Tag Archives: Family

5 Commonly Missed Items Kids Need to Pack

Summer is finally here!!! It’s time for vacation!  When packing for a vacation, I’ve found there are 5 items that kids need, but are commonly forgotten.

  1. Sunglasses – With all the time kids spend in the sun, sunglasses are VERY important.  Your kids only get one pair of eyes and it is important to take care of them.  If your kids get to pick out their sunglasses or jazz them up with some fun stickers, they might be excited about wearing them.
  2. Towel – Even if you are not planning on going to the beach, you never know when you will come across a stream worth dipping your toes in.  Kids like to get messy!  Let it happen!  Towels are also great for having picnics or keeping little bodies warm.
  3. Sunscreen – Just like sunglasses, sunscreen plays a crucial part in keeping kids safe from the sun!  Many times, it is thought that if you’re child is in the pool or in the shade, they don’t need sunscreen.  This is WRONG!  Whenever your child is outside, they should be wearing sunscreen!
  4. Home Object – For kids, it is hard to be away from home, even for short periods of time.  Having an object that is a reminder of home can be a big comfort.  This can be something like a blanket or pillowcase.  It could also be a book or stuffed animal.  It’s better to bring something small, so it doesn’t take up too much room (but definitely not too small where it gets lost).
  5. Summer Workbook – Yes, school is “over”.  But you never stop learning!!!  I love giving kids summer workbooks, which are not intended to challenge a whole lot.  The purpose is more to keep the skills that they learned this year fresh in their minds.  If you don’t have a summer workbook, another thing I like is a  summer journal.  Have kids simply write about their day or give them a prompt.  they’ll get creative from there!

in the summer time

Traveling with kids is an adventure, but hopefully packing these items will make your vacation go a little smoother!  Happy Summer!

BTT: God Forgives My Sins (Bible Activity)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”     – 1 John 1:9

We all, as imperfect children of God, sin everyday!  Thankfully, God loves us so much that He forgives our sins and redeemed us by sending His Son to die for us.  For smaller kids, that’s hard to understand.  They may not know what sins are, or how and why God forgives us.  I like to use visual representations to help explain these hard to grasp concepts.

God Forgives My Sins

Sinning is when we choose to turn away from God by making a bad/wrong decision.  When we pray and ask God to forgive us because we know we did wrong, He does.  God pours out His unending mercy and cleanses our hearts.  We should always try to do better and strive to live pure lives.

To Do This Activity, You’ll Need:

  • White Board + Dry Erase Markers
  • Construction Paper
  • Tape
  • Sharpie
  • Scissors

How To:

First, before you round up your kids, cut out (about 5 per child) 1″ x 3″ rectangles from the paper.  Also, draw a heart on the whiteboard.  Call over the kiddos.  Explain how when we sin, we turn away from God.  All of these sins give us impure hearts.

heart whitebrd

Each child should write down a sin that they have committed on the rectangles.  For Example – lying, saying mean things, not obeying parents, etc.  These don’t have to be big things.  Show how these sins make our hearts unclean by coloring the heart in with a black (or dark colored) marker.

heart sins close

black heart

Have each child tape their sins onto the shaded in heart.  Say a prayer with your kids, apologizing for your sins and asking for forgiveness.  Ask your kids why they are sorry.  Do they feel bad about what happened?  Do they want to do better?

There is good news!  Jesus died on the cross for their (and everyone else’s) sins.  Describe how we are redeemed and will spend eternity with God in Heaven.  Take off the sins and set them aside.  Erase the shaded section of the heart.

After you have erased the heart, there will be some outlines of the shaded areas or erased parts of the heart.  This symbolizes our imperfectness.  No matter how hard we try, we will always sin.  We ask God for His help.  He mends our hearts.

imperfect heart

When we are sorry, we promise to try to do better.  On the back of each sin, write a good action that is opposite of the sin.  This can be a quality or a good deed.  For example – lying -> be truthful, saying rude things -> be uplifting.

sin lyingbe truthful opposite

Tape the now improved rectangles onto the clean heart.  Because of God’s love and Jesus’ death, we are able to spend eternity with Him.  We are thankful Jesus forgives our sins!

transformed sin

Like 1 John 1:9 says, God is faithful and just.  Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and forgiveness.

What To Do Instead of Yelling (For You & Your Kids)

“Put your toys away!”

“For the third time…”

“Are you even listening?”

“Ugh!”

Heard these before?  Said these before?  Lot’s of times when dealing with kids, we loose our temper.  Kids lose their tempers, too.  It happens, it’s going to happen.  The amount of times it happens is something we can change.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”   Today, I want to crack this verse open.

In my opinion, unwholesome talk is anything not uplifting, relevant, or praiseworthy.  Now,  in NO way am I saying that every word we say must be serious and down to business…..Trust me, I laugh more in this house and I like being silly.  But, unwholesome talk is wrong.  That means yelling and gossip is not good.  As this verse says, whatever we say should benefit those who hear it.  Yelling is not helpful.

Yelling occurs mostly out of anger.  We are going to get angry every once in a while.  When dealing with our anger, yelling is not the option.  There are ways to prevent yelling and exploding in anger.

4 Ways to Prevent Yelling

  1. Patient 5 – When you or your child feel like you are about to explode, use your hand to guide you.  Using your fingers, follow these five steps to calm down.  On your first finger, close your eyes and take a deep breath.  On the second finger, ask what is truly making you upset.  Be realistic.  On the third finger, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  What might they be angry about?  On your fourth finger, say a prayer asking for patience and the ability to work out your feelings.  On your last finger, calmly begin a conversation with the other person.
  2. Mouse Voice – At the moment anger is rising, become a mouse.  Speak in a quiet, calm voice.  This tone will help to keep your tempers under control.
  3. Silly Word – Instead of yelling, say a silly word like “Bubbaleepig!”  It’ll take away some tension, too.
  4. Timer – Set a timer for 5 minutes where both arguing parties take a break and collect their thoughts.  Then, have a calm conversation.

patient 5

Have a wonderful day!

Kids’ Resolutions – Making and Keeping

Starting off, I hope you had a Merry Christmas!  Now, it’s time for 2016….and with the new year, comes resolutions.  *sigh*  Resolutions (at least for me) typically last 1-2 weeks.  For kids, though, resolutions can be fun!  I’ve created 3 ways for you and your child to keep track of their resolutions.

First, talk to your child about what a resolution really is.  You make a resolution when you take a not so good part of your life, and replace it with a good thing.  Resolutions are different for everyone and don’t have to be huge.  Resolutions don’t have to be you doing something (Ex: doing chores), but it could also be not doing something (Ex: quit biting nails).  Have your child do some soul searching and come up with one or multiple things they would like to try to improve on.  Agree on something reasonable and encourage your child.

Next, it’s time to keep track of their progress.  One of the easiest ways to do this is with a chart.  I have 3 examples of charts that you and your child could make to show their improvement.

  1. Basic Monthly – This chart is quite generic.  It is a monthly chart with a space for each day.  If your child practices their resolution on that day, they could put a sticker on the box, mark it out, or get your signature.  There are no rewards except the encouragement you give and the success they feel from making you proud (This can be a good thing).                                                                                                                                             basic monthly
  2. Decked Out Monthly –  This monthly tracking calendar definitely has goals.  It has to “Prize Days” where your kids can get a little treat (Nothing huge).   The goals are clearly outlined.  It is extremely similar to the first example, except the reward.  *Don’t use the prize as a bribe.  It’s supposed to be their decision to make a resolution.  It should be an encouragement.                                                                                     decked out calendarresolutionsstickers on calendar
  3. Yearly Check Up – If you don’t want to keep track daily, use this yearly check up.  This requires a little less effort, but provides a the same amount of encouragement.  Month by month, you will check each box and comment on your child’s improvement (I like writing improvements).                                                                                     yearlycomment3 resolution

Hang these (however many you do) in a central location and have a Happy New Year!  See you in 2016!

BTT: My Kid Is Bored At Church

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”   – Exodus 20:8

Sundays.  Sundays are wonderful days because we go to church and worship our Lord!  Church can be enjoyable for adults, but for kids, church can be boring!  That’s ok!   Church doesn’t have to be painful for kids.  Church should be a fun time of getting to know Jesus.  If your child needs something to do, try these suggestions.

  • Draw What I Hear – Have your child use a prayer journal (notebook specifically for church) to draw what they hear the preacher saying or reading.  Maybe they write down some key words or phrases and find what it means for them.

    Drawing of the Ascension
    Drawing of the Ascension
  • Bible Study Book – There are so many good devotionals and study books out there!  These books have Bible related activities and many good verses to meditate on.  For some of my recommended books, click HERE or HERE or, for my absolute favorite, click HERE.
  • Join A Small Group – Most churches offer Bible study small groups for kids.  These groups may be offered during the church service or before.  Either way,  a small group of children all talking about Jesus is a great way to keep your child interested in church.
  • Daily Prayer or Meditation – Using a prayer journal (as described in previous bullet), have your kid reflect on a verse of the Bible relating to the message.  Also, a prayer to say can develop a reverent spirit in your child, so maybe they can pay better attention in church.                                                                                                                                      prayer

The most important thing about church is your child’s relationship with Jesus.  As young children, it’s hard to pay attention when someone is saying words you don’t understand.   Yes, as your child gets older, it is important to pay attention in church.  My theory is: as long as they are learning about Jesus and strengthening that relationship, it’s all good.

This can be a hard issue to deal with.  Keep Jesus in the center always!

Peanuts Crafts Part 2: Striped Kite

Sorry I haven’t written in a while.  You know how the holidays get!  Our next Peanuts craft is a kite like Charlie Brown’s shirt.  If you’ve ever seen a Peanuts comic, you know that Charlie Brown tries very hard to fly a kite.  He typically fails, but never gives up!  It’s important that your kids know that if they set their mind to something, they shouldn’t give up!

Striped Kite

Materials:

  • 1 Sheet of Yellow Construction Paper
  • 2 Pencils (optional)
  • Hot Glue (only if pencils used)
  • Crayons or Markers
  • 1 Sheet of Blue Construction Paper
  • 1 Sheet  of Purple Construction Paper
  • Tape

How To:

  1. Cut a large diamond out of the yellow construction paper.  Draw a large black zig-zag on the diamond.                                                                                                                                              kite front
  2. Glue two pencils to the back of the kite to be the support.  I didn’t do this because it made it hard to hang.
  3. Cut a long strip of blue construction paper and tape it to the back of the kite.                   kite tail
  4. Cut out 6 triangles from the purple construction paper.  These will be the bows on the kite’s ribbon.
  5. Tape the triangles on the kite’s tail.  Place to triangles opposite each other.  Cut out three purple circles and tape them where two triangles meet.  I outlined the circles so they are easier to see.                                                                                                                                bows
  6. Write some encouraging words on the kite.  They should be to the effect of, “Follow your dreams and never give up.”  You can also write words on the circles.

kite

This craft is inspirational and fun to make!!!

BTT: I (Eye) Can

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”     – Philippians 4:13

YES!  God makes all things possible.  But there is a catch (an amazing catch)!  Jesus gives us the strength we need to do great things, if we believe in Him!  So, this craft was born.

eye can

Eye (I) Can:

For This Craft You’ll Need:

  • Can (I used a can of diced tomatoes :-])
  • White Construction Paper (Also, one other color if desired)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Black Marker
  • Scissors

Steps:

First, peel the label off your can.  Then, plug in your hot glue gun to ensure that it’s ready when you are.  Using the white construction paper, cut out an oval.  Draw a large circle/oval in the middle of your “eye” to be the pupil.  Hot glue this to the front of your can.  Then use the rest of the white (or colored) paper to make a nutrition label.  Mine was more on the simpler side.  It said, “Contains God!” because we need God in order to do all things!  That’s the whole point of this verse! I NEED GOD!  Hot glue this to the back of the can and you’re done.

eye can vers

eye can contains

Keep this can around the house in a central location to remind your family that with God’s help we can do great things!

Have a great Tuesday!

Tater Tot Casserole

Honestly, I had never tried this recipe until this month, and let me tell you…it is a BIG hit in my house!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Package of Ground Beef
  • 32 oz Package of Tater Tots
  • 10 oz Cream of Mushroom Soup Can
  • 2 cups Shredded Cheese
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to Season to Preference

***Also: 9×13 Pan, Cooking Spray, Pan to Brown Meat, Measuring cup (for cheese), & Whisk***

tater tot side

How To:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray your 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Brown ground beef on the stove, seasoning to desire.  Then drain.
  3. Spread the ground beef evenly in the sprayed dish.  Whisk together sour cream and soup (kind of a funky blend).  Spread your mixture over the ground beef.
  4. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on the mixture.  Finally, lay your tater tots over the cheese.  *Personally, I’m not a giant cheese person, but don’t do much less than 3/4 cup.
  5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the casserole (This is where I would go easy on the cheese).
  6. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the tater tots are golden brown and the cheese is melted.

tater tot above

I Love This Meal!!!  Have a Magnificent Monday!

My Favorite Rainy Day Activities

A rainy day can be a bummer for all members of the family.  Moms need to run errands and kids want to play! But with these fun activities from other bloggers, you’ll never have a boring rainy day again.

My Favorite Rainy Day Activities:

choc bars

flower

btt egg matt

you are special wall

BTT: Halloween – What to Teach Your Kids

Halloween.  Yes, it’s that time of year.  Fall has just begun and this new season brings many things.  It brings colored leaves, cool breezes, and holidays.  One of these holidays is Halloween.  Especially in this generation, kids can be taught that Halloween is about costumes and gory things.  But, Halloween isn’t all blood and guts.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t let your kids go trick-or-treating (I love trick-or-treating).  But, you should make sure your kids know these things about the holiday.

Boo! This is my pint sized ghost (Hopefully coming up in a later post)
Boo! This is my pint sized ghost (Hopefully coming up in a later post)

What to Teach Your Kids About Halloween:

  • Yes, there is evil in the world, but Christ’s light is bigger than all evil.  Like John 1:5 says, “And the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.”  Jesus is bigger than all evil!
  • Do not be afraid.  Yes, some people wear “scary” costumes (at least to a young child), but Jesus tells us not to be afraid.  Isaiah 41:10a says, “So do not fear, for I am with you.”  Jesus loves you and doesn’t want you to worry.  He will protect you.
  • Say, “Thank you!”  This is very important.  If you’re child says thank you when someone gives them candy, it shows their values.  Even a smile can brighten someones day and possibly stir their heart.  Who knows…your child may convert someone to Christianity by being kind!
  • Think before you do (more for older ones).  Yes, pranks are fun, but be smart about it.  If you wouldn’t want somebody to do it to you, DON’T do it!
  • Be safe!  Maybe staying near your mom isn’t “cool,” but it’s good.  It is night time and it’s good to have an adult around.
  • Have fun!  Halloween can be really fun with the right people doing the right things.  Enjoy the night as a family and cherish these moments!  They don’t last forever.

My biggest Halloween advice for Mamas is simple: Stay close and take pictures!

A prayer for Halloween:

From ghosties and goblins;


And long-leggedy beasties;


To things that go BUMP! in the night!


May the Good Lord protect us!


Amen.

Have a great Halloween.   And eat candy!!!  Happy Tuesday!