettered watercolor card is a beautiful and simple way to express appreciation for teachers, or to show students that their hard work has been "noted".

I teach music to the children in our church congregation.  Every Sunday, the children gather together to learn about Christ and how to be more like Him.  It is my great honor to teach the songs and hymns that will remain in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives.  When I think back to my own childhood, I remember very few (if any?  I currently can't think of a single one) lessons I was taught in church.  But music? That's what I remember.  Doctrine and insights taught through music remain with us our whole lives.

I love being in with the children each week.  But there are times when it's difficult.  When a kid has a bad attitude they can drag other children along with them into grumpy sullenness.  But then there are the delightful, always ready to sing kids.  The ones who want to help with games, who know the words to all the songs and who sing their little hearts out.

I created this card as a way to recognize the children in our congregation. Both the ones who always sing, and those who don't.  Here's how I plan to use it:


Even the grumpiest child enjoys some parts of the lessons I prepare.  My plan is to watch for those times when they are enjoying themselves and participating.  I'll then write a little note on this card, thanking them for joining in and for adding their voice to our little choir.  My hope is that the positive reinforcement will encourage them to continue positive behavior  and that they'll join in singing more often.

The same goes for kids who are always happy to be there.  I will take a few minutes and write them a note expressing my gratitude for their voices and the positive attitude they share, the love they spread.  And the positive attention will lead to more positive behavior from them.

Along the same lines, this card could be used to express gratitude to a beloved music teacher.  Teachers put so much thought and time and effort into lessons, and they deserve recognition for their dedication to our children.  Take a minute and have your kiddo write them a little note on this card.  It will absolutely make their day, I promise!


Download the card here: 5x7 or folded card
Cut on the guidelines
Write a note of appreciation to your favorite music student or teacher and make their day!

Download the 5x7 here

Download the folded card (two to a page) here.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What I've Been Reading Lately: May 2018

Bookwork problems: When all of your library holds come in at once.  Has that ever happened to you?

I feel like this month was full of books that had cringe-inducing moments and I wasn't sure I wanted to finish.  Nevertheless, here's what I thought of the six books I finished this month.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I had avoided reading this book because I heard a review where someone said it was pandering to 80s nerds. They felt like it was too much about nostalgia and not enough plot. I'm so glad I finally read it myself because I disagree. I recognized some of the references in the book but for the most part I was blissfully unaware of all the details covered. So for me it was just a fun engaging read and toward the end I was looking for more jobs to do so I could continue listening to the book. (Warning: language).

Educated by Tara Westover

This book was simply incredible.  Like a train wreck you can't look away from, that somehow turns inspiring in the end.  Tara Westover's life story is captivating.  I do feel the need to add a disclaimer.  Tara comes from a Mormon (LDS) background; however her upbringing is in no way typical of most members of that faith.  Her parents are fanatics, and have taken their beliefs to an extreme.  Because I am LDS, I feel strongly the need to qualify her experience as far, far from how Mormonism is meant to be practiced.  With that said, I could not put this book down and I kept monopolizing dinnertime conversation to tell my family all about it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I have re-read the first three Harry Potter books multiple times with various children, but haven't re-read books four through seven since they first came out.  It was delightful to be back in that world and experience it again for the first time in many years.  This series is beloved by millions for a reason.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

I have mixed feelings about this book.  I loved the story.  It's packed with strong women and well defined characters. I was invested immediately and wanted to see the story to its conclusion.  However, there were just a few too many "steamy" scenes for my comfort (I put that in quotation marks because some of them are consensual and many are not.  If this is a trigger for you, you may want to avoid this book).

Bear Town by Fredrick Backman

Let me start off by saying that I LOVED A Man Called Ove.  Loved. (And the movie is so, so good) I did not love Bear Town. In fact,  I debated about not finishing on multiple occasions. I was deeply attached to the characters so I powered through. Fredrick Backman is a master of developing flawed but deeply lovable characters.

The language is among the worst I've experienced and still actually finished the book.  To tell the truth, I was conflicted about even posting about it here.  But I did read it, and some points I really loved. It covers hard topics and is a bit too graphic for me in places. (Warning: Language, language, language and some other graphic scenes)

Toliver's Secret

A fun, girl-power story set during the Revolutionary War.  We enjoyed reading this aloud together during Morning Time.  There were some parts that were funny, some a little slow, but overall it was very enjoyable.

What have you been reading lately? Check out Modern Mrs. Darcy for more Quick Lit book reviews.

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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Numbers Old Testament Sketchnotes

Hand lettered sketchnotes for the Book of Numbers in the Old Testament!  Use this free download as coloring pages or to trace into your bible or scripture journal. 

During my study of the Old Testament this year, I am uncovering so many beautiful words of wisdom. I'll be honest, I had a tough time getting through the Book of Numbers, with the  long descriptions of rules and laws.  But interspersed throughout the Book of Numbers, I found some uplifting and meaningful passages. 

 I created these hand-lettered sketchnotes for you to trace/color/cut out and add to your scriptures, or just hang up on the fridge to help you memorize some passages from Numbers.

I've included my favorite reference as both a full-page coloring page and a half-page journaling size.


"The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26

"Come thou with us and we will do thee good." Numbers 10:29

"Be ye of good courage." Numbers 13:20

"Let the power of my Lord be great" Numbers 14:17

"That ye may remember and do all my commandments and be holy unto your God." Numbers 15:40

"I am the Lord your God." Numbers 15:41


I use a homemade lightbox to trace these images into my scriptures/scripture journal.  (My husband is a genius and loves making things like that for me. Yes, I'm a lucky lady!) But this lightbox would work really well, too.

I like to use colored pencils so I can still read and use my scriptures. I LOVE these Staedtler Ergosoft colored pencils. I use them exclusively to add color in my scriptures.  They give a beautiful vibrant color and blend really well together. They are soft enough that they've never ripped through the thin pages.

I use the lightbox and trace the outlines of the graphics into my scriptures with black colored pencil.  It's a little awkward to hold the book just right as I'm tracing, so I only do the outline and then I color the doodles in without using the lightbox.

I would love to see how you're using these doodles! Please tag me on Instagram so I can see your work!



General Conference Sketchnotes
Exodus and Leviticus Sketchnotes
Genesis Sketchnotes
Jonah and the Whale Paper Play Set

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