Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tulip Time & Mother's Day!

Tulip Time in Holland Michigan ends this Saturday (May 8th). The finale is a parade which would be a great thing to take the whole family too. The parade begins at 2pm but you will want to be there early to find a good spot. Take along a bag for each of your kids so they can pick up fun stuff (like candy & other goodies) as they are tossed out to the crowd.

Here is the website with all the details:

Don's forget Mother's Day is Sunday May 9! Tell your mom or other special lady in your life that you love her and are thankful for her.

Husbands have your children make a card for mom and either mom or dad can have the kids make a card for grandma or another special lady who acts as the grandma or maybe an aunt who is special.

Even young children can make a card. My youngest is 15 months but he was still able to hold a crayon and scribble on the paper.

You could use crayons or markers or maybe cut some shapes out and let the kids glue it on the paper.

For older children they can use their allowance and you can take them to the dollar store and have them pick out a nice card and write a message inside of it.

So, go out and have fun together as a family and don't forget about mom on Sunday May 9th!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teaching Your Little Ones about Easter!

Easter Sunday is just around the corner and there is a tool that can assist you as you teach your little one what this holiday is all about for Christians. It would be a good idea to talk to your child(ren) so they don't just think it's about having a few toys or some candy in a basket. It is so much more than that and even little ones can understand this!

The tool? Resurrection eggs! They are sold at many Christian book stores. The package consists of a plastic egg carton. Inside are twelve plastic eggs with something inside each one. Also, a booklet is included that shares about the contents of each egg and Scripture references.

For instance, the first egg contains a tiny donkey. You (the parent) use the donkey to tell your child about the triumphal entry of Jesus The very last egg is empty to show that Jesus is alive. Each egg in between has something that helps tell the story of Jesus' last days on earth.

I used these eggs with my two year old. I intended to only go through some of them and do more each day leading up to Easter but he wanted to see all of them at once:) It was really neat to talk to him about each egg. Because he is young I didn't read exactly what was in the booklet provided and this is probably wise with any young child. The story in the book is more appropriate for older children.

I believe that these eggs are a great teaching tool (you could even use them in a Sunday School class). My son really got excited about opening each egg. He couldn't wait to see what was inside each one. Even if you don't have young children of your own you can purchase these for grandchildren or neighbor children. Also, as I suggested using them with a church class is a good idea. The booklet that is provided with the eggs is written in Spanish as well as English so if you know someone at church, work or in your neighborhood who would benefit from the Spanish version you could pass this teaching/witnessing tool along to them as well. I pray that you will consider how you can use this tool with those who are around you.

We purchased ours at Family Christian Book Stores. If you are signed up to receive their magazines there is a 20% off coupon that is good until April 3 and you can use it on this product.

I hope that you all have a very blessed Easter & take the time to talk to your little ones (and others) about the real meaning of this holiday.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Play Dates

Just went to a play date today. There were seven kids and three moms! Kind of crazy but it actually worked. The moms stayed cool and let the three boys closest in age play together and for the most part they got along. The youngest kiddos stayed with the moms in the living room but played well. Coffee, cookies & lunch were all a part of the day and by 1 we were starting to pack up to go.

I learned some things from today's play date:

1. don't worry so much about the house. If you wear yourself out cleaning the house from top to bottom you will be so worn out by the time everyone comes you won't enjoy the time. Just tidy a bit and maybe clean the bathroom(s) and/or vacuum/mop the floor the children will be playing most on. Other than that, just relax and let the kids play. The moms will just enjoy getting out and the kids are going to make another mess anyway:)

2. Let lunch be simple. Today we had a couple of loaves of bread set out, two choices of meat and cheese or you could have PBJ. Some chips, crackers, fruit, and cookies rounded the meal out. Nothing fancy but everyone was fed and happy!

3. Have play dates fairly often-If you've never been to one (or have been to very few), take the first step and let your house be the first site for the play date. You may find that you have more in common with other moms than you thought and your kids will have fun.

4. Be flexible-Don't have a set come and go time. Just say come between 930 and 10 and our kids usually take a nap around 1 or 2 (the times are different for everyone, these are examples) so maybe around then we'll wind down the play time.

4. Most of all? HAVE FUN!!!

Enjoy your next play date!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning Colors!

My oldest is almost 3 and one of the things we are working on is knowing our colors!

There are different ways to do this and I thought I would share a few.

One way is to make your own color cards (or you can buy them). You can either cut squares of colored construction paper and have the colors all set for you or you can draw different colored objects on pieces of paper and then write the color name under the picture. Obviously, you don't need to go through the entire set of colors at one time but maybe just do a few at a time.

Start with basic colors like red, orange, yellow, blue & green. When they are ready add new colors, and eventually you can even do things such as show the difference between pink & neon pink or dark blue & light blue.

I have found that the best way to have my son learn colors is to implement colors into every day life. I ask him what color of play dough he wants to play with, and ask him what color a certain block or lego (or other toy) is. If they don't know what colors some things are, you should call the toy(or other object) by it's color. Say, let's drink out of your green cup etc. This shows him that colors are in every day life and soon your child will be telling you what color things are! Pointing out colors in nature or around the store and everywhere you go are also fun ways to learn colors.

Don't be worried if your little one doesn't seem to understand, just be patient. Not all children learn at the same ages. Every child is different. The one thing to remember is to make learning fun!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Devotions with the kids

A great way to spend time with your children and start teaching them some great habits can start in the evening before bed!

What do I mean? Well, here at our house my husband sits with our oldest son (2 1/2) in the evening and they read a Bible story and pray.

Sound simple? It is but my son loves this time and he has started looking forward to this time.

We use [the new] Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by K. Taylor. This book has a very short prayer and a few short questions at the end of each story if you wish to use them with your child.

It can be a little difficult to get a two year old to pray but we wanted to instill the habit of praying to Jesus early on. My husband and I have prayed before meals ever since they were very young (in the highchair!). Now that our oldest is 2 1/2 after the Bible story my husband has him repeat a short prayer. It can be as simple as 'Dear Jesus Thank you for the day Amen.' Most children will be able to repeat that after mom or dad. We have now graduated to thanking Jesus for a few things (things like toys, brother, grandparents and mom & dad to name a few). My husband just asks our son what he is thankful (glad for or likes) for. Then we have him tell Jesus thank you for that thing or person. Yes, right now he may not understand all of what is going on and yes, he repeats some things back to us BUT it is a good foundation for his own prayer life that we hope he will someday have.

We have also found that this time with our oldest son is a good time to talk with him a little bit and interact about his day which is yet another way to let him know that we love him, care about him and want to spend time with him!

Perhaps you could implement one or two of these things into your bed time routine? It is well worth the effort!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Year!

I can hardly believe that a new year is here. I pray that for each of you my readers, this year will bring you closer to your families. Children to their parents and parents to their children.
I know that I want to have a deeper relationship with my children. Even when your children are young you can cultivate a good relationship with them.

Many of you probably have a day off of work today and your children are still on Christmas break. Why not, take advantage of this holiday and spend time with family or friends?
My husband and I have decided that today we are going to spend some time with our boys. They are young but they love to do and see new things each day. Our oldest (2 1/2) is totally into airplanes right now. Anytime we see one (or hear one) we have to stop and watch/listen. He always gets very excited. Since my husband has today off we thought we might take him to the 'real' airport and let him see a real plane up close (well closer than the sky:). We will probably take them to breakfast as well. Taking two young boys around town isn't always easy and of course nap time has to be worked into the day, but taking time with the boys and seeing their excitement at each new activity and listening to the excited sounds coming from the back of the van make all the work of getting everyone ready and in the car worthwhile.

So, why not do something with your family today? Even if it is as simple as eating a meal at home together you can make it fun by introducing new topics of conversation or serving some new food to try. After lunch bundle up and take a family walk (or go sledding!). If it is too cold, you could play a game as a family. Try to make this day one that you spend with your children-pay attention to them, talk to them. Whether they are young or whether they are teenagers I urge you to start out the new year with family. God has given us family and He would like us to get along-so why not start today? You don't have to do all day activities but like I said, even just lunch or a fun game together is a good start. Maybe in the evening you can all gather together for family devotions. When you have little ones family devotions can be very simple-a short story or prayer time. Do not overwhelm your children with lengthy Bible reading and long prayers-you will totally lose them by the end of the devotion time!

I pray that you all have a blessed 2010 and that this year will be a good one for both parents and children alike. Have fun with family today!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Have any of you slowed down this holiday season and just thought about the real meaning of this holiday? Have you shared any of your thoughts with your kids? I suggested that you do these things in my last post and I really hope that you did!

Well, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and some families will have a celebration and others will celebrate on Christmas Day. My husband's family and my family both live nearby so we will have things going on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, even amid the busyness we all take time to slow down. Tomorrow evening some of our extended family will sit down and listen to the Christmas story. At each point of the story one of the children will take a piece of the nativity scene and place it in the 'barn.' For instance when the shepherds are mentioned one of the children will get to place the shepherds as part of the scene. Of course, Mary & Joseph, baby Jesus, the animals and the wisemen will all be placed there as well. I think this is a great way to have the children involved in the reading of the story.

Today I wanted to share something I heard in a sermon on Sunday. The pastor said something that I had not thought of before and it was this: Did you ever think about why there were wisemen and shepherds invited to see Jesus? The shepherds were considered pretty low on the social scale and wisemen were way above them-this just shows that Jesus came to save all types of people. He came to save those who are poor, those who are rich and those in between. The message of Christmas is that Jesus came for ALL the world-not just a certain type of person. Make sure you tell your children that Jesus came to save them and that they should go out and share this news with the people that they know!

Blessings to my readers and may you all have a Merry CHRISTmas and a Happy New Year. Remember: keep Jesus at the center of your festivities-after all He truly is the reason for the season:)