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Friday, March 20, 2015

Lots of Great Children's Praise and Worship Music!

I love the idea of making children a part of worship and I like the idea our church is toying with to start a children's praise time at the start of Sunday school.  So I have begun looking around for good praise and worship music for kids.  What better place to look than other Christian Educators? :)  I am making a list of all their suggestions...this doesn't mean they would all fit my church - or yours. Every church in every denomination in every state (in every country) is different - some of these will work for you and some of them won't.

I've grouped the more popular groups first - these groups were suggested by multiple people. There are 7 of these and some specific songs that were suggested for each group (click on the group name for the webpage and the songs for the youtube video - i tried to find a good video with lyrics, but some were better than others).  Then, after those 7, are a random list of other groups/songs that people liked. This is a wide variety of songs/groups for different aspects of church - praise, worship, wednesday nights - some have motions (which I love for children), some don't.  Some are better for prek age and some for older elementary.  I'm sure you can find something on here that suits your needs :)  If your kids' favorite worship song isn't on here - add it in the comments below!

*(if you are wondering what the stars are for - I just used them to mark my favorites for future reference :)

Hope this is helpful - God bless all of you and your children's ministry!

and some favorite songs

Who I Wanna Be
Jesus What a Friend
Shine a Light
Greater is He (teaching moves video)
*I Love my BIBLE (teaching moves video)

OTHER Groups/Songs that were popular

1.  Cedarmont Kids
2.  Planet Shakers Kids
*Let Praise Awaken
Great is Your Love
*3.  Matthew West - "Hello My Name is"
*4.  MercyMe - "Greater is He"
5.  Jana Alayra
6.  God's Kids Worship
*7.  Newsboys - God's Not Dead
8.  Toby Mac - Unstoppable
9.  Jumpstart3 (scripture memorization songs)
10.  Jesus Culture - Rooftops
11.  Tasha Cobbs - Break Every Chain
*12.  Philips Craig and Dean - Here I am to Worship
13.  William McDowell - I Give Myself Away
14.  David Crowder Band - How He Loves
15.  TobyMac - Steal My Show
*16.  TobyMac - Speak Life
17.  Chris Tomlin - How Great Is Our God
*18.  Chris Tomlin - Amazing Grace
*19.  Chris Tomlin - Our God (is Greater)
*20.  Matt Redmon - Bless the Lord Oh my Soul

Friday, March 13, 2015

In honor of the UNC game tonight...dedicated fans!!

I am a born and bred Carolina fan - I bleed Carolina blue...I know all the songs by heart, I attended UNC and I played in the band.  I love my Heels!!!  I also did some fanatical things while at UNC...and I've rushed the court and Franklin Street many a times...but I've never done this...

Props to these dedicated Carolina Fans!!  GO HEELS!!!

Gotta love those Tarheel fans :) Go Heels!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dreaming of outdoor fun for our elementary age kids!

Now that it is getting warmer we are thinking about the spring...and playing outside!  Since our kids are getting older, a regular swingset doesn't seem like a good investment.  So, I started looking around for things they might enjoy at their age...and that aren't 1000s of dollars! :)  There are some really cool ideas out there!  Can't wait to get started!!

Both my kids (especially Ella) love to swing.  I love how this one looks - not your regular swing! Paul loves to this would be good for both!  Unfortunately we don't have a tree we could hang it from...but we could build something!  Just have to be creative...
Red Super Spinner Swing

Wouldn't this be awesome!  Maybe somehow, we could attach this to the thing we want to build for the spinner swing...ideas are brewing!  On their website it's $1500...I'm sure we could build it for less don't ya think?!

Free standing rock walls, I love these I think I need to build one for my yard.

I mean look at this one!  You could make this one for almost nothing!  And it doubles as a fort ;)

@Kimberly Peterson Peterson Johnson - Could dad make something like this??
NOW we're talking!  This could be one side of our super spinner swing set contraption we build!  One side climbing wall, one side rope wall and the other steps.  love it!
Jaw Dropping Playground Design :: Seriously! I'd love to have just this one climbing piece for Joy. She would be on it rain or shine! ***Diy for the pops!

Hmmm...would this cost much to build??
Wobble Step Bridge -- several cool ideas for an activity/agility trail from a company in Scotland

OK!  And this would be the OTHER side of the super spinner swing contraption :) sweet!
Tire Climbing Tower - Blessings Overflowing

A Skateboard swing?!  Could this fit WITH the super spinner swing on our contraption??  What a simple but cool idea! 

I would love this in my back yard and so would my kids.

Ok, I think I have an idea of what I mean what my kids want ;)  It really needs to warm up so we can get started on this...but I may need to enlist the help of a few handymen :)  Anyone else got any cool ideas that you want to do/have done outside for your kids?  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Gluten free "homemade" pretzels!!

Our family took a trip to Lititz and the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery...the first pretzel bakery in the US!  We had a great time...and learned more than we ever wanted to know about pretzels!!  For example, did you know that when they first started baking pretzels, they would dip them in a substance so caustic that the workers had to wear gloves or their hands would get burned?  Crazy right? Now, thanks to the FDA, the solution is made up of almost all baking soda and water.  Thank goodness! :) We also learned how to fold the dough into pretzel shapes...easier than you think.  However, before the machines were made that now mold the dough very quickly, people did it by hand.  They could do over 40 a minute.  We decided we probably couldn't keep up with that :)  They also made 10 cents an hour for folding dough all day long.  Don't think it sounds like much?  Evidently they were some of the highest paid workers in all of Litiz at the time!  Crazy!  

learning how to fold the pretzel

Ever since we returned from the Pretzel bakery, the kids have been asking to make their own pretzels!  Since my oldest monkey and I are (mostly) gluten free, I decided to go on pinterest and find a recipe for homemade pretzels.  Guess what I found?  NOTHING!  Can you believe it?!  For the first time ever pinterest let me down!! ;)  lol  So, I had to get creative.  I found a good blog that had a good recipe that I followed (after making the dough part).  You can find it HERE.  However, I still had to figure out how to make the dough.  I'm not a bad cook...and I like to get creative...but baking gluten free desserts/pastries is NOT easy and so I looked for an alternative...

I have found this in Giant and Publix...and I think I saw it in Whole Foods.

Feel like a cheater?  Don't! :) Think of yourself as smart and as someone who uses their time wisely ;) I had no idea how this would work...but it turned out great!!  Get the pie shell out of the freezer and let it warm a bit (or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds).  Form it into a ball and work it around with your hands so that it becomes easier to form.  

Besides the dough, these are the only other things you'll need...

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees 
1 cup water
1/4 cup baking soda
(I used the salt grinder I had and it worked great-but there is also salt you can buy specifically for pretzels)
(you need some to grease the pan and also to rub on the pretzels when they come out of the oven.  I used less than 1 tablespoon)

Once the dough softens, you can be creative and form it into whatever shape you want!  The first time around we did regular pretzel shapes and my daughter made a braid :) the second time around we made pretzel shapes, a flag, a soccer ball and hearts!

Once you have your shapes, dip them into the water/baking soda mixture (you have to keep stirring it!) and put them on your baking pan.  Put on your salt and then let them sit for 10 minutes (great time for your oven to heat up:)  After ten minutes, stick the dough in the oven for 4 minutes.  Turn the tray and bake for 4 more minutes.  My oven is slow so I had to cook them a few more minutes, but yours may be done.  We cooked ours until they were a little brown on top.  Once they look done pull them out of the oven and coat them with butter (we didn't do this the first time and it wasn't a big deal).  They are the perfect texture!  Yummy :)  Just wish the pie crust made a little more :)  I split the dough and gave half to each child.  They could make one large and one small with their part.  You can see my daughter had enough to make a flag and a few hearts.  You could probably make 8-10 small ones or 3 large ones.  

So there you go!  We are hooked :)  The kids actually commented that they liked ours better than the soft pretzels at Sturgis :) I wouldn't got THAT far...but they are good :) Next we want to try some sweet ones ;)

The Legend of Stocking | The Legend Of The Pretzel” Sign Craft Kit - Oriental Trading
This little craft can be found at oriental trading :)

And since Easter is coming up - don't forget about the legend of the pretzel!  Share it in your church, Sunday school class, mid-week classes, etc.  Here's a site that has a lesson plan and an explanation of the legend :)  

Happy Pretzel Baking!

In Christ,