Monthly Archives: March 2012

Illustrate the Easter Story – Resurrection Cookies

“The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7

By: Melissa Pope

Easter will be here here soon! My family enjoys our Easter traditions. One of our favorites is making Resurrection Cookies together. Here are the instructions:

You will need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar

3 egg whites
a pinch salt
1 cup sugar
a zipper baggy
1 wooden spoon
scotch tape
Bible

 

 

Instructions:
These are to be made the evening before Easter. Preheat oven to 300F.
*** (this is very important — don’t wait until you are half done with the recipe).
Place pecans in zipper baggy and let children beat them with the wooden spoon
to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested. He
was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read: John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar
to drink. Read: John 19:28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life
to give us life. Read: John 10:10&11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest
into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers,
and the bitterness of our own sin. Read: Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the
sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to
know and belong to Him. Read: Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins
have been cleansed by Jesus. Read: Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoon onto waxed paper covered cookie sheet.
Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid.
Read: Matthew 27:57-60

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.
Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read: Matthew 27:65-66

GO TO BED!

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.
Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read: John 16:20&22

On Resurrection Sunday (Easter) morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked
surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus’ followers were amazed
to find the tomb open and empty. Read: Matthew 28:1-9

~Source for these cookies is unknown, but thanks to Mendi, my MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) friend, for sharing it all those years ago in our MOPS group.

Achan’s Sin

“But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan … took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.”  Joshua 7:1

By: Melissa Pope

I’ve mentioned my girls’ Bible quiz participation. One year the study was on the book of Joshua. Our family is also reading through the Bible chronologically. This evening the story of Achan again caught my attention.
The battle of Jericho is a familiar one. The story of Achan’s sin follows and may not be one that you recall. The Israelite children were instructed by God to keep away from the devoted things (6:18). Achan however disregarded this command of God. He took a Babylonian robe, silver and gold from the city and hid it in his tent.
In the Israelites next battle against Ai they were soundly defeated because the Lord was not with them. They had disobeyed the Lord.
I expect obedience from my children. God expects obedience from His children. As a child of God I want to be obedient to Him. The story of Achan reminds me not to become attached to “devoted things” of the world.

Let’s pray for our boys!

When my oldest son was a week old I knew already that he was going to be nothing like his sister. He made weird noises. He’d rather look all around than at me when I whispered sweet nothings to him. As he has grown older he has continued to be a different animal. He craves active play time (In fact, he and my husband “wrestle”–a.k.a. Daddy throwing him around–for about 15 minutes every night before bedtime. If my husband is out of town and little man doesn’t get his rough-housing time he actually becomes restless and gets into more trouble). He is more physical than verbal. He is fiercely protective of me. I could go on and on.

Even though I have three brothers and was very involved in taking care of two of them because they are ten and thirteen years younger than me, the older my sons get the more I realize how little I really know about raising boys up who will love the Lord and love people. That’s why I am so excited about something I stumbled upon on facebook last night! Check out these details about the “21 Days of Prayer for Sons” from www.themobsociety.com :

May 1 – 21, 2012!

21 Days of Prayer for Sons is a challenge based on the best-selling Warrior Prayers eBook. In the last year, over 2000 women from seven different countries have participated in this intense, intentional, and inspirational challenge. Here’s what some of them have had to say about it:

“This challenge…has given me my joy back in mothering” ~LaToya

“Thank you for giving me a tangible method for transformation in my family!!” ~Anne

“Thanks, Brooke for your help. I’ve always known that God was listening; I just didn’t know what to say!” ~Laurel

“So many heart changes are going on in our home and I’m just so thankful…” ~Ashley

Who Should Participate?

* If you’re a mother or grandmother of boys who often finds herself wanting to wave the white flag in defeat…

* If those boys of yours drain you, overwhelm you, steal your heart, break your heart and cause you more anxiety than you ever dreamed possible…

* If you just can’t figure out how to respond to that boy in a way that affirms all that is good about his masculinity…

* If you’re desperate for God to move in your heart and in the heart of your son(s)…

This challenge is for YOU.

“The fervent prayers of a righteous {mom} avail much.” James 5:17.

It’s our hope.

 

Click on this link to find out how it works and to sign up to participate.  Also, because we are so excited about this challenge we are giving away a copy of the Warrior Prayers e-book. To win a copy, see the rules below:

How to enter:

  • Mandatory Entry: Comment below telling us how many sons (or grandsons) you have.
  • To Increase Your Odds:
  1. To the right of this page is a subscribe button. Enter your e-mail address and click on it to subscribe.  You will receive an e-mail to confirm your subscription.  Once you confirm, come back and tell us that you did it. (Once you subscribe, you will get e-mails whenever we publish a post.  At most, we post three times a week.)
  2. If you haven’t already, “Like” our Facebook Page then come back and leave us a comment to let us know you did.

A Few Quick Rules:

  • This giveaway will run until Saturday, March 31, 2012, until 11:59 PM CST.
  • The winner will be chosen via random.org and be notified by e-mail.  If we do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
  • If we do not have a valid e-mail address to contact the winner, a new winner will be selected.

Good luck!  We look forward to praying along with you in May!

It’s raining, it’s pouring….

“And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights…..” Genesis 7:12

It’s Spring Break at my house. No school for my daughter and a coaching break from cheer for me. Yippee! While we would love to take a fun trip somewhere, funds and vacation time for my husband are kind of limited right now since we are taking our vision trip out of the country for two weeks in April and May. And, after having beautiful spring-like weather for about the last two months, of course it has rained (cats and dogs!) every day this week so far. Lucky us!

So, what is a mom to do with her six year old who is used to being entertained and busy all day long and her three year old who isn’t used to big sister being around and in his play space all day long? I thought this would be a great place to discuss a few rainy day ideas and also ask you for any ideas you might want to share.

Let me preface this list by telling you I am NOT a crafty mom (that’s Gretchen’s job). I wish I was, but the thought of dragging out craft supplies—not to mention cleaning those craft supplies up when finished—makes me tired just thinking about it. (Does that make me a terrible mom?)  That is why you won’t find a lot of “crafty” ideas on this list. Sorry; I’ll save that for those of you who enjoy that kind of thing (please feel free to list them in the comments section if that’s you because I know you’re out there)! =) That said, here are some of the things we have done and still might do this week (or later on this Spring and Summer on rainy days):

Favorite Movie Marathon

Let each kid pick one of their favorite movies. Make a fun snack to munch on. (One of my faves is a mix of popcorn, Hot Tamales, Peanut M&M’s, Twizzler Bites & pretzels.) Make a snuggle spot with blankets & pillows. Veg out with your kiddos and enjoy the down time.

Family Movies

Pull out old family movies (if you have them) and enjoy your kids laughing at how silly you used to be.  I did this today with my kids and could not believe they actually sat and watched a Christmas DVD my older brother put together. The DVD started with footage from when I was one and then featured 7-8 Christmases (a 27 year span) all the way up to the Christmas before my oldest was born. They chuckled at me and my brothers as kids, got so excited when they recognized cousins and aunts and uncles, and then literally screamed with joy when their Daddy entered the scene. =) (Who knew they would sit and watch home videos that don’t feature them for so long?!?)

Fun in the Kitchen

Pick a kid-friendly recipe for lunch (like Pizza) or treats (like these yummy and so easy licorice wands) and let them loose (with some guidance and help, of course).

Spring Garden

Get creative with tissue paper and pipe cleaners and make flowers. “Plant them” in a garden on the floor or make a beautiful bouquet.

Childhood Book Day

Think about the books you loved as a child that would be appropriate for your children’s ages and go get them at the library. Read them aloud to your kids in your best storyteller voice. Here are some suggestions:          Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, The Ramona books, Amelia Bedelia, Madeline, Little House books, Anne of Green Gables books, etc.

Living Room Picnic

My husband actually did this with my kids when I was gone last week and they wanted to “eat outside”. He made them jelly sandwiches (because that’s the only kind of sandwich my daughter will eat), chips and carrot sticks and they sat on a blanket in the living room and had a picnic. They loved it! (And I love my husband!) =)

“Pollyanna Game”

Get a big piece of poster board and write down all the things you and your kids are glad about. Or, take it to the next level: get out some magazines you don’t want anymore and let your kids flip through and cut out pictures of things that make them glad. Then let them glue them on the poster board. When you’re finished, let it hang on display for a while and then take a digital photo of it so you can throw it away. =) If you load the picture on your computer, you can pull it up once in a blue moon when you all need reminders to be glad.

Fashion Show

Get out some old clothes, hats, scarfs, etc. and let your kiddos take turns dressing each other and you (yes, you get to participate, too) up. Turn on some music and let your fashionistas take a whirl down a “cat walk”.

Scavenger Hunt

Gretchen had a great post on a Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt last month. Do something similar but with a spring theme. Maybe you could hide rain boots, an umbrella, and a raincoat that they already have and let them finish outside by playing in the rain.

Indoor Olympics

Come up with a bunch of simple, action-packed, but safe inside, games your children can compete in. Think of easy to assemble events like tossing balls into empty Tupperware bowls, stacking blocks into high towers, transferring dried beans from one bowl to another, etc. Have each kid pick a country and google the country’s national anthem (you can find a lot of them on youtube) to be played when they win. (And be sure to talk about how the Summer Olympics are coming up in August!)

Hopefully those ideas got your creative juices flowing and you are ready to list some more in the comments section below. Also, here is a link to a website with lots of specific games and activities to try with young school-aged kids.

Whatever you choose to do with your kiddos this spring break, stay dry (if you want to) and have fun!

 

 

Desiring Obedience

“If you love me, keep my commands….Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. “ John 14:15, 21

Maybe it’s because of what God is doing in my family’s life right now (you can read about that here), but I have been thinking a lot about obedience. Specifically, I have been thinking and praying about how to encourage my children to be obedient. As a family, we talk a lot about how we have decided to become missionaries because we love Jesus and want to be obedient. We hope our children catch a glimpse of what that really means as we continue to move forward and press on in obedience even when it gets hard. Interestingly, while talking to them about what the Lord is requiring of us, I feel like the Holy Spirit has been convicting me a little bit about what I expect from my kids.

Because I have studied it more than once, I know there are different theories on moral development and the reasoning stages children go through. But I’m not going to get all Piaget and Kohlberg on you. I will just say I don’t want my children to get stuck following the rules because they are afraid of getting in trouble or because they think they have to look and be “good” for me to love them (or for God to love them). Just like God wants our obedience to overflow from the love in our hearts for Him, I want my kids to obey me because they love me and know I have their best interest at heart.

Something I have come to realize lately is that when I get frustrated with my kiddos for being disobedient I’m not sure I always do have their best interests in mind. Because of that, it’s really important to check myself and the situation. Yes, I want my children to obey; but I have become aware that the things I demand of my children can sometimes be unfair, premature, selfish and prideful. In light of that, I have been learning that it’s important for me to differentiate between behavior that requires grace and behavior that requires discipline. Recently the Lord has been laying the following two areas that require grace on my heart:

Public Embarrassment – the “what will people think” behaviors

We’ve all been shopping at Target or Walmart and our kid is doing something like singing gleefully at the top of his lungs. It could be “Twinkle-Twinkle” or “Jesus Loves Me”; but whatever it is, it’s loud and jubilant and a broken record. As people’s smiles turn to glares your body temperature starts to rise and you begin to shush your soloist to no avail.  After unsuccessfully trying to persuade him with the promise of a treat and asking him to stop five times, you realize it doesn’t matter how much you threaten. Johnny just doesn’t understand why singing loudly in public is not appropriate and isn’t going to stop. You are angry and feel like screaming. Why? Because what Johnny is doing is wrong or because you are embarrassed and fear people will think you are a terrible mother who has no control over her child?

Now, this might seem like a silly example, but if I’m honest with myself, I have to admit that about half the time I get frustrated with my kiddos in public it’s because I’m afraid people are looking at their behavior and judging me. That’s when I have to stop and remind myself that my most important audience is not all the strangers watching me, but the little ones watching who need my love and acceptance along with gentle instruction after we leave the store that perhaps exuberant singing is something we save for home and church.

Developmental Ignorance – the “you’re acting your age” behaviors

Another situation in which I often fail at showing grace is those times when my kiddos are doing something that is annoying, but developmentally appropriate. We would never in a million years get angry at our infant for putting his favorite rattle in his mouth and drooling all over the place. So, why do I get frustrated with my three year old when he destroys the train track I painstakingly worked for a half hour to build? Or, why do I find myself wanting to shout at my six year old for wasting hundreds of pieces of paper for drawings and “stories” that she writes? They are just acting their age.

My husband and I discuss this quite frequently. When our kids are doing something that seems silly, before we get upset we must always ask ourselves if they are just being NORMAL. If they are, they don’t need our condemnation. They just need our love, and possibly a clear explanation as to how they might do things better.

 

I am so grateful that we serve a God who demands our obedience but also earns it by the unconditional, grace-filled love He shows. That’s the kind of mom I want to be and am praying we can all be today. If you’d like, please join me in praying this prayer:

“Father in Heaven, thank You for the tremendous blessing of being a mom. Forgive me for the times when my demands for obedience have been selfish or unjustified. Please help me to love my children like you love today. Guide me in my discipline and correction. May it be grace-filled, life-giving and obedience-provoking, with Your help. Amen.”