Activity Children

IMG_20150726_090818330For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. ~1 Peter 1:23

My kids are really into fort making. Every chair and blanket in the house is constantly being dragged into a giant pile. I see that pile, but I do not always see my children’s creativity. I see a gigantic mess. When you are daily having to separate, and then drag bedding back into the correct rooms, and then remake beds for the 10th time… well, it might get a little old. So I got to thinking. And I called Mom. Mom doesn’t throw stuff. She is not a hoarder, their house is clean and neat… but there is a lot of stuff in a certain room in the basement (organized on shelves). Since she saved all our childhood toys, and now has grandchildren who love exploring these ancient relics that can only be found in her basement or at toy museums, she feels she has proven the worth in keeping things. So if I ever need something, I know who to call.

I called her and asked for sheets. They are light weight, and a lot easier to make forts out of (hence the kids always grabbing all their bedding). And Mom obliged me and said she would bring some when she came to visit. But never one to do things half way, she talked to a coworker who informed her that one of the best gifts her kids ever got was a fort making kit. So Mom looked around and found our old suitcase. Then she had Dad run and get a few materials (clothes pins, clips, and twine). And when she arrived she did not have sheets, like I had thought, but an entire kit. The kids have been endlessly busy with the kit. And I have not had to remake beds once!

It was such a great idea, I had to share it. But of course I was thinking how Mom used stuff she had laying around to create a really great gift for my kids. Then I got to thinking about how my husband made me a pallet shelf (a really cute shelf made from an old pallet), and how ‘repurposing’ seems to be everywhere lately. There are shops all over town where people are ‘repurposing’ old stuff into cute new things that you would want to buy*. Web sites are full of design ideas for repurposing. It’s a booming business!

Making a fort, horses are welcome.
Tent making kit: Bag to contain all items, sheets, twine**, clips, and clothes pins.
Tent making kit: Bag to contain all items, sheets, twine**, clips, and clothes pins.
Yo. Tent making gang?
Tent making gang?

But of course, then I thought how God was the original repurposer (is that even a word?). He looked down at sinful man, and thought, “Yep. I can do something great here!” And He did! It took a great amount of work (the cross), but He accomplished it. And now we who believe are repurposed for Christ. Think of the old things that people take and make into something new- rusty buckets become beautiful planters full of character and fun to look at. God is doing this in our lives! When you think of the transformation Jesus can make in any life, I think you can really see the power of God. And I do mean in any life! God’s promises are for everyone. Isn’t that great?!

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors,  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. ~1 Peter 1:17-22

May God show you the ways He has already worked in your life. May your eyes be opened to the new things He is doing. And may you be blessed with the knowledge that God has a purpose for you! I pray that you would lay hold of that purpose and everyday become more the person you were created to be. In Jesus name, Amen!


*At one store I saw an old bed pan repurposed into a flower pot… I did question that one.

**I was a little confused about the twine in the tent kit? But then Mom (of course) demonstrated its uses. You can wind the twine from chair to chair, making a support for the ‘roof’ of your fort. [picture me watching my mother with a very stupid look on my face]

Summer Activity

Summer Activity


July 8 2015 075The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
~Song of Solomon 2:12

We have a bike trail near our house, and last week we took our first walk on the trail. My kids noticed all the wild flowers growing in the ditch. They had a lot of questions about what the flowers were called, but I had no clue. I don’t like not having an answer*. But I wished that I knew the names. So it got me thinking, and a light bulb turned on in my head (it happens sometimes).

A week later we took the walk again, but this time I brought with a camera. I let the kids take pictures of the flowers (taking pictures was their favorite). I did help with the picture taking (there was some poison ivy**). My two-year-old took a lot of pictures of his fingers (he doesn’t understand how to hold a camera), but that was entertaining for us too. He also turned on the flash, which I didn’t notice for quite awhile. (Just so you know, having the flash on in bright sunny weather when you are outdoors and taking close up pictures results in very washed out pictures.) After our walk, we headed for the library and found a state flower field guide. At home, I quickly piled the pictures into a word document, and made a little book for the kids. I printed the book in black and white (because I have a laser printer), but that just means coloring for the kids- so it even added to the fun! Now they are going through the field guide, and identifying the flowers. So the next time we go on our walk- ta da!- we will have our book with and can name the flowers we see!

The three mini-biologists not posing for a picture.
The three mini-biologists not posing for a picture.

I am by no means a perfectionist. Our field guides are probably not accurate (Ok, they are guaranteed to not be 100% accurate). Nor will their coloring make the identification process easier on our next walk. (I will have to bring the real field guide with, I guess.) But it was fun, and we learned something. Did you know there is a flower called Butter-and-Eggs? Also Goat’s Beard? Who named these!? (Probably a brilliant mother who wanted her kids to be able to remember their names!) And the kids realized how taking pictures really far off of flowers makes them hard to identify later. When it was all done, it was a pretty great day. Here are a few more pictures to highlight our adventure (or possibly I should say misadventures? But since no one got poison ivy, we will call it a successful day?):

This is not a flower.
This is not a flower.
One of many finger shots.
One of many finger shots. … and no flower is sight?
What happens when the flash is on.
What happens when the flash is on.
Flowers! … oh wait… more poison ivy.

Thank you, Lord, for your beautiful creation! Thank you for this day! Thank you for our children! In Jesus name, Amen!


*My kids are really good at asking questions that don’t have easy answers. Deep and profound questions like, “Why do shoes have to go on the right feet, but socks don’t?” On the bright side, I’m really good at making a reasonable response that doesn’t actually answer the question. My grandpa once told me I would make a good politician. (I think he was jesting)

**If you are going to do this activity, make sure you know about poison ivy, wild parsnip, etc. You don’t want your flower activity to end in disaster! Wearing shoes and long pants (instead of shorts and sandals is a good idea too- just in case!)

***And just a note that the first (very blurry) picture is one my son took of moss. He really thinks that picture is neat… and I kinda do too.

Beware the wild parsnip!
Beware the wild parsnip!
The Days Are Long

The Days Are Long

From the Authors

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
~James 4:14

I may be a little biased, but I am the mother of three very adorable children. The result being that, whenever we go out, someone stops to tell me how cute my children are*. Since I am usually in the midst of a two to three hour long grocery shopping gauntlet, I try to smile and nod. But my eyes are usually glazed over, and I probably have a little bit of a frantic look. Because I am scanning to make sure three children are still near me, and that they haven’t destroyed anything in the store. My children like to hide in clothes racks, and behind toilet paper packages. They will climb things if left in one spot too long, and they always make their way to the toilet plunger isle and proceed to stick as many toilet plungers to the floor as they can. They can be loud and disruptive, or (which is sometimes worse) very very quiet. The very very quiet never bodes well for me. When we get to the check out line and the clerk asks how I am, I usually respond, “Pretty good, considering we didn’t burn the store down.”


Just a snap shot into the chaos that is my everyday life. It is exhausting. And fun, and funny, and… wonderful. Don’t get me wrong- this stage of life is wonderful! And exhausting.

The most common comment I get with my kids is something along the lines of, “Enjoy this time, it goes by so fast!” Since I am usually told this while I am at the grocery store hollering at one child to get down off the toilet paper display, and another child to not open a bag of M&Ms, and belatedly realizing I only have two children in my line of sight and the third has vanished… well, I don’t usually know what to say to that comment. I believe it. I try to remind myself to appreciate these days. But in reality I am just trying to make sure I don’t forget to buy milk and get out of the store before a major disaster occurs!

A friend recently told me a quote that I prefer, just because it is a little bit more truthful about this stage of life:

The days are long, but the years are short.

The days can seem long. The little things sometimes add up, and my children might get to experience a very grumpy mommy. But all the days pass quickly. My oldest is starting to do things on his own. When he crosses the street on his own, I sometimes wonder when his little hand outgrew mine. Remembering that the years are short, helps me to remember how precious the little things are. How precious these children are.


Children are precious.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
~Psalm 127:3

Heavenly Father, thank you for children. Thank you that You have a plan and purpose for each child. Bless our children. Protect and direct them. I pray you would help us to be the kind of people who can find joy in the everyday little things. I ask that you would renew our bodies and spirits so we are not exhausted or discouraged, and that we would have your perspective. Thank you for this life. Thank you for these years. Thank you for this day. In Jesus name, Amen!


*My two year old, who warms up very slowly to strangers (if at all), had an incident recently. A woman who could easily have been my grandma came up to him while he was in a shopping cart, and said, “Aren’t you the cutest thing.” To which he quickly and loudly replied, “I DON’T LIKE YOU!”

**The first picture is my father and eldest son peeking into the barn that was on the family farm my dad grew up at. The house is gone now, and you can barely see the out house, as it is falling over and covered in weeds. But the barn still stands. My dad told stories of when he was young and all the shenanigans he got into with his siblings. The idea of no running water and outhouses is shocking to me, even more so to my son. It seems like something from a book from hundreds of years ago. But it was my father’s childhood. My son is like a mini-me of my father, so to see the two together sometimes makes me wonder where another 50 years will take us. And while that seems so far off… the years are short. And we are but a vapor, a mist.