Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School!

I like to send at least one package a month to our missionary.  Three years ago, when Mason was on his mission I could not for the life of me think of anything for September.  All I could come up with was fall stuff but September isn't really fall yet.  What else happens in the fall?  Back to does a missionary really need a plethora of school supplies?  Not really.  A few days ago I stumbled upon a great idea on Pinterest for an Alphabet Basket from Fairy Tales & Fun.  It just so happens that I have family visiting from New Zealand at the moment hence we are having a HUGE family bash on Sunday after church.  Remember my VERY large family?  This proved to be the perfect opportunity to put together a Back to School care package for Matt.  One problem though...I ran out of letters before I ran out of people that are coming so I did numbers 0-10 as well.  Instead of having each person bring something that began with a certain letter or a certain number of items (for the numbers), I just assigned each family a few letters/numbers.  I encouraged them to find things around the house or the dollar store because I wanted it to be fun and not an expense or burden on the family.  It was so much fun to see what people came up with!

(an alphabetical idea list is included at the end of this post)

1. Download letters and numbers by clicking here.
2. Print out letters and numbers onto white cardstock.
3. Cut out around each letter or number using decorative scissors if desired.
4. Using double sided tape, attach each letter or number to the matching item.
Some of the items were really small so I put them in these cute 'paper' bags that I found at Orson Gygi's in Salt Lake City.  I just attached the letter to the outside and used a bit of tape to close the bag.   ($4.50 / 20)


Missionary's love 'stuff' but they love letters more.  I wanted to collect as many letters from family members as I could.  This is always much easier if I keep the size of the paper small.  For this project I decided to stick with the 'Back to School' theme so I made up printables that look like chalkboards and using a chalk font, printed different quotes onto the chalkboard.  Each chalkboard quote is different.  They are all centered around learning, knowledge, school or education.  Print them out onto regular paper and then just cut the paper in half (two chalkboard quotes per page).  There are 50 different chalkboard 'letters' because I have such a large family for 25 pages total.  The links for printing them out are listed below.  You certainly don't have to print out all 50 though it does make for quite a nice stack of letters!

~ A ~
dried apples, Apple Jack's cereal, aspirin, almonds, address book (click here for an idea for a quick and easy one), antacid, aftershave, Almond Joy candy, Air Head candy, Altoid breath mints, air freshener,  Animal Crackers, apron, Andie's mints
~ B ~
small teddy bear, brush, bubble gum, Big Hunk candy, beef jerky, breath mints, balloons, ball, bubbles, Bobby Pins, barrettes, book (make sure it's mission approved), a Book of Mormon with your testimony inside, Butterfinger candy, body spray, bracelet, bean dip, bookmark, novelty BandAids, brownies
~ C ~
coins, coupons, chocolate milk, cough drops, coconut candy, coconut syrup, coconut flavored m&m's (can you tell we like coconut?), clips, dried cherries, Craisins, cookies (click here for tips on mailing cookies), Chapstick, coloring book and Crayons, Church News, cake mix, cookie mix, chips, crackers, cashew's, Carmex lip balm, card,  Chicken in a Bisket crackers, CD - music, conference, inspirational speaker, Cheetos chips, clock, small calculator, CTR ring(s) (missionaries love to give out the cheep Primary ones to kids - you can pick some up at any Distribution Center for $10 for packages of 10 or order online from, Captain Crunch cereal, cents (for bus change), conditioner, Chips Ahoy cookies, caramel apple (click here for step-by-step instructions on how to make your own), comb, picture of Christ, caramel apple dip, colored pencils, Charleston Chews candy, Chex Mix, Cracker Jacks, clay, cotton balls, calendar
~ D ~
deodorant, Dove soap, Dove chocolate, Dum Dum suckers, dental floss, DVD - something that the church has released that can be shown to their investigators, dollars, Milk Duds candy, Dots candy, donuts
~ E ~
Ensign, envelopes, ear plugs, emery boards, earrings, Edge shaving cream
~ F ~
dried fruit, fruit leather, flash light, fudge, flip flops, frosting, floss, floss sticks, Flaming Hot Cheetos, FunYun's onion chips, Frisbee, football, Frosted Flakes cereal, photo of the First Presidency, Froot Loops cereal, family photo, foot cream, flower (a cute one like a silk Gerber Daisy - send a vase for 'V'), first aid kit, small flag - from their home country or the state/country where they are serving, flash drive, facial wipes (makeup remover wipes)
~ G ~
Nerf gun (send two), Gatorade, hair gel, granola bars, gum, gift card, graham crackers, General Conference on CD, Gratitude journal, gift (just wrap anything and it's instantly a 'gift'), Granola, graham crackers, Good & Plenty candy, gloves, Glade plugin air freshener, glue stick, Gardetto's, Goldfish crackers, fruit Gushers
~ H ~
hair accessories, hair gel, Hershey's Hug's, send a 'hug' (click here for a cute idea), hairspray, hand sanitizer, Hot tamale's candy, Hershey's chocolate bar, hot chocolate mix, HiChew candy, hammer, honey, beanie hat (for winter)
~ I ~
ibuprofen, anti-itch cream, Dr. Shoell's shoe innersoles, Icy Hot muscle cream,
~ J ~
jacks, jump rope, juice, jam, jelly, journal, joke, juice box, Jell-O, jerky, Jelly Beans, Jolly Rancher candy, jewelry
~ K ~
kite (send 2 fun for pday), Kleenex, KoolAid, Hershey's Kisses, Kit Kat candy,
~ L ~
letter, light, lip balm, lotion, night light, flashlight, headlamp, Lucky Charms, lemonade, licorice, lollypop, Lemon Heads, Life Savers, letter opener, loofah, Lysol room spray
~ M ~
money, munchies, movie (something they can share with investigators like The Testaments, etc.), music (make sure it's mission approved), Mike & Ike's, milk chocolate, Church magazine, macaroni & cheese, m&m's, Milk Duds, mouth wash, mints, matchbox car, photo of President Monson (I love this one - free printable [photo by Brian Tibbets]), Melatonin (a natural sleep aid), manicure set, makeup, Mounds candy, Milky Way candy, mittens, Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD, marshmallows, markers, memory card for their camera
~ N ~
noise maker, nuts, Nutella, New Era, note cards, note, Nerd's candy, nylons, Nerf gun (send two), necklace, necktie, nail clippers, nail polish, Neutrogena makeup remover
~ O ~
Oreo's, chocolate covered Orange Sticks, Orange Slices candy, OtterPops freezable popsicles, OHenry candy, consecrated oil vial, Orbit gum, instant Oatmeal, Olay facial cream
~ P ~
pen, pencil, punch mix, pudding, peanut butter, peanuts, paper clips, Purell, Poppers (like the kids throw on the ground for the 4th of July), protein bars, pass along cards, post cards (click here for a fun post card idea), Patriarchal Blessing (shrink a copy down to fit in their scriptures then have it laminated for them), paper, chocolate covered Pomegranate Seeds (oh man!), photo of the prophet (I love this one - free printable [photo by Brian Tibbets]), small photo album, pancake mix, make a prayer rock, pistachios, pinwheel, perfume, pop, Peppermint Patty candy, Pop Tarts, microwave popcorn, Primary music CD, pretzels, paper airplane, Plan of Salvation printable (just Google it, there are a ton out there on the internet), pumpkin seeds, Preach My Gospel - mini edition, PlayDoh clay, Pixie Stix, paperclips, post-it notes
~ Q ~
Quik, roll of quarters, 'quench' (we gave Matt a couple of his favorite soda's), Q-tips, 'Quiet' - earplugs, Quaker instant oatmeal packets
~ R ~
Rolo candy, Ranch dressing mix, root beer, Reese's candy, Reese's Pieces, Red Hot's candy, Red Vine licorice, ruler, chocolate covered Raspberry sticks, Ritz crackers, CTR ring, Rolaid's antacid, recipes (send some of your missionary's family favorite ones), Rice Krispie Treats, Riesen candy, fruit Rollups, raisins, chocolate covered raisins, Rice Krispie cereal
~ S ~
sucker, Smartie's, 'smooch' (put on some lipstick and 'kiss' a note card then write a note), Sugar Baby's candy, sponge, shampoo, soap, face scrub, squirt gun, sparklers, sun flower seeds, stamps, salt water taffy, stationary, stickers, sun glasses, sun screen, suntan lotion, scissors, soup, safety pins, Starburst candy, small screwdriver, stuffed animal, soda, stapler, Sweet Hearts candy, Sour Patch Kids candy, salsa, S'mores candy, Snickers candy, scarf, Swedish Fish, shoe polish, Silly Putty, socks, stuffing mix
~ T ~
Twix candy, Twizzler's licorice, toothbrush, toothpaste, toothpicks, Thank You notes, taffy, Teddy Graham cracker/cookies, timer, 'thought' (look on Pinterest or on the internet and find an inspirational 'thought' printable to print and frame), Tum's antacid, tape, Tide stain erase pen, write down your testimony for your missionary (it will be a treasured memento), simple tools (screwdriver, etc.), toy, Tootsie Roll candy, tie (duh), taco seasoning mix, tortilla chips, Tabernacle Choir CD, picture of the temple, small tool kit with the essentials, toilet paper, tissue (the personal purse kind), Toblerone candy, Twix candy, tweezers
~ U ~
underwear (a new sparkly, white pair of garments!), U-No candy bar, umbrella, Universal tool (you know that tool that looks like a huge pocket knife but is actually a lot of fold out tools?), Under Armor shirt for exercise or p-day, ukulele (make sure it's mission approved), photo uploader,
Up2U Mento's gum
~ V ~
VOTE! (send them the paperwork necessary to sign up for an absentee ballot), vinegar, Vaseline, Vaseline lotion, vacation (send them a family photo from a recent vacation when they were home), vase (send a nice silk 'flower' for the letter 'F'), vitamins, V8 juice
~ W ~
watermelon candy, Windex wipes, wet wipes, watch, water balloons, worry balls, Whopper candy, whoopee cushion, Washi tape (Japanese decorative tape), Willie Wonka candy, Word Search puzzle book, Whatchamacallit candy, water purifier, reusable water bottle, Werther's candy, Wheaties cereal
~ X ~
Xtreme Nerf gun (you should probably include two in your package...that would not be a safe thing to only have one of), Xtreme Sour Patch Kid's candy, eXam gloves, EXtra gum,
~ Y ~
yoyo, yogurt candy, York Peppermint Patty candy, YooHoo candy
~ Z ~
Little Debbie Zebra Cakes, Zero candy, Zoo Animal Crackers, Zero Propel drink mix, Zesty Italian salad dressing

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