Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Sacred Sacrifice

Alpha and Omega
Picture found here

Ben has always insisted that we NOT claim there is an Easter Bunny.  
He says that Easter is too short as it is, and we need to focus on the Savior since it's all about Him.  
So when Kelsey came out this afternoon telling me what things she had planned to "leave out for the Easter Bunny", I was surprised. 
I reminded her that we don't do the Easter Bunny, and the baskets they have to find in the morning are from me and her dad.

Now, of course I'm not saying every family should do it this way, but this is how we choose to celebrate Easter.  
And I, for one, am grateful for the emphasis we place on the purpose.  
Easter is truly the most important holiday of the Christian faith, for without Easter we would not have Christmas.  
And yet the music, the lights, the excitement... it's not part of our traditional celebrations.

So what do we do to celebrate?
As a family we always watch a video about Jesus' sacrifice for us.  
Because our kids are young, it's always short.  
But it's never a cartoon, and it's usually put out by our church.  
Tonight I'd like to post this short video here for those that want an Easter message.
(And can I just say that Jeffrey R. Holland is one my favorite Apostles?)

So why do I feel so reflective tonight?  
Perhaps it is because more and more I see people about me who think God is irrelevant.  
Some are friends, family, and loved ones.  
And though I do not judge or criticize anyone, it makes me rather sad. 
Belief that God exists does not constitute a belief that He is relevant.
Or that He has an opinion on what is right and wrong, 
Good and bad, 
Wholesome and destructive.

Yet I am not writing this to stir up debate, try to cause guilt, or cast stones.  
My simple purpose is this: 
I want to share with you that I know it. 
I know that Jesus Christ lives.  
He didn't just die, get resurrected and then leave us alone to figure out the next few thousand years.  
He really, really lives.  
And regardless of the choices we make, he does love us.  
All of us. 
He wants us to have joy, both in this life and the next.  
He is my Redeemer. 

And on this Easter Sunday, I am celebrating.

Easter Basket Tutorial

One of my fond memories from growing up was of weaving our own Easter baskets out of construction paper.  They didn't last very long, but they lasted long enough.

Although I've still been known to weave baskets out of paper, I have a new (and quicker) way to make them. There are several reasons that I still prefer to make our own baskets instead of purchasing them.

1) Memories, memories, memories!

2) As the kids get older, they can pick baskets that reflect their personal taste and styles.

3) I can throw them away when they are empty.  I will hold on to Christmas decorations year round, but that's about it as far as holiday decorations goes for me.

So, now for the nitty-gritty.  I'm fortunate to have stacks of scrapbooking materials around the house for craft use.  For each basket, you will need:
  • One 12x12 sheet of cardstock (or an equally sturdy paper)
  • Two 12x12 sheets of scrapbooking paper in complementary patterns
You will also need:
  • Elmer's glue
  • Glue stick
  • Scotch tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • A small square of paper (I used 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches)

First, take a glue stick and adhere the one of your 12x12 sheets of decorative paper to the cardstock.

Flip it over, and on the cardstock side (i.e. the side you want to show on the inside), place the small paper square into each corner and trace it.

Use the ruler to draw a straight line connecting the inside corners of the squares.

Next, cut ONE side of each of the squares. Be sure you cut the same side of each square (left or right).

Then make a fold along each of the remaining lines showing on the paper.

Now fold the sides up, and with the flaps on the inside, tape the corners. 

 Be sure and tape down the flaps on the inside of the box, too.  At this point, the basket body is assembled, but it needs some finishing touches to make it look nice.

Take you second sheet of paper and fold it in half.

Then open it up and fold the outside edges to the middle again.

With it folded on itself, cut the sheet of paper the same length as your basket. If you are using the 1 1/2 inch square, it'll be 7 inches long.

Open it up, cut it along the folds into four strips, then fold each of those strips in half.

Use your Elmer's glue...

...and adhere to the top edges of the basket.

Now doesn't that look nice??

Set aside to let them dry, then fill with goodies for the kids.

At this point, you can add handles or something if you'd like, but I prefer to leave them this way since they aren't going to last long if you carry them by a handle.

Happy Easter!!

P.S. A special "thanks" goes out to my daughter, Olivia, who was the model for this post.  She and Kelsey (age 8) made their own baskets.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little Boys are Gross

Connor and Maddox were playing in the backyard, and Maddox was painting on the chair with something rather suspicious looking.  Kelsey was out there and asked Connor, "What is Maddox painting with?"

"My poop!" was the answer.  She immediately called for me, and I came out to discover that, yes, Connor had done his "business" in the yard and Maddox was playing in it.  Simultaneously grossed out  and flabbergasted, I questioned Connor as to why he didn't go inside to the bathroom.  Apparently, Kelsey had seen a tiny spider in the bathroom sink this morning, and he was afraid of the spider. Therefore, he didn't want to go inside to use the toilet.

After explaining to him that there were infinitely more spiders OUTSIDE than INSIDE the house, bathing both boys, and cleaning up the mess outside, the guilty party and I had a heart-to-heart conversation.  It went like this:

Me: Connor, what did you do that was naughty?

Connor: I peed and pooped outside.

Me: And are you going to do that again?

Connor: No, but Simon peed over the fence. (Note: This is his cousin that we just went to visit in Louisiana.  They have no near neighbors to see their children pee in the yard.)

Me: (Knowing I needed to choose my battles) I don't care if you pee outside, but you will not poop outside.

Connor: But Jesus gave us poop!

Me: That's right.  And he also gave us toilets.  So you are only allowed to poop in the toilet, understand?

Connor: Okay.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Max & Ruby Dilemma

I must confess.
I was never a Max & Ruby fan.
Just wasn't my speed, I guess.

Connor, however, is addicted.
Our library has exactly two Max and Ruby videos
When he returns one, he gets the other.
When he returns the other, he gets the first one.
It's a vicious cycle.

Vicious, I tell you.

So now that I have listened to Max and Ruby more times than any human being should be subjected to, I have a very important question.

It's been on my mind constantly for weeks, so I just have to share it.

Where are their parents??

Ruby is 7 years old.  Max is what... 3? 4?  Sure, they have a Grandmother that comes to tea parties, but come on, people.  That's not adult supervision.  They never even mention their parents.  Do they exist?  Did they die?  Are they at work?  I just don't know!

And that's not my whole dilemma.  The other half of it is this:

Max is a bad influence for Connor.

Yep, I said it. A bad influence
Last week all he wanted to do was plant cucumbers.
And weed the (non-existent) garden.
This morning he needed the shovel so he could make a worm cake.

What is children's entertainment coming to these days?

Times Tables Tip

This is a great idea I got from another homeschool mom. I have posted the numbers, and when Kelsey passes a number off by demonstrating she knows those times tables, she will be able to "claim" it by decorating the paper.

She seems to like it so far! And yes, she does know more than her 1's. I won't let her pass off more than one number a day, and we just started.