Category Archives: activity

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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Yep. The Letter Y.

I had to get away from the letter X as soon as possible. So, we didn’t do much with it. Yesterday we started the letter Y. And *sigh* I like it much better. I’ve got all kinds of stuff rolling around in my head for it.

Anyway, we did a simple Y craft…yellow construction paper, yarn (almost yellow) and a hole punch.

Have you ever tried punching holes in the middle of a paper? It was actually easier than I thought. I just folded it along the Y line and punched into it–making a double hole and quite easier to sew…

I picked Matthew 5:14 as our verse: “You are the light of the world”. It’s a hard one for a 3 year old to understand…especially when our I verse was “I am the Light of the World.” But even if Lydia doesn’t “get” it…this verse really hit home for me. Yesterday was one of those, “OMG, how am I ever going to be a good parent day.” Lydia was whiny, Asa was needy and I was selfish. I just wanted to get on the computer and hide from parenting and housework.

And as I tried to explain this verse to Lydia I realized that *I* was not being a very good light to my world. Lydia is with me 24 hours a day. And just like she is learning to clean the same way I do, color like me, speak like me and play like me; she’s also learning about Jesus from me. I have to let my light shine every second of the day so that SHE can see it.

When I was a children’s pastor, I understood this concept for my church kids–if they saw me at the movies and I was going in to see a rated R movie, I wasn’t being a great example of Jesus. But as a parent—this idea is magnified a hundred fold! With every eye-roll, aggravated sigh and short response from me, I’m teaching her to do the same.

I want her to see Jesus in me. NOT see ME in Jesus.

Oh, Lord, help me be a strong light for you in my little world!


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A Preschool Bible Study Part 2

After Part 1 of our Jonah Bible Study for 12 preschoolers, we did a fabu craft I found at Little Window Shoppe. They are called I Spy Bottles. The idea is that you fill an empty water bottle with small items (catalog them as you go), then fill the bottle with sand or rice. Later you shake, spin and roll the bottle to find all the items you put inside. Fun to make, then fun to keep and play with later!

I thought this would be a great Jonah craft. So, I collected the mini water bottles (what, like 8oz, maybe?) from church. (Our church provides drinks and snacks for all the volunteers. So, I just wandered around and asked everyone for their empty water bottles until I had enough! RECYCLING!)

Then I headed out to the Dollar Store to find our I Spy items. First on the list?  Jonah. I found army men, police men, firemen and cowboys and Indians. I ended up picking the police because they were blue. That seemed ocean-y. But I didn’t notice they all had guns in their hands. Oh, well.

I also found a bucket of craft foam fish stickers, a bucket of craft foam beads and a little bag of marble-y things you’d put in a vase. We divided these up into bowls and buffet-style, the kids filled their bottles. Of course, they only got one Jonah (aka Mr. Police Man). We called the beads seashells and the marbles rocks, so the kids thought it was very ocean like.

After everyone’s bottles were filled we went back to the Mine/Belly of the Whale and filled them 3/4 of the way up with sand. On their way out we gave them the top lined with white glue and then they sat down to play I Spy Jonah. It was really fun—but took much LESS time than I anticipated. So, we turned on some music and they had to play with their bottles for one full song before we took them back up and wrote their names on their bottles.

Next, my favorite: SNACK TIME! We had these plates ready before any of the kids even arrived:

one can of frosting tinted blue
one box of fruit snacks shaped like fish
one bag of goldfish crackers
one box of graham crackers

(note: I was going to do this with tinted cream cheese and crackers, but couldn’t find crackers big enough to decorate. That would have been a better low sugar option.)

paper plate
plastic spoon

We gave everyone a paper plate with one graham cracker, a few fish snacks, a few goldfish crackers and ONE spoon filled with frosting. They spread the frsoting on their cracker and decorated it with the fish snaks and crackers.

This eliminated mess and the double dipping that is likely to occur when a tub of frosting is set in front of a four year old. We also had a sample one made so they knew what to do when they got their plates.

After a few minutes of quiet snack-making and eating, we turned on Veggie Tales’ Jonah and before you can say Ninevah, the parents arrived! Everyone (including myself) was excited about their snacks, their crafts and HOPEFULLY their lesson about God’s plan for their lives!


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A Preschool Bible Study Part 1

(Alternate Title: Are We Crazy?!)

We have a neighborhood Bible Study every week. The past few weeks we started doing a Bible Study for the kids, too. They are all preschool age and this week I was the host/teacher/chief babysitter. Here’s a brief rundown of our night. You know, in case you ever go crazy and decide to start a preschool Bible Study…

Our theme was: God has a plan for you! We focused on the story of Jonah and how he disobeyed God’s plan.

When they arrived, we colored a whale coloring page. The whale had a little flap cut in his tummy. (I used a razor knife.) Then I stapled a plain piece of paper to the back. After coloring the whale, we drew a little Jonah inside. A little more fun than a plain coloring sheet and a low key transition for when they first arrive. A lot better than, “WHERE ARE ALL OF LYDIA’S TOYS?!!!”

Then we all sat down for the Bible story. I tried to remember some of those “open shut them open shut them” songs to get the kids settled. But I couldn’t. So, we just settled for wiggly kiddos. I read the story like a “sound story”…when certain words came up, they had to make a sound or repeat the word with a motion. For example, every time I said “Ninevah” they had to hold up their finger and say Ninevah in a creepy voice. Then we all acted out Jonah jumping off the boat and being swallowed by a whale. Sound difficult?

Well, it was actually quite easy and fun! I had Lydia’s Little Mermaid tent set up by the door to our porch. I crawled into the tent and into the porch. The kids crawled behind me. Inside the porch was my leftover Seven Dwarfs Mine from Lydia’s Snow White Party. But the kids thought we were in the belly of a whale…an open can of tuna adding to the smelly ambiance. We finished the story in there and then spit ourselves back into the living room for a craft!

Come back tomorrow for Part 2: Jonah I Spy Bottles and Ocean Cookies


Filed under activity, Uncategorized

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! 



Filed under activity, carnival, food

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!



Filed under activity, carnival, christmas, food

Joyful Impressions: Week 1

IYK joyful 3

Welcome to our month of Joyful Impressions!

So I had a bit of an unintentional break from things last week – no blogging, no letters, no verses… but I’m back in the swing of things!  My week off did give me a chance to think about some of the special things I’m going to do with EJ.  I also thought about what was happening last year at this time… and guess what happened a year ago this month?  I met Amanda!!!

I promise I will get back to our activity this week, but I wanted to give you a bit of background.  Amanda and I were paired up during a swap, and I tell you, she completely spoiled me!  She took so much of my likes into account and sent me the perfect swap package – it helped that we have a lot in common (Atlanta girls who love Jesus and HCJr UNITE!).  And as you know, Lydia and EJ are very close in age – 2 weeks apart, in fact.  Lydia slipped a couple special things into the swap package for EJ, which I discovered anew as I pulled them out with our Christmas decorations.

As I thought about this past year of knowing Amanda and everything that has developed (a long-distance friendship and this blog!), I thought about how important it is to let the people we care about know how important they are in our lives.  The Christmas season just seems to make doing that easier…

So EJ and I wrote a Letter to Lydiafor our Joyful Impressions and Letter L activity this week.  He doesn’t know how much Lydia’s momma means to me, but one day he’ll know… and I can’t wait for them (Lydia and EJ) to meet one day!


I think this was EJ telling me, “No!  Don’t take a picture of me, Momma!”  Got to love it.

We sat down with some magazines and picked out pictures and words that start with the letter L.  I also cut out some L’s by themselves, just for good measure.  EJ got out his trusty glue stick and started gluing, and then “wrote” a little letter to Lydia.  I couldn’t quite read what he wrote, and he wouldn’t tell me… hopefully Lydia will know what it all means.  I wrote a little something as a translation, but again, he wouldn’t tell me if I got it right.


Amanda, don’t let Lydia read this.


Would you like to share your fun Christmas craft, tradition, recipe or activity with us? Well, link up with today’s Joyful Impressions Carnival!Just write a post on your own blog about a great Christmas/holiday/winter activity.  Make sure this idea is kid-friendly and ideally shows your kids the truth about the season or impresses God’s Word on their hearts.

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!


And if you’d like to post this month’s button on your blog, please do!  Grab the code in our sidebar!

IYK joyful 3


Filed under activity, carnival, letter of the day