This is a blog filled with wonderful surprises that I am giving to you ... FOR FREE, just to help you get your Visiting Teaching done each month. It's a present for you every single month! Make sure to check out my other blog too at for other Great Visiting Teaching and Relief Society oriented ideas!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

One more handout for you .

I have one more handout that I didn't attach to this blog because the 4 page handout that I have posted about Blogging is long enough. This one is the copy of my favorite LDS blogs, sites and a few more I added because they were my favorites. The handout has the active links on it in a word table format with three columns. The first is the name of the blog or site, the second is the active link, and the third is a sumary of what is on the blog or site. It is a great resource and the blogs and sites are top notch! I know you will want this one. By the way, if you were wondering, the picture below is just something to catch your eye so that you would read about this handout, and unless you want it, it doesn't have much to do with the neat handout that I have for you. Read on...
If any of you want to have my other handout you will have to email me and I will send it to you. My email address is I have a spam blocker and you will get a message that I will reply to, so don't worry. Oh and it is a list of my favorite LDS blog and websites that I think are pretty incredible, extremely informative, creatively designed and simply awesome. I am sure that I have not found all of them, and if you have one to add, make a comment as I can always add some more sites before Feb. 7th. The Talented scrapbooking designer who designed the paper I used for the above design is from KPertiet Botanicals, her grunge overlays & the journaling was from her as well.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


As I promised... here are the handouts that I prepared to give out at my "Creation Station" at the Alpine Stake Home Family and Personal Enrichment meeting in about a week. I figured that I spent so much time working on them that I may as well share and let others benefit from the many hours I spent working on them. The picture is the cover page and it is sized to print 8.5 x 11. The pages below will probably just have to be copied and pasted into your word document. I had them set up in a PDF but I can't seem to get blogger to download a PDF. Anyone of you know how to, please let me know and I will display this as a pdf. Thanks, Katie


• A blog is a personal diary or journal, creative outlet, photo or memory book, an idea station or collection of links to your favorite sites, your own thoughts on different subjects or just about any other thing you want it to be. Some people use it for their business, but most people use it as a way of keeping family and friends in touch with their life and he lives of their family member though photos, video’s and diary type or journaling entries updated frequently. There really aren’t any rules for what a blog has to be, so you can be as creative as you like. Blogs come in all different sizes, shapes, color pallets, elaborate or simple, it is up to the blog creator to determine.

• A blog is a website where you can write things of interest on an ongoing basis. The new information will always be at the top of your blog, and you previous messages, or writings, photos, etc., will be archived. Your archived material can be accessed easily by clicking on the “older posts” button. On one side column of your blog, your information will not be interactive and will say there as long as you don’t remove them. The opposite column will be interactive and people that view your blog can click on your photos, journaling, recipes, and whatever you want, and save it to their own computer. This is a great way to share your digital photos with family without having to spend a penny to copy and mail them out. If you worry about those who can access your photos, you can make your blog private and seen through invitation only.

• Visitors to your blog can read, comment and link to your blog or just come visit your blog whenever. There are a variety of “Widgets” that you can easily put on your blog that can let you know how many people are visiting your blog, where they are coming from, when they arrive and depart, which parts of your blog are most popular for your visitors, clocks, and on and on. You can also just keep your blog simple if that type of information isn’t important to you.

• Blogging is about putting your own thoughts on the web, connecting with and hearing from friends, family or those you work with. You control who can read and write on your blog and who you want to respond to or you can let your ramblings be heard worldwide… it is up to you. Blogger comments let anyone, anywhere offer feedback on the posts you make but once again, you control who you want to allow to comment on and you can delete any comments that you don’t like. You can make your blog written by only you or you can make your blog a group blog with many authors. This is a great way for small teams, families, or other groups to communicate and creatively participate.

• You can ad links to other blogs, or your favorite links on the web to share with your readers. They in turn, when reading your blog can click on your link collection and go directly to your favorite links and see why they are your favorite. Blogger profiles let you find people and blogs that share your interests. When you create your own blogger profile, you can list your own blogs, interests, hobbies, and such to let people find your or you can keep it private as well. It is all up to you and determined by what controls you put on your blog in the installation process. If later on you want to change those controls, you can easily access those as well for any updates and changes.

• The tools that blogger offers are user friendly and can help you easily create terrific looking pages. They have a collection of templates to get you started off without having to understand HTML, or if you know that code, you can edit the html whenever you like.

• You can customize the templates fonts and colors used in your blog to coordinate with any background paper you choose. There are many sites too that offer free background papers such as “the cutest blog on the block” which is my favorite. ( look on page 3 under #2 and you will find the link ) To find them just type in the search engine “free blog background paper” and free and for pay will come up for you to choose from. Once you select your background paper and coordinating colors you are on your way to a very nice looking blog.

• Blogger also features a drag and drop system that lets you put your posts, profiles, archive, links, etc. where ever you want on your page. It is really easy and once you go through the process of creating your blog, you will understand how user friendly this program is.

• Posting photos and text is very easy. Give a title for your post, and then start typing. For adding photos, there is a button on the Posting toolbar that all you have to do is click on it and when the second screen appears, a search bar will open up to let you brows your computer files for the photo you want to add. Click on that file and it will appear in the search bar. Next just click on upload and in a matter of seconds your photo will appear. You can upload several photos at a time or just do them one at a time. You can even send camera phone photos straight to your blog while you are taking them using Blogger Mobile. It’s fun and easy and by going to you can learn how.

• Once you are ready to get blogging, just go to and you can get started. You will be well on your way to blogging in only 5 – 10 minutes because it is just that easy. What takes the time is posting and adding your journaling, photos, links and such, but I know you will enjoy blogging.

How to create your own blog
Go to at

• Under the orange tab on the right of the page “Create a Blog” and “learn more” click on video tutorial. There will be a video tutorial come up on your screen that will go through the process with you. It goes pretty fast, but is very helpful so watch and listen carefully.

1. REGISTRATION PROCESS: You will first have to set up your own Google account if you don’t already have one. All that requires is to input your email address, and then confirm by retyping it. Then you will enter a password, and retype that to confirm. Then you will need to enter a blog display name. If it is available then you will type in a word verification that is above the box that you type it into, and then check the box that says you agree to the terms of service. (You should read those terms as well). Then click on the continue button and you are on your way to creating your blog. If this has not helped you enough, and you need a visual example of what to do, then go to and scroll down to the word banner that say “Step by step process to create a blog in Blogger”. This is a good visual tutorial. You can have this tutorial up on your computer monitor the same time you are on by minimizing both screens and moving them so they are side by side. Then just follow the steps the tutorial tells you to do.

2. CUSTOMIZING YOUR BLOG: Once your blog is set up and registered, you need to go through and customize it to your needs. Sign into your blogger account and click on the customize button at the top right corner. You can use the standard template and background or you can customize your background with a cute one that you can get at any one of the many fun sites online. The directions of how to do this can be found on the cutest blog on the blocks (download) page below the background you have chosen. It is helpful to print off those directions so that you can easily follow them while going through the process. Some of those pre-designed backgrounds can be found on the following sites… or or or or or or or there are others if you just look them up on the internet.

3. BLOG BANNER OR BLOG HEADER: You can use the banner that is already on the template that you chose on blogger or customize one with a pre-made banner/ blog header, OR you can make your own using design software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, The Print shop or others that are available to purchase. A good size is 865 x 250 pixels with 72 dpi. I actually size mine in inches 7 inches wide x 3.5 tall. Many of the above listed background sites will also make a blog header or banner for you for a fee. You can also get your blog banner created by selecting one already made at or other that are listed on the internet or you can go to the following but you have to pay for it.

4. BLOG SETTINGS: Go to the customize button, and then click on the “Settings” tab. You will need to go through and personalize all the settings you want for your blog. You may not know what the function is for all of them, but most of them relate to how much privacy you want for your blog and whether or not you want anyone to see your blog and be able to comment. Just go through each tab and make your selection. If you don’t know what it means, leave the setting that is preset in place and move on to another setting. Make sure to click save every time you see that save button. As you blog, you will become more familiar with what kind of setting you want and can go back and change them anytime you want.

5. POSTING: Go to customize then to the file folder tabs that say “Posting” and the Title and post box will appear on the screen. Type in the title of your first post then in the box below, you can write whatever you want. You can Bold, italicize and don’t forget to use the spell check feature. You can also add a photo or a video clip as well by clicking on the photograph or film strip. Then click on the browse button to find the photo or file you want to insert. Once you click on the file then you can either add another image or not, then choose where you want the photo to appear on your page, and then click the upload image button. It takes a few seconds but once your photo is uploaded you press the ”save now button” then press “Publish Post” button. Click on “VIEW BLOG”. If you like what you have created and posted, then you are set, but if you want to change something then click on the “Edit Posts” tab and then check the edit box of the post you want to change, and then click on the words “Edit”. You can then make the change you want. Remember to SAVE new changes before you publish post again. That is how you do it.

6. CUSTOMIZING TEXT: Once you have decided on your background, and header, you can customize the texts with color and specific text styles. Click on Customize at the top right and then on the file folder tabs at the top of the Left side, click on “Layout” then “Fonts and Colors”. View your blog and then go back and make any changes that you would like until you are satisfied with the look of the text on your blog.

7. ADD A GADGET: The small outlined square that has “Add a Gadget” written on it is what you need to click on next. Gadgets are tools that you have available to use on your blog. You can go look at someone’s blog to see what kind of tools or gadgets or widgets they have, that you think you might want or need. For instance, if you want to know how many people come visit your blog, you might want to get a blog counter. All you have to do is type on the search engine “blog counter” and it will pull up all kinds of sites that can get them from. Make sure to get one that is free, and then copy and past the HTML from that widget and past it to the HTML Add a gadget and click save. It will then appear on your blog. You might want to add some text or pictures, then you do the same process and find the add a picture, click on it and then browse your computer for the photo you want to find. (Make sure you click the shrink to fit button so that the photo fits on the small space that is available.) Click on the photo and then the image will appear after a few seconds. If it is what you wanted, click on the save button if it is not what you wanted, click the words “Remove image” and then browse for another image. You may want to Title this picture and include a caption so make sure to do that as well, before you click saves. The picture will appear on your blog. You can arrange the order of the add a gadget objects by click and dragging it to where you want it.

8. OTHER GADGETS: There are a whole bunch of other types of gadgets that you can add to your blog besides the ones that Google offers. Type in the search engine “Blog Gadgets or widgets” and you will find all kinds of sites that you can get them from. Make sure to note if they are for free, which most of them are, but some may charge a fee for them, so keep that in mind.

Created by Katie Gauger
I hope you have a terrific time blogging. This is such a great hobby, journal, history keeper, and so many other things. You can even go to a photo book site and use your blog photos to make yourself a photo book. Use your blog for your business card or advertisement or as an announcement arena for your piano or music students and their parents of upcoming events, recitals, music specials, games, etc. I have many blogs and one is for Visiting Teaching, another for our Family Reunion/genealogy. I have a personal blog where I keep my family far and wide apprised of what is going on in the lives of my family with photos, posts, scrapbook pages for others to view and print on their own computers, etc. I also have one for the neighborhood luncheon group for photos, luncheon dates, and to make available for downloading the recipes that we want to share with each other.
Some information used to create this booklet was gathered from tutorials provided at as well as from other inernet sites as listed above. All information was compiled, added to, edited and rewritten by Katie Gauger. January 26. 2009 for the Alpine Stake Home Family and Personal Enrichment meeting. Coverpage clip art comes from “The Print Shop Pro Publisher version 23” and background papers from Katie Pertiet - Everyday Inspiration, grunge overlays, and AASPN Vitality1 paper.


Visiting teaching tips and handouts (Katie’s blog)
Monthly Ideas, tips & hand-outs for Visiting Teaching
Visiting Teaching Surprise
(Katie’s blog)
Free and downloadable ideas, handouts by Katie
Needing Help with Addiction? (Katie’s blog)
Addiction Recovery Program helps and resources
LDS Provident living website
Food storage, emergency preparedness, etc.)
National Center for Home Food preservation
Research & recommendations for food preservation & storage
Safely Gathered in
Guide to food storage & emergency preparation, printables, recipes, etc.
Everyday Food Storage
Video’s, handouts, recipes, links, etc.
Preparedness matters
Preparedness site… Excellent resource & ideas.
Be it ever so Humble
Cleaning, cooking, food storage, and lots more homemaking ideas.
Pinching your pennies
Groceries & couponing
Savvy Shopper Deals
Local special deals & coupons.
Store house of faith
Food storage, preserving, etc.
Eat to Health
Healthy eating ideas & recipes with seeds, beans, grains, raw, nuts, etc.
Gormet mom on the go
Cooking fun for kids of all ages.
Adventures in self -reliance
Frugal and resourceful living ideas, emergency. Prepared-
ness, food storage.
Homemaking Cottage
Homemakers supporting & sharing ideas for home & family.
A Feathered nest
Projects for the home.
Be a Home-maker
Homemaking ideas.
Hot off the Garlic press
Homemade chic recipes for today’s home chef.
Mormon Share
LDS Clipart, Object Lessons, Primary Talks, and Activity Ideas
Sally Deford Music
Free Downloadable sheet music, programs & other links for LDS & other Christians.
Mormon Mom’s who blog
Huge list of Mormom Mom’s blogspots of all varieties
Family Home Evening Planner
Family Home Evening.
Self-reliant Sisters
Food storage & emergency preparedness.
Greenway Self Reliant Group
Monthly food storage challenges, ideas, and usage.
Food Storage made easy
Getting food storage, getting prepared for emergencies etc.
The obsessive Shopper
Saving while stocking your pantry
My square foot garden
In’s & outs of square foot Gardening , recipes from garden produce.
Simply Living Smart
Filled with good info.
My Food Storage deals
Saving money on groceries.
You Can
Canning foods & recipes.
Organized Families
Printable calendars, resources for families.
The Pantry Panel
Food storage group blog
Unofficial Lindon cannery site
LDS Lindon Cannery
Walton Feed
Food storage orders.
At Home Solutions by Katie
Home storage appliances such as Grain mills, solar ovens, food storage sealer, nutbutter grinders, bread machine, etc.
Self Reliant Sisters
Weekly grocery deals, emergency preparedness, ideas
Emergency Essentials
Recipes using food storage categorized by storage item.
11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven
Homemaking ideas submitted by blog followers
How to be a Housewife
Recipes, helpful hints on cleaning & organizing, Grand mothering, etc.
Your family Ark
Alt. Energy, commun.ication, Edu. Evacuation, food, fuel-medical, Storage, etc.
Simply Living Smart
Food Storage How to Videos
Camarillo Second Ward Relief Society
Great example of a Ward Relief Society blog

Friday, January 16, 2009


I want to create a list of Stake or Ward blog links so that everyone can get ideas from each other. If you create a blog in your Ward or Stake , for any organization in the Ward or Stake, please comment below with your blog name and the link. I will make a list of all the links and post them on this blog and the Visiting Teaching Tips, Handouts and Ideas blog too. This will connect all of us LDS bloggers and create an excellent resource for activities, enrichment's, Ward and Stake events, etc. Sometimes when we are serving in the church, fresh ideas are hard to come by, so I think this will be fun and beneficial for all. I am excited!

Friday, January 9, 2009

All I Need to Know about Life I Learned From a Snowman

My thought about the snowman picture would be to copy 4 per page which makes them about the size of a post card, then print out the typed verse. Roll up the verse in a scroll and tie it off with a cute ribbon and attach one of the Snowman postcards to the ribbon. On the backside of the postcard you could sign your names as visiting Teachers and also give your phone numbers.
The cute Snowman and snowflakes and such come from a very cute digital scrapbooking kit called "Cold winter days, designed by Silva.

I thought this would be something wintery and fun, and just for fun as it really doesn't have anything to do with a V.T. Message. It was sent to me and I liked it and added to it as well with my own thoughts about the subject. I have tried to find an author of the original content, but have had no success, so just enjoy this cute handout for what it is, and thanks to whomever was so clever.

All I Need to Know about Life I Learned From a Snowman
• It's okay if you're a little bottom heavy.
• Hold your ground, even when the heat is on.
• Wearing white is always appropriate.
• Winter is the best of the four seasons.
• It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.
• There's nothing better than a foul weather friend.
• The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul.
• We're all made up of mostly water.
• You know you've made it when they write a song about you.
• Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize!
• Avoid yellow snow. Don't get too much sun.
• It's embarrassing when you can't look down and see your feet.
• It's fun to hang out in your front yard.
• Always put your best foot forward.
• There's no stopping you once you're on a roll.
• It’s ok to be fridged at times
• We can see things a little clearer through a lump of coal
• Adding a little heat, can literally melt your heart.
• It’s nice to know that you were created with love.
• Everyone can be a little flakey at times
• Everyone is unique
• When the heat is on, some people melt.
• You don’t need a nose job to be pretty!
• Everyone comes in all shapes and sizes.
• Cold hearts can melt
• Who cares if you have an extra roll or two?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Hearts of Angels

This can be done for an Enrichment, Visiting Teaching Program or a special program anytime during the year but Feb. is a good time or Actually March and I will tell you why. On Relief Society Budgets, it is hard to decorate do cute treats and favors, etc, so if you buy them on the clearance from Valentines day... then you will be set!


I put this evening together with the inspiration from Debra Oaks website. She says, "We often overlook the good people around us, not recognizing that there are many "Angels" among us. "Look around you sisters, and this room is filled with angels. There are truly angels in our midst.

This idea came from "The Meaning of "Errand of Angels" by Debra Oaks Coe

"When I think of my role as a woman, particularly as a Christian, I think of the second line of the hymn "As Sisters in Zion" which reads:

The errand of angels is given to women,
And this is a gift that, as sisters, we claim:
To do what-so-ever is gentle and human,
To cheer and to bless in humanity's name

The first time I heard this song, it struck me with great force because it expressed the true role women play. We have a quiet role of service and charity, not of power, or great honor, but something better. We have nothing less than the errands of angels to accomplish.

In today's world, it can be difficult to not only realize our true role and see it as an important one, but to recognize that it is a real gift and blessing from God. We are in His service. In our world, most of our service is not only unpaid, but it is often unrecognized and certainly not given the great value and worth it deserves. No matter what value the world places on our service, we need to realize our great contribution to society.

Through this home page, I hope to give encouragement and ideas, but most of all support to the many women who are the real backbone of our society. Women who give countless hours of charitable service -- service mainly given as mothers and wives."

INVITATION: Cut out Valentine hearts or print them up on the computer then cut them out, that give the details for the invitation and take them around to each sister several weeks in advance. If you want to incorporate the angel and heart theme, you could buy all the after Valentines Day sales cupids and glue the details on the cupid. Very cute and cheap after Valentines.

DINNER:We served Angel Hair pasta with two different kinds of sauces... Alfredo, and Marinara. For dessert, we served Angel food cake topped with strawberries and whipped cream. (Note the colors are Red and White & Pink)

TABLE DECORATIONS: Valentine theme using Red and white and tan as the colors. Each table had a white tablecloth with a red cloth napkin in the center of the table spread open and flat. For the centerpiece, we had red silk geranium plants that came from the store "Taipan" and several women in the ward had them so we gathered enough for all the tables. One each side of the table in the center were some bread baskets filled with loaves of garlic toast. Sprinkled around the table were cute red candy hearts for munching during the program. We had a cute little plastic bag for each woman as a favor filled with a variety or red chocolate wrapped hearts mixed with other red/ pink/ and white chocolate candies. We made a header for each bag that said " You are an Angel. Thank-you from the bottom of our Hearts!" We served dinner on cute paper Valentine heart dishes and napkins. We just served water, but if you wanted to get really fancy... then serve Red punch! Zowie!

PROGRAM: For the program, after dinner I made a video called "The heart of Angels". I had assigned a sister on the committee to take pictures of every woman in the ward on her digital camera and I took the photos and made it into a video. I added in between pictures some cute pictures of angels and for the background muxsic I used - "Angels Among Us" by Alabama, "Find Me an Angel" by Mindy Child's and "Each life that touches ours for Good - Hymns. Some of the photos were taken of women in action of serving in some way either with their children, or giving service, group photos or individual photos. This was very touching and there wasn't a dry eye in the audience!!!!

After the Video, our Relief Society President got up and gave a brief message of thanks to all the ministering angels (the sisters) and shared some service that she was aware of that happened the past year.

All in all, this was an amazingly wonderful evening! I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bookmarks, Printables

If you are looking for the bookmark that goes with the January 2009 Visiting Teaching message, scroll down to the next post. These bookmarks are ones that I have made int he past for different reasons and thought I would include these for you to use as you need or want to. I have also included my Visiting Teaching blog header as a pass along if you feel there are others who you would like to share this with or you can use it as a book mark and on the flip side, include your favorite scripture or idea that goes with Visiting Teaching. Enjoy them and let me know what you think! Love, Katie

Bookmark, Printable

This is the book mark that I have created to go with your January 2009 Visiting Teaching Lesson. There are three to a page. I recommend that you print them on card stock and laminate them. You can also print on glossy photo paper as well, but you can't laminate it, but it will really look nice! I hope this helps you to get your visiting teaching done this month and help to motivate a resolve to complete it monthly, all this New Year!

You know what they say about old friends and antiques? They grow more valuable with time.

Glad that you dropped by my blog!

This blog and it's contents go hand in hand with my Visiting Teaching Tips and handouts blog found at If you by accident get to this blog first, make sure to go back to the other one and see all that there is for you there. This is sort of my overflow or stroage blog because I can't keep everything there, so I add my creations to this storage unit and that is my Visiting Teaching Surprise for you. Sometimes however, I do put in things that I think you would enjoy even if they aren't specifically related to Visiting Teaching, but my vision in life is that if I take all the time to make things, I may as well share them and get more use out of them. Sorta like hand me downs but brand new "Down loads". I hope you enjoy these freebies. Drop me a note to say hello in the comments under the downloads posts.