…where sparrows talk, knights run from rabbits and princesses play in the mud.
And where silly stories speak to deeper truths about God’s love and nearness.
Enjoy the whimsy and dive deeper into truth with the little ones in your life through the resources on this blog! From themed snacks to Mommy & Me coloring pages, I hope you’ll find some fun quality time and come to know God a little better, together.
It’s Mommy & Me Monday on the blog! Spend some time coloring with a little one in your life and talking together about God’s goodness.
This week let’s talk about thankfulness!
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Why do we need to say thank you? If someone gives us something, they are treating us like someone special. Saying “thank you” means we understand that they are special too and have shared their special gifts or time with us.
Imagine this: what if you spent a whole morning drawing a special drawing or maybe making a special craft for a friend or someone in your family. Maybe you even used your special crayons or favorite stickers on it. Now, what if you gave that gift to your friend and they just set it down and never said thank you? How would you feel? When that happens I feel sad. I gave them something special and they didn’t think it was special. But if they smiled and said “Thank you” to me, then I know that they think it is special too and I feel good.
Well, the Bible says that all good things in our lives are from God (read James 1:17). That is a LOT of good gifts! Saying thank you to God makes Him happy just like it makes us happy to hear thank you when we give a gift. It’s a way of saying to God, “I know all the things you made and gave me are special and I’m glad you shared them with me!”
What are some things you are thankful for right now? Make a list together and spend some time thanking God for His good gifts. And if you think of something another person has given you, say thank you to them too!
Thanks everyone for your patience! Mommy & Me Mondays are back and I’m so excited! If you’re new to the site, Mommy & Me Mondays are a chance to pull up a chair and a box of crayons (or fancy markers) with a little one in your life and talk about Jesus as you color together.
*Note: to print out the coloring sheets, click on the thumbnail of one you’d like to print, then click a second time or click the “See full size image” link (depending on your browser) to see the full size image. Print from the full size image. 🙂
This week I have been reflecting on Psalm 23:4.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”
What are some things that make you afraid? What do you think might happen?
For me, I feel afraid that bad things will happen to my kids or my family. I want to be able to protect them always, like a superhero. One time I had a bad dream about that, and I woke up and had to talk to God about all of my fears so I could fall back to sleep. And in that dark night so full of my fears, I felt like He was so close to me. And He seemed to say to my heart, to reassure me, that He is close to me and to them at every moment. “When you walk through the fire, I will be there.” (see Is 43:2). And I was so deeply comforted. Because God promised us that we would never be alone! Not ever. Even when bad things happen, He comforts us. And we will be His, with Him in peace and glory, forever.
The Good Shepherd walks with His sheep through hard and dark, scary places and leads them into safe, peaceful places. When things get scary, hold on tight to Him – tell Him your fears and choose to trust Him to keep His promise. “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I’m so excited about Easter. When I think about what God has done and is doing, redeeming and saving and making new life from death, I want to cry and sing and dance! The older I get, the more I see and experience suffering and see my own shortcomings, and the more exciting grace is, the more amazing it seems. And to think that all along, from the fall, God was planning this beautiful rescue of the world, of the people who had so quickly turned from Him and done so much damage…
God, you are wonderful. A good, good Father. A Redeemer, mighty to save us. All of our hope is in You!
This week as you look forward to the holiday, make this simple and pretty craft (found on kindercraze.com and makeandtakes.com) – or if you don’t have time to craft just grab a couple kites you already have and head to the park – to remember Jesus’ resurrection and God’s promise that one day we will join Him in the clouds!
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 1 Thes 4:16-17
By His power God raised the Lord from the dead, and He will raise us also.1 Cor 6:14
I found two versions, slightly different. I like the cross center as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice. But either way, as your make this craft with a little one in your life and hang them in the window, talk about Jesus rose from the dead and that we too will live forever with Him if we trust in Him. Jesus defeated death and even if our bodies die here, He will make them alive again- and perfect and beautiful! Never to die again.
My daughter and I did these together and I also tried it out with a class of preschoolers. Here is what I learned:
Contact Paper works OK, but wasn’t super sticky with the construction paper so it tended to come unpeeled from it. Sandwiching the kite between two pieces also tended to come apart once the kite was hung up. I don’t know if the good souls on the sites above just had a better technique than I did, but I found it frustrating so I tried using a document laminating sheets instead and they worked great! Much better results. I used this (which I had on hand from a project 10 years ago, so you may need to look for another brand if this one isn’t still around.):
Little ones love to overlap the tissue squares a lot so make sure you teach them to have smaller overlaps if possible. If there is too much overlap then the tissue will fall off especially if you’re using contact paper. This may be solved in the final “sandwiching” part if you do it right, but it did not work for me
If you try to glue the tissue down it will make your kite warp and crinkle, which isn’t a big deal except that it gives the contact paper one more reason not to stick to the construction paper. With the laminating sheets I did not have to use glue at all so it made a nice flat project.
If you can get the contact paper to work, you can leave a border around the kite with the top piece and it sticks to the window just like a decal – no residue left when you peel it off! So that’s handy. But make sure your window is clean. Mine wasn’t (*chagrin*) so the contact paper was less contact-y! haha
Here are the kites my daughter and I made. Technical issues notwithstanding, I love the cheeriness they bring to our window! Note – the smaller one was made with the laminating sheet as opposed to the contact paper.
Greetings Mixedupalot friends! I know I’ve been absent from the blog for a spell and I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know why. (drumroll)
I’ve written the next book!
I’m in the editing stage now, and researching for the illustrations. No hints yet about what this one is about… well, OK, one little hint. This story involves a bit of a musical mess. So start warming up your vocal chords – the next character to come to Mixedupalot loves to sing.
But I can’t leave you without something fun to do this week! So grab those toilet paper cardboard tubes and the tissue paper you’ve got stashed away and have fun with this adorable dragon craft from Debbie at onelittleproject.com. You can blow through the tube and make the flames dance. So fun!
This week Pristina joined her piggy friends to make heart shapes in the mud for you. (oops) Happy muddy Valentine’s! Enjoy coloring these cards together and focus on one of the important qualities of God’s love: patience.
As I made these cards today I was convicted of my own lack of patience. My kids are home from school and have been pestering each other all morning (apparently this is the best fun they could think of). I snapped at them (more than once) and found myself counting the hours until they would be back in school and I could have peace and quiet in the house again. But then I remembered that God is slow to anger. Abounding in love. That one of the signs of the Spirit in our lives is patience (Galatians 5). That God is putting up with a lot worse in this world than irritated siblings, because His patience is so great and he wants everyone to come to Him before the end…
In Princess Pristina, the king forgave Pristina over and over again for playing in the mud – just as God is patient and forgiving toward us when we make many bad choices. Jesus told us to forgive each other 70×7 times, because we are called to be like God who generously forgives over and over.
God – love Himself – is patient.
Lord, give me your heart today, that long-suffering love, so that my kids can see how patient and kind You are to us in Jesus when we are coming up short. And thank You for your tremendous grace and patience with me.
Some Sir Bumble fun for Mommy & Me today! Sorry for the delay – I hope it’s worth the wait. 🙂 I thought I would add to the stick puppet collection (see here, here, and the DIY shoebox theater here) with a Sir Bumble who can flip from brave to running away, and a jointed dragon puppet. You’ll need three sticks for this one (I used thin bamboo kabob skewers I found at the dollar store), and 4 metal fasteners (smaller is better), and some tape or glue.
Instructions are printed on the sheets, but one little tip – you may want to print the dragons at 110% so you’ve got larger individual pieces to work with – easier to push the fasteners through. And use cardstock if you have it for a sturdier puppet.
Here’s what your finished dragon could look like. I was apparently inspired by rainbow sherbet today… 🙂
This week I watched a pretty intense movie about a natural disaster (based on a true story). And I saw and understood how bad things can suddenly come upon us. But the promise of the Lord is that He will never leave or forsake those who belong to Him. What a gift! Spend some time together memorizing this Psalm, planting it firmly in your heart for the time when trouble should sneak up on you. And rest in Him.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Earlier this week for Mommy & Me Monday I shared how you can make a simple plush version of the sparrow from Sir Bumble and Princess Pristina. A friend of mine saw the plush image in the post and for a moment thought it was a food post. So, as not to disappoint, here is the little guy crafted from edibles.
His beak and primary feathers are tangerine slices, his body and tail are cantaloupe, and I used cheddar for his eye patch and wing interior. His little feet are celery cross-sections, and his eye is of course a raisin. He flies through a sea of puffy mini marshmallows (which have gotten soft and sticky – perfect consistency!).
Not real sure how cantaloupe and cheddar will taste together…off to eat the fruits of my labor and find out! (Thankfully there are marshmallows for dessert, should this go ill with me 😉 )
After a long break for holidays with family, Mommy & Me is back!
I hear often that the hidden sparrow search (and crown search) in Sir Bumble and Princess Pristina are a favorite feature of the books. So to continue the fun, here’s a simple sparrow you can make and hide for each other around the house! This is also a great opportunity to teach or practice sewing with an older child.
Click below to download the simple PDF pattern and instructions:
And if sewing isn’t your thing, cut him out of firm construction paper and hide away!
While you’re crafting, talk about the comforting truth that Sir Bumble learned – the Holy Spirit is near to us even though we can’t see Him. Jesus promised to send His Spirit to comfort us, encourage us, give us spiritual gifts, and remind us of all Jesus taught. What a wonderful, Kingly gift!!
Verses you can read together
John 14:15-17 “If you love me, obey my commandments.And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.“
Romans 8:26 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Galatians 5: 16-17a, 22-23 “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires.…
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
If you’d like to explore more of the what the Spirit does in our lives, go to a searchable Bible website like Biblegateway.com and do a search for Holy Spirit. And be sure to pray and ask God to help you understand these things – the Holy Spirit is here to help!
It’s Mommy & Me Monday again! This week enjoy coloring a set of Poinsettia cards together! These could be fun to attach to gifts or send to friends & relatives who would enjoy the personal touch of a hand-colored card. I recommend printing on cardstock or a heavier paper, but nothing too glossy or it will be harder to color on. 🙂
Instructions: When you click on the image above, be sure to then click on the link that says “See full size image” -or a similarly worded link – before printing. (The image you see above is actually a low resolution one and will print very small or grainy.) Cut the sheet in half along the dotted line. Then fold each piece in half at the center so one side has the poinsettia and side has the Bible verse. I envisioned the poinsettia to be on the front of the card and the verse on the back, but of course follow your creative and God-led inspirations 🙂
As you color, you can talk about the legend of the poinsettia and what gifts we can give to God this year. The poinsettia’s story originates in Mexico where two poor children longed for a nice gift to leave by the baby Jesus’ manger. The story goes that as they walked to church one evening, an angel appeared to them and instructed them to pick the green weeds that were growing beside the road and place them beside the manger in the church’s nativity. The children did as they were told. After placing the weeds, the plants bloomed into these beautiful star-shaped crimson flowers before their eyes. A beautiful gift worthy of a king.
While this story is a legend, it reminds me of many stories in the Bible where God asked people to do strange things that might have gotten them embarrassed or in trouble. Yet those who obeyed saw miracles!
Jesus told the servants at the wedding in Cana to bring water to the host who had run out of wine. But before the host drank it, Jesus had turned it into wine.
Noah was asked to build an ark when a terrible rainfall like what God was predicting was unheard of then or ever since. But he built it, and the flood came.
Jesus told the lepers to go show themselves to the priest, and only as they went on their way in obedience was the leprosy cured.
Joseph was told to take Mary as his wife, even though she was already pregnant. This would have been very embarrassing to him in that day, but he believed that the baby really was from God and obeyed. And he became the earthly father of our God and Savior!
Hebrews 11 is full of more stories of those who had great faith. And we even now join them as we await Jesus’ return. We follow Him faithfully even though it has been 2000 years since He first arrived, and many people think its silly to believe that He is alive and will return, or that He was God in the first place. But we hold on to our faith that what God has said will come to pass. We continue to worship Him with our whole lives, knowing that one day our Savior will return to destroy evil once and for all. His glory truly will “shine over all the earth.” And we will join Him forever!