Want a fun project to do with your children over Thanksgiving, which will also teach them real appreciation? Have your children draw a turkey on a sheet of paper – they can use their handprints to make the turkey or draw one from scratch.
After the turkey is beautiful, it is time for some fun. Brainstorm with your children to think of people who have been helpful to your family or your child this year. It may be a neighbor, friend or family member, but you need to know where they live.
Write a note on the turkey drawing to tell the person why you are thankful for them. Make the note personal and heartfelt. It is up to you whether or not you want to sign your name or make it a surprise. Attach it to a bag and fill it with little goodies to thank them. If you are leaving it anonymously, you may want to put in a box of cocoa, wrapped candies or a small gift card. If you sign it, you can leave home baked goodies and more personal, rather than store bought items.
As mothers, we fall in love with our children before they are even born. We can’t wait to hold them in our arms and have wonderful dreams of what their childhood will be like. Those first few months are an exhaustive whirl of diapers, feedings and showing your beautiful baby to everyone.
We are so overjoyed when our children utter their first attempts at words. Many discussions are held (rivaling world summits) over whether the sounds were “MaMa” or “DaDa”. Then it happens. We have told our once precious child he cannot do what he wants to do. Or perhaps she cannot have what she wants to own. Suddenly, the words sound more like, “You don’t love me!” or the ever popular (and permanently banned in our house!) “I hate you!”
Where you ever so tired rocking your infant to sleep, you prayed he fell asleep before you did so you wouldn’t accidentally drop him? Have you ever been up all night with one of your children and packed your other child a school lunch of pop tarts and leftover Halloween candy? Does the idea of an afternoon nap sound more exciting than winning a new car?
Parenting can be exhausting at times. If you read my post last week, you may have been trying to parent intentionally for a few days now. The first day may have gone well, but then one of your children got injured and required an E.R. visit. That meant no church for you and the injured child and you spent the afternoon helping your other child with a school project. You barely survived the weekend and have no idea how anyone ever survives parenting, much less parents their children intentionally towards God.
Statistics and I have a love/hate relationship. It was probably my least favorite course in college, but I have to grudgingly admit statistics can provide some helpful information. Statistics can be skewed, but if the methodology is sound, the results can teach you some important things.
The Barna Group is well known in religious circles for their research on Christian issues. They specialize in trying to analyze what makes a person live (or not live) a truly Christian lifestyle. Their books are often bestsellers, perhaps because they try to sort out the difference between Christians “in name only” and those who are really close to “practicing what they preach”.
If you haven’t had a second grader yet, you may not be familiar with Flat Stanley. Based on a children’s book by the same name, Flat Stanley is normally a project to introduce young children to new places in a fun way. This time though, we are going to send Flat Stanley on an extended mission trip.
As you can see, I am not an artist and Flat Stanley doesn’t have to be beautiful. The official website even has templates you can borrow (no Bibles that I saw though!). Draw your Flat Stanley on card stock. He should be large enough to be seen in a photograph clearly, but not so large that he takes up too much room in a suitcase.