Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gigi, God's Little Princess DVD Review

I saw that Gigi, God's Little Princess DVD was available to review and immediately snatched it up for Taylor Joy. She has a Gigi book that she likes and she is the biggest lover of pink (besides myself) that I know. She loves to dance, loves being a ballerina and has said that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up. I thought this would be right up her alley.

When we got the DVD in the mail, I made a big deal of it and showed it to her.

Not interested.

So we waited several weeks and introduced it again. Interested this time...such a girl, so temperamental. We turned it on and both Taylor Joy (4) and Beckett (2) were interested. They watched the whole thing and asked to watch it again. So, on the kid front, total hit.

From my perspective, it was a cute DVD with a great focus. While Gigi was trying to do several things such as, make an announcement to her best friend Frances, making sure everything was perfect and, in the second episode, learning to dance like a ballerina to make God proud, she came to the realization that God doesn't expect perfection from her and she cannot earn her way to God. She must not rest on her own strength, but trust in God's strength.

There was no explicit mention of Jesus, by whom we have access to the Father and by whom we find our strength, but I still thought it to be a good message that I could talk to Taylor Joy more about later, pointing out that we don't need to be perfect because Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life and died in our place. I could expand on the message that was already there and let her know that when we place our trust in the finished work of Jesus, it is in His life and the grace that He offers us that we find strength.

So, the message was a good starting off point for talking to my children and I appreciated that. I would recommend this DVD for little girly girls around the age of 4 or 5. It was cute, funny and conveyed a God-centered message.

 (Disclaimer: I received this DVD free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as a result of reviewing it on my blog. They only require honesty, so this is my honest evaluation of the DVD. 4 stars out of 5.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dutyisms


I have a few Dutyism's that I have written down in the past week that need to be blogged. Taylor Joy is always hilarious, but lately Beckett has been saying some things that are just insanely funny. It doesn't help that the way he says them is like a little German boy. Seriously, from the moment he started talking it was, "Dah!", "Yah!" and we knew that those German roots were coming through for him.

Here is the latest from Taylor Joy:

Taylor Joy: "Mommy, do bugs poop?"
Mommy: "They sure do."
Taylor Joy: "Yeah...I know. Everybody poops.
                     I poop.
                     Bugs poop.
                     Flowers poop....
                     (GASP!) Flowers don't poop! (hahaha...uproarious laughter)

Since we have been growing caterpillars and watching our butterfly habitat, she has been intensely interested in bugs. I never would have thought I would have bugs in our house, but I console myself with the fact that they will become beautiful butterflies! My all-time favorite. I love them.

This is a conversation I had with Beckett today (although it has happened before):

(imagine that he did or said something funny...I can't remember exactly what)

 Mommy: "Buddy, you're a silly boy!"
Beckett: "I a boy! Daddy a boy!"
Mommy: "Yeah, you're right. Is Mommy a boy?" ( I really wanted to hear him say girl, which he says like, "geee ull", it's adorable. But, no such luck. As if I believe in that sorta thing.)
Beckett: "No, you not boy. You Cin-way-wah!" (Cinderella)

Thanks, Buddy. After all, that is my favorite Disney Princess if I had to be one. ;)

Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter Recipes, Ideas, Crafts

Last year I posted this about the things that we were implementing during the Lent season, especially the Easter weekend. Perhaps that may be helpful to you as you decide what to do with your kids on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We want to always evaluate the things we are doing or desire to do with our kids to make sure they are age-appropriate and such, but after thinking it through have continued to do similar activities for our Easter traditions with a now almost 4 year old, 2 year old and 8 month old.

We will continue to do the Easter Playdough Mountain this year. Directions below:

Playdough Mountain:

http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/1719_tell_the_easter_story_with_a_playdough_mountain/







We will also bake our Resurrection Rolls on Sunday morning, with this recipe, telling this story as we make it:

Resurrection Rolls Recipe: (the author of the recipe and story is unknown)

*Tip: Because I have heard of several whose marshmallow didn't totally disappear, I would suggest using a small one to ensure that it melts and there isn't confusion*

Resurrection Rolls
Here's a new twist on the Resurrection Cookie idea for Easter, both are recipes you can do with your kids/grand kids in order for them to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This fun recipe uses Crescent rolls and a disappearing marshmallow!
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:
Crescent rolls
Melted butter
Large marshmallows
Cinnamon
Sugar

Give each child a triangle of crescent rolls. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in.

Read Matthew 27:57-61

1. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
2. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming.
3. Now dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar which represents the spices used to anoint the body.
4. Then wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the crescent roll (not like a typical crescent roll up, but bring the sides up and seal the marshmallow inside.) This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after death.
5. Place in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. (The oven represents the tomb - pretend like it was three days!)
6. Let the rolls cool slightly. The children can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there, HE IS RISEN!!!! (The marshmallow melts and the crescent roll is puffed up, but empty.)

Now read Matthew 28:5-8

Explain: At the tomb, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw an angel, who told them not to be afraid. No one had taken Jesus' body, but He Had risen from the dead! The angel told the women to go and tell the disciples what they had seen, that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were so excited, they ran all the way home to tell the disciples the good news! He is risen from the dead! Alleluia!

After that Jesus appeared in person to Peter, then to the 12 disciples and after that, to more than 500 people. Jesus' appearance to eyewitnesses, those who saw Him with their own eyes, would give support and prove that Jesus rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

By rising from the dead, Jesus proved once and for all that He was the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Chosen One, and the Lamb of God. By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus did what no other had ever done before. As both God and man, He overcame sin, death, and hell. And now because of what Jesus has done, these things no longer have any power over those who believe in Jesus and allow His Spirit to lead and direct them. Rather than being slaves to sin and death, Christians ( those who love and believe in Jesus) are free to obey God and do good ( Romans 6:17-18). The Bible says in John 8:36, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

However, we will only obey God if we listen to the Holy Spirit our helper. He enables believers in Jesus to do the right thing. It is important that we read the Bible (God's Word) because one of the ways the Holy Spirit helps us obey God is by reminding us of what He says to us in His Word. God's Spirit will never go against his Word. In fact, when we read God's Word, we are listening to the Holy Spirit. Of course, you won't always do the right thing; the Bible says this ) 1 John 1:5-10). But that is why we need to continue to confess our sins knowing that God forgives us, based on what Jesus did on the cross. This is also a reason we need to spend time with other believers in Christ so they can encourage us in our faith.

May you have a blessed and meaningful Easter!
- Author Unknown -

Easter Crafting:
We also made some Easter treats to hand out to our neighbors this year. I actually got the idea from a Family Fun magazine, but they were making something similar to this just in the form of fun snacks. It's trail mix in the shape of a butterfly since we cinched the middle with a decorated clothespin and attached a pipe cleaner as antennas. I made a little tag in Photoshop and let the kids go to town. They had a blast making them, and I'm sure the big fun will be handing out their artwork to our neighbors and telling them about Jesus. We're also inviting them to watch the Passion with us at our house tonight.

As we were making these Taylor Joy said, "I'm just sad that Jesus is dead."  I explained to her that yes, it is sad, but the story doesn't end there. Jesus showed his power over death when he rose from the dead after 3 days in tomb. He is risen and that should make us very excited! He is faithful to do what he said he would do! She said, "But what if Jesus is dead in our hearts?" Blown away by her insightfulness and depth of thought, I told her that unless we realize that we need Jesus and He gives us faith in Him, He is dead in our hearts. He has to give us new hearts and make us new creations and we went on to talk about this verse that we used on the little cards we are going to hand out with the treats:



I am so thankful for the opportunity to be with my children all day and share Christ with them as we spend the day together, as we walk along the way, as we do crafts together, as we sit down for a meal and as I tuck them in bed. What an incredible blessing that is!

 (just had to slip in a picture of this cutie!)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's Official!


Check out Allen's Church Planter Profile: The Duty Family

We are now full members of the Acts 29 Network! This is exciting because we weren't supposed to become full members until this summer, and now have many opportunities open to us to that we will be able to participate in this summer.

So far, this network has been such a blessing to Allen and I. Allen has been to several conferences that have challenged, encouraged and trained him as a church planter and pastor and I went to an Acts 29 Pastor's Wives' Retreat this week in NC. I can't put into words the renewal and rest that I was afforded at this retreat. I can't explain the safe haven that it was and the ministry that took place in the quiet moments of the day, eating great food (of course!), over coffee, in the hot tub, on the couch, on somebody's bed, during craft time or during our guided prayer times.

I am thankful for a network that sees the importance of the family in church planting. It's been a blessing to turn to others who are ahead of us and able to walk us through many questions that we have had along the journey.

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