{Printable} Micah 6:8 Wall Art Craft for Kids

9.17.2014


For the toddlers birthday party this past week, I wanted to make something special that the kids could give out as party favors. But since all of our invites were adults, I didn't think the standard bag of candy and cheap dollar store toys would go over real well. I needed something cute, crafty, and easy to make a in the dozens! 

I hopped on Pinterest, and was instantly inspired by all these cute hand print and foot print canvases of Micah 6:8, but I needed something cheaper and easier and made of card stock. So I hopped into a design program and 15 minutes later I had this super basic printable which says, "Do Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly." 


And then we added the cuteness! The hand print belongs to Cupcake, and the foot print belongs to Little Bear.


I let Rooster add the heart with this super makeshift heart stamp. It's an old car washing sponge that my husband dug out of the shed. I dipped a cookie cutter in paint and stamped a heart on it. Then I took some scissors and voila! Heart stamp. It's definitely not the kind of thing I would use again, but it worked. And it was free. 


Of course you could always draw a heart, or glue construction paper heart in it's place. Or even use a cookie cutter to make a heart outline and let your little one paint! Whatever you do, just know that this craft is NOT going to be perfect. I'll admit some of our hands had six fingers and stray paint smudges. Just think of this as one of the kind, authentic toddler awesomeness!


I don't have pictures of the painting process because well...my toddlers had paint. I couldn't exactly stop to take pictures! We let one child paint at a time (the other child got an iPad), and my husband helped hold the child while I worked their hand/foot/stamp. Then once they were done we gave them paper and let them paint all on their own.

It was going well until I looked up and saw Cupcake's face and mouth covered in very blue non-edible paint. I flipped out. "Oh my goodness! She can't eat that! No! It's toxic!!! Quick wash her mouth out with soap!" My husband whisked her off to the tub here she was encouraged to drink as much bath water as her stomach would hold. Thank goodness she survived!

And of course, everyone at the party LOVED our gift. I even kept one for myself and framed it for the kids playroom. It pops nicely in my bright red frame. A perfect little piece of art.




Click Here to download the free printable and start painting!



What It Really Means to be Pro-Life

9.10.2014


"What do you mean you don't believe in birth control?"

I was a senior at a Christian college, engaged to be married in just a matter of months. I was counting down the weeks until I graduated and could finally walk down the aisle to the love of my life.

I wasn't really thinking about children.

I had bigger things on my plate, like wedding planning and graduate school applications and picking out silverware. Babies weren't really on the agenda quite yet. Sure, I wanted a family…eventually.  

But one weekend things changed. I was sitting with a group of friends talking about life, and weddings and families, when a friend of mine made the comment that he and his future bride didn't intend to use any form of birth control.

"Why not? Are you crazy? Are you really ready for kids?"

His answer spoke straight to my heart in a way that only truth can.

"For us, it's all about being pro-life. How can we say we value life if we do everything in our power to prevent it?"

Pro-life is a buzz word in the Christian community. Most believers I know consider themselves to be pro-life. We stand united against the evils of abortion. We pray for those mothers trapped in pro-choice movement. We cringe when we see horrendous news stories like Kermit Gosnell and see statistics about this modern American holocaust. We are pro-life.

Or should I say, we are anti-abortion. 

Sitting on the couch that day with my friends I came face-to-face with this very uncomfortable truth: being against abortion doesn't automatically make you pro-life.

When I think of being "pro" something I think of being for it. It's something we stand for, something we fight for, something we value.

Likewise, being pro-life logically means that we stand for, fight for, and value LIFE. It goes beyond a political agenda. It's about our attitude, our beliefs, and our actions.

And yet, at the age of 23 graduating from a Christian college and ready to embark on the adventure of marriage, I had bought into the pro-choice rhetoric hook, line, and sinker.

Birth control was my path to freedom, my path to choice. I had the right to choose how many children I wanted and when I had them. And if children weren't convenient, I had the right to the benefits and blessings of marriage without the God-given responsibility that naturally comes with sex.

My marriage, my family, my choice.

I just didn't realize at the time how broken my logic was. I loved the Lord and desired to serve him, but the blinders on my heart kept me from seeing just how much the world had influenced my ideas of children and fertility.

As the Lord slowly peeled back the layers of fear and selfishness, I found myself faced with the ugly truth: I valued my sense of control more than I valued the life that God calls blessed.

I’d like to say that it was an easy decision to just embrace family and children. It wasn't. In fact, this conversation started a long two year process of studying, praying, and wrestling with where fertility fits into our Christian life. 

What does the Bible say about being pro-life and how can we best honor and glorify God with our family? Do I really think children are a good thing? Even the ones I haven't had yet? 

Now, five years later I don’t have all the answers. Some days I still wrestle with these questions, wondering what our family will look like 5, 10, even 20 years from now. But I am confident in this: As we continue to grow our faith and grow our family, God will give us all the grace we need. For ourselves, for our children, and for those who may think differently than us. 

And that's all we really need. Grace. 

The Truth About Balloons and Toddlers

9.09.2014

They seem harmless...

But they are not. Balloons are a parent's worst nightmare. At least if that parent has two toddlers and is named me. 



That's right. Those sweet birthday balloons may seem innocent enough, but mix them with my slightly enthusiastic children and you've got a terror. Sheer terror. 

One minute they will be sweetly bopping the balloons around and the next minute they are misguided ninjas--eyes closed, fists flailing, and everyone else (me!) ducking for cover. 

Or they will be casually pulling the balloons around the house watching them trail slowly behind them, until suddenly they are screaming and running full speed down the hallway using the balloons as some sort of shield as they crash into each other mouths wide open.

And the whole time I'm thinking, "They are gonna pop those balloons and swallow the pieces. They put everything in their mouths. Who thought balloons were a good idea? I really should stop them and cut those longs strings off before they strangle each other...but then they would let go and lose them on the ceiling and probably smash heads in the process and give each other a concussion. Then they would sit and scream, and of course, I'd feel bad and have to get a ladder to get those silly balloons back."

But I don't say any of that. I sit and listen to them fight instead. Never mind that there are four balloons and only two of them. Oh no! They each need ALL the balloons. So they fight. And scream. And cry. Until I finally take the balloons away and hide them in the closet.

So why don't I just kill the balloons? Because my kids like them. Even though I hate them and think they are dangerous and really dislike the fighting.

And because as soon as I pop them into a million little pieces, Rooster will come up in that sweet little boy voice and say, "Where balloon, mom?"

"Mom?" 

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