Author Archives: Leigh

Easter isn’t about the eggs…


This year, Easter is going to be an interesting time for our family.  EJ is old enough to learn about the real celebration of Easter, and I’m feel like I’m making my way through this time almost on my own.  Why? 

The church we are a part of is fabulous, and we love it there.  But the church body there does not celebrate Easter (or Christmas) the way the church I grew up in did.  We celebrate the risen Christ, but there are no special “lessons” about Easter for the children in Sunday School.  So how do I explain to a 3 year old about Christ needing to die for our sins, and that He rose again for our salvation? 

My mom is cleaning out their attic right now, and she brought over boxes and bags and bags and boxes full of Easter baskets and toys we accumulated over the years as a family.  We had so much fun going through all of our old stuff, and EJ had a blast claiming things as his own.  I’m excited about adding these things into our Easter tradition, as they played such a fun part of my family’s traditions growing up.  And as EJ sorted through things, I prayed he would understand that these cute bunnies and eggs and chicks and baskets are not what Easter is about.  Yes, they are fun, but that’s not what it’s about…

We are reading the Easter stories out of our Bible storybooks a lot right now, and I hope to get some more books to help tell the Easter story in a way that a 3 year old can understand.  I know that it can take years for a child to really understand this…  I pray we are laying a good foundation, though.

How do you tell your children the special truth about the Easter celebration?  How do you celebrate Easter with your families?  I’m very curious about how others share this good news with their young ones – I’m telling EJ the truth, but how can I help him understand?

Coming up: egg-free Easter crafts – literally.  EJ has severe egg allergies, so we will be having fun without touching a single egg.  Stay tuned!



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If you didn’t get to see this at Money Saving Mom, you can get a free two-year subscription to Family Fun Magazine here.  Family Fun Magazine is one of my favorite magazines that I subscribe to – tons of fabulous, family-friendly, and FUN activities, ideas, and crafts. 



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N is for nothing – nada – nope.

Still on the letter N, and we have nothing to show for it.  EJ is going through another stage of not wanting to do a thing except play, and I can’t figure out how to play with him and get in my “agenda.”  I know he is learning things as we play, but my controlling self is having a hard time with this stage. 

This post on one of my favorite crafting sites has helped me a lot today.

First I have to admit, my boys like to craft differently than me. And I have had to adjust my expectations accordingly in order to be able to craft together and enjoy our time.

I am so stuck in my ways and my own thoughts that I’m having a really hard time adjusting.  Can anyone share any ways I can bend on this?  I’ve mentioned this in the past, and I thought I was doing better… 

Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.  Romans 8:39

On the positive side, a wonderful resource (that I’ll share about next time) gave us a great opening to teach EJ God’s Word.  We are sharing verses and other things that we want him to remember at bedtime, right before he goes to sleep.  It’s been a wonderful teaching time that’s becoming a part of our routine, and I am amazed at what he can remember after hearing it at bedtime for a couple of nights. 

And what a wonderfully sweet time it’s been, too – snuggled together, talking about God’s love and how we can show that to others… I pray that this special time will continue!



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A confession…

… I have not been motivated to do anything remotely educational with EJ for several weeks.  There – now it’s out there… and I feel better just saying it.  Hopefully, I can now get over the guilt and just move on.  Hmmm… I think we’re still on the letter “N”.

I have a couple of fun things up my sleeve, and now that we’re out of another couple weeks of sickness, and it actually should be warm enough to venture out of the house starting this weekend, I hope to be back full-force.  Thanks to Amanda for keeping up the whole blog while I’ve been in a funk!!!

Here are a couple pictures of animal “noses” that EJ and I played with a while back.  They were a lot of fun – just construction paper animal noses cut out and glued onto popsicle sticks, but we were animals all evening long!







See you soon!



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Toilet Paper Roll Kazoo at flipflops and applesauce

Toddler Activity Bags at Chasing Cheerios – this is an older post, but thanks to my blog reader going crazy this week, I got to revisit some fun posts!

Marble Painting at World Preschool Mom

Make Your Own I Spy Bottle at Little Window Shoppe

Have fun!leighsig-3

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For discussion…

Should we still mind our manners? from Simple Mom

And other fun links…

Free Downloads from Living Locurto

New Year’s Interview for Kids from Blissful Kids

Snowman Greeting Card from AlphaMom

Getting Control of the Toys from Organizing Your Way

Upcycling Peanut Butter Jars from Plum Pudding



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New Year’s Impressions: Monkey Hospitality?

new impressions button Welcome to the first Impressions Carnival post of the New Year!  It feels good to be back!  I had another unintentional break from all things educational (and bloggy) over the holidays – due to both the holidays and another 3 weeks of sickness.  I finally feel like we’re getting back on our feet…

… so I decided we needed more of the letter “M.”  We didn’t get to do many fun things with M – and we definitely need fun!

Do you remember the frozen “Monkey Treats” you used to make back in the day, with the frozen banana and all the goodies heaped on top of it?  Mmmm…  I remember making them with Ms. Stephenson in the 4th grade (Hi, Ms. Stephenson!) – and I remember using peanut butter, chocolate, coconut, and peanuts.  However, EJ has severe peanut allergies, so the peanut butter and nuts were right out.  I hopped online to see if others had had any luck using honey instead of peanut butter.  And look at the yummy recipes here

I was thinking about dipping the bananas in honey and covering them in chopped up chocolate chips and crushed cereal.  But I discarded that idea and just melted the chocolate, dipped the ‘nanners right in, and rolled them in the crushed cereal.  More chocolate is always better, right?



We set them in the freezer on a tray covered in wax paper, and waited for lunchtime.  Uncle Drew came over for lunch, and we were able eat our Monkey Treats after our M-themed lunch: meat roll-ups, macaroni and cheese, Mandarin oranges, and milk.  Wait – why does Uncle Drew always get to eat our yummy projects?

Along with the Monkey Treats, I wanted to start sharing the idea of hospitality with EJ by making the meals we share with others special times of fellowship.  Before I had kids, a homeschooling family that lived close to my work invited me over every Wednesday for lunch, and it was a time for their girls to learn more about preparing a meal for a guest – from setting the table to table manners to conversational skills.  Plus, what a blessing it was to me to be able to share a delicious meal with their family!  I would love to pass on such a wonderful tradition to my boys – and hospitality is a Biblical trait that we are urged to practice (Romans 12:13, Hebrews 13:2).

Uncle Drew has a standing lunch date at our house on Tuesdays, and we will begin to practice our hospitality with him then – and with all others who join us in our home.

EJ helped me set the table… forgive the camouflage tablecloth. In my house, this is what it means to live with all boys.


Notice we each had a map place mat, and there were also hand-made monkeys that joined us at the table. Uncle Drew and EJ gave our M-themed lunch the thumbs-up, and then we dug in.


The monkey treats were quickly devoured – and I tell ya, I’m not much of one for bananas, and I loved these things.  I will definitely be making these again!  The banana was a bit hard for EJ to eat off of the popsiclestick, so I wound up slicing it in half so he could just pick it up with his hands.


EJ also wrote a “Thank You” note to Uncle Drew for joining us for lunch, and then EJ asked him back for lunch next week!  Hopefully, we are on our way to learning what hospitality truly means.

What Biblical traits are you working to impress on your children?  How are you doing it?  Will you please share with us?  Write a post on your own blog with a kid-friendly idea that ideally shows your kids impresses God’s Word on their hearts. This idea can be a craft, a tradition, an activity or whatever else pops into your mind! Be creative!

After posting, just click the Mr. Linky below to add the link to your post. (Not the link to your blog, but to your actual post.) And just to be nice, link back to this post, so others can participate, too!

Then come back and look at the other posts and find some fun stuff to do with your kids! 



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A Christmas Message From the Kids…

Lydia and EJ. 2008.

Lydia and EJ. 2008.


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Joyful Impressions: Week 3

Joyful ImpressionsWe’re making more memories over at chez moi.  Tons of fun, lots of friends, and very yummy…. you know, the best kinds of memories!

EJ has a little group of friends who happen to be mostly girls.  And we’ve had them over at other holidays to decorate cookies together… I would love for this to be a favorite memory for all of them – “Hey, remember when we were kids, and crazy Ol’ Mrs. Leigh used to have us over to pour gobs and gobs of sugar on sugar-frosted sugar cookies?  Good times!”


And I do believe that a good time was had by all!


Not all of EJ’s little girl-friends were able to make it, and his one best guy-friend was kept at home by a sick mommy (we hope you feel better, Mrs. Evans!).


But the crew that gathered did enough decorating for them all.  We had an expert frost-er, a patient decorator, and the kid who dumped sugar and sprinkles very liberally over everything he saw.  Guess which one was my kid. 


And you can’t tell from the pictures, but more cookies really were decorated than eaten.


I wish I had a wonderful new recipe for sugar cookies to share with you… I really do.  But the 3-day ordeal that ended in me running to the store at 6:30 in the morning to purchase a mix to bake up the cookies we actually decorated left me with no recipe to share.  I’d actually be able to start a new blog (not just a post – a whole blog!) with only the bloopers and outtakes that this activity alone provided me.


But look at their masterful creations…  this just screams Christmas-time to me (it also screams sugar-high… look at how thick the sugar sprinkles are encrusted on those cookies!  You know those are going to give you a good crunch when you bite in!).

I hope that my boys will always treasure these times together, laughing and spending time in fellowship with family and friends.


Want to join in our Joyful Impressions? Just post a fun Christmas-y tradition, craft, recipe or activity on your blog. After posting, just click the Mr. Linky below to add the link to your post (not the link to your blog, but to your actual post).  And just to be nice, link back to this post, so others can participate, too!

When you’re done, come back and look at the other posts and find some more fun stuff to do with your kids!



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Making Memories…

Last week was our “M” week…. and it’s been extended into this week as well.  I didn’t get a chance to do many things with EJ surrounding the letter M (or take any pictures, either)… except we are making many memories together.

I love this time of year – I have so many fun memories from when I was a child that my family still tries to keep up today.  I want those traditions to become fun memories for my children as well…  and I want to add new ones that give special meaning to Christmas.

A wonderful memory we are working on is making music together as a family.  I chose the verse, Let the mountains sing together with joy. Psalm 98:8, to work on together for the letter M, and I love how it shows how all creations sings the wonders of God…

EJ has recently come out of a “no singing” phase – just in time, too!  I don’t know what I would’ve done if he got all upset each time I wanted to sing a Christmas carol.  Now we are singing together all the time.  Of course, a favorite is Jingle Bells, but a children’s choir he is in is singing Away in a Manger and Joy to the World in a candlelight service on Sunday.  I love hearing his little voice quietly singing about the baby Jesus and then belting out with joy at the coming of the King.  Note to self… get out Flip Video camera and actually record some of these memories!!!


We also have a lot of musical talent in our family.  My husband, Josh, is an amazing guitar player (that’s how I met him!), and our sister-in-law was a music major and still teaches piano… We keep talking about getting together to sing carols with Josh on guitar and Laura on the piano – we had an impromptu sing-a-long after Thanksgiving dinner that foreshadowed beautiful music for years to come!

What special memories are you making with your family this year?  We’d love to hear about them!  And look for my special memory this Wednesday in our Joyful Impressions Carnival

Here’s wishing you many merry musical memories as well!


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