Thursday, May 31, 2012

What I Lovew Most About My Delaney-May

Month: May

Special Days: Picnics, church, games, scripture and more...oh my


Favorite Stories: 
You got accepted into the Dallas Zoo Volunteer Youth Program! You are so excited and wiggin out over it. You have wanted into this program for 2 years and were always too young. Now you are the right age, home schooled and we got all the kinks worked out so you can participate for the school year. This is perfect for you since you want to open an animal rescue when you are older .
Fabulous Photo:  
Greatest Quotes: " But I didn't even want to, you made me.." Yea that was in relation to the Bible Bee when we saw the verses and how much time we had to apply. We were both excited until the book came, the it was a blame game...Not very God like on our part Ill admit, but hey it happens.The first week was miserable. Then I realized our schedule would not allow us to keep the pace they set and we toned it down ALOT. Much happier but still, wow, attitude went with it as well.
What has impressed me most about you this month:Your willingness to buckle down and tackle a big project even when it eels like you cannot accomplish it. You do not give up when you want something. You try at it from different angles, you seek advise and you know when to take a break from something and come back to it another day.
Where I hope to see you grow: Attitude...wow its flying around the house lately. It frustrates me when I am trying so hard to raise you to be a humble, reserved, soft spoken woman and you are so not those things. You are loud, opinionated, sassy, easily hurt, slob. I hate to say it but its so true. I love the heck out of you and would give my life for you, but wow over the last year you have tested my patience, my reliance on God in dealing with you and pushed my buttons like only you can. I know its a stage in life and you are at the age where you are in emotional turmoil and trying your best to discover you and your own personality and way you want to live, and I try very hard to be understanding of that, but wow, how I wish we did not butt heads like we do on so so many topics lately. You use to be my little cuddler. You wanted me to read with you and just sit and watch movies with you. Now you lock your self in your room, your reclusive, you are snotty when you speak, your little brother who you use to adore only annoys you now...I miss my baby girl is all. I knew it was coming, but I felt slapped in the face when it hit. I really hope this is not who you stay, but a phase in life as you learn to deal with all the new emotions you are feeling as you become a young lady.
My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month:
1. Bible Bee 2012:OK we started this off with great gumption. Full of excitement and ready to tackle it all. Then we got the vesres-27 of them. Then we saw how long they were-VERY ad our excitement dwindled. The Bible Bee was on 2 Timothy and that part was awesome. We loved 2 Timothy, but we did horrible on the actually study of scripture part. WE talked about them, but they were so long we did not put the work into memorizing them and putting them in our heart like we had planned to do together. We faltered and let life take over. We did promise each other though to keep working at them on a slower pace and we have been. We started over on 2 Timothy and are really digging in one time per week instead of 5. Not the pace we wanted, but for now we are ok with it.

2. Mothers Day! You always plan these really great Mother's Day gifts for me. Homemade cards, fix me breakfast, take extra care of me, make me a homemade gift, draw me picture, help out around the house. How can I not adore Mother's Day with you around? It would be impossible. It's one of my favorite times. Plus, you always like to hear about you being born.

3. Centerpoint Family Picnic: Come one egg toss, pool party, great food, great friends, water slides, hay rides, fishing...how can it not make our list? We love the picnic, look forward to it and plan around it every year. You normally spend 90% of your time in the pools, but you like doing the three-legged run with me and you like watching Drake and I do the egg toss, since I always come out gooey. It's always a great time for us together and you get your mommy/daughter time when you leave the water.












What I love Most About My Drake-May

Month: May

Special Days: You have been a little sad about your friend Jace this month and not being able to see him since he left daycare and you play on different baseball teams. I know how much you love him and

Favorite Stories: No stories, just watch your hockey videos I have for you and will see my favorite stories this month. You are too cute in all your little man gear and your having a blast in life right now.
Fabulous Photo: To Come
Greatest Quotes: Lets just say you have finally learned to annunciate your letters, especially your "p" and "f" and it has taken away all the fun for your dad, brother and sister. No more "pumpkin awesome" for " punk it:" for them!
What has impressed me most about you this month: Right now you are do lovable and kind that I hope it never changes. You are trying to hard to show your love for the Lord and pray like  a big boy. I am loving it.
Where I hope to see you grow: You have a little problem with expressing yourself, but I can tell how hard you are working on it. I just want to keep working on you with increasing your faith and expressing yourself positively.
My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month:
1. Comic Book Hunting: This was national comic book month and we scored the area looking for the new Veggie Tale comic book. After 4 trips we determined they were sold out (or free out) completely and you settled for Peanuts instead. We will try again next year!
2. Bible Bee 2012: Ok I was going to place you in this competition but very quickly determined my boogie boo was not able to sit long enough to pay attention and memorize the verses. That's OK we still got AWANA and you love it!
3. HOCKEY!! Oh yea, need I really say more here? Its hockey after all! You were so adorably in your little gear. I took tons and tons of photos and you were a natural on skates. You literally have no fear in you when it comes to sports. You just started running in your skates and even when you fell it was no big to do. After about 15 minutes you got the hang of it and then you were off. I am not sure what you like more, the gear or falling on purpose and sliding across the ice.

What I Love Most About My Matthew- May

Month: May

Special Days: We really did not do much this month. It was theend of the year and we were all pretty busy. We joked around, played some baseball and threw the football around. My favorite thing would have had to been just having you around on the weekends to ahng out with and helping you with your "potato irish Stew" that you hated and I loved!

Favorite Stories: Taking oyu several times to Eastfield because you were so set on doing dual enrollment classes, than you got flaky and decided against it.

Fabulous Photo:  To Come
Greatest Quotes: " it's all Delaney's fault" yep you are still using this one. Figured it would hae grown old by now, but nope. It does agitate her though, which I persume is your ulitmate goal. 
What has impressed me most about you this month:
You are opening up more when we talk. You share more about what you are feeling and thinking than you use to. I think you are becoming more comfortable with who you are and expressing it or letting others see how you feel.
 
Where I hope to see you grow: I just hope right now that you stay on this same track. Gradually coming around and becoming more confident and comfortable around your family. I love watching you smile and see the light in your eyes that so often is missing. Just keep being wondeful you.
My Absolute 3 Favorite Thing We Did Together This Month:
1. Sharing common intersts. Just listening to music together, going out to eat and hangining out wiht my munchkin. Those are always the best moments to me. We dont have to be doing anything fancy. I just enjoy being around you and spending time with you.
2.Lunch trips-Everytime I get you for lunch, we have the same discussion. Me: "So were do you want to go?" you:  " I dont know, whats there to eat"  me, listing off places (they never change) Its the same thing everytime. If nothing else you have consistency down to an art form
3. Park: This is WestLake City Park. We go here sometimes and when we do we get bombared with ducks wanting food. You seem to need to feed all or none. Its cute to watch..I kmnow horriably thing for me to say ;) Thats why you love me so.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Necessity of an Enemy

The Necessity of an Enemy  
By: Ron Carpenter Jr. 

 The Necessity of an Enemy by Ron Carpenter Jr. has been a pure joy to read. I adore a good "pick yourself up by the boot straps" book and Mr. Carpenter delivers. The way he approaches who your enemies are and how you can recognize them for your benefit and the benefit of those around you is inspiring and unique. 

We are all built with a fight or flight instinct when faced with adversities, troubles, or things that seem too overwhelming for us to deal with. All things to work together for the good of those who trust God, and in our trials and tribulations we are refined and perfected.   We are given great examples of biblical people who stood in the face of adversity and fought for the sake of the downtrodden, the helpless, the weak, and ultimately for the kingdom of God. Great people such as David, Moses, Paul, Joseph and Jesus himself who was tempted by Satan, all had to face obstacles of great magnitudes that they felt and knew they could not overcome by themselves so they each leaned on a greater power stronger than anyone could imagine; the power of God. Ron captures this so eloquently in his book, The Necessity of an Enemy. When human nature tells us to run and flee from our enemies, Ron takes a different approach and tells us to run to the enemy. To embrace it and own it! Ron’s theme is basically this: "enemies are indicators, announcements, clues, that there's something great inside you yet to be born."  

Leaning on insights such as all battles are fought for our future and not our past; that the battle you are facing is being used by God to give you insight to your strength and greatness God has instilled inside you, and the one I love the best is that our enemy is our footstool! I just love the imagery in that last one. It springs to mind my greatest obstacles underneath me, with me conquering it, not it conquering me. 

While I read this book I found myself getting kinda angry and worked up. You see Ron has his own enemy he had to deal with and it was a great one that we have all faced at some point in our lives. The enemy is greed; greed looking to take advantage, to manipulate, to destroy and conquer you at any cost.  Ron had to make a choice to face his enemy or run and tuck tail. He chooses to conquer it instead. Ron lost everything to a scam artist. His church, dignity, respect of his flock, the press mocked him, and the people in his own community and church who had loved him and sang of his love for the Lord, now mocked him, wrote hateful letters to him and shunned him. Ron could have given up, but instead he learned to lean on God even more and to now His plan is greater than ours. He used this opportunity to confront his enemy and learn from it, to re-prioritize his life and his ministry. 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus

Have I  peaked your interest? Do you want to read more? Well I have you covered. Simply click on any of the below links to find out more information on Ron and his book!
or at Amazon on this link:http://www.amazon.com/review/R202AWOXI34F26

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review." 




Dallas Zoo

Today we went to the zoo to study bird anatomy and penguins.










Penguin shape
The shape of a penguin body is perfectly adapted to a life in the sea. As Kevin Shafer appropriately writes in his book Penguin Planet: "Fat in the middle and tapered at both ends". With this streamlined shape a penguin experiences the least possible resistance while swimming in the ocean.
Penguin coloration / Countershading
Penguin countershading: a black back and white stomach is a form of camouflage.
All penguins have black backs and white bellies. This type of coloration is called countershading and is a form of camouflage. When seen from above, the penguin would be hard to distinct from the dark ocean bottom. When viewed from underneath, the white stomach would blend in with the skylight.
In addition to these countershaded colors (common to all species), different species have specific colors for some body parts.
Penguin ears

When looking at a penguin, you will not be able to see its ears. That's because they have no external ears like humans do. Penguins hear through two small holes that are located at about the same place as a human's ears. The holes are covered with feathers.

The ability to hear is very important for penguins. Penguin calls are distinctive. By listening to the call a penguin can find its partner throughout a colony of several hundred other penguins that all look alike. Penguin vocalizations are also important in penguin communication: courtship, fights, ...
A penguin bill is used to catch food, to preen penguin feathers and as a weapon in penguin fights. Species that mainly eat fish have longer, thinner bills than species that mainly eat krill (these species have shorter, thicker bills)

Penguin bill (or penguin beak)

Like all birds a penguin has a bill or beak. It is mainly used to catch food, but is also used to preen penguin feathers and as a weapon in penguin fights. Size and sharpness of the bill vary with species. Species that mainly eat fish have longer, thinner bills (like King and Emperor penguins), while species that mainly eat krill have shorter, thicker bills (for example Rockhopper and Macaroni penguins).
Penguins do not have teeth. Inside the bill there are spiky spines pointed towards the throat that help in swallowing living food. Penguins do have tongues, however these are not often seen since they are short.
Penguin legs and penguin feet
Penguin legs are set all the way to the back of their body. This causes an upright stand. Other birds have their legs placed in the middle of their body, causing a horizontal stand.
Penguin legs are set all the way back compared
to that of other birds,
causing an upright stand.
Penguins have very short legs, which are used under water for steering. On land it's not easy for a penguin to walk. Waddling seems to be the easiest way to walk with short legs (in fact this has been researched by scientists). In addition, some species displace themselves by hopping over the ground.
Although you don't see them, penguins do have knees and upper legs. They are completely enclosed within the penguin body. The upper leg is oriented horizontally. In contrast to other birds (whose feet are placed in the middle of their body) penguin feet are set all the way back, causing an upright stand.
Penguins have webbed feet like other swimming birds. They are used for steering under water, but also as while toboganning, waddling and hopping.
Penguins have webbed feet (Humboldt)
All penguins have webbed feet, an adaptation to their aquatic lifestyle in the sea. They also have sharp claws that are not retractable.
Penguin feet (together with the flippers) are used when tobogganing over the ice. This is a method Adelies and Emperors often use to get somewhere quickly and consists of gliding over the ice on the penguin belly.
Sometimes Emperor or King penguins that are standing still, rest only on their heels. They point their feet in the air, minimizing contact with the cold ice. This way these penguins release less body heat.
Penguin tail
A penguin tail is short and in the shape of a wedge. There are 14 to 18 stiff tail feathers. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins have longer tails than the other species, and these are sometimes used as a prop on land or when climbing a steep hill.




Drakes Science Dissection

Drakes Shark Dissection @ The Science Place


Ok I already wrote a post about this dissection with my daughter, i just used this one to post picks of my son as well and my nephew. They both were in the science class, listen to the lecture, and loved it. They walked away with some knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the shark, but really just wanted a chance to slice open and feel around inside it more than anything. They loved finding the different organs and telling me what they do and in some cases how its the same as our bodies and different. Want to learn more, please see my earlier post.









Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dr. Pepper's First Hockey Team: Drake Bake

For the last several years the Dr. Pepper Stars Center has offered free skating lessons for kids 4-8 years old. You can only take advantage of the lessons once, but it is a great deal if you are curious about your kids interest in hockey.
The five-week class includes 4 (30) minutes on ice sessions designed to introduce kids to the excitement of the sport. Classes will run Saturdays – May 5, 12, 19, 26, and June 2. The first week each player is given a full set of hockey equipment to use during the program. Players are taught how to put on the equipment and what each piece of equipment is used for. The next four weeks, the kids get onto the ice where the real fun begins.

Classes fill up very quickly and there is a maximum number allowed. If you are really interested, you should register on the first day!

The Dr. Pepper Stars Center recommends that you ask yourself these questions first…

  1. Can your child take direction from someone other than their parent?
  2. Have they expressed interest in the particular sport (at home, watching TV) When you ask if they would like to play a sport/take a class what is their reaction?
  3. Does your child do well taking turn?
  4. Does she play well with other children and as a general rule know how to share?
Secondly you need to find the right class/location for you and your child and make sure that the program and the teachers fit your expectations.
 

















Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bible Study

May 6-12
Faith
Keep Your Eye On The Ball
   
Play a game of catch or hit the ball with the kids. As you pitch the ball to them, say, "Keep your eye on the ball." After playing an inning or two, assign someone (secretly) the role of distracting each person, as he or she is about to hit or catch the ball. (He could yell their name, jump out and scare them, walk on the field with a drink of water, etc.)
Afterwards, ask:
Which was easier—hitting the ball with or without the distractions? Why? (Easy answer!)
Staying focused on the ball (or on whatever you are doing) is important. This week's Bible story about Peter walking on the water showed the importance of having faith and staying focused on Jesus.
What happened when Peter was distracted by the waves swirling around him? (He took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink)
What can distract us from having faith (believing) that Jesus will take care of us? (Feelings of fear, doubting that He is with us, focusing on other things instead of Him, etc.)
Jesus is able to take care of us; we need to trust in Him.
Connecting The Dots
Items needed: dot-to-dot pages (or make your own by writing numbers on a page in the shape of a simple object)
Pencils or crayons
Optional: Draw the numbers on a white board and make a bigger picture.
How did you complete the picture? (By following the next number)
I (or the person who made the page) knew what the picture would be before you started it. You only had to follow the numbers. There are times when we are not exactly sure what is happening or what to do, but we can trust in Jesus who ALWAYS knows what is happening. Jesus knew the storm was coming; He walked on the water to the disciples in the boat, and He was able to keep Peter safe. Knowing that Jesus knows what is happening and will help us can build our faith in Him.

How can we get more faith?
(We can read the Bible to learn more about what Jesus is like and what He can do; we can remember how He helped us in the past; we can choose to believe in Him even when we're afraid, etc
.)
  
Happy Mother's Day!
  
Next Sunday is Mother's Day so get all the kids involved in planning a special day for Mom. To start, ask Mom, "How would you like to spend the day?" (After all, it's HER special day.)
Check out all the fun ideas at familyfun.go.com. One of my favorites is to buy a blank notebook and make an alphabetical listing of the things you love about Mom.For example: for the letter C there could be a picture of a cookie because she makes the best cookies. Decorate with markers and pictures.
If you have a mom with great faith, lavish her with praise—“her children and her husband rise up and praise her" (Proverbs 31:28). 


 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pray With Your Children

Praying 

With Your Children

          I have been a believer in Christ for 7 years and I think one of the hardest things to learn to do with my kids was to pray. Changing what we listened to, watch, how we talked were all relatively easy for some reason compared to prayer. We are called by God to" pray without ceasing" in  1 Thessalonians 5:17. That means we bring all things to God. He wants to hear the good in your life, but also your troubles, your sorrows, your pains in life. James 5:13-16 says it all: When you are in trouble, when you are happy, when you are sick, to show faith, for confession of sin, and to pray for others. After all He already knows them, He just wants you to bring them to Him and trust in Him to work all things to His glory. "Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

So how do you begin to pray with your children? Weather you are a new believer, or have just have never really felt comfortable tacking prayer aloud, here are some really helpful ways that I have found to make conversation between you and your Father easier. Even f you have never prayed with your children, it is never to late to start. My older kids were 5 and 10 before I was saved and we had never prayed before that time. It was uncomfortable at first, but the more we did it, the easier it became and now its like second nature to stop and pray and give all glory to God no matter what the circumstance. All that to say, ITS NEVER TOO LATE!!

Here are a few ideas that I have used in the past to get us going:


1) Highs and Lows: My kids still think this this one is stupid, but we still do it. Go around the table and ask your children what their "highs" were from the day, and then ask them about their "lows" from the day. Share your highs and lows as well, and then pray for them together.

2) TV/Newspaper Prayer: Have each family member take a portion of the newspaper ( front page, sports, obituaries, cultural, etc) and circle items that he or she feels need to be prayed for. Then ask family members to pray for the things they circled in the paper. If you do not get a paper, turn on the morning news and make notes of some of the things that caught your attention that are happening locally or nationwide that spoke to your heart. Have younger children that cannot write, take turns helping them write down there thoughts or talk to them about what they want to pray about and let them start things off.

3) Sentence Prayer. This is how me and my kids started off learning to pray. I knew about ACTS and we just kinda made up a little "cheat" for prayers to get us comfortable. I even wrote them down on note cards so we would hit all points. Cheesy I know, but it made the kids comfortable the first few months having something to hold and draw from that was predictable and not changing.
  • "Father, I thank you for …"(food, clothes, roof over my head, pets safety, good grades on test) I never limit them or look down on them for the things they are thankful for. As adults I think its easy for us to forget the simple things in life God has given us that we should be thankful for that kids will remember.
  • "God, forgive me for …"(yelling, not being honest, hitting my sibling, pulling the dogs tail) What ever it is make sure you do not punish them for it later if they have the courage to bring it forth to God and ask for His forgiveness and they are sincere. That has been a hard one at times.
  • "Messiah, help my friend, neighbor,teacher, the unbelievers, homeless..etc …"Any person they can think of for anything. The whole purpose to get them use to praying for others and not just themselves. To realize others are hurting and to see the power of prayer.
  • "Lord, help me be more …"( patient, understanding, honest, brave, courageous, content)
  • "Savior, help me to let go of …"(pain, hurt, envy, pride, lust, resentment)
  • "Lord, give me the courage to …"( stand firm, not conform)
  • Lord of Hosts, one of the fears I need help with is …" ( I try to use different names for the Father so they recognize them and also find one they are comfortable with)
4) A.C.T.S. Prayer. This is a well-known form of prayer that is easy to remember. It works great with older kids and some younger ones depending on maturity level:
  • A stands for “adoration.” Begin the prayer by simply adoring God for who He is.
  • C stands for “confession.” Spend some time confessing your sins.
  • T stands for “thanksgiving.” Take time to thank God for the blessings that He has given to you and your family.
  • S stands for “supplication.” Lift up specific areas of your life in which you need God to supply for your needs.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

2012 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION

THE WHITE HOUSEpresidential-seal
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2012
- – – – – – -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

2011 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION

From the President of the United States

2012 NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER PROCLAMATION
Prayer has always been a part of the American story, and today countless Americans rely on prayer for comfort, direction, and strength, praying not only for themselves, but for their communities, their country, and the world.
On this National Day of Prayer, we give thanks for our democracy that respects the beliefs and protects the religious freedom of all people to pray, worship, or abstain according to the dictates of their conscience. Let us pray for all the citizens of our great Nation, particularly those who are sick, mourning, or without hope, and ask God for the sustenance to meet the challenges we face as a Nation. May we embrace the responsibility we have to each other, and rely on the better angels of our nature in service to one another. Let us be humble in our convictions, and courageous in our virtue. Let us pray for those who are suffering around the world, and let us be open to opportunities to ease that suffering.
Let us also pay tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who have answered our country’s call to serve with honor in the pursuit of peace. Our grateful Nation is humbled by the sacrifices made to protect and defend our security and freedom. Let us pray for the continued strength and safety of our service members and their families. While we pause to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending liberty, let us remember and lend our voices to the principles for which they fought — unity, human dignity, and the pursuit of justice.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2012, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation as we address the challenges of our time.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
BARACK OBAMA

Planned Prayer
Today's Scripture: Psalm 109:4
"I give myself to prayer."
Read it online at the Bible Gateway: (NIV) (NASB) (KJV) (The Message)
 
We need to set aside time each day for planned, protracted, persevering prayer. We need to lay before the Lord any areas of persistent sin in our lives such as gossip, irritability, impatience, lack of love, and impure thoughts. These sins need to be the object of earnest prayer that God would work in us and enable us to deal with them. We are the ones who must deal with these sins, but the Holy Spirit must enable us to do it.
Note the dependent discipline Paul teaches in Romans 8:13: "If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." There's the discipline of putting to death the sins of the body, but we do this "by the Spirit." This means continual, fervent prayer for the Spirit to enable us to do our duty. As John Murray said, "The believer is not endowed with a reservoir of strength from which he draws. It is always 'by the Spirit' that each sanctified and sanctifying activity is exercised."
It's precisely because we aren't endowed with a reservoir of strength that we need to pray daily for the Spirit's enabling work in us. Holiness requires continual effort on our part and continual nourishing and strengthening by the Spirit. Unless you plan to pray, however, and set aside a specific time to do it, you'll find that you won't carry out your good intentions. If you don't already have this practice, why not stop and make your plan now? I also find it helpful to write down on paper (for my eyes only) the specific sins I need help to deal with and the specific virtues of Christian character in which, as far as I can tell, I most need to grow. (Excerpt taken from The Discipline of Grace)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting To Know Your Savior

Getting To Know Your Savior
 My kids are big into games and I am always seeking out new and creative ideas for teaching them the lessons our Lord has laid out for us in the Bible. Of course, we live on a budget so most of these games are free or very little out of pocket cost. Here are just a few of my favorites that the kids and I have greatly enjoyed over the years. 


Gifts Challenge:
 
Items needed: piece of poster board or long piece of white paper
Marker
 
Will your family take the 100 Gifts Challenge?
 
Can you think of 100 things that you are glad God has given you or provided for you?
 
If so, write the numbers 1-100 on the paper and keep a running list. Every time anyone thinks of something they are glad they have, add it to the list. Don't forget to add simple things like jelly for toast, running water, clean socks, etc.
 
See if you can think of 100 things in 1 week! (I dare you!)
 

Lunch Box
 
Just as God used the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus, He can use US to help others in need. God often uses people to meet the needs of others. If a family needs groceries, God does not throw groceries from Heaven. He uses the church family to bring meat and soup and pasta and fruit to give to the family to meet their need.
 
Pack a box of your favorite foods to share with a family in need; check with the pastor or elders of your church to see if they might pass it on for you.
 
If money is tight for your family, brainstorm ways you can share that doesn't require money—time to help a neighbor clean out a flower bed or a talent that can be shared in children's church.
 

The Share Award

Items Needed: small badge (made of construction paper or cardstock) that says, Share Award
 
Announce that one person will win the Share Award each day.
 
Look for examples of sharing during the day and point them out. "Thanks for sharing your popcorn with me.  Seth let Gabe play with his cars this afternoon.  Anna, that's kind of you to let your sister play with your art supplies."
 
Announce the winner of the Share Reward each evening at dinner and reward him/her with a special privilege—stay up 30 minutes later, choose a game to play, pick a snack, choose an extra book to read, etc. (Praise is a good way to reinforce the behavior you want to see more.)
 
God has given us what we have so we can share with others.
 
Happy Birthday!
 
Items Needed: birthday cake or cupcakes
Candles
 
Make a birthday cake or cupcakes and add candles. Light the candles and then blow them out together. Talk about birthdays.
 
Ask:
What is the best thing about your birthday?
What do you like to do on your birthday?
What is your favorite thing to eat on your birthday?
What is a favorite gift you have received for your birthday?
 
Your birthday is one of the happiest days of the year, the day YOU were born into this world. Jesus came to the earth to give you NEW LIFE, so you can live forever with Him in a wonderful place called Heaven. Each person must decide to receive God's gift to go to Heaven.
 
Talk to each child separately to see how much he or she understands about sin and forgiveness.
 
Some basic truths they need to know and understand:
  • God loves you and wants you to be in His family (John 3:16).
  • We have all sinned and gone our own way (Romans 3:23).
  • Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins (John 3:16).
  • We have to believe that He died for our sins and came alive again (Romans 10:9).
  • Tell God that we want to receive Him into our lives; we need to receive His forgiveness for our sins.
  • Say thank you to Him. Celebrate! Call another believer and tell him or her the good news. Write the date in the Bible.
Cut the cake and eat it!


Our Home in Heaven
 
Items Needed: copy or construction paper
Crayons, pencils, or markers
Optional: glitter or jewels
 
Read John 14:1-3.
 
Ask kids to draw a picture of what they would like their home in Heaven to look like.
 
Jesus is preparing a place for us in Heaven. He came to earth and died, so He could take away our sins and we could live with Him forever in Heaven.  Our home in Heaven will be better than anything we can even imagine! (You can read more about Heaven in Revelation 21 and 22.)


Static Electricity
 
Items needed: fluorescent light bulb
Rubber balloon
Do a simple experiment to learn more about lightning and storms.
Turn all of the lights off in the room. (The darker the better!) Rub the balloon on your hair for several seconds. Then hold the statically charged balloon near the end of the light bulb. (This will illuminate the bulb.)
Repeat the demonstration as many times as desired.
EXPLANATION:
When you rub the balloon on your hair, the balloon builds up an electrical charge (static electricity). Touching the charged balloon to the end of the fluorescent light bulb causes the electrical charge to jump from the balloon to the bulb. This is what illuminates the light bulb.
Lightning is an electrical discharge within a thunderstorm. As the storm develops, the clouds become charged with electricity. Scientists are still not sure exactly what causes this, but they do know that when the voltage becomes high enough for the electricity to leap across the air from one place to another, lightning flashes! Lightning can spark within a cloud, from one cloud to another, from a cloud to the ground, or from the ground to a cloud.

Emergency Kit

 
Pack an emergency kit to have ready in case of a thunderstorm. Some suggested items: flashlight and batteries, radio, food/snacks, water, first aid, sanitation, etc.
 
Turn off the lights and read the story of Jesus' power over a storm in Mark 4:35-41.  Storms can be scary, but Jesus is with us through every storm! 


Jesus Is More Powerful Than the Storms
 
Items Needed: glow in the dark markers or paint
Cardstock or thick paper
 
Let kids make a sign as a reminder that Jesus is with them. Using the glow- in-the-dark markers, write a message of faith (Don't be afraid . . . Jesus is with me! or Jesus has power over storms!) on the cardstock.
 
Tack these up in their rooms so they can be reminded that Jesus is with them and has power over storms. Say a prayer praising God for His great power!

Too Good to Keep to Yourself
 
Make a yummy treat and declare that you have an announcement. "I have good news! I made a yummy treat. But I have decided that I will eat it all myself." After hearing groans and complaints, act surprised and then ask: "Would you like me to share this with you?"
 
Share the treat and talk about the good news that Jesus is alive.
 
Students should have come home with a tool or tract to share the good news. If they didn't, buy one at a Christian book store or ask them to make one by writing a Bible verse(s) about the Resurrection on a card; 1 Corinthians 15:3b, 4 is a good one.
 Discuss with whom they might share this good news and make a plan to do so. Say a prayer for the person who will receive the card.
 
The good news about Jesus is just TOO GOOD to keep to ourselves.

Resurrection Rolls

Make resurrection rolls to keep the celebration going and remember that Jesus' tomb was empty!
Items needed:
8 large marshmallows
1/4 cup melted butter
Sugar/cinnamon mixture (approximately 2 tablespoons cinnamon to 2 tablespoons sugar)
10 ounce can of crescent rolls

1. Open can of crescent rolls and separate into triangles. The rolls represent the linen cloths used in covering the dead.

2. Dip and roll one marshmallow (representing the body) into melted butter. The butter represents the oils used in anointing the dead body.

3. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Roll the marshmallow in the mixture. The mixture represents the spices used in burials.

4. Place the marshmallow in the center of the crescent triangle and carefully fold the dough around the marshmallow. (Pinch the edges tightly to seal in the marshmallow as it melts.) Put each crescent-wrapped marshmallow on a slightly greased cookie sheet or in a greased cupcake pan.

5. Bake the rolls in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown. The oven represents the tomb.

Let them cool. When the kids bite into them, they will see that the inside is empty!

Scripture Egg Hunt
 
Items needed: plastic Easter eggs
Slips of paper
Bible (with a marker at John 14:6)
 
If you have older children, let them look up the Bible verse (John 14:6) and write each word on a slip of paper. Put one word in each plastic egg and hide them. You might divide into two teams and one team will hide the eggs for the other team; kids love, not only finding, but also hiding the eggs. Don't forget to count them before you hide them.
 
After all the eggs have been found, open them and put the words of the verse in correct order. Say the verse together.
 
Put the word slips back in the eggs and repeat for the other team.
 

The Hydrologic Cycle: Acting Out Evaporation

The Hydrologic Cycle: Acting Out Evaporation

This lively outdoor activity (for younger students) was adapted from Christian Kids Explore Earth & Space by Stephanie Redmond, Unit 3: “The Hydrosphere.”

·         Materials: A sliding board
·         Introduce the following terms:

  • Salt water: water found in oceans, seas, and some lakes that contain high levels of salt and other minerals left behind by the evaporation process.
  • Evaporate: to change from a liquid to a vapor
  • Condense: to change back to liquid form
  • Precipitation: water that falls to Earth in the form of rain, snow, sleet, hail, or freezing rain
  • Hail: small balls of ice that come down like rain
·         Instructions: Tell the kids that the ground is the ocean, the top of the slide is the sky, and they are the water. Then:Ask them to run around a bit, saying things like "I'm ocean water. I'm salt water."
  1. Now they begin climbing the slide slowly, saying, "I'm evaporating from the ocean. I left the salt and minerals in the ocean. I'm freshwater now."
  2. At the top of the slide, they yell, "Condensing into clouds!"
  3. As they slide down, they call out, "Precipitation in the form of rain (snow or hail)!"
  4. When they hit the ground, remind them they are back in the ocean and are now ocean water again.
  5. Repeat process several times (depending on their age) until they understand the process and the terms.