Thursday, March 26, 2015

Last Easter Basket Ideas

Here are the last two Easter Basket ideas. 

The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best
This was the first book in the Christian Girls Guide series.

It's like a guide to life that covers some important topics. Chapters are:
What is Being Your Best
Use Your Talents
Do Your Best
Stand Up for Yourself and for What's Right
Set Priorities
Walk with God
Cherish Your Family
Value Your Integrity
Be Compassionate
Be Content
Guard Your Tongue

It has a lot of fun quizzes including "Find Your Talent," "Do You Give in to Peer Pressure," "Are You Compassionate," and "Are You Content?" It has questions for journaling, Scripture verse puzzles, activities, stories, crafts and more. It's a book that should appeal to most girls ages 8-12 or so. It can be used individually, with a friend or in a small group setting.

I went through the house looking for crafts from this book but only found the prayer jar.
And I found a reader picture of the Thankfulness poster
The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book
This is probably the most fun of the Christian Girl's Guides because it's full of quizzes that help girls learn more about themselves. 
There are 22 quizzes. Each quiz has a key verse, a story, a spiritual take away, and an activity, puzzle or craft with it. 

This book would definitely be a lot more fun done with a friend, Sunday school class or other group of girls. 
The quizzes are:
Are You for Real?
How Honest are You?
Are You a Good Test Taker?
How Much Do You Know about zzz's?
Are You a Mary or a Martha?
How are Your Manners?
What Kind of Smart are You?
Are You a Healthy Eater?
Are You a Follower or a Leader?
How Much Do You Know about the Bible?
What's Your Learning Style?
Are You Exercise Wise?
What Does Your Room Reveal about You?
How Do You Share Your Faith?
Are You a Good Listener?
Are You Crazy for Clothes?
How Content are You?
Does Your Life Point to God?
How do You Handle Peer Pressure?
Which Activities are Right for You?
Are You a Good Sport?
How Do You Serve God?

When I was writing this book, everyone pitched in to help create craft ideas. These are door hangers they each made for the zzz's quiz. (Page 41-42 in the book)

These church bags go with the Mary and Martha quiz. I think I used a bag idea in almost every book! The younger kids still carry their Bibles to church in the bags we made. (pages 49-50)

This snack sack goes with the Healthy Eater quiz. (pages 79-80) You can make it from a pair of jeans that are headed for the trash.

This cute pillow craft goes with the bedroom quiz (pages 119-120)

These note cards go with the How Content are You quiz and are for writing thank you notes.
(pages 149-150)

These pens and pen holders go with the serving God quiz. They would also make nice Mother's Day presents or end of the school year gifts for teachers. (pages 190-191)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Raising a Princess in a Commoner World

This is a blog post I wrote for Tyndale several months ago. Kind of fits in with the new Cinderella movie.
Okay, I'm just saying that. I haven't seen the movie yet. We are going later today :)  But it sounded like a good

     Your daughter is precious to God. As a child of the Heavenly King, she is his princess—and so are you! Raising your daughter to be a princess in today's world is no easy job. While it might be tempting to isolate and shield her from a world full of the wrong values and priorities, it's more important to help her learn to stand out and live out God's plan for her.
            Want to help your daughter live as a princess in today's world? Model what a princess of the True King looks like. This can be a natural part of your day as everyday routines and circumstances become teachable moments.

Be joyful
            Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Philippians 4:4 How many times have you been out with your children running errands when you encountered a grumpy cashier at the grocery store or a rude fast food worker? Bad moods are contagious so don't spread them. Instead, respond with a smile and a kind word. It may make a difference for that person, and it will show your daughter that princesses don't have to let others steal their joy. They can spread joy instead.

Put Others First
            Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4 We live in a "me first" world. If your daughter is exposed to any kind of media, she'll quickly pick up on that attitude. People do many foolish and ungodly things for attention. Let your daughter see you putting others first. That begins in the home as she sees you taking care of your family's needs. Encourage her to let a sibling have the first turn or the last piece of cake.
Be involved in ministry opportunities which allow her to meet others' needs. That could mean donating food to the food pantry, sorting out clothes to donate to the homeless shelter or finding a neighbor who needs a helping hand.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness
            Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:14 The pressure to act like everyone else in order to fit in is strong. But God made your princess in a unique way. He gave her the talents and personality she needs in order to fulfill his plan for her. Encourage your daughter to be true to herself whether she's athletic or musical or a scholar. Let her see you exploring your talents and being true to yourself and God, and encourage her to do the same. She's one of a kind.

Guard Your Heart
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 The things your daughter sees and hears cannot be unseen or unheard. Watch for the subtle messages that creep into your home through books, DVDs, magazines, music and television. Know what your daughter is reading, seeing and hearing. It makes a difference. What fills her heart will influence her attitudes. If you want her to have the heart of a princess, provide things for her to read and watch that will accomplish that goal. (see my blog post  for a list of the best Christian books for preteen girls)

Make God's Word Your Guide for Life
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
Society's view of right and wrong is flawed. Things that were not acceptable twenty years ago are now flaunted openly. But God's standards never change, and the Bible is the guidebook for living life as a princess here and now. Help your daughter find a Bible she can understand. Supply her with a devotion book that's written for her age group and interest level and encourage her to read it. My children are motivated by being able to stay up a few minutes past bedtime if they are reading a daily devotion book, and that may be all the motivation your daughter needs too.

Raising a princess doesn't require dressing her in pink or buying her a tiara. It means connecting with her on a heart level that allows you to instill the values and attitudes she needs to live as a princess of the True King. 

These are only a few suggestions about how to raise a princess in a commoner's world. Add your own ideas and thought in the comment section below.

Friday, March 20, 2015

More Easter Ideas

Here are some more Easter basket  ideas, plus pictures of some of the crafts.
The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids
This book doesn't have crafts. The One Year Book of Bible Trivia for Kids has 365 devos for boys and girls ages 8-12 (you could go a  year or two in either direction). Each devo starts with a trivia question such as What did Jacob see in his dream? Where was Moses when he received the Ten Commandments? What did Naboth have that Ahab wanted? The questions are multiple choice with three answers to choose from.

Just for Me! The Bible

Just for Me! The Bible is for girls 6-9, but we read it with our whole family.
The book goes through the Bible book by book. It can be used individually or in a small group setting such as a Sunday School class, girls' Bible study or home school group. Children as young as 4 may learn from it.

Here are some of the crafts. These are child made crafts.

bookmark, pages 11-12

Door hangers. I made these for my sponsored children in Mexico at the time. Page 21-22, and the illustrator sure didn't read the directions because the illustration shows a large sign hanging from the top of the door!

Jesus Saves Us Pencil Topper pages 93-94

There are so many crafts in this book that I don't have pictures of. All the crafts are meant to be used or given as gifts. No cut and paste and throw away later crafts. I walked through the house to see if there were any of the crafts and found two pencil holders still in use, although they look in need of repair! But they've held up well considering they are about 8-9 years old.

 Just for Me! The Bible also has Bible verse codes, finish the picture drawings, Bible stories, rebus stories, games, activities, quizzes and a lot more. The book is meant to be written in so each girls makes it her own personal record of her walk through the Bible.

Just for Me! Friends

This books has tons of fun activities to help readers learn about friendship and to help friends know each other better. 
Table of Contents:
What is a Friends?
That's What Friends are For
Being a Good Friend
What Makes a Good Friend?
Tips on Finding and Making Friends
Best Friends
When Things Go Wrong
Fun Together, Fun Alone
Jesus: The Best Friend of All

The book has crafts, journaling, activities, pages to fill in about friends and with friends, ideas and suggestions, Bible verse code puzzles and more! This is a good book if you need some rainy day activity ideas. Chapter 8 is full of games, recipes and ideas.

friendship chain page 58

friendship cracker pages 102-103  (it's filled with treats)
The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible
The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible is a daily devo for girls 10-14. I put a journal in the Easter basket with it because each devo has a "Thinking it Through" section that asks girls to apply the devo to their own lives. Having a special journal to write in will help them record their thoughts.

The devos are about well known women of the Bible such as Eve, Rebekah, Abigail, Deborah, Esther and Mary, and the lesser known ones like Caleb's daughter, the five sisters, Huldah and Shiprah and Puah. Topics covered include dealing with changes, struggling with jealousy, overcoming obstacles and sibling rivalry.

Any of the books on this list would be good to add to an Easter basket also.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter Pinata in the Making and Crafts

The kids put more newspaper strips on the pinata after school yesterday.

We need to add another layer.

Last post I showed Easter baskets with books in them. I wanted to show you some of the crafts and activites from two of the books. These pictures have been on the blog in the past, so they will look familiar if you've followed this blog or my family one.

Activties and crafts from Just for Me! My Family
Bowling game, My Family pages 19-20

Our original game from when I was creating crafts for the book.

Family Tree, My Family pages 16-17, for my adopted children, we added roots with their birth parents' names

Protect the Egg Game, My Family pages 33-34

Penguin cupcakes, My Family pgs 30-32

Tic Tac Toe Game, My Family pgs 50-51, we ended the games when all the candy had been eaten! You can substitute healthy playing pieces of course.

Indoor Tic Tac Toe, My Family, pages 49-50. The directions are for playing outside, but all the activities can be adapted to your own needs.

Flying Disc Game, My Family pages 66-67

Just for Me! My Family has ten chapters covering family living:
God Made Families
Part of the Family
My Family is Special
My Parents
My Siblings
My Extended Family
Working Together
Playing Together
Serving Together
Special Times

It's good for any family, but it is especially useful for adoptive families to start discussions about what a family is and what place the adopted child has in it. Available HERE

Crafts from The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible:
When we did the crafts for this book I still had a film camera so I don't have that many pictures of the crafts. But we redid some of them with the twins so I have those.
Shirt of Many Colors page 41
Story of Joseph

Friendship pins page 74
Story of David and Jonathan

Craft table at ICRS
Christmas Star Frame page132

Cross Necklace page 156-157

Jasmine made one for the childrens' pastor too!

There are many more crafts in the book, but I don't have pictures.

Check them out for yourself HERE