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Splashing Through Summer

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

There is something about water play that elicits joy and makes memories. My own children will play until their fingers are wrinkled and their hair is dripping. As summer continues and the heat index climbs, it takes more creativity to get children outside. Water is the answer. Help beat the heat while keeping them entertained with these fun and easy outside water activities. Water Balloons – Everyone loves water balloons (except for the picking-up-the-pieces part). Encourage patience and fine motor skills by allowing your children to help fill the balloons. Once full, you have the possibility for hours of fun. Water Balloon Targets – With sidewalk chalk, draw targets on the ground and assign them different values. Take turns throwing balloons at the target and count the total after each toss. This is also a super sneaky way to practice basic math skills. Classic Water Balloon Toss – Have teams start a short distance from each other and toss the balloon. After a successful pass, take a step away and see how far you can get before breaking the balloon. Water Balloon Obstacle Course – Create an obstacle course and attempt to complete it without breaking the balloon. To make it more difficult, you could carry the balloon on a serving spoon or spatula....

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Combatting Bullying with the Bible

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

With the advent of a new school year, many parents cannot help but worry about the challenges their children may face. Unfortunately, children can be unkind to one another, displaying bullying behaviors. As parents, teachers, and friends, we always want to protect young ones from the isolating and painful emotions that result from bullying. We talk, listen, wipe tears, and often suggest that children speak to teachers or principals and/or just walk away from the bullies. But sometimes even our best advice isn’t enough to address the heart’s deepest pain. In times like these, the Bible can serve as a great source of comfort and direction for hurting children. Bullying is ultimately about feelings of rejection. When one child mocks or harms another child, the result is a sadness that says, “I’m not wanted. I’m not special. I’m not loved. I’m different in a bad way.” This self-talk leaves a young heart and mind feeling rejected. Fortunately, the Bible gives us lots of examples of people who were rejected and bullied, starting with Jesus. Jesus was mocked, slapped, laughed at, made fun of, and told that he just didn’t fit in or belong, starting at the moment of his birth. Before he was a day old, someone wanted to get rid of him. Jesus...

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Poland, 1979: We Want God! We Want God!

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

In 1979, schoolteachers in Poland were told to inform their students that the man about to visit their country “is our enemy.” Teachers were urged to explain to their classes that this man’s sense of humor and great communication skills made him “dangerous, because he charms everyone.” Who was this dangerous enemy? It was Pope John Paul II, and the warnings were sent out to schools in Poland because in 1979 the communists were in control. John Paul II...

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Be a “Good Book” Worm!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Smarts-n-Crafts | 1 comment

Welcome to Smarts-n-crafts, where you’ll find smart activities to do with your children—no matter what age—and fun craft projects for rainy days or just for giggles. You’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions, a variety of use ideas, approximate time of activity, and an age-tested skill level. Let’s get started! We’ve got just 18 summers to create lots of memories with our loved ones. With children returning to school this month we’re reminded of the importance of having a good...

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This Won’t Last Forever

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

While I was pregnant with my daughter, some friends threw me a shower. Everyone wrote random messages on diapers so that my husband and I could have some laughs in the midst of the unpleasant work of cleaning tiny bums. The diaper messages have included things like “Oops, I did it again!” or “Hey, at least I’m cute,” or, my personal favorite, “This one’s for Daddy.” The other day I carried my eight-week old daughter to her room to...

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Starry Nights

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in A LASTING FAITH, Blog, Family Do-votions | 0 comments

“God made the Big Dipper and Orion. He created the Pleiades and the southern stars.” – Job 9:9 “He made the moon and stars to rule over the night. His faithful love continues forever.” – Psalm 136:9 Choose a clear night to stay up late enough to watch the night sky. Lie on blankets and look up. Use an app (like Skyview) or chart to identify constellations. God made the stars and knows them by name (Isaiah 40:26 and...

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The Momhood Final Exam

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

This is our 18th summer. College move-in day is only weeks away. We will unpack totes, loft a bed, plug in a mini fridge, and convert an 11 x 16 space into our daughter’s new home-away- from-home. Once we are certain she has her room key, her phone charger, and a brave smile, we will leave her. Alone in a dorm room. Surrounded by strangers. Is she ready for this? Am I ready for this? Suddenly the just in...

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