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Don't forget to make some memories!

Fruit – Good for the Body and Soul

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Smarts-n-Crafts | 0 comments

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. Summer is the season for fresh fruits! The Bible has something to say about fruit in Galatians 5. Today, we’ll focus on these verses as we discuss the fruit of the Spirit while enjoying the produce chosen by your child. What you’ll need: Seasonal fruit Sour cream (1-1/2 cup) Brown sugar (3T) A dish for the fruit and dip Skill level: Little Helping Hands, ages 2-5: Smaller hands will enjoy going with you to choose different...

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Discipline Crashers

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

The thought “I scream for ice-cream,” flashed through my brain as Amee, buckled securely in a restaurant high chair, defiantly wailed, “I want ice-cream.” And we the spoilsports, aka parents, stubbornly answered, “No.” A two-year-old about to skyrocket, Amee yanked at the plastic bib around her neck, flailed her arms, and kicked her legs. I picked up a small piece of ripped off hamburger with one hand and an equally innocuous piece of bun and held it out to her. “You need to eat some food first,” I insisted. Amee wanted none of it. Her lips pursed tight together and she shook her head away from the offending offer. No buzzing fake airplane doing loop-di-loops in the air above her head could land in that hangar. “Come on, Amee, just a bite,” her daddy coaxed. We broke down pieces...

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Nurturing Faith Through Nature

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

Most people know that Genesis details the story of God’s creation, including the setting of the sun, moon, and stars, but I think we sometimes miss the Bible’s continuous emphasis on God’s creation. The Bible offers multiple verses about nature and how God purposefully interacts with creatures and cosmos to accomplish his plans. Sadly, if we skip over those verses, we miss an amazing opportunity to help our children understand the creative hand of God. Psalm 95:4 reminds us that “…the mountain peaks belong to him,” while Jeremiah 5:22 explains that God calms and subdues the rocky seas that threaten to destroy our perfect peace. Although these verses inspire hope for adults, the metaphorical Biblical language might prove challenging to young children. While a child may understand the difference between a mountain and an ocean, he/she may not grasp...

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Little Sins

Posted by on Jul 6, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

She avoided eye contact and burst into tears at the slightest reprimand. Eleven years young and navigating the middle-school minefield, her emotions were on edge—but the recent behavior was unusual for my easy-going daughter. Attempts to question or console were rebuffed. So I waited. And prayed. Several evenings later she approached, fingers clenched and tears pooling. “Mama?” In minutes, my daughter spilled her heart and confessed something she had done wrong months ago. Surprised, I asked her to repeat the confession. Sure enough, she was distraught over a misdeed from the previous school semester. I must be honest. In my heart, I smiled a little. How precious is this? She’s so sensitive, she feels bad about this little bitty… Wait. And that’s when mama came under conviction. Was I thinking my daughter’s sin was “little bitty?” Was I prepared...

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Prayer that Transforms Hearts to Transform the World

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in A LASTING FAITH, Blog, Prayers and Promises | 1 comment

If you have difficulty motivating your children to assume responsibility, this article is for you. Cruel remarks from a best friend had crushed Melissa Ann’s heart. Hurting with her, we wanted to do something special to help heal the pain. We began considering her desire for a horse that had started when we moved to the country. Because horses require a lot of daily care, we suggested she get up at 5:00 every morning for six weeks to read books about horses (for a minimum of two hours). The books had to be read on the patio table – rain or shine and in extraordinarily cold or hot temperatures because these conditions would be part of the experience of caring for a horse. So what did she do? Without going into details about that experience, six weeks later, we...

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Happy 4th of July!

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

The 4th of July is a great day to spend time with family and friends. Have a picnic. Grill some hot dogs and hamburgers. Slice up some watermelon. Enjoy some fireworks. Make some memories–and don’t forget to take lots of photos. And take some time to explain to your children what the 4th of July is all about. God has blessed America and it’s important to remember that. Happy 4th of July to all of you from all of us at Just 18...

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