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Sunday, July 19, 2015

7 prayers for my now 7-year-old daughter...

Happy Birthday little monkey!!

My daughter turns 7 today!  I wrote her a blog last year (here) telling her all the things I loved about her :) This year, I decided to write her a prayer.  Every night before I go to bed I check on both of my little monkeys, give them a kiss and tell them I love them.  Sometimes, I'll spend a few minutes and pray over them :)  They can't hear me...but they don't need to.  God does.  I figure one day they may read my blog, and these birthday posts will be a little gift to them.  So, for my littlest monkey's seventh birthday, I've decided to write her a that she can keep with her, read later and maybe one day read to her child :)  so, my sweet little girl, here are my seven prayers for you on your 7th birthday...

  *First and foremost, I pray you keep your eyes on Jesus.  It won't always be easy - there will be doubts, unbelievers, temptations, bad times, disappointments...and tests.  You will have questions that you can't answer...nor can we.  God doesn't expect us to have answers...if He wanted us to - He'd have made us perfect and all-knowing just like Jesus.  But he didn't.  We are flawed, sinful and messed up.  We don't understand everything and never will...until we enter Heaven.  Believing and loving God despite those unanswered questions and doubts is faith.  I pray that even though at times your faith may waiver, it always returns - stronger than before.  Never forget who created you and loves you more than anyone on earth could.  I pray that your light and faith shine onto others around you - just as your smiles and laughter already do :)  Matthew 21:21


  *I pray you find friends that you can laugh with, cry with, share you doubts and fears with and pray with.  I pray that your friends not only encourage you down the right paths of life - but stop you from treading down the bad ones.  I pray that you seek friends who build you up when you are alone, in public and when you need it most.  You will always be in my heart and on my mind, but despite my desire to always pick you up when you fall, I can't.  There will be times when you have to stumble and fall because it will make you stronger when you stand up on your own and move on.  I pray, that at those times when you fall hardest and can't seem to get up on your own, a loving friend will help you up and hold your hand as you find your way again.  I pray that you are a good friend.  I pray the good samaritan prayer - that you look kindly on everyone around you - not just on those that would benefit you most.  I pray that the compassion you possess extend to everyone and that you seek out the hurt, lonely and depressed.  Your smile, kind attitude and joyfulness can make even the saddest heart rejoice :)  Proverbs 13:20



*I simply pray you remember that family comes first after God.  Friends may come, go and move away - but you family will always be there with you - supporting you and loving you.  When you grow, and have your own family, I pray you do the same for them :)
Exodus 20:12
                                                       3 1/2 YEARS
  *You are a compassionate little girl.  I pray that continues and grows as you get older.  Being able to put yourself in someone's place and try and feel what they are feeling is a gift.  Embrace that gift to help those around you.  By showing others compassion, love and understanding, you are showing them God's love.  In the same way, I pray your love and compassion towards animals grows as well.  Your connection with animals warms my heart and I pray you never "grow out of it" :)  Matthew 9:36

4 years - silly faces :)
*Figuring out the gifts God has given you isn't always easy.  Not everyone knows their gifts right away.  Some find them as a child, others in college and others as adults.  Once you learn what gifts God has blessed you with, I pray that you use them for His glory.  No matter your job - whether in an office, church, outside, inside - you can be a Christian.
1 Peter 4:10
 *Although this seems so far away, I started praying for this as soon as you were born.  I pray that you find the man God has chosen for you.  I pray that he treats you with respect, love and honor.  I pray that he loves God and serves God with a happy heart.  Together, I pray that you lead each other in a mutual relationship bound with love and respect. Pray together, laugh together, cry together and serve God together.  Ephesians 5:22-28


*This doesn't seem to come easy to you.  I pray you understand that YOU are a child of God, that God made you who you are and loves you JUST the way you are.  It will be hard for others to love you if you don't love yourself.  Treat yourself with respect - don't say something about yourself that you wouldn't say about someone else.  You are an amazing girl and God has plans for you.  Don't forget it.  Being beautiful isn't about looks - it's about feeling confident that you are just as you should be.  If you are a beautiful person inside and you understand that - then you will be beautiful on the outside - no matter what your hair looks like, what you're wearing or if you have chocolate all around your mouth :)  Proverbs 3:26

almost 7 YEARS 
God bless you little monkey!  I love you very much and you bless me in too many ways to count :)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands tee!

Our VBS theme this year was He's Got the Whole World in His Hands and I decided to make some world t-shirts with their hands around them. It wasn't an easy process and it took me a few trial and errors to figure out what I wanted, but with organization and plenty of helpers for our littles - they turned out awesome!
Follow these five easy steps and you've got yourself an awesome t-shirt :) AND all your friends' handprints as a memory :)

1. Prep beforehand - cut out contact paper circles and put them on the backs of the shirts - put them close to the top but leave room for their hands. Second, cut out something (cardboard, newspaper, etc) to put inside the shirt so the paint doesn't go through. We also wrote their names on the tags beforehand but that's not a must-do :) 

2.  The day of - I put out the paint and paint brushes beforehand and decided to number the tray and the paint. It helped if the child or helper needed more of that paint (cause some were similar in color) but it wasn't a big deal if it got mixed. I just wanted to be over-prepared.
3.  As the children came in we had each of them stand at a shirt at the table. Then we let them pick out their paint. For the littles, the helpers got the paint.  Make sure a variety of colors are chosen - yellows and oranges are bright and fun :) At first we had them stand at their shirt and then we realized - duh! They all look the same...doesn't matter where they stand. ☺️ We did have the shirts grouped by classes though beforehand which made it easier.  IMPORTANT: AFTER DOING A TRIAL RUN, I REALIZED THAT IF THE WORLD IN THE MIDDLE IS TO POP OUT, YOU CAN'T HAVE BLUES OR GREENS AROUND THE OUTSIDE! So, stick to pink, red, orange, yellow and purple hands:)


4.  Now you're ready!  If the child is able on their own, have them paint their hand and put it on the shirt themselves. We found that the 2nd grade and up were pretty good at this. One important instruction though - MAKE SURE PART OF THE HAND TOUCHES THE CONTACT PAPER. Otherwise it won't work. Then, the kids pick up their tray, move around to the next shirt, and put their hand on the next shirt. We had around 7-8 in each group and we had them go around twice. Once wasn't quite enough.

5.  Yea! Now let them dry. You need A LOT space for this if you have a big group -just an FYI :)  Once they are dry, peel the contact paper off. They look so cool! :)  we used stamps and did "mosaic art" for the world. You could do it many ways - but this fit our theme.  I had them cover the circle with one shape dipped in any blue they wanted (I encouraged more than one blue), then had them put 3-4 stamps of another shape with green paint.  viola!  awesome shirts!!

One of our groups was really large and some of the hands weren't place correctly.  If the hands aren't all the way around the circle then you can't tell it's a circle :)  So, to remedy this problem, you can see in the above picture I went around the circle (before it was pulled off) with grey paint.  They turned out great!

I've also done one ((an idea I saw on pinterest) with duct tape and made a cross :) easier :)