Celebrating Mom

Project Overview:  This project is best for children who are able to write and requires paper and decorating materials.

The coupon book – an oldie but a goody when it comes to gift ideas that children can make themselves.  With Mother’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time for you to sit down with your little ones and encourage them to think about ways that they can help the special women in their lives!

 I am the proud leader of my daughter’s Daisy girl scout troop, and at this weeks meeting we had the girls brainstorm different ideas on how they could help their moms out.  It was interesting how it took a moment for them to get going, pondering on just what it is their moms do that they could help with.  Once the ice was broken however, the ideas kept coming.  Help with dishes, set the table, brush the cat, pick up my toys – I couldn’t help thinking how thrilled their moms would be if they actually get to redeem all these coupons!

After compiling all the ideas the girls filled out pre-printed cards that said “I will help you ________”.  This made it easy for our kindergarteners to hand-write the coupons themselves before decorating and stapling together.  While a familiar idea, it is one that has great value to both the recipient and the person giving it.  People love receiving thoughtful gifts and it is touching to know that your child thought specifically about how they could help you in your daily life.

To all you Mother’s out there – wishing you a wonderful day (and hopefully a carefully crafted coupon book from your little! :)

House Full of Prayers
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Alongside the adventures of Dick and Jane and a dog named Spot, I grew up reading the Christian version, with renamed characters, Tommy and Sally. The publisher added Mommy, Daddy, and Baby but decidedly kept the dog named Spot. 

I barely salvaged one book, House Full of Prayers, from my collection and today it sits, guarded in my office. As a child, I cared more about revealing the hidden pictures beneath the paper folds than reading the rhyming prayers.

When I taught my own children (and grandchildren) to pray, I pulled out this old tattered book. With the same enthusiasm, my children loved the peek-a-boo folds, but the prayers were too full of “thees” and “thys” so, I simplified them and came up with these:

Grace at meals:

Thank-you Jesus for this food,
our family and friends.
Amen
 

Bedtime:

Thank-you, Jesus for this day.
Thanks for all the games I played.
God bless Mommy and Daddy, Sister and Me.
God bless all those I love.
Amen.
Of course, as we mature, so do our prayers, but the point is, children learn by example. If we read to our children, surround them with books, they grow up reading and enjoying literature. If we pray with our children, fill our house with prayer (more than dinner and bedtime), they not only learn how to pray, but we cultivate a foundation and hunger for God.
 
Is your house a house full of prayer? How do you teach your children/grandchildren how to pray?

God’s Big Ideas for Kids

Yesterday I told you about my recent boardbook release God’s Big Promises for Kids (Standard Publishing). Well there’s more to the story. When I submitted my manuscript for this book, the editor responded that she loved the idea as well as the manuscript, but for marketing purposes the publishing team thought it would be best to release a pair of books rather than just one.  So they would offer me a contract for two boardbooks if I could come up with another idea and manuscript that would be a companion book to God’s Big Promises for Kids. An offer for two books instead of one is usually music to my ears. However, I needed to get back to them a.s.a.p. in order for the deal to go though.

So I thought about my relationship with God and how much He loves me no matter what, and how He wants the best for me. But in order for me to experience God’s best, I need to obey His commands. Then it occurred to me that many of God’s promises are conditional—meaning that in order to receive His promises, it takes action on our part. God will answer us when we call on His name. God will forgive our sins when we confess them. God will draw near to us when we draw near to Him. So I decided the perfect companion book would be something about obeying God’s commands in order to receive His promises. The word “commands” is not a kid-friendly word (or an adult- friendly word for that matter), so I thought of the title God’s Big Ideas for Kids.

I followed the same format that I used in God’s Big Promises. Each two-page spread includes: God’s Idea (rather than a promise), followed by a rhyming verse and two Scripture verses. Some of “God’s Ideas” in the book are:  Trust Me, Obey Your Parents, Come Near to Me, Tell the Truth, Be Thankful, Share with Others, Worship Me, and Love God and Others.

The good people at Standard were pleased with the second idea and manuscript, so the contracted was signed and the books have been published.

I hope you have enjoyed a little behind-the-scenes sneak peek regarding these two new boardbooks. But more importantly, I hope you enjoy sharing God’s Big Promises for Kids and God’s Big Ideas for Kids with the little ones God has entrusted to your care.

Crystal

available at standardpub.com and christianbooks.com

 

 

God’s Big Promises for Kids

The Bible is filled with many wonderful promises from God. Both the Old Testament and New Testament contain so many promises that is is difficult to count them all. The estimate—from some who have tried to count them—is over 3500! Wow! That’s a lot of promises. Well, no matter how many promises there are in the Bible, one thing is certain—they are very comforting.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go. (Joshua 1:9)

 He comforts us every time we have trouble. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

Give all your worries to Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you  need.  (Philippians 4:19)

Call to me and I will answer you. (Jeremiah 3:33)

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:39)

God gives us a free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

I get excited just reading those few verses. No wonder the books on God’s promises are very popular!

When I was at a book signing several years ago, a salesperson told me that she felt there was a need to have a  book of God’s promises for children. She said, “We have books on God’s promises for college students, teachers, mothers, and fathers, but nothing for the little ones.”

So I took on the challenge and am happy to report there is now a picture-board book for children titled God’s Big Promises for Kids.  It was released last month and is published by Standard Publishing. The illustrations are contemporary, colorful, and multi-cultural.

Each two-page spread includes a promise from God, a fun rhyming verse, and two Scripture verses. As parents and grandparents read these promises to their little ones, adults and children can be comforted by precious promises from our heavenly Father.

But there’s more to the story. Check out tomorrow’s blog. :-)

Crystal

available at standardpub.com or christianbooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways (+ a bonus) to Make a Joyful Noise
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In Sunday school when I was four, we sang “Do You Know the Muffin Man?”–the first song I remember learning. I still know it.

When I turned ten, I joined the choir for grades 5-9 at my church. Rehearsals every Saturday morning. Two- and three-part harmony. Robed for the processional into the service every Sunday. I’ve written about this wonderful experience here.

Fast forward. As a mom with two young daughters, I bought a little record player. We didn’t play a lot of Christian music–I’m not sure there was much for children in the early 1980s. We did have a “Little Marcy” album–anyone remember her?

Children’s musicals became popular, and both my girls participated in several. One year my husband was Herbie, a very slow and patient caterpillar. (This was classic typecasting!!) For quite a while after that, when any of us had to wait for anything, someone was sure to start singing the chorus, “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry. Remember, remember, that God is patient too, and think … of all the times when others had … to … wait … on … you!”

Music gets into our minds (and our hearts) and stays there. Singing with kids–especially songs with Scripture lyrics–is one of the smartest things we can do if we want them to know the Word.

And singing blesses God, the original music maker.

For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise (Psalm 47:7).

Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19).

Here are five resources that might help you and your children sing, learn the Word, and praise God with a joyful noise together.

20 Bible Verses Every Child Should Know. This book and CD combination offers original stories and songs focused on 20 memory verses that help children discover who God is, desire a relationship with him, and decide to live for him. A Retailer’s Choice Award winner.

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Elkins and his Wonder Workshop have been helping children and families sing praises for many years. The Jesus Book, with a CD, is one of his newer titles.

 

 

 

 

 

I just discovered Yancy (that’s her first name) this week, in a tweet by a children’s minister. Little Praise Party is her newest album. Visit her site and listen!

 

 

 

 

 

Seeds Family Worship offers an enticing selection of CDs, and their website provides resources and activities for families too. On the Media page you can listen and watch videos.

 

 

Not all praises need to be loud! When it’s time to settle down, children AND adults enjoy these verses set to beautiful, calming melodies from Scripture Lullabies.

 

 

 

Now, I know Christmas is months away, but I can’t resist sharing this video of a song my grandson has loved since he was two. Our entire family sings this song now, and Solomon is ALWAYS going to remember how loved crashed into the world. Enjoy!

Scripture: NIV

DIANE

Visit Diane at www.abibleplace.com
© 2012, Diane Stortz