Eating Candy for Breakfast and Oh I Believe

Well, like all other parents on Easter, we are exhausted.  I awoke 4am to use the bathroom and when I went back to bed I noticed the lights on in the kitchen.   In there was a very awake 12 year boy-ready for Easter.  Ready for his basket.  Ready to goto church.  He was ready for the day.  I was ready for bed.  But I made a cup of coffee and started my morning.

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Soon Dan and Robby were out the door and I had some down time to get my self ready for church. About an hour later the kids got up and after a few melt downs, they were dressed- ready to go.  After Squeakers was fed her bottle and dressed in her Easter dress we were ready to go. (Note-there are no pictures of our foster baby-the baby is Haddie our grand baby.) The kids basically dumped their candy (BIG MISTAKE) in a bag and off we went.

So began the candy for breakfast.  The sugar fest.  The surge of extra energy.  The “Easter Baskets are not going to have candy in them next year threat” from mommy.

What was I thinking?

So candy was eaten all morning.  ALL MORNING LONG!!

It does make for happy kids for picture taking.  You know where you pray in the 100 you take you get at least 1 that can work!

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I knew it would wear off. Soon, I am hoping.  But my favorite moment of the morning- and I do have many-was went we were in church.  Our pastor was preaching on people believing in things of the world.  And then our pastor talked about believe in Jesus and the message of the cross.  And Isaiah, sitting on the floor, eating candy, says fairly loudly “Oh I believe!”

Dan and I could not help but laugh.  Here is our most difficult child most days, but he has the most important thing figured out in his life.  And he is not afraid to share it!

I thought we should have all said “Oh I believe!” at that moment.  How we sit so quietly and listen.  But maybe we need to eat candy for breakfast and shout to the world “Oh I believe!”

 


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Is Holy Week for Kids?

Through the last 12 years of being a parent I have struggled with parenting and worship.

It is not always easy.  Kids have whined, screamed, thrown, (no really I had one child throw a shoe in worship), fallen in the pew and bumped their head.  I have dragged children out unwilling. I have had Cheerios spill, coffee spill (yes I have no shame-I have had coffee in church), bottles leak, diapers leak, poppy diapers and gassy babies during “quiet time.” Fights over crayons, who has the most paper and tears when pencils break.

I have walked out of church either so frustrate and frazzled or content that I never could figure out this parenting in worship concept.

Is worship for kids?  Is it for families? Am I to be feed?  If I was dealing with kids all service long-should I just stay home?

Yet every worship service we bring our kids.  Everyone.  Most of the time we are on time.  Every now and then late.  And there are even a few sightings of us attending early service.  Yes I know-early service.

Palm Sunday

While my kids during worship are coloring, or drawing, or talking (shhhhhh) I feel like-with 4-5 kids I

finally got this.  I think.  I feel good at balancing worshiping with parenting.  I think.  I hope.

They are growing and learning.  They don’t always listening -or I don’t think they are, but they know the liturgy.  And they know some hymns.  In fact they will hum the tunes through out the week.
So I have really started teaching my kids about the church year now.  And we have been focusing on Holy week for a while.  Starting with Palm Sunday last Sunday.  They knew this was the week we spent 5 days in worship.  Each worship day special and unique.

Yesterday AnnieQ woke up and asked “So today is Monday Thursday-right?”  And so more teach and learning happens. When does everything go away?  Today they were asking what happened today?  Jesus died-who killed him?  The camp fire is Saturday-right?  Isaiah will always ask, “Can I roast a marshmallow?”

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Last night at Maundy Thursday Worship.  Service started at some of our kids bedtime. They all had been looking forward to the stripping of the Altar, we had been talking about it for a few days.  Robby got to help strip the altar. But Isaiah had fell asleep before the end of the service.  I was disappointed that he missed the end of the service.

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Chances are tonight, he will fall asleep too.  While this means one less child to deal with, I have to wonder is Holy Week made for families or for just adults.  I walked into church with 5 kids last night at 7:30p.m.  when most of them on a normal night would be getting ready for bed if not in bed.  It was a calm night.  Babies fussed a bit, one got taken to the nursery.  Isaiah fell asleep.  The other two colored and drew.  Over all it was stressless worship.  But I have to wonder if there would have been kids there if worship had been a wee bit early, and if Isaiah would have stayed awake to see the end. I wondered at the end if Holy Week services were for kids and families.  I wonder these things often.

A tradition is built on something you do year after year.  Something that your family does every year.  Our family goes to church.  Sunday service.  Advent and Lenten services.  Christmas Eve and Holy Week.  We are there.  My 12-year-old is excited to Acolyte tonight at the Good Friday Service.  Excited.  My kids have been asking me all day, when is church.  This is our Holy Week Tradition.

So the question is Holy Week for Kids.  Yes, for our family. And yes, I would like to see the worship time early so more families can experience this and get their kids to bed at a good time for school the next day.  Maybe some do.  But I like the anticipation that our family has.  I like that my kids look forward to each service and the meaning held behind each one.  I like that in their own way-Holy Week is for them.  Holy Week-the journey of Jesus to the cross.

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I’m Eating Chocolate Ice Cream for Lent

The question started about a week ago.

“What are you giving up for Lent?”

Many different answers appear from foods to time killers.  Some go the opposite way and give into to something.

I have given up food items and time killers.  But I don’t think by giving them up I filled or replaced them with something that represented Lent.  I struggle with that.  What is this giving up.

I mean God gave up His Son.  His one and only Son.  How was anything I was to give up to come anywhere close to that?  And how do I fully comprehend that giving up.  How do I give up like God gave up?

And was this giving up a show?  A Facebook post would be like “Week three of no coffee- my children hide from me as I roar through the house trying to focus on cleaning and pretending the tea is just as good…..I can do this!!” OK OK  you get my idea, but should not what we give up be something we do be between us and God and not to torture others with our suffering ?

I was reading from the book of Joel last night.  I was pondering  the words and what did they mean for our Lenten tradition of “giving up”.  And what did this mean for me.  And for my kids.  For my family?  How do I get them ready for Lent?  How do I get them ready for Easter ?  Do we give up?

I am not give up “something” like chocolate ice cream. I am eating it.  Instead I am going to focus on the #40 this lent, starting Ash Wednesday. When I get frustrated so quickly with my kids,  I am counting to 40 when things spiral out of control.  I learned about 40 bags in 40 days, so I am getting rid the clutter in my house. I’m reading 40 verses a day in the bible.  I’m going to be freezing 40 meals. I have many more “40” ideas to explore. Thinking 40 ideas to make my kids laugh more.  40 ideas to make worship more enjoyable and meaningful with my family.  40 books to read to my kids.  40 songs to teach my kids.   I am going to focus on 40 days of teaching my kids more about prayer.  40 days of more.  More with God-less of worrying about what isn’t.

My giving up is what I need to give more of.  My giving up will help me focus more on God.

And I am pretty sure chocolate ice-cream will not do any of the things listed above.


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10 Commandments and Their Meaning: Memory Card Game


10 Commandments Memory Game

It was my goal this Lent to create more faith building activities from Luther’s Catechism. This was not as easy as I thought! We made the Morning Prayer Poster . My next idea was making a game for the 10 Commandments. I had the kids draw pictures of each commandments, thinking I was going to use them in the game. After thinking about it, I decided to just use the commandment’s and their meanings.

So we made a simple memory game. 10 cards have the 10 Commandments on them, the other 10 have their meanings on them. There are 3 ways you can play

  1. Traditional Memory Game. The is great! I had Robby read the cards each time-as well as I did. The first time I played-Robby won cause I could not remember where the cards where!
  2. Matching game-Have them match the commandment with the meaning.
  3. Put the 10 commandments in order. Simply use the 10 commandment cards.

I made a sample of these memory cards. You can use mine or make your own. I find the kids love to create their own cards and it helps reenforced the facts.

backside of 10 Commandments MC

10 Commandments MC

10 Commandments Meanings MC

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89 Acts of Kindness-from a Teenager!

Let’s face it.  Teenagers are not always the kindest creatures in the world.  It is a time where they tend to be focused inward and on them selves.  I read a lot on teenagers.  And I wanted to share with you this story!

I read an amazing story of a teen, Samantha Mann, who in memory of her Grandmother  is doing 89 acts of kindness.

Kindness: a Kind act

She wrote on her Facebook “I am performing 89 acts of kindness to remember the 89 years my great grandmother spent sharing her kindness”

You can follow her on Facebook.  Today she posted her 8th act of Kindness!

My kids have heard of the 88.1 WAAY FM Drive Through Difference.  These examples show people how one little act can change someones day!

 

See how Kindness can change the world!


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Luther’s Morning Prayer Poster

Lent family friendly Lutheran

I had decided to start at the beginning of our day.  It had been in the back of my mind to create a simple poster for the kids to put by their beds of Luther’s morning Prayer and Evening prayer.  Even to put it in bathroom rooms.  If you have been to my house, we have scripture all over.  The bible tells us to

“Take these words of mine to heart and keep them in mind.  Write them down, tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.  Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.  Write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (GWT)

Luther wanted to get into the hands of the father’s to guide their children in faith.  He believed that parents where the first people in charge of their children’s faith, since they where with their children most of the time.  That was why he wrote the small catechism to place it in the hands of parents to teach their children at home.

So today, my kids helped me make a simple poster to put by their beds.  Robby will help the two younger ones learn the prayer.

I love this prayer because after you pray it Luther suggest that everyone goes to work happy and singing, or reciting God’s word.

Luther’s Morning Prayer Poster

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You can use mine, Luther’s Morning Prayer Poster, or you all can make up your own.  My kids chose the fonts to make it fun.  It is their creation.  The yellow circle was for the sun.  They wanted Martin Luther’s Signature at the bottom.  Now their mornings will begin with this prayer.


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