Just for fun!
I made this Christmas To Do List as kind of a Countdown to Christmas break!
It was originally a “menu” from Word, and I just changed it a little. They have lots of fun templates!
We had some work to do today, then it’s off to Grandpa and Grandma’s tomorrow!
So, as we crossed off those stockings, the closer we got to fun!
Last week our Homeschool Co-op went Christmas caroling at a local nursing home. The week leading up to it I had my kids color pictures to take and hand out to the residents.
When we went, the residents, of course, loved all over my kids. My daughter, M, particularly enjoyed the attention. As we were leaving she said, “Mom, should I go live in the nursing home?” And I said, “Oh, I hope you have a few years before that’s necessary.” She pressed on… “But, I don’t feel so good. I think I have a fever.” Cutie. She loved that attention.
So this morning, guess what my kids are playing…
It’s pretty amusing. M is the old lady laying on the couch covered in a blanket, talking in an “old” voice. Hysterical. I especially liked the part where she fell out of her bed and was giggle-yelling “Help!” -upside down – balancing with her head on the floor. Poor thing.
The boys are coloring her pictures, planning their caroling performance, and giving M tips for acting “old.” “Pretend like you can’t move your legs! Your voice should sound older!” Excellent tips, if you ask me.
Oh wait… now the boys are saying, “You’ve been the old person long enough! It’s our turn! Go color US pictures.”
Oh, how I hope this game becomes a regular!
Amazing what life experiences can impact a child, huh?
I was feeling reflective the other night when I wrote this post called “Holding them Tighter” after the horrific school shooting. Sometimes it is good to refocus our attention on the urgency of loving our children. Everyone always says the moments are fleeting, and certainly life gives us stark reminders of that truth. As I am examining my own parenting, I realize that I am often saying, “Just a minute.” or “Just let me finish this.” And while it’s true that moms have many responsibilities and lots of work, I find the pressure never does stop, even after that “last” task.
So sometimes we just have to stop.
Just stop for a few seconds. It’s amazing how literally a few seconds make a world of difference with your kids.
Tonight was our Christmas program at church, and on the way into our house, it was only me and my oldest left outside. I stole a moment with him and just told him how proud of him I was tonight, and how I love who he is. I shared that I see his heart is tender for the things God cares about, and that I am loving being his mom. And he gave me a big hug – like a real hug – brought on by love. (And I of course cried… I’m a soft touch for tears) But it was literally a 30 second exchange. And I can squeeze that in.
So, I got to thinking… What else can we, as moms, do to love them right now, in the urgency of the fleeting moments? And I came up with this (short) list of 25 things that we can do today that will be QUICK, but have the potential to create a sacred moment with our children…. Read on, Mamas, and let’s resolve to take even just a few seconds to love our children right now.
Give them a gigantic – pick them off the floor- bear hug
Make them a treat (hot cocoa is a quick seasonal favorite)
Play pretend with them (just START the game- and they’ll run with your idea)
Look them in the eye and tell them one specific reason you love them
Do a project they need your help to accomplish – like glue a toy back together *note to self*
Wrestle with them (this is a great way to show physical affection to boys)
Put a note under their pillow (I draw pictures for my little one)
Play a round of a card game
Say a prayer of thanks for them (grab their hands and pray out loud)
Snuggle in and read them a book
Ask them their opinion on something meaningful
Do a chore for them
Set a date for a date ( we need to get better at this!)
Help them write a letter to someone they love
Color with them (maybe picture for daddy?)
Compliment their appearance (boys too… they don’t get it as often!)
Make a big fuss over something they show you
Put their towel/pajamas in the dryer before they use them
Do an easy art project together
Have an impromptu dance party
Teach them a new skill (taught my kids some tae kwon do moves… ain’t that smart?)
Show them a funny you tube video
Video tape them doing something amazing
Give them a quarter for a kiss
Click for a Love Them Right Now printable list to hang where you’ll have a reminder!
There you go, grab a kid, get on the floor with them, try one of these ideas and love them right now! ♥
I think, like everyone else, I’m feeling a little reflective tonight about my kiddos.
Goodness, I love my precious ones. I mean deep. They fill me up with love and happiness. They make me proud. They make me laugh. They are just cool little people.
Something that daily echoes in my brain is, “I never want to waste a moment.” I don’t want to look back and think I should have hugged them more, or let “I love you” come more easily, or shown more interest in their “little” accomplishments. I want to store up lots of good memories of being on the floor playing with them, being snuggled on the couch, or at the kitchen table doing something fascinating. I want to say “yes” more often than “no.” And I want to be a happy, fun, passionate mom. I want them to “see” Jesus in me, to see the joy of the Lord, and I want them to have a taste of God’s character because they lived in my home. That’s what I want.
And I want to make the most of these sacred moments. I want to hug them close, smell their hair, feel their baby soft skin, hold their little hands. Remember their silly jokes, watch them sleep, hear them sing. I want to hang up their art, waste band aids on their “owies”, marvel at their false facts, notice their cute mannerisms. I always want to remember their sweet and heartfelt prayers, and hear their wild stories. I want their world to be a little brighter when we leave the Dollar Tree, and I want to kiss them every night. I want them to feel important , cherished, loved, treasured… That’s what I want.
And I want one more day~ one more moment~ to try to do it. Thank you Jesus for your protection over my family tonight. ♥
Tonight at Family Connection (at our church) we were talking about Christmas traditions. We went around and shared some of our favorites. So I’m going to share my favorite one on here. We got this from a fabulous family a few years ago.
We make a Christmas Calendar for the month of December. Each day has a Christmas activity to do together. It has really helped us focus on the season and be intentional in making Christmas a special time.
So here’s what we do…
I grab a piece of poster board, draw a calendar on it, fill in the days with festive activities, and stick it to the wall! TA DAA! We plan our month as a family. Some of the events take all day, others are just quicky things for when we’re busy.
It’s not one of those fancy advent things, like I see daily on Pinterest, but it’s a fun family affair with the kids coloring and adding glitter, and we all look forward to making it and following it.
Here’s what’s on our calendar:
Make Christmas Calendar
Start Advent – We try to do something to do with Jesus each day ~ there are many ideas on Pinterest
Get and Decorate Our Christmas Tree
Get Christmas Library Books – We love the Little House Christmas!!
Use Christmas Plates from the Dollar Store
Festival of Lights (a show in Grand Rapids)
Hot Cocoa and Family Games
Watch a Christmas Movie
Watch Old Disney Christmas Shorts on youtube (here’s the link to my playlist)
Color Christmas Pictures for Nursing Home Residents
Make Christmas Cookies
Christmas Caroling at Nursing Home/ Christmas Party with Friends
Brunch and “You Are My Gift Day” – post to come to explain that… it’s a good idea I think I had, or maybe I stole it!
Christmas Play at Church
Christmas Shopping for a Needy Family
Go to Bronners in Frankenmeuth (LOVE THIS PLACE!!)
Go to Grandpa and Grandma’s (they do their own traditions there)
Clean the House for Christmas!
Make Chocolate Treats
Drive Around and Look at Christmas Lights (one of my friends chooses a house and prays for the family – that’s neat, huh?)
Christmas Eve! Play games, eat appetizers, read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, open one gift
CHRISTMAS!! Read the Christmas story from Luke 2, have cinnamon rolls shaped in a wreath, open presents, and PLAY!
And those are our 25 Days of Christmas!
If I had started at this point, I would do the 12 days of Christmas or something, but plan on doing it for the whole month next year!
I used this Santa Writing Paper to have my kids make lists of fun Christmas activities they want to do this season.
You could use it for a lot of different prompts like…
1. My trip to the North Pole
2. The most surprising thing Santa ever saw in someone’s home
3. Where the story of Santa came from
4. A descriptive poem about Santa
5. My theory on how Santa goes all around the world
Stuff like that… Print it off and enjoy!
For those of you who know me, we don’t do a lot with Santa. It’s just a fun pretend thing we play with sometimes.
I LOVE these lacey shoes. They are so feminine and pretty. I saw them on Pinterest, and they are Christian Dior, so I knew the price tag would be a shocker to me, but I looked it up anyway, and, yes, was shocked.
So, I decided to play “guess the price” with my family. First, I showed these shoes to my son J. As soon as he saw them he said, “EWWW! Those look uncomfortable.” Hmm… he did not find them as gorgeous as I did. And he guessed $25,000. Might as well be.
So, I showed Tony. And he sneered and said (I’m not kidding) “YUCK! Those look like they would hurt.” And then I forgot the game, and decided to test gender differences within my very own walls.
Then I called over E. And he said, “Those are not cool.” Why not? “They look like a vacuum.” Hahaha… leave it to E…. What?
Finally, I showed them to M… my precious little girl. And she said, “OOooo… those are BEE – U- TI- FUL! You should get a pair like that!” And she went twirling off into the other room.
And THAT friends, is why I’m thankful I got at least one girl. To share in the beauty of a pair of shoes.
The end! ♥
Oh, the shoes are $750. I’ll have some in heaven??
I LOVE that I get to minister to the kids at our church every Sunday morning in Children’s Church. It is such a gift to me to be with them each week.
I came across this list in the teacher kit of our Christmas Program ~ The Secret of Snowflake County. It has some good ways to have kids pray in Children’s Church and throughout their daily lives.
I love the idea of using innovative ways to bring children before the Father. There is also the benefit of teaching them to be open and unashamed of requesting praying, and praying for others as well. Bonus ~ these ideas can get them used to praying in front of others, which is a skill that future leaders of the church will find useful! ♥
Have the kids think of names for God and qualities He has- saying them out loud as a prayer of praise. Tell God how great He is!
Have the kids sit in chairs. Then when they are ready to say a short prayer out loud about something, they pop up like popcorn!
Put the kids into pairs, and have them tell their partner one thing they can pray for them for in the upcoming week. Tell them it doesn’t have to be too serious if they are uncomfortable sharing, but it is always important to have people praying for you.
Kids stand in a circle holding hands. This time you can pray for things happening at school. One person begins praying for something (such as “Help me understand Math better”), then they pinch (lightly) the hand of the person next to them. They can pray out loud or silently, as long as they squeeze the next person’s hand when they are done.
Tell the kids this is a time to pray for anything related to their friends or family. Give them each about 10 pennies, and have them stand in a circle around a big bowl. Have them speak out a short prayer for someone in their family or friends and throw in a penny! (Example: God, please help my Aunt Kathy to get better).
To illustrate that we can pray anytime or anywhere, take a walk quietly as a group through the church building. As you pass the different rooms or offices, have the kids say a prayer for people in those rooms, or ministries that happen there. (Ex. Passing the nursery, pray for the babies and their families, etc.) Encourage them to prayer walk in their everyday life, wherever they go!