Creation Lesson: by one created by the Creator.

The Creation 

Sometimes it is easy to read Bible verses over and over and miss something important. Common verses become common. This can be true when teaching kids about Creation. There are many cute coloring pages, story books, and activity pages about God creating the heavens and earth. But don’t leave out the most important part.

I was reading about Creation in Genesis 1 for the millionth time (exaggerated estimate) of how God said, “Let there be light…Let the earth sprout vegetation…Let the waters swarm with living creatures…”

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He spoke a word, and it was. His very words brought about the universe.

But what about us? Mankind.

God said, “Let there be man…”

Nope.

God said, “Let there be woman…”

Nope.

Genesis 2:7 “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.”

Genesis 2:21-22 “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib he made into a woman…”

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God didn’t sit at a distance and say “Let there be man…”

The God of heaven personally formed the man from the earth. And woman, he personally formed from man.

In a hands-on, intimate way, he gave us life.

After sin, and the fall, we separated ourselves from the God who breathed life into us.

But the God of heaven stepped down again to earth.

Jesus, in a hands-on (nailed to a cross), intimate (dying in our place) way–gave us life.

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Road Trip Solutions: Seeing in the Dark (without night vision goggles.)

Driving in the dark with kiddos that don’t need to sleep yet can be hard, especially if they need to eat supper.Eating in the dark is extremely difficult.

We’ve tried flashlights, but they think it’s funny to shine light at the driver, or they just forget and don’t realize they are shining it up front. Which is too dangerous.

So during our latest road trip I had an epiphany. (Various epiphany pictures)

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Glow sticks.

They are bright enough for the kids to see their stuff, but it doesn’t distract the driver. As for distracting the passing cars, I’m sure they are trying to figure out what kind of party is going on in the backseat.

IMG_4483I bought mine from Walmart by the party favor section for less than $5. 

Oriental trading sells all sorts of them also. 

I keep the bag of them in the car so they are right where I need them since they last for one use only. 

Moon Phases: Using a Flashlight, Balls, Oreos, Spaceships (okay, maybe not spaceships)

IMG_0214Oreo Moon Phases using Oreo’s is my most favoritest (not a real word) Science Activities. There are so many awesome blogs that have used the glorious cookie and they would be useful for older kiddos. Since mine are 5 years and under I had to simplify the phases by only teaching 4 of them. Full moon (not the backside form), Last Quarter, First Quarter, and New Moon. 

 

Additional Moon Info:

NASA link about the moon

 

 

Moon monster gobbling up the moon.

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Junior moon monster eating the cream part of the moon.


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Another way to learn about moon phases is using a flashlight and balls. Here is a NASA link for another way to show moon phases as well.

Non-edible Moon Phases Activity

The earth: Big blue ball

The moon: Small white ball

The Sun: flashlight.

Space: Dark room

I started by asking questions to my son like:

1) Why is the moon so bright? (The light from the sun)

2) Why does the moon change? (Orbiting around the earth, earth orbiting the sun)

If you hold the moon (white ball) around the other side of the earth (blue ball) you can get a shadow to cast on the white ball. How the picture is below technically shows a Solar ellipse because the moon is lined up with the earth and sun and the moon is blocking the light. To show moon phases move the moon (white ball) behind the earth to cast a shadow on the moon.

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Must Read Monday: Your Story

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One of the favorites at our house is the book:

The Adventures of the McClimb Brothers.

The author is yours truly and it is a handmade, glued, made-up story using my son’s pictures.

One thing I know for sure is that kids love hearing about themselves and looking at pictures of themselves. They are kind of mini-narcissists.

The idea came to me when I was playing with the kids at a park and they were climbing up a slide. I started calling them the McClimb brothers and making up a story about enormous mountains, deep rivers, and different adventures. They loved it. When I got home I started looking through their pictures and seeing what stories I could write using the photos I had. So the McClimb brothers book was born.

I have a picture of us in a paddle boat, but then I added a pic of real rafting as well just for fun. There are lots of pics on clipart that you can add too. I used Microsoft Word and added (copy/paste) photos and typed the story. I printed it on cardstock paper to be stronger and then hole-punched the pages and looped yarn to bind them. You could also use a small binder, stapler, or other creative ideas. I glued some pics from a magazine to the front because my sons love trains.
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What is the going to be the title of your story?

Bb and Dd reversal game.

IMG_1897 IMG_1898More Bb and Dd reversal fun.

Tape 4 squares on the floor and add the uppercase and lowercase b’s and d’s. We used colorful duct tape.

Bb/Dd Game:

Parent: Yells out “Lowercase d, Uppercase B, etc.”

Child jumps on the letter the parent calls out.

Good times. 🙂

Previous Post: Includes articles about Bb/Dd reversal

 

 

Colorful Ooey-gooey Mess-free Handwriting Practice (and Bb/Dd Reversal)

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Colorful Ooey-Gooey Mess-free Handwriting Practice:

Step 1: Print off or hand-write Practice Sheets

Step 2: Fill a gallon baggie with colorful goo and close bag.

Step 3: Place baggie over sheet (Don’t put sheet in bag or the paper will get mushy)

(Tape it down if the bag moves too much)

Colorful Goo: 

Options:

1) Cool whip/Whipping cream with food coloring

2) Liquid Soap with food coloring

3) Clear shampoo with food coloring

-Child can use their finger or a pen with the lid still on.

 

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2 year old brother “Doing school” with 4.5 yr old brother who is actually doing school. 🙂

 

Oldest is working on Bb and Dd since he mixes up the lower case letters of b and d.

Great articles on Bb and Dd reversals from:

All about Learning

Logic of English

 

 

 

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Sometimes as a parent you just need to read articles like this. I didn’t write it either so that wasn’t a self-promoting statement.

This article: The Down-to-Earth Gospel for Parenting, is fantastic. It was encouraging, Biblical, and should be re-read many times to be reminded of some truths.

Some golden nuggets from this article:  

1) “Many parents fall prey to the lie that we can discipline the sin out of our children.”

2) “Though it may seem counterintuitive to let down your guard and reveal personal sin to your children, by doing so you’re teaching them not to depend on themselves, you, or any other mere human as their example. Instead, you’re pointing them toward the sturdy, never-failing resources of Christ.”

3) “Yet I am convinced what they need most is the full-bodied gospel that involves a down-to-earth theology of sin. They must learn to travel often down the gospel road of confession, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ.”

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/10/25/the-down-to-earth-gospel-for-parenting/

Theology for Kids: DVD series

http://www.theTheo: God's Heart, DVD   - opresents.com/

My husband and I were researching children’s curriculum for Sunday school and came across these DVD’s. We were disappointed with the current moralistic-legalistic-be-good-do-good-you’re awesome kid’s curriculum. These DVD’s have some big theological words, but they are presented in an easy to understand way. There is solid Biblical teaching through this series and it shares the gospel. I love them.

Here is a link to the parent’s guides on the Theo website:

http://www.theopresents.com/pages/parent-guides

Christianbook.com is having a sale and 3 out of 4 DVD’s are only $5.

http://www.christianbook.com/theo-gods-heart/pd/663198?product_redirect=1&Ntt=663198&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Here is a youtube video to get a look at Theo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OGvgIOlf5Q

 

Indoor Mini Golf

It has been a long time since I have posted because:

(1) My computer died

(2) Family vacation

(3) I’ve been reading a lot during free time which will be some new recommendations on my blog

(4) Did I mention my computer died?

Anyways, here are some fun ideas for indoor mini golf.

Indoor Mini Golf

The first option (1st two pictures): is Mini-mini-super Mini golf. Make greens out of play dough and make a hole. Use a marble or other small ball as the golf ball. My kiddos used plastic knives as the golf club. My one son is using a golf club from a cake decoration. You could use about anything.

The second option (the last two pictures): Remove-the-vent-covers Mini Golf. I took the vent covers off and put a towel inside with a plastic cup (tall sippy cup) on top of the towel and pushed it down flush with the carpet. I pushed the rest of the towel around the open areas of the vent so the ball wouldn’t go down. My oldest was creative and found a paper roll to use as a obstacle. You could use pillows as obstacles and blankets as sand dunes. Beware that you might find yourself enjoying this game more than your children.  🙂

 

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Parenting Boys: Book Recommendations from a Pastor

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Parenting Boys: Book Recommendations from a Pastor
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I felt the need to add in the title that these are book recommendations from a Pastor because:
1) They ARE book recommendations from a pastor. 🙂
2) We tend to trust pastors since they are called by God to share the Word.
3) Pastors have great resources for people on various topics
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I’ll introduce the pastor before you read the blog.
Pastor Tyler is a senior pastor (and worship leader, associate pastor, garbage taker-outer, etc) at an Evangelical Free Church in Iowa. The church was a church plant started January 2011 and he was called to pastor in May of that year. He was previously a youth pastor for 5 years at another E.Free church in Iowa and only left because of the Lord leading him to become a solo pastor at a church plant. He’s a Bible-believing, gospel-centered, discipleship-promoting evangelist. He’s also a pretty great dad to two sons and a great husband. I can say that with confidence because he is my hubby. 🙂
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Blog from Pastor Tyler: 
Books on Parenting Boys
1. The Bible – for some reason people roll their eyes like they’ve been ripped-off when a pastor (or anyone) suggests the Bible is a book to be read by parents but this isn’t simply a pastoral cliché.  The Bible is a book you should read.  You should read it personally, with your family, and with a community of committed followers of Jesus Christ.  You should read it not simply as moral guidance or parental advice.  Despite the fact that most Americans still hold the Bible in high regard, we don’t actually read it.  In fact most professing Christians don’t actually read the Bible (consider this or this).  It is important to say (cheesy-pastoral-passive-aggressive-humor-aside) the best book you can read on parenting sons is the Bible.  In the entirety of the scriptures you’ll read the story of our Father in heaven who sent Jesus His Son to make us His children forever through adoption by the Holy Spirit.  So before everything else read God’s Word.
2. Future Men by pastor, author, and Classical Christian Education Advocate Douglas Wilson – this book addresses some of the current foundational issues our world is facing in raising boys.  Wilson is a very entertaining writer who is engagingly biblical.  He addresses gender issues, parents, scripture, and faith community.  Chapters address very practical issues such as sin, work ethic, money, freedom in Christ, relationships with the opposite sex, and even an appendix about marijuana use and the book of Proverbs.  I’d highly recommend this book!

3. Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis – though this is written for fathers, many principles are applicable to both parents and equally important for moms and dads to understand.

4. Wild Things by Stephen James  – a thorough exploration of specific needs of boys as they become men.  Many ministry moms and dads I know and trust said they liked this too which helps!
 
In almost every book I’ve read about raising boys (including those written from Christian, Jewish, Psychological, Sociological, and non-religious perspectives) these two themes emerge:
-Get them in a tribe.  
Make sure your boys are regularly influenced by men who you wish for them to emulate in life.  Ideally this begins with their dad, (stepdad), grandfather, brothers, uncles, or cousins but must also extend to spiritual fathers in the church, community, or (in the very least) character-driven humanitarian organizations that instill boys to accept responsibility, lead in truth and tenderness, be disciplined, and love sacrificially.  It is important to differentiate this tribe from a peer group though it may include peers.  A tribe is intergenerational.  A tribe includes older, wiser, more-experienced men as well as (ideally) their sons/grandsons or perceived peers of your boy(s).  This is the biblical model given to us: 2 Timothy 2:1-2 – “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,  (2)  and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
-Rites of passage.
Within the context of their tribe, there should be various rites of passage that both recognize/honor the boy as a man while simultaneously calling/commissioning him as a man.  This is a tricky task but it is important to be public or simply within the tribe.  It should not involve any sort of shame or have any sense of insincerity.  If possible the boy’s father should give his blessing (at Jesus’ baptism God the Father declared in Matthew 3:17, “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased”).  If not his own dad, or perhaps in addition to his own dad, another fatherly-like-man who is respected within the tribe should share these words.  It is both a blessing and a charge, an expression of favor and a call to display this favor to others.
Dads:
5 Secrets Great Dads Know by Paul Coughlin – a great resource explaining the unique call of dads for their kids.
What a Son Needs From His Dad: How a Man Prepares His Sons for Life by Michael O’Donnell – an excellent practical guide
Raising Teens:
Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp – if you have teens or soon will buy this book and read it.  It is the best book on raising teens.
That’s My Teenage Son by Rick Johnson – I got this free in Kindle format, it does a good job addressing specific needs of preteen/teen boys and has specific practical ideas for mom’s.  Not the most gospel-centered but certainly from writing from a biblical paradigm.
Comprehensive Biblical Study of Theological Issues with Practical Considerations:
God, Marriage, & Family by Andreas J. Kostenberger – a thorough overview of the entire biblical teaching on marriage, sex, divorce, parenting, and family with chapters on special issues – excellent resource!