Tuesday, 16 December 2014

'Jesus grows up' Wednesday Club #4

Jesus has been born in Bethlehem. The shepherds and Wise men celebrate him and call him King. But what happens next? We will look at the life of Jesus as he grows up. We will see how he is fully human as he lives in a normal family and he learns to walk and talk but he is also God as he lives a perfect life without sin and can do the miraculous.
God loves us and by sending Jesus to earth he was taking another step in his plan to rescue us.

Recap on previous weeks and the events around the birth of Jesus.
Why did the Wise men and shepherds travel to see this baby?...I’m sure there were lots of babies in Bethlehem and other cities. Why did the Wise men follow a star to the baby king...why was he a king? He came from God...he was God the son. So he had two Dads, Joseph on earth and God the Father in Heaven.

Jesus grew up in Mary and Josephs home in Nazareth. He was a real boy and looked just like other boys. He learnt to read and write like you. Joseph his dad was a carpenter so perhaps he taught him how to make furniture. He played with his brothers and his friends. He knew what it was like to be happy, sad, excited, lonely and hurt. Jesus was once your age.
But in one way he was very different. He did not fight with his brothers. He did not disobey his mummy or daddy. He was always kind, unselfish and truthful. Even his thoughts were always good. He was the only perfect person. Ever! He was God, the Son.
When Jesus was an adult, He went around teaching people about God’s kingdom. He showed people what God is like. He did things which only God can do.

Watch on You tube the story of the paralysed man who was brought to Jesus by his 4 friends. Follow this link 4 men, a roof and Jesus

Using a song on You Tube we learnt the verse John 3 v 16

The possibilities are endless for games using our verse on Duplo pieces. You could hide the blocks around the room and the children find them and form the verse or we asked questions about the story and when they got a correct answer they drew a word out of a bag. We also had a girls v boys race to see who could form the verse quickest (I had 2 sets of the verse on duplo blocks).

Jesus came to earth as a baby because he loves us and wants to have a relationship with us. He wanted to give us a sign that God is real. It was Gods way of connecting with us again. We are precious to him.


This activity worked well with both the boys and girls. We used pva glue with spreaders and lots of pieces of ribbon, felt, fabric, wool, sequence and marker pens.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Christmas bunting workshop

My adult sewing workshops continue but I haven't been very good at documenting them on here! Last Friday I had 8 lovely ladies squeezed around my table merrily sewing Christmas bunting.
Although I feel like I could sew bunting in my sleep now, I'm not bragging...I have just sewn so much of the stuff! I did learn how to fill a bobbin, load a bobbin and thread a very old, hand crank Singer sewing machine. The bobbin holder was the shape of a bullet and I enjoyed every minute of trying to work it all out with the help of a little You tube!

Christmas Presents #2 Bath bombs

My version of the bath bomb! I used star cup cake cases and the little mini heart cases which were also very handy for the bath melts. When the citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, rose essential oil, patchouli ess oil and rose hip oil are combined it seems impossible that this mixture will ever be a solid bath bomb. Yet by adding just a littlewater so that the mixture is like damp sand and packing firmly into a mould, leaving to set overnight, they pop out of the mould looking just like shop bought bath bombs. A real feeling of satisfaction comes with it!

I made these handy little gift boxes from card stock and a great you tube tutorial on wedding favour boxes. They are just the right size for a small variety of bath melts and bombs.

Lj and I spent Sunday afternoon filling the boxes with tissue paper, bath bombs and melts. Wrapping in celophane. Making our own little tags and tying it altogether with a little ribbon.

Now we have lots of little gifts ready when we need them over Christmas to say 'thank you' or to bless someone.

'Follow the star' Wednesday Club #3

The Wise men followed a star to find Jesus. Why were they so keen to find him and bring him gifts?

Ice breaker/ games
The 'Star' says.
A version of 'Simon says'. The leader stands at the front and asks the children to follow their commands of 'The star says, stand on one leg' for example. If the leader doesn't say 'The star says...' at the beginning and a child still follows the command then they are out. (As we started a little late we didn't have time for this game)

Follow the Star to Bethlehem.
My children have told me this game so I hope I have picked it up correctly! Children stand with backs against wall and the aim is to reach the opposite wall (Bethlehem). The leader calls out  various things like 'Do you wash your teeth everyday?', If the answer is 'yes' then the children take one step forward. This continues as the children move closer to Bethlehem and Jesus. The leader can also call out 'Jesus' and the children run to Bethlehem.
This game worked brilliantly, the children loved playing it and we did it a number of times.
I put this picture on the wall to remind them of who they were trying to reach!

Musical 'Stand on the star'.
A version of musical chairs using paper star cut outs on the floor instead of chairs. When the music stops the children find a star to stand on. Each round a star is removed so it becomes harder to find a star to stand on.

Watch 'Beginners bible- Nativity' on TV/projector. This went well and the children sat and listened intently. I had told them that I would ask questions based on what they had seen when it was over.

We asked questions about what they had just watched and also got them to think about why the Wise men were happy to find Jesus and why King Herod was jealous of another King. What was different about the 'new' King, where we can find out about Jesus and why we might want to follow Jesus?
We also recapped on the verse we learnt on the first week.

I don't even think about taking photos in the 1 hr of mayhem so yet again we have no photos of the kids work and a very poor photo of my sample! We used jumbo lollipop sticks to create our wise men. The blue/ yellow/ and green sparkly foam pieces are their gifts...of course!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

'Celebate' Wednesday Club #2

Today we are celebrating God becoming Human!

Ice Breaker
What does it mean to celebrate?
Acting in pairs so the rest of the group can work out what sort of celebration it is.
-Celebrating the birth of a new baby brother/sister.
-Winning a football match
-Celebrating your birthday
-Getting Married
-Celebrating Christmas

(Taken from Splash by SU)
Make 2 pictures, one of shepherds and one of angels. As you tell the story, the children can run to the pictures, point to the picture saying 'Baaaaa' when you said the word 'shepherd' and 'Hallelujah' when you say the word 'Angel'.

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. Suddenly an angel came down to them from heaven, and the brightness of God's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, 'Dont be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. Today in King David's hometown a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ the Lord. You will know who he is , because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.' The shepherds could hardly believe their eyes! Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined on praising God. They said, 'Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.'
After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see what the angels have told us about.'
They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay. When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the Angel had said about him. Everyone listened and was surprised. But Mary kept thinking about all this and wondering what it meant. As the shepherds returned to their sheep, they were praising God and saying wonderful things about him. Everything they had seen and heard was just as the angel had said.

Why should we celebrate God becoming a human and coming to earth? What did the angels say?

'Dont be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. Today in King David's hometown a Saviour has been born for you. He is Christ the Lord.'

Why did God come to earth as a baby?

1John 4:9
'God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.'

It was part of the rescue plan and because of Jesus we can now have a relationship with God.

For a party/celebrations we need cake :)
So we decorated cupcakes and made a little flag to stick into the cake to remind us that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus.

With 13 kids it was all a little busy so yet again I forgot to take photos...this was the last cake remaining!

'You will call him Jesus' Wednesday Club #1

As the afternoons are getting dark MJ and Lj can no longer play outside with their friends. So I have decided to invite their friends to our house every Wednesday after school. As there are a number of them we have decided to structure the fun! We will base each week on a historical event recorded in the Bible, telling the story, playing games and doing craft.

As we are in the Christmas run up I thought we could kick start our afternoon fun looking at the events around the Birth of Jesus.

Week 1- 'You will call him name Jesus'

Ice breaker
Aim- To get the children thinking about the meaning of names.
I had written the childrens names and the meanings of their names onto pieces of cards. The children had to try and work out the meanings of their names and match up the pieces of card.
My little niece was rather impressed when she realised that her name means 'Princess'. 

This is what happened before Jesus was born. Mary and Joseph had promised to marry one another. They were not yet married when Mary discovered that she was going to have a baby. God had given her the baby. Joseph did not know where the baby had come from so he decided that it would be best if they did not get married after all. But after he had decided this God sent an angel to him in a dream. The angel said 'Joseph do not be afraid to marry Mary. The baby which she is going to have is from God. It will be a boy and you are to call him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins'.
When Joseph woke up he did what the angel had commanded him and married Mary.
These things happened to fulfil what God had said through the Old Testament Prophets. There is is explained that an unmarried woman will give birth to a son who will be called Immanuel, which means 'God with us'.
(Taken from TNT resources)
 Verse to remember

 "... you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Mathew 1v21 

I had hidden the words of the verse around the room and as the children searched and found them we put the verse together. 

Paper bunting. We stamped our names onto the flags, decorated with pens, stamps and stickers. Strung them together with twine (could also use ribbon or yarn) and used glue sticks to stick in place.

These are the templates which can be printed onto white paper.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

My precious girl

Although it is difficult to see, (I was being lazy and took it on my phone), this photo really captures my little girl. She has her gold dancing shoes on, her easy to throw on coat and is helping her Daddy tidy up the garden in the rain. She loves life and lives it to the full.

This was taken the day before. I had been looking at packaging ideas on my computer with Lj on my lap when she spotted a template for a house. In an instant she wanted to make it so that she could take a present to her best friend who lives a few doors down from us. She took her time over making it and colouring it in and then found some sweets to put inside. She is a thoughtful and caring child making a card or present for someone at least once a day.

Last night she declared that she was going to Doggy Woof Woof land on holiday. In the picture she has her Minnie mouse (favourite toy at present) in the baby car seat and her two dogs in the pram below. In her bag she has her passport, a dog lead and a book (to read to Minnie on the plane). She told me that I could come too as there are 'Mummy resting chairs' in Doggy Woof Woof land. That was good enough for me so off we went!

This girl of mine she laughs easily, loves to sing and dance, has a huge imagination, is caring and affectionate but the one thing she hates most of all is the thought that someone is upset with her. This morning we had a few obedience issues and so she was disciplined...shortly afterwards she came to me, gave me a cuddle and said 'Mummy, I'm sorry for my naughtiness but I'm happy that I'm still your precious girl.'

You will always be my precious Lj!
Mum xx

Christmas Presents #1 Bath melts

Last year my dear friend impressed me with her homemade bath melts. The smell as they melted in my hot bath was amazing. Since then I have desired to try and make my own but was feeling daunted by the new challenge. Then for my birthday this year I was given a gift voucher for Hobbycraft...I know...the best present EVER! In Hobbycraft I purchased 'Beauty Oils and Butters' by Elaine Stavert. That was the first step. The second was to order a rather large array of essential oils, almond oil and butters in order to follow the melts recipe from my new book. With all my supplies the final step was to get making. My friend reassured me that it was a very simple process, in fact her description of using a plastic jug in the microwave kind of took the shine off the process. Thankful that I hadn't ordered a double boiler as suggested in my book I used a glass jug in a saucepan of boiling water. When the Cocoa butter had melted in the jug, I added sweet almond oil, rose geranium ess oil, sandalwood ess oil, ylang ylang ess oil and vitamin E oil. After a little stir I poured the liquid, very carefully into my heart shaped silicon cases (these were purchased in Aldi and I suppose are really for mini cupcakes?!). Running out of heart cases I filled an ice cube tray and a Lego man ice cube tray! I popped a little dried rose bud on top for presentation. Then into the fridge they went for about 15 Min's and voila we had cute, sweet smelling bath melts. My friend was 100% correct when she stressed how easy it all was.

 My plan for our bath melts (and bath bombs) is to give them away at Christmas time. I also found in Hobbycraft these cute decoupage star boxes which I thought Lj and MJ could decorate for their teachers and then we could fill them with sweet smelling bath time treats.

This one was decorated with napkins we purchased in IKEA.

It is trickier than it looks to decorate a star shaped box with a ribbon...this is the best I could come up with.

Go on have a try...the best thing about them is that our house is still smelling amazing, 4 days later!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Let's play snap!

 As I scanned facebook this morning I came across this image and realised that it helped to sum up what M and I have been thinking about and musing over for the past few weeks.

Through a combination of events, M's Grandfather passing away, spending more time with extended family and being inspired by our 2 yr old niece to play more games we have been talking about the importance of family and friends and the distraction of technology.

As a result M and I have made a pact that we will not use our phones to scan the Internet while the children are awake and in the home. We are aware that children follow the habits of their parents and we are concerned about the signals we are sending to them if we are sitting around browsing the Internet on our phones instead of engaging in conversation, reading books and playing or working together.

This has coincided with the evenings drawing in earlier so the kids are unable to play outside with their friends after 5pm, leaving me with an extra hour with children who want to be outside with their friends, who are tired but it is too early for bed. Thankfully we have found a solution...board games, jigsaws and card games. I can't believe how much fun and how quickly time flies when we are playing the simple games that have been sitting on our toy shelves gathering dust for months.

Each night while eating our tea we decide whose turn it is to choose the evenings game and then while Lj is finishing off her dinner (30mins after MJ and I), MJ gets things set up and I get the kitchen tidied.

It is a cliche but children DO grow up so fast  so I'm trying really hard to slow down, to relax and enjoy their company while I have it.